For the purpose of applying for a lecturer position in Australia in computer science (CS), what are "research activities" and "scholarly activies", and how do they differ? The applicant is asked to provide "scholarly and research activities" according to the selection criteria stated in a particular job description on the website of the CS department to which I am applying to. However, both terms seem to me way too vague or broad from a purely linguistic viewpoint. The discussion in What does "research activities" mean? touches only the "research activity" term, but even this discussion is incomplete and contradictory.

  • Really you should ask them. My uninformed opinion (from the US). Research activities is: doing research. Presumably that is what you want if you apply in computer science. Scholarly activities is: writing books and poems, performing music and drama and dance. Other departments may emphasize that, rather than research.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 19, 2017 at 0:05
  • @GEdgar I find it hard to believe that a CS department is really interested in how well I can dance. I can, but it's off-topic.
    – user80454
    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:40
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    I just assume that classification "scholarly and research activities" is included for all applicants in all departments, so that one of the two possibilities applies to each applicant.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:18
  • @GEdgar Thx. Right. "Doing research" is ok, but it is very, very wide: I could write 10 lines or 10 pages on that. What I actually wish to find out is what aspects of research do people reading the response to selection criteria care about. Asking the department could be counterproductive: if it is well-known in Australia, my question would come ridiculous and could be regarded negatively.
    – user80454
    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:57
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    Why don't you look at what the faculty there put on their CVs? That is probably an indication of what is valued.
    – Dawn
    Oct 19, 2017 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


I am currently out of academia, but have worked at Lecturer level in Australia (US equivalent of Assistant Prof). To my understanding, asking about your "research activities" is a cue for you to talk about your published (and in-progress) papers, and your field of research, and "scholarly activities" is a bit broader, allowing you to talk about other activities that do not result in publications to you (e.g., refereeing papers, editing a journal, holding an administrative position in a professional body, etc.). That is how I would interpret it, but if in doubt, be proactive and contact them; there is zero chance of your enquiry being taken negatively.

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