UW Radiology

Getting Invited Presentations into your CV – Dr. Paul Kinahan

Applying for promotions, jobs, grants, fellowships etc. will require you to submit an academic CV. One unique aspect of a CV is there is no limitation on length. I have been on several search committees where CVs have exceeded 100 pages, and all were well over 50 pages. 

This might seem overwhelming for a reviewer, but if a CV is properly curated (see my other blog post) it is relatively easy to read though the CV to build up an accurate picture of the candidate’s academic accomplishments. ​

There are several components of a CV that can increase indefinitely, an important one being peer-reviewed publications. Lists of conference presentisms, abstracts, grants, and other categories can, and should, also increase in length as your career progresses. 

The last item “Invited Presentations” in the UW School of Medicine CV is also one of these categories.  It may seem that it is of low importance as it is typically the last item, but it can provide a crucial piece of information the review committee is looking for. Most promotion criteria, e.g. from Assistant to Associate, or Associate to Full Professor, ask for local, regional, national or international recognition as a consideration or even a requirement. This recognition can be determined from parts of your CV, such as awards or committee work in professional organizations. However, for early-career faculty these accomplishments can take a while to achieve. Alternatively, invited external presentations present evidence of external recognition and can be achieved early in your career. My goal here is to give you some ideas on how to do this. It is much easier than you may think.

You should, by the way, list internal invited presentations, but they don’t count towards external recognition. Ideally your CV also lists talks that you have been invited to give at other institutions: Include the title of your talk, department, inviting institution, location (if different from the location of the inviting institution), and date of the talk.

How to get invitations for external presentations?

  1. Easiest is to sit and wait for invitations. Unfortunately, this only works well after your career is well-established and you already have national or international recognition, which will already be shown elsewhere in your CV.
  2. Ask senior colleagues, mentors, section chiefs, lab heads, etc. for recommendations or to keep you in mind for when they get asked to speak or make recommendations. Repeat yearly.
  3. If you are at a conference, or are otherwise travelling, and there is someone you know (or want to know) at a nearby institution, reach out and offer to stop by. I’ve been on both sides of this and have never been turned down or turned someone down. If you get this arranged, you can then (or at the same) casually offer to give an informal talk on a topic you think will be of interest. The informal aspect is important, as you want this to be minimal effort for your host. If the host accepts, this counts as an invited presentation.
  4. If you are very motivated, and have an understanding family, you can use the above process while on vacation. I’ve done this, and sometimes it has worked out very well in terms of taking the host out for dinner with my family, or vice-versa.

Despite the slightly facetious tone of item #1 above, the goal of this blog is to point out that there are ways to get invitations for external presentations. This can help bolster your CV, especially for early career faculty. In addition, this can lead to future research collaborations, broaden your experience, and get your name out into the national and international communities.