Working on applications for academic positions (tenure-track), and finding it extremely difficult to write a research statement that is not too close to my current research that hiring faculty would think I lack originality, but also not too far-fetched/unrealistic or on topics that I find interesting but has insufficient knowledge/expertise.

Any tips?

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One strategy is to focus on your future research goals, rather than your current research projects. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in academia, you may want to highlight your plans for future research, and how your past experience has prepared you for this next step.

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Well, I guess the first thing I would say is that it's important to be honest in your applications. If you don't have a lot of expertise in a certain area, be upfront about that and explain why you're interested in it. I think hiring faculty can see through if you're trying to be something you're not, and they'll appreciate your honesty.

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For your research statement, I think it's important to focus on what makes your research unique and interesting. What are the questions you're asking that nobody else is asking? Why are you passionate about this research? I think it's okay to highlight your current research, but be sure to explain how it connects to your longer-term goals.

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I guess what I'm struggling with is common among postdocs applying for a faculty position, and obviously every case is different... In my specific case I feel my research in the past few years was so narrow and applied, that I find it hard now to prepare a research statement focused more on fundamental science in my relevant disciplines without feeling like a fraud, and as a result struggle to show my unique ideas.

How do I convince the hiring faculty that I can not only do the research I did as a Postdoc, but also propose research in new directions, come up with decent PhD definitions, get funding etc.?

Thanks for the tips, and in any case, it's up to me to prove myself... I hope I am cut out for it, and not just pursuing this path out of inertia

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