It seems to me that it does not make sense to include my teaching statement in an application package for a research associate position (UK), which is focused on a specific research project (the only teaching-related activities there might be presentations, seminars or similar events). Could including teaching statement hurt or, vice versa, benefit the application and subsequent decisions?

  • What does the job description or application website ask for? Only submit what they require.
    – Bill Barth
    Aug 4, 2015 at 14:31
  • @BillBarth: Thank you. I realize that in such situation a teaching statement is not needed. The question is, however, whether it could be beneficial (due to small teaching component - seminars, etc.) or clearly have a negative effect. P.S. I already applied without including TS, but I'm still curious about this question. Aug 4, 2015 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't hold it against anyone personally, but it could be bad or it could be good. If there are teaching or training opportunities as part of the job (like there are for people I hire), then it might be marginally helpful. It at least indicates an interest in the ancillary functions of the role. However, if it's a pure research position unattached to an organization with no possibility of a teaching role, a particularly unkind or paranoid sort might hold it against you since it could serve, to them, as an indication you'd prefer a professor/lecturer position, and that you are likely to not stick around very long if you can find one. This kind of stuff matters a lot more to some folks than it does to me personally. There's some legitimacy to this kind of thinking since the hiring process is time-consuming and expensive. You don't want to lose someone shortly after getting them on board.

My recommendation is to stick to the requested materials and no more. Tailor your application, CV, and letters to highlight the things that the position description wants.

  • 1
    Thank you for your nice answer (+1 and accepted) - the logic is clear to me and indeed makes sense. I'm glad that I applied without TS, intuitively following this logic or, likely, my gut feeling. However, I'm not too worried :-(, since my chances to be hired at several positions I'm currently applying for aren't very high, to put it politely. Several of such positions mention list of publications, which I currently don't have (besides dissertation). However, I decided to apply anyway, since I have some skills that they need, plus I don't want in the future to feel guilty that I haven't tried. Aug 4, 2015 at 15:42

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