Thursday, February 14, 2013

Diluting your accomplishments

In applications for grants, jobs, tenure, and promotion one is asked to list a range of accomplishments: research, collaborations, teaching, community service, ...

There is real danger here that you produce a long list of activities and this can really dilute the impact of your actual significant accomplishments on the reader/reviewer. Hence, I think it is best to not list everything but highlight a few accomplishments and give some specific details of why they are significant.

On a related matter I think that universities are putting increasing pressure on faculty to be involved in a diverse range of activities so they can produce such lists. I noticed this particularly in a couple of tenure/promotion cases I recently reviewed. I was really impressed by how much the applicants had done but I wondered if they had focussed more on just a few of the activities whether everyone would have been better off.

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