Postdocs requiring projects beyond the dissertation?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader asks:

This question might be too specific, especially given the UK focus, but I think there is no harm in asking.

I am looking to apply for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and one of the criteria is that “the project put forward should therefore not be a reworking or mere extension of the candidate’s doctoral research project”. I was wondering if anyone had a sense of how distinct a project has to be in these sorts of circumstances?

For instance, suppose my doctoral thesis was on distributive justice, would another project on distributive justice but in a different domain be considered an extension of the project?

Or suppose my thesis was fairly theoretical, but I now want to explore similar questions in applied/practical philosophy, but informed by my previous work. Would this be considered sufficiently different?

More broadly, do people have a sense about the merits of this kind of project versus one on a very different subject but still in ones broad research specialism?

These are fair questions, and not too specific at all! I’m not all that well-placed to answer the questions, as I’ve never applied to let alone hired for postdoc positions like this. However, I suspect that “[exploring] similar questions in applied/practical philosophy, but informed by my previous work” would almost certainly run afoul of the requirement, as it sounds like a clear extension of one’s dissertation project. I’m less sure about whether “another project on distributive justice but in a different domain [would] be considered an extension of the project”, and suspect that the answer is probably something like, “Well, it depends on how similar that project is, albeit in a different domain.” 

But again, I’m not at all sure about any of this. It would be great to hear some answers from people who are more in-the-know!

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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