Academic job applications usually require the submission of a research statement, which describes not only the applicant's research experience, but also future direction of their work. As such, it may contain some novel ideas.
Considering that a research statement is not a publication, and therefore, can't be cited, how does a selection committee ensure that nothing in an applicant's research statement (especially those of unsuccessful applicants) will be stolen by anyone in the selection committee who reads it?
I mean, since the applicant's submitted documents are probably only known to the selection committee and the applicant him/herself, isn't it easy for anyone in the committee to copy those ideas without being found out?
A related question, if a member in the committee identifies an interesting and promising idea of an unsuccessful applicant, and is keen to pursue the idea, what should the committee member do? How do you give credit to the unsuccessful applicant when the research statement is the only document where the idea is described?
To be clear, my concern is more on the committee, not how I can prevent the committee from stealing my idea. One day I might be sitting as a selection committee member myself, and I'd like to know what I should do in this situation.
This question is related to Research statement ideas got used by interviewing committee, but looking from the perspective of the committee.