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Here's an excerpt from a graduate school:

  • Letter from the applicant including a statement of their area for dissertation research (this statement of interest is not binding on the applicant) Students are encouraged to identify one (1) or more members of the department's graduate faculty with whom they would like to work

What is the meaning of the bold part above? I guess it means the statement does not create a commitment for the student and they may decide to work on another area later on their discretion. Any thoughts?

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    Yes, you have interpreted it correctly. Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 9:45

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KB basically answered your question in her comment. I'll add a reference, from Merriam-Webster:

binding adjective
Definition of binding (Entry 2 of 2)
...
2: imposing an obligation

"On" is the most common preposition that we use with this adjective to refer to the person who is bound.

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