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You sound very doubtful of me Marcus! But I would be happy to learn if I was just suppressing the horrible memory of all the research statements I don't remember submitting.

Marcus Arvan

No, not at all! Just surprised, really. ;) I was last on the market just a few years ago, and research statements were still standard then. It would very much help me to find out more as a job-market mentor. I'm also just curious about search-committees' rationale for no longer requiring them.


This was my second year on the market, my first year was a soft search ABD. I noticed a big difference in just these two years. If I had to guess a reason some schools did away with the research statement, is probably just the work load. There are soooo many applicants!

Michel X.

I applied to 70 or so this year, and 100 or so last year. I definitely sent my research statement to more than 5 each year, but still not to as many as I expected to send it to. I think that's mostly an artifact of the kinds of jobs out there, though. Postdocs ask for their own proposals, and VAPs and other temporary positions don't really need them. Most non-elite teaching institutions didn't seem to ask, either. It was pretty much just the universities with PhD programs, or fancy SLACs.

Trevor Hedberg

I applied to 90 jobs last year and submitted research statements about 25-30% of the time. I think Michel X. has it right: what's required for a job application depends in large part on what kind of institution and position you are applying for.

Marcus Arvan

Trevor & Michel: Interesting. I don't recall things being like that was applying! Although my memory could be faulty, I recall having to submit research statements for just about every type of job.


This was my experience this year as well. I applied to 70 positions and a large majority of them didn't ask for a research statement.


Picking up an old thread ... when I applied for jobs for the first time (about 8 years ago) I was told to include a dissertation summary (or research statement, once a year or two out) as the last page of the cv, if it's not asked for explicitly. Is that very idiosyncratic? Is it absolutely uncontroversial that, if no RS is requested, then one should give a substantial discussion of research in the cover letter (I am thinking just of research universities)? If so, can this part of the cover letter be a page or more? My research statement is two pages, e.g.. Thanks!


I don't think there really is any standards, but I always included a longer cover letter when there was no research statement. And especially for research schools I would spend some time covering my future research plans. I also did include a page long abstract of my dissertation at the bottom of my CV. I figured that is easy to ignore if the search committee is not interested.


I would add that putting the entire 2-page research statement into a cover letter is probably too much. I would cut it down to a page.


Hi Amanda, thanks for your answer. I'm surprised that there aren't standards (or clear guidelines in ads), given that we philosophers like being precise. I guess I will try to put about a page of research stuff in the letter.


clear guidelines in all the ads ...

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