Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct:

  1. I am always interested in applying my research to various fields
  2. I am always interested in applying my research in various fields

2 Answers 2


Both are grammatically correct.

If you look these prepositions up in the dictionary, you'll find dozens of meanings, and there are some overlapping contexts where either one can be applied. This is one of them, partly because the sentences are rather vague. You haven't specified what "my research" is, or what you mean by "various fields" – if those were more clearly defined, that might change which preposition would be more appropriate.

You could use to because, presumably, you're applying what you've learned in your research to a problem in a particular field. You could use in because, when you apply your research, you're doing so within a particular domain.

Most prepositions are rather flexible, and it's not uncommon to find a context where more than one can be used without violating the rules of grammar or stepping outside the scope of the words' definitions.

  • 4
    As an aside, I appreciate an answer being accepted, but you might want to wait a little longer before accepting an answer. One or two hours doesn't really give the community as a whole much chance to answer your question; it's quite possible someone could provide an answer much better than mine. I recommend waiting at least 12 hours, if not a full day – but that's merely a recommendation on my part.
    – J.R.
    Mar 11, 2013 at 9:56
  • Ok. I will keep that in mind.
    – Autonomous
    Mar 11, 2013 at 19:59

You haven't used the phrase "apply to" or "apply for" in the sentences though.

apply to: use to take action to something
apply in: taking an action in a place/space

I am always interested in applying my research in various fields.

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