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PEP-CV Knowledge Base

Introduction to the platform

The Peer Exchange Platform (PEP-CV) is a resource for the research and innovation community developed by a partnership between funding agencies and researchers. The goal of PEP-CV is to become a platform for everyone active in the research and innovation sector to engage in simple peer mentoring exchanges to discuss how to best present a diverse range of experiences, achievements, and career paths in narrative-style CVs. These aspects are important outputs of research and innovation professions and are increasingly being recognised in evaluation processes, reflecting a more holistic view of a researcher and their diverse contributions.

Following the Science Europe Values Framework For the Organization of Research, the main values of the platform are:

  • Collaboration – PEP-CV should be a space for discussion around a diverse range of careers and research outputs, in order to ensure they are adequately presented, recognized and rewarded.
  • Openness and Transparency – PEP-CV is an open resource that supplements existing local, national, and international initiatives around narrative-style CVs. There are no geographic restrictions in the use of the site.
  • Care and Collegiality – The foundation of PEP-CV is mutual learning and assistance, where mentors help mentees in order to foster a culture that is supportive for everyone within the research and innovation community.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – PEP-CV fosters the principle that all forms of diversity (e.g. role, experience, people) are valued in narrative-style CVs, and that everyone can contribute to the creation of a thriving mentorship community.

The platform is not focused on specific templates of narrative-style CVs or other evaluation documents, focusing instead on the broader range of qualities, experiences, and achievements that are important in research and innovation, which are becoming more recognized through initiatives like narrative-style CVs. As such, PEP-CV does not aim to become an exchange or source of example narrative-style CVs for people to copy, but rather a community working towards a broader range of what is presented, recognized, and rewarded in the research and innovation sector.

Who is a mentor, who is a mentee? What are the benefits for each?

A mentor is someone who has experience discussing a broad range of experiences, achievements, and career steps in the context of evaluation (e.g. narrative-style CVs, hiring or promotion processes, etc.), and is willing to share their experiences and learnings with other members of the community. A mentor can have experience as an evaluator for funding, hiring, and promotion in the R&I sector, as a coach for other members of the community, or in other roles where this broad spectrum of research outputs and outcomes is used.

PEP-CV will provide mentors with experience that can be used to improve their profile as a mentor, evidencing contributions to the development of others and the greater ecosystem. In addition, mentors support innovation in research assessment and research culture. PEP-CV provides an opportunity for networking and peer-to-peer collaboration.

A mentee is someone who is looking for support, guidance, and perspective in how to present their experiences and achievements in an evaluation context (e.g. narrative-style CV, hiring or promotion processes, etc.). A mentee can be an applicant for a grant, in consideration for a position or promotion, or generally in a reflective process about their career thus far.

PEP-CV will provide mentees support in communicating their broad range of experiences and achievements, helping them to evidence their contributions to the sector for evaluation or other purposes. In addition, mentees will expand their national and international network around the broadening of what is recognized in research and innovation.

It is important to note that the roles are not mutually exclusive, mentors can also act as mentees to get support from their peers, and mentees are encouraged to act as mentors after gaining some experience.

PEP-CV supports the principles of international movements in advancing research evaluation and fostering an inclusive research culture, such as DORA and CoARA. In addition, the platform will provide opportunities to people across geographical boundaries and aims to contribute to an increased equality and diversity of people valorised in the international research and innovation sector.

Using PEP-CV – An overview of the process

After registering as a user, you will be asked to fill out a profile, where you will give details on several different aspects of your career experiences. Keep this profile up to date, as it is your main way to connect with other users. If you are acting as a mentor, make sure that the appropriate box is checked to ensure you are visible to mentees. Mentors can set a limit for the maximum number of simultaneous active mentorships with which they would like to engage as well as define “out of office” periods to ensure that mentors can set boundaries on the committed time and workload.

As a mentee, you will be able to search for potential mentors by filtering based on the characteristics and experiences you want help with presenting, or by searching for keywords. You can pick potential mentors by checking their profile and requesting a mentorship, which will send them a message and allow them to accept or reject the exchange. If the mentorship is accepted, email addresses will become visible to the mentor and mentee, and the mentorship will occur outside of the platform, as planned by the mentor and mentee.

The timing of a mentorship exchange will depend on the availability of both mentee and mentor, and should be determined outside of the platform. The expectation is that a mentorship exchange should take place within three months of the acceptance via the platform. If the exchange has not been ended, a reminder will be sent close to the end of this period to follow-up.

Both mentors and mentees will have a dashboard allowing users to see open mentorship exchanges and can finalize or cancel any active exchanges. If the exchange has finished successfully, it can be “finalized” in the dashboard. If the exchange did not finish successfully for some reason, it can be “cancelled” in the dashboard.

Once exchanges are finished, there will be the opportunity to give feedback on the other party and the exchange, which will be used internally for ensuring positive experiences on the platform.

It is important to note that you can be both a mentor and a mentee, and roles can change based on how your career develops and progresses. We encourage mentees to act as mentors once they have gained experience presenting these broader aspects of their career, in order to give back to the community and sustain the collaborative and collegial culture of PEP-CV.

Introductory Videos for Mentors

If you are a mentor, we highly recommend you to watch the short video series below, before you initiate your mentorship with the mentees. The videos have been carefully compiled by one of the experts in the field and initiators of the Narrative-style CVs, Dr. Karen Stroobants.

In this comprehensive mentoring guide for Narrative CVs, you will learn:

Expectations of mentors and mentees, and suggestions for the mentorship exchange

Mentors should:

  • Making a safe space for the exchange, putting mentees at ease to minimize power dynamics.
  • Share openly their experiences and reflections in order to guide the mentee.
  • Give feedback and guidance without the expectation that it must be followed.

Mentees should:

  • Foster an exchange of experiences, and not just ask for documents to adapt for their needs.
  • Be open and respectful to feedback and guidance that is given, regardless of whether it will be used.

All aspects of the exchange should ensure that both parties are comfortable, and neither is disadvantaged. We recommend the following steps at the beginning of an exchange:

  • Agree on a language of the exchange at the beginning – There is no need for English to be used if both mentee and mentor speak another common language sufficiently.
  • Clarify expectations from both sides, so that there is mutual understanding.
    Ensure there is no potential conflict of interest (see next section).

Details of mentorship exchanges, reporting issues, and confidentiality

PEP-CV is a platform for facilitating mentorships and has no influence into the actual content of the mentorship exchange. No parts of what is discussed in the mentorship are shared with PEP-CV, unless through specific feedback shared voluntarily by a mentor or mentee. Any information, advice, or guidance shared within a mentorship facilitated by the platform is not endorsed by any of the institutions/organisations supporting PEP-CV and, thus, is not an official part of any institutional support or evaluation application, process, or procedure.

There is potential for conflicts of interest to arise (e.g. where the mentor is an evaluator on a proposal or submitted manuscript of the mentee, close collaboration between the mentor and the line manager of the mentee, etc.). Mentees and mentors should disclose these links before engaging in a mentorship, and PEP-CV strongly discourages engaging in a mentorship exchange where a conflict of interest is present.

If there are problems with a mentorship exchange, or if you need to report a misuse of PEP-CV, please contact the community manager at

Safeguarding principles

  • Safeguarding is everybody’s business and our individual and collective responsibility.
  • All members of this platform have a right to be safe from harm regardless of their age, gender or gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious or other beliefs, disability or socio-economic status. People may be at greater risk of abuse because of any of these characteristics.
  • Equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion are central to our values and practices and core principles of effective safeguarding.
  • Good safeguarding is person-centred, empowering, preventative, proportionate, protective and done in partnership with statutory, regulatory and other relevant organisations.
  • We require all members of the PEP-CV community to promote welfare and wellbeing, as well as safe and open communication.
  • To be effective we must be transparent with our approach, accountable, and committed to ongoing learning and improvement. Our processes will never restrict a person’s ability to make a complaint or to raise a concern with us.

If a user feels that they have been subjected to bullying, abuse, or other forms of harassment, please please contact the community manager at and report the offending user by using the link in their profile. Institutions and organizations supporting PEP-CV will not handle complaints of this nature. In the event of misuse of the platform, the community manager will provide warnings to the user, and reserves the right to remove the offending user from PEP-CV and ban their re-entry to the platform.