The Research Statement
How to write a research statement that demonstrates your scholarly potential

  • What a Research Statement is, and Why You’re Being Asked to Write One
  • Preparing to Write Your Research Statement
  • The Differences Between Research-Focused and Teaching-Focused Institutions
  • Example Paragraphs From a Research Statement For a Research-Focused Institution
  • Example of How to Modify Your Research Statement for a Teaching-Focused Institution
  • The Components of Your Research Statement
  • The Summary Section of Your Research Statement
  • The Past Research Section of Your Research Statement
  • The Present Research Section of Your Research Statement
  • The Future Research Section of Your Research Statement
  • The Conclusion of Your Research Statement
  • Additional Tips to Help You Write Your Research statement

About this lesson

As a PhD student or postdoc, your research is a huge part of your work. Chances are, you’ve been diving deep into your research topic for years, and so it can be very difficult to concisely and clearly explain your research to an outsider. And yet, that’s exactly what the Research Statement asks you to do! So, what should you include in a Research Statement, and how is one structured?

This lesson explains the purpose of a Research Statement, takes you through how to prepare to write one, and shows both good and bad examples of what Research Statements look like. This deep-dive on the Research Statement talks about how to build on what you say about your research in your Cover Letter, and it also helps set you up for later success when you give a Job Talk.

Workbook Activities

This lesson covers pages 26 – 32 in the Apply Stage Workbook. You can also use the Take Notes widget to complete these activities.  

  1. A significant portion of your Research Statement will focus on your future research. Use the prompts from the video lesson to start outlining your plan for your future research. 
  2. A Research Statement will take a significant amount of time to draft and review. Set some SMART goals with appropriate deadlines to help you with your process. 
  3. As you draft your research statement, refer back to the information in the video lesson to ensure you’re including all the necessary and important information in your research statement. Please be sure to consult with your own department and discipline to learn about any specific items or details you’ll need to include in your research statement. When you’re done, there is a checklist provided in your workbook you can use as a guideline to review the content and formatting of your research statement. Are there any improvements you could make?

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The Research Statement

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