I was in a master’s program. I completed one year completed, but got expelled due to my GPA dropping below what was needed. I was put on probation and was given one semester to pull up my average by getting an A in all three classes I was taking, but I only got an A in two of them.

I have the option to apply for re-admittance and will do so, but just in case I want to apply to other programs, perhaps as a transfer. If needed, I’d apply fresh and start over.

In my new applications, should I explain my situation (life changes, job loss), or would it be better to not dwell too much on it?

Let’s assume you are writing a cover letter for a tenure-track position in the US in computer science. In the cover letter, you would like to express your affinity to potential research areas and your openedness to collaboration with the corresponding researchers. You do not wish to promise collaboration, since it always involves the other side. How to formulate it properly and concisely?

Here is a sample I found somewhere online (don’t ask me where):

At the School of GreatDiscipline at the ImportantCity College I would:

  • 〈irony〉 grab away your students for my useless projects 〈/irony〉

  • 〈irony〉 spend lots of your money without return 〈/irony〉

  • 〈irony〉 finally reduce the percentage of women down to zero 〈/irony〉

  • welcome collaboration with the researchers from the areas X, Y, and Z,

(Of course, replace the ironical parts by proper formulations.)
Here are some choices I considered:

[

  • be open to …
  • envisage …
  • favor …
  • promote …
  • facilitate …
  • offer …
  • welcome …

collaboration with …].

All of them seem not ideal to me; I’m stuck. Some of them might be even a poor choice. Any suggestion for an appropriate phrase?

Specializing the question
Who to address on the cover letter?,
let’s assume that you apply for a tenure-track position in the US in computer science, that the job announcement has no particular individual listed, and that Google/Bing/Yahoo led you to, say, “recruiting committee” (as opposed to “search team”). Then, which opening would be proper:

To Whom It May Concern

or

Dear Recruiting Committee

or

Dear Representative of the Recruiting Committee

or

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

?

How about the punctuation after the opening? No punctuation, a comma, or a colon? I.e.:

〈Whatever opening〉

〈Whatever opening〉,

〈Whatever opening〉:

All are o.k. according to the broad English grammar, but, in academia things might be more special.

Specializing the question
Who to address on the cover letter?,
let’s assume that you apply for a tenure-track position in the US in computer science, that the job announcement has no particular individual listed, and that Google/Bing/Yahoo led you to, say, “recruiting committee” (as opposed to “search team”). Then, which opening would be proper:

To Whom It May Concern

or

Dear Recruiting Committee

or

Dear Representative of the Recruiting Committee

or

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

?

How about the punctuation after the opening? No punctuation, a comma, or a colon? I.e.:

〈Whatever opening〉

〈Whatever opening〉,

〈Whatever opening〉:

All are o.k. according to the broad English grammar, but, in academia things might be more special.

I need to write a statement of research interest for internships in applied mathematics and computational science that I am applying for this summer.

Having just finished my first semester of graduate school, I feel that I have not fully defined my research interests. However, I have participated in several ongoing research projects and have already interned at a national laboratory.

How can I write a successful statement of research interest at this point in my education? Should I write about what I have already done, or focus on what I want to research in the future?

If I focus on the future, I feel that I will have trouble articulating where I want my research to go… because I really don’t have an answer yet!

There are generally two ways to approach the daunting task of sending applications for academic positions:

  1. Surgical approach : meticulously written few applications.
  2. Shot-gun approach : as many applications as possible.

Among the two, Surgical approach could the best way to send applications because such applications would be thoroughly researched and well written. However, there are scenarios e.g. running out of fellowship or other urgencies etc. wherein one would want to adopt the Shot-gun approach.

I just wonder how would one go about preparing loads of applications by Shot-gun approach.

Most postdocs I have applied for wanted a cover letter (including research interests) and a CV.

I have now come across one that wants both a cover letter and a one page research statement.

The cover letter should be a very short document just stating my interest in the position and what is included, while the research statement should go over what research I have done an my interest in the project, right?

I’ve already applied for a visiting position at a school where I was shortlisted but not selected. The department is advertising a tenure-track position this year.

While I update my cover letters and change them in detail for each school, the basic structure of each is the same. Should I assume I need to write a new letter if I’m applying to the same school’s department again?

(My assumption is they won’t have my materials on file from last year even if they recognize my name but I have no idea. The position is also asking for expertise in a subfield that the visiting prof has, so I don’t know how much of a chance there is anyway).