I have been asked to help teach a one-week class (a scientific conference-type class in Italy). I am one of about six other teachers involved.

The organizer has asked me to send a "15-line CV" for the course web site. My CV is two pages long, and I am not sure what a 15-line CV would include. Do you think the organizer may just mean a biosketch? Or is there an abbreviated CV format that I am not aware of? I could easily email him to ask for clarification, but he is clearly very busy and I do not want to bug him with minutiae unless I have to.

  • 1
    Just a wild guess: But if I recall correctly, in some countries CV has adopted a broader meaning and is used for all sorts of things relating to an applications, while it is has retained its literal meaning in some European countries. Thus, if you come from one of the former countries, this may explain your confusion.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Aug 5, 2015 at 15:05
  • I am from the US, where CV is still pretty much synomymous with formal academic résumé.
    – neuronet
    Aug 5, 2015 at 15:09
  • 3
    Typically the web site that describes the program for a meeting/short course like this would have short blurbs about the presenters. Something like "Prof. Doe earned his PhD at MIT in 1992. From 1993 to 1995 he was a post-doc at Big Huge Lab. From 1996 to 2001 he was an assistant professor at university X. In 2001 he moved to university Y, where he now holds the distinguished chair of Z." It sounds as though they're asking for something like that. Aug 5, 2015 at 15:12
  • 1
    It's an IEEE thing, so maybe they mean one of the biography blurbs like they have in EE journals.
    – neuronet
    Aug 5, 2015 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


Basically, a "short CV" is a CV with your basic career highlights:

  • Where you did your undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate (postdoc) degrees
  • Any appointments you have held following the completion of your research (academic, industrial, government, or otherwise)
  • Any major awards or honors that you've received
  • Any other notable accomplishments that you'd like your audience to know about

You do not need to include (unless specifically asked to include it):

  • List of publications and presentations
  • Service activities
  • List of funding sources
  • List of students supervised
  • Courses taught

As well as any other item that you would not mention in a short introduction to you and your work.


I sent the organizer an IEEE-style biosketch, and he said that was what he wanted. So, I think there may be some semantic variability in the word 'CV' in Europe versus the United States (I am from the latter), or he was just very loose in his terminology. Feel free to edit this answer if it is the former and not the latter.

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