I am applying for a faculty position and thereby requires me to submit my research interests. The department I am applying already have two professors that have similar research interests to mine. The research topics demand a lot of collaboration and effort and people working in that area would know that an additional faculty could complement the work being done there. But for the faculty search committee not well-versed in the area, it may appear that an additional faculty is not necessary to do research in that area.

How can I tweak my research statement to convince the faculty search committee to short list me for interview? Any suggestions or advice.

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    "The research topics are extremely complicated" -- as are all research topics. Otherwise the problems would have been solved long ago and it would no longer be research. You would probably do well to not think of your area as more complicated than those of other researchers. Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 15:55
  • No offence intended, I didn't mean that. You are right all areas are complicated. I will change the wording.
    – nxkryptor
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 16:00
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    Be the best candidate?
    – JeffE
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


That is essentially not something you can do. Whether or not a department wants an additional faculty member in an area is something the department needs to figure out. As I mention, "The research topics are extremely complicated" is something that every researcher can and will (correctly!) say about their own research area, and having another colleague in their area will help them as well. As a consequence, if you claim that hiring you will be good for the research group then that will likely not have much of an effect -- the search committee members will know that this is true for a hire in any area already represented in the department.

In practice, figuring out in which areas a department wants to hire is often a difficult and contentious process. Everyone wants more faculty in their own area. An outsider will not generally have a voice in this process, and so you trying to convince them of something that they need to figure out themselves seems to me like a futile thing. Focus on making your application look good by having lots of publications in good journals, writing proposals and getting them funded, etc. What you can do is point out that your research would have natural connections to researchers already in the department, and who this is.

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    I would also say that if you know the other two faculty you can give them a heads up that you are applying.
    – Dawn
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 17:49
  • Indeed. That's always a good idea. Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 18:38
  • This answer seems to be more devoted to attacking the question than answering it. Granted the OP phrased the question as a specific case ("how do I guarantee I get this job"), which is indeed pretty hopeless. But it can be viewed more generally as asking for suggestions on improving the odds with departments like this in a numbers game. In which case there is probably a lot of good advice that can be given. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 19:12
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    @ASimpleAlgorithm Sometimes challenging the premise of a question is the best answer that can be given; in this case, this answer opines that the best advice is that the OP is focused on the wrong issue and they will be best helped in the numbers game by recognizing that.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 19:57

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