Research statements are documents that an applicant for post-undergraduate studies provides in order to apply for graduate programs or faculty positions. These short documents contain your past and present research experiences, as well as potential future research projects you plan to do. Most commonly, a research statement determines whether a candidate is suitable for a particular institution or program.
The Structure of a Research Statement
These documents are written for professionals in your field, so they should contain information about your work, but in a much larger context. It should also demonstrate how your work affects other work being done.
In order to create a proper research statement, you need to stick to the guidelines regarding the length and content requirements for that particular application. However, one of the usual norms for length is one, sometimes two single-spaced pages.
What the Content Should Include
First, it’s essential that your project is suitable for the institution or program you are applying to.
You start the statement off by describing the field you are working within, as well as what your research aims to prove and which larger questions you are aiming to give answers to.
The main body of your research should present a brief history of your past research, including all the questions you set out to answer in that particular research, and what conclusions you have drawn from your it. Make sure to include information on whether your research contributed to the field and how and whether it influenced you to move forward and in which direction.
Consequently, you should include information about your current research. Include answers to questions such as: What is the purpose of your research? What have you concluded so far? Is your research connected to a larger scope of academic conversation and how? Do you have any upcoming references or publications under review?
Finally, the body of your statement should describe your future intentions regarding your research. Include information about the direction in which you want your research to go as well as how you plan on getting the research done. In addition, try to further explain how the specific program or institution you are sending your application to can help with your research, and what the potential results could imply.
Make it Compact and Complete
A research statement should represent your research experiences and academic knowledge, but your general abilities and character as well. Use your research statement to show off your abilities and skill set. What you’re actually doing is selling your idea as well as yourself to the particular program. Make sure to demonstrate your motivation and willingness to progress in the future. Include all the necessary and relevant information in the body, but tie it all together through language that shows your passion towards the particular field and can persuade them that you are just the right person for the program.