Monday, September 13, 2010


Yesterday evening, I uploaded my application to a postdoc at one of the Oxford colleges.  It took me hours to prepare a research proposal just for them, since I would generally prefer to keep my research options open to ethnography as well as archival work, and this postdoc would require me to park myself in Oxford for years.  Then I emailed my referees with my statement of proposed research, and explained to them the particulars of this fellowship.

Oxford emailed me a rejection letter before I even woke up this morning.  I'm sure that's a personal best (?) in my career thus far.  At least it came from a school that I associate with snootiness and haughty self-regard.  It would suck if the insta-rejection came from almost anywhere else.

I guess I may as well get started on another application now.  Sigh.


  1. Reduce, reuse, recycle baby! Try to work as much of that into the next app you send out, and pretend it was a "draft" of that later app.

    Yeah, I had one of those insta-turnaround-rejections last year; the good news is that you will soon be so busy with rejections you'll barely even notice this one.

    Uh, I think that's good news.

  2. It's probably an automatically-generated thing, based on some predetermined parameter that may or may not have been explicitly stated (rather than anything to do with the specific worth of your application). We now have job candidates apply online, too, and my understanding is that the system is set to boot anyone who doesn't (for example) already have a degree in hand; the search committees don't even see those applications.

    I don't know if that should make you feel better, exactly, but it's probably not meaningfully about the merits of your proposal.