Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Contest Entries: Rejection Letters, 2

Here are two more beautiful examples of the genre, each crazy-making in their own special way. 

(By the way, I am not sure if those submitting these want their names attached to their entries; without specific information I am erring on leaving names off but am happy to include names if so instructed -- and I can add names to entries already posted.)

Dear Candidate,

Thank you so, so much for your application to our Department. We were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm with which the scientific community rallied around our job posting, and to date with have received 1,217 applications (and counting!!!) from kindhearted individuals across the country. I'm sure you will agree that this is a very special achievement, which we could never have managed without your contribution. 

As I am sure you will appreciate, it was very difficult for us - after we had read through the documents of all the incredibly talented hotshot Ivy League academics (each with their own truly inspiring pedigrees and publication record) - to narrow the selection down to just one eventual winner. We wanted to award all of you a tenure-track position in our department! But in the end we had to make just one choice, and I am sorry to say that your application didn't quite make the cut. 

But you were really close, though! 

Thank you once again for applying to our Department - it was really sweet of you to consider us. Keep your eyes peeled for details about our next academic opening! 

Warm regards and gratitude,

Department Search Committee 


Dear Applicant,

Thank you very much for your application for a position in our department.  Due to the large number of applications we receive, if you are not on the short list for the position then this will be the last you'll hear from us.  On the other hand, we request that you take the time to let us know if you accept a position elsewhere.


Search Committee Secretary

Top-10 Science Department

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Contest Entries: Rejection Letters, 1

Here are two entries in the Rejection Letter writing contest, including one (the first one) that is based on a real letter that may (or may not?) be needlessly a bit cruel.

We wish you well

On behalf of Dr. Marty Bloom, Chair, Dept. of Many Words for Science and the MWFS Search Committee at Badly Located State School  we greatly appreciate your applying for a faculty position in our department.   We regret that your name was not on the short list.  We wish you well in your search for a position appropriate to your accomplishments and interests.


Mary Sue LogginsSearch Committee Secretary



Dear Applicant,

Thank you for applying for Job [ID code 87340000001]. 

Your application passed audit.

You have not been selected for this job.

(end text)


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Write This 2014

For the past couple of weeks I have been feeling occasionally distressed that I had not yet announced the theme of the annual Academic Writing Contest, and then I noticed the date on last year's announcement -- December 22. So now I feel better, though only if I don't think too much about what that means about the past two years.

A summary of the themes of the last six (6) contests:

And now, to celebrate the end of 2014 and get everyone in a festive mood for 2015, the theme for this year's writing contest is: The Rejection Letter.

The rules are simple:

- Write a brief rejection letter that exemplifies whatever interests you most about this type of communication -- how awful they can be, how insincere, how kind, how bizarre, how cryptic, or whatever.

- Entries can be made up or can be (anonymized) real ones that are somehow noteworthy for their awfulness, awesomeness, bizarreness etc.

- Email entries to femalescienceprofessor@gmail.com, and as usual I will arbitrarily post some or all of them whilst the FSP family makes its annual expedition to somewhere interesting.