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My research interests are shifting, due to papers I read and talks or conferences I attend (and also due to change of tastes).

However, I don't know how to communicate it on my CV or my website.

One the one hand, I am eager to move into new fields, and I am eager to learn more (and they are my first preference, when it comes to the further research).

On the other, neither I offer "expertise" in them nor I have a collection of relevant publications (at best 1-2 somehow related papers).

So, should the new interests be listed in "Research interests" as:

  • the first ones,
  • the last ones,
  • other (don't list them, or do sth else)?

Of course in longer research statements it is easier to explicitly state what one is doing and where the interest are going.

If it is relevant, I am a PhD student.

1 Answer 1

As suggested in the comments above, the answer will depend on whom you are targeting.

  • If you are a professor targeting graduate students in a new field, I would just list the new field as an interest on your webpage, with links to your few papers. It should be enough to indicate to potential graduate students that if they have an interest in this field you would be more than happy to work with them.

  • If you are a professor targeting grant agencies, then just write grants targeted at whatever field you're interested in. Note that, if you have a poor publication record in the field of interest, it may be a good idea to find a strong collaborator or co-PI (if applicable in your field) to boost the likelihood of acceptance.

  • If you are a post-doc looking for new positions, I think it's pretty widely accepted that your interests will and should be changing. I would indicate it explicitly on your CV in your objective statement (assuming you have one) that you're interested in branching out, and again in the cover letter. Regarding your previous research, just list it under "experience"; the reader will understand based on your resume, cover letter, and the fact you're applying to jobs in different fields that this was intentional. As you stated, there is a not-insignificant chance that your lack of publications in the new field will negatively impact your application.

  • If you're a student, then you barely have research interests; you just have the research you've worked on for 2+ years, which you did so you could earn a PhD. Your colleagues will recognize that you're still familiarizing yourself with the field. Unless the shift is so substantial that none of your previous expertise would be useful, I wouldn't even bother to mention shifting interests; it's healthy and expected.