My group (engineering) is highly multicultural and diverse. Some of my students come from adversarial ethnic/religious groups, so I made it “set in stone” that politics and religion do not belong in the lab. We respect each other and sometimes discuss cultural differences and habits politely.
I recently received some applications for a new PhD position. One candidate started their C.V. with a huge “in the name of God” and continued throughout their application discussing how God will guide or guided them or God will make sure they get good results and finish their PhD. Overall, I counted the word God in their application twelve times. This left a bad taste to me.
In the particular case, the said candidate was classified much lower that the chosen candidate merit-wise (scores, research experience, etc.).
- Is it acceptable to disclose and declare vividly religious preferences in academic applications?
- Is this a sign that this person will also be as vocal in the group, thus creating issues?
- Should I simply ignore this information, even if the candidate decided for some reason to vocally disclose it? What should I do with it?
- I am in the EU.
- There is nothing religious about my university.
- The candidate in question is from the Middle East.