This checklist is designed to help with the creation of a project vita. Similar to an individual’s professional vita or resume, a project vita is a comprehensive index of factual information about a project’s activities and achievements. It documents past performance and demonstrates capacity for future endeavors. Tracking this information over the life of a project will make it easier to complete annual reports to sponsors, respond to information requests, and document achievements in funding applications. If the document is easy to find on the project’s website, stakeholders and other interest parties can easily see how productive (or not) the project has been. For a more dynamic vita, include links to supporting documents, staff biographies, or related web pages; this will allow users to quickly locate items referenced in the vita. For an example of a project vita, see evalu-ate.org/vita. This checklist suggests what to include in a vita and how to organize the information. Projects should tailor their vitae to their specific needs.
At EvaluATE’s first-ever National Visiting Committee in 2009, Dr. Nick Smith (NVC chair) recommended that we develop a “project vita” as a convenient way to update the NVC on our center’s activities. He pointed us to a paper he coauthored in which he described the process, uses, and benefits of developing and maintaining a project vita (see bit.ly/project-resume). With this nudge, we developed our first center vita (although we call it a resume now) and have kept it updated and posted on our website ever since. We have long advocated for other ATE projects and centers to develop their own, using ours as a model if they wish (see evalu-ate.org/about/resume). We heartily concur with Smith and Florini’s statement that “few management and evaluation techniques seem as simple and effective as the project vita—surely a tool with those characteristics is worth sharing with a broader professional audience.”
Like your own resume or curriculum vita, a project resume conveys past accomplishments and capacity for future work. As such, directing proposal reviewers to an online resume is a quick way to share evidence of past performance. It also comes in handy at annual reporting time because it lists all major project activities, key personnel, collaborators, and products in one place. Checking your resume is much more efficient than retrospectively documenting a record of a year’s worth of work.
EvaluATE’s Emma Perk has developed a Project Resume Checklist as a step-by-step guide for project PIs (or others) to develop their own project resumes—check it out at bit.ly/resume-checklist and join us at our next webinar on May 13 to learn more (see p. 4)