CV of failures

To complement my CV, and inspired by many people who have done this before, I present a brief overview of my (professional) failures. This may be of interest to more junior researchers who are concerned that they are getting too many rejections and no feedback. Unfortunately, this is frustratingly common in academia.


2007-2010: Countless failed applications.


  • 2011: MIT (Physics)
  • 2011: UC Berkeley (Nuclear Engineering)


  • 2018: CNRS Research Scientist. Feedback: “too immature” (?!)
  • 2018: L’Observatoire de Paris Fellowship. Feedback: “The competition was of very high level”.
  • 2019: Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Accepted during internal phase by Imperial College London, deemed ineligible by RS due to too few years since PhD.
  • 2020: ORIGINS Cluster of Excellence Fellowship, Garching, Munich. No feedback.
  • 2020: Helmholtz Young Investigator’s Group, IPP Munich. Feedback from internal process: “To make a long story short: It will not be possible to apply for a Helmholtz YIG”.
  • 2020: UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, Imperial College. Failed at internal stage. Feedback: many high quality applications.


I’m sure there will be many more of these to come.

  • 2017: MIT-Imperial College Seed Fund. No feedback.

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