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I am planning to apply for a PhD position in Physics in the US.

I have worked in several areas in physics (let's say, A, B and C), but there are also areas D and E, which highly interest me, but I have not performed any research in these topics. I have written in my SOP that I am interested to work in D and E (also, interested to further explore A, B and C).

Many people include "Research Interests" in their CV. I plan to make a section like the following.

Research Interests

  • A
  • B
  • C

I have also mentioned my projects and publications related to A, B, C in another section of the CV.

I wonder whether it is a good idea to include D and E in the list of "Research Interests" in the CV, as it is among the topics which I am interested to work on, but I have no research experience in it.

I saw the answer to this question, which says If you state that something is one of your top interests but this topic does not appear anywhere else in your CV this looks suspicious. Does that mean I should now include D and E in this list in the CV?

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  • This question is more about multidisciplinary research interests. My question is about what not to include in CV. Nov 4, 2021 at 10:37
  • Why not omit the research interests section? This would avoid the problem. (Note: I am not in physics so I can't say how important it is to list those on a CV, but presumably you already list the projects you've worked on somewhere.)
    – Kimball
    Nov 4, 2021 at 13:00
  • I admit I don't know how PhD recruitment works in the USA. I comment only to suggest that the CV and any accompanying letter could be tailored on the characteristics of the group or institution one applies to. There can be the case where manifesting an interest leads a supervisor to think s/he has nothing to offer on that. This won't be the base for not being enrolled, but it could favour another candidate whose interests fit more the environment.
    – Alchimista
    Nov 5, 2021 at 9:52

1 Answer 1

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Unless you are already working in an area, in which case the CV has a "Work in Progress" section, the place for such things is the Statement of Purpose, not the CV.

The CV is about the past. Things you've already done, or are currently in progress but unfinished. The SoP is about the future plans and how you expect to achieve them.

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  • I completely agree. I'll add that you can use your CV to emphasize your research interests by focusing on the most relevant aspects past experience (sometimes even loosely connected experience) but always stick to what you've actually done / are currently doing. Nov 5, 2021 at 6:10

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