Many students struggle to learn how to write a research statement when applying for post-undergraduate studies. This document is also a requirement for an academic job or a graduate school. When writing this statement for an undergraduate degree or post-graduate research, some learners don’t appreciate its purpose.
This statement serves more purpose than listing and describing the completed project. Ideally, this document should describe your research trajectory to the search or selection committee. Research statements are among the documents that describe the student’s academic career, alongside personal statements, diversity statement, teaching statement, cover letter, and resume. Therefore, students should be strategic and discriminating when selecting the information to include in this document.
What is a Research Statement?
Most learning institutions require applicants to provide this document when applying for post-undergraduate studies. Such studies can include faculty positions, post-doctoral fellowships, and graduate programs. This document enables the committee to determine whether a candidate’s research interests and experiences make them fit for the institution or program.
What is the Purpose of Research Statements?
The primary goal of this statement is to showcase the writer’s research interest, experience and tie it with the position for which they apply. This document enables the applicant to do the following:
- Convey their identity pieces while charting their scholarly journey’s course
- Shows the committee that their research follows logically from their past works, and this it will be innovative, important, and different.
- Contextualize their research interests
- Combines their current work and achievements with the upcoming research proposal
- Tell the committee about their areas of expertise and specialty, strengths, and ability to think like a scholar.
- Demonstrate they can take on research independently
- Showcase their writing ability as a researcher and earn grant money
- State their long-term and short-term research goals
Ideally, this statement enables you to showcase your research plan’s trajectory, including current, past, and future studies. However, avoid spending a lot of time explaining your experience, and instead, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. And you can do this by asking intriguing questions. Also, you can explain how you will explore or answer those questions in the future. Additionally, highlight the recognitions you’ve received for your work, including publications, awards, and grants. You can also highlight potential research funding sources.
How to Write Research Statement
A good research statement of interest is concise and specific. It briefly describes academic research while highlighting research-related experiences and how they have helped the applicant acquire knowledge, skills, and qualities that make them fit for the position. Here’s how to write a statement of research interests in a simple format.
- Introduction: Start by telling the readers about your research motivation. What’s the value of the study that you want to pursue in undergraduate or graduate school? Introduce your interest briefly and what draws you to it. Also, state the research problem that your study will answer. Perhaps, you can learn how to write research questions before drafting this statement. Nevertheless, your document should explain how you will contribute to your study field through your research, building on the previous works.
- Body: This section should tell the readers how you’re prepared or qualified. Ideally, this part should highlight your academic skills and competencies. It should depict your readiness qualities, like team building, organization, and time management. You can also highlight your past and current projects or experiences. Perhaps, you can demonstrate your competencies by stating recognitions, publications, and awards you’ve received for your work.
- Conclusion: Recap what motivates you to apply for the position. Here, you can refer back to your interests in the program. What are your goals in the program? Ideally, state the potential direction your research will take, who you can work with, and how the college or university will provide the necessary resources.
Your statement should be concrete and concise. It should tie your stories to the qualities or skills that make you the most qualified candidate. Therefore, focus on illustrating or showing the reader what makes you the best applicant instead of telling them. Furthermore, mind that there’s custom thesis writing help available if you face any difficulties.
How to Acquire Ideas for Your Topic Statement
The primary purpose of this statement is to provide your interest area. And this area should be researchable, narrowly focused, and possible to find existing literature. This statement should indicate the concepts you intend to investigate and their relationships. Also, it specifies the target population. But how do you get ideas for this document?
When writing a research statement for a job application or academic position at a college or university, grant-funding institution, or graduate program, your document should be a brief, formal account of your research approaches, interests, and plans. Therefore, start by determining your reasons for writing this statement.
For instance, grantors want to fund your research. Therefore, they want to get the best value for their funds. Consequently, your statement should demonstrate the essence of your research. For example, you can show that your study will significantly contribute to your field. It should also indicate that you can research with the grantor’s funds. Present, current, and past researches often provide methodologies, aims, and results.
When writing this statement for a graduate program, know that the learning institution is interested in you or the student. Therefore, show that you can thrive in a rigorous graduate school program. Your answers to these questions should give you more ideas for your statement:
- Why are you applying?
Start by understanding your motivation to pursue research in this field. That way, you can convince the committee that you are passionate about investigating a topic in your area.
- What makes you qualified?
Understand how qualified you are to pursue research in a specific graduate program. For instance, what is your knowledge in the field? Are you experienced with qualities that make you a perfect fit for the position?
- Why are you a good fit?
Do you know what the program or university provides? What kind of experts or resources will you get from the institution, and how do your competencies align with them?
In addition to these ideas, you can use good research statements examples as a guide if you wish to learn how to present relevant information in your document. A well-written research statement example will let you know how to structure this document and include different information pieces. Perhaps, you can check this example of a research statement.
What Makes a Good Research Statement?
Perhaps, you’re wondering how you can know that you’ve written the best statement when searching for thesis or dissertation funding. Maybe the professor doesn’t have the time to analyze your document and give you feedback. In that case, check your copy to ensure it meets these criteria.
- It introduces your study area and interests in that particular field
- It states the research need or problem
- It displays the progress others are making in that field
- It highlights your contribution to the research field and the questions you want to answer
- It states your interests in the study field explicitly
Audit your qualities or skills to present them briefly. Identify three skills that make you the most qualified candidate. Also, use your experiences to demonstrate your knowledge and readiness qualities. Nevertheless, ensure that your document indicates you, not the person you think the committee wants. Additionally, write a custom statement that suits your target institution. That means understanding the guidelines the institution has provided for this statement.
Research Statement Example
We’ve prepared an exceptional research statement sample, so you can see all our tips used in practice and be sure they will help you write perfect paper research and impress your teacher.
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