Despite his love of Glasgow and his determination to establish a successful Department of Genetics there, Pontecorvo applied for positions in many other UK and international universities and research institutions over the years. The correspondence shows his frustration over the lack of funding and the obstacles obstructing the development of his Genetics Department at Glasgow and the reasons he considered moving to ather academic institutions. However, despite many generous offers of readerships and professorships in research departments around the world Pontecorvo turned them all down and remained in the UK.
His correspondence and papers show what was holding him back and what he thought of the state of the teaching of genetics and developments in genetics research in other UK and international universities and colleges. The correspondence also highlights his network of influential friends and colleagues who offered opinions and support when he was faced with difficult decisions. Therefore, despite not accepting many of the positions offered to him throughout his career, this section of correspondence relating to job applications is valuable in that it offers an insight into Pontecorvo's ambitions and his opinions of genetics research and teaching in in the mid twentieth century.
Most of the bundles of correspondence contain original letters from correspondents, as well as manuscript or carbon copies of Pontecorvo's responses.