Photos: Header: (part of) one of my many, many rejections. Embedded image: the whole thing.
I’ve gotten a lot of rejection letters over my career. Job rejections, grant rejections, manuscript rejections, fellowship rejections – you name it. Every scientist does. I’ve also written quite a few rejection letters – mostly, in my roles as an editor and as Department Chair. I don’t like writing them much more than I like receiving them. But if there’s a bright side to this coin, it’s that my all-too-extensive experience suggests that there are better rejection letters and worse ones. I can suggest a few ways to steer the ones you write, and the ones you read, towards the “better” category (and please add your own thoughts in the Replies). Today, rejection letters for academic job applicants. In a future post, I’ll tackle rejection letters for manuscripts. Continue reading