How to Write a Research Statement for Academic Job Applications

After watching this video, you’ll be able to:

    • Define what a research statement is.
    • Identify the purpose of the research statement.
    • Write an effective research statement using appropriate structure.
    • Apply strategies to promote your research to fit the type of institution that’s hiring.

Brian J. Rybarczyk, PhD is the Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Academic & Professional Development at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Use the Take Notes widget at the bottom right of the page to answer these questions and complete the exercises for this unit.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is a research statement?
  2. Why do institutions request a research statement?
  3. What is the structure of the research statement?
  4. How can you tailor your statement to different institutions?


  1. Begin drafting your research statement by answering the following questions: What is your research to date? Why is your research important? Where is your research going in the future?
  2. Use the problem space diagram provided in the video to organize your research statement draft.
  3. If you’re inclined to create a chronological research statement, try revising it to produce a thematic narrative that demonstrates how you arrived at your new research and how you plan to enact that research.
Have you completed this unit? Then mark this unit as completed.
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