I am currently applying for a lecturer position in mathematics, in the UK. I just have a general question regarding how the applications usually compare to US applications. In the US, most of these jobs require a very precise list of documents: recommendation letters, CV, research statement, teaching statement, and maybe some other stuff. Usually it's very clear.

In the UK, most of the applications I found require an application form + supporting material. In many of them, it's not so clear what this supporting material should be. My plan was to include at least my CV, publication list, and research statement (similar to the one I would send to a US application). But what about the teaching statement? I don't want to make my application extra large by attaching unnecessary documents which could end up being detrimental. Specially a teaching statement, the idea of which I never bonded with.

I'm willing to write one and submit it as well, but I wanted to know from UK people (specially those that have been in hiring committees) about this.

  • Well, they don't really. It only mentions that the supporting material should address the relevant requirements for the post and person specification. It's a rather generic document. The more specific document describing the job is very detailed but it doesn't say anything about the supporting material.
    – dbluesk
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 10:00
  • 3
    Often they give an email address to contact with queries, so try that. There's really no general answer to this: you have to find out what this specific department wants. Commented May 12, 2016 at 10:32
  • Is this a teaching-focused job, or one that entails both teaching and research? If the latter, then the impression I get is that UK universities give far more weight to research than to teaching ability, so a separate teaching statement is probably not necessary. Commented May 12, 2016 at 11:33
  • It's a lectureship in pure mathematics, and I understand that is't not teaching-focused (although there is teaching involved, obviously).
    – dbluesk
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 11:35
  • 2
    Another point worth making is that unlike many places in NA, the default in the UK seems to be that recommendation letters are solicited rather late in the process, after short-listing has taken place. (This is to do with the HR + Faculty structure in universities.) So usually you just supply three names -- there may be some rule that one has to be your previous "employer/line manager", and then the others should comment on your academic+teaching record
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Having applied for jobs in both North America and the UK, I can confirm that unless the advert and "further particulars" specifically mention it, there is no need for a teaching statement.

I thought I would add some further comments, which aren't exactly relevant to your question but which came to mind since you mentioned UK vs NA.

For a standard "lectureship in pure mathematics" (presumably entry level?), I was told by a 3rd party, when I applied for my current job, that in many UK places a list of courses in the CV, plus remarks of the form "my teaching was rated in the kth decile by student questionnaires," would be sufficient.

The important thing is an up-to-date CV, which should emphasise the extent of previous teaching experience. Success in getting grants, either as a graduate student or postdoc, is probably also worth including. Other information such as conference participation and refereeing work is rather secondary; you can include it, but I don't think it would make much of a difference.

Due to the sheer volume of applications, it may be worth including things like the publication list at the end of the CV rather than in a separate document. You might also wish to highlight your four best papers in an early "Selected publications" section; sadly the spectre of REF-fability is always on the minds of committees. The CV is often what is circulated when drawing up a longlist. The research statement should probably remain separate, and is roughly speaking the same kind of thing that one would prepare for a North American application.

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