Research Statement

The goal of a research statement is to highlight the evolution of your research, to highlight your research accomplishments, and to show where you expect your research to go next. Customize your Research Statement to each application. You want to demonstrate how your research could benefit the particular institution to which you are applying. Think: external funding, faculty collaborations, undergraduate/graduate student research, developing new courses. Although your CV will inform a search committee about where you completed your dissertation research, who your advisors and collaborators have been, and the titles of your various research projects and papers, the department will likely be interested in learning more detail about the research itself. Want more information? Click on the link to check out our newest guide: Research Statements.

Research Statements Should Include

  • Prior and current research projects
  • Relevance of current research—how it contributes to the particular field (distinctiveness/importance etc.)
  • Research goals for the next 3-5 year period and potential outcomes
  • Enthusiasm about your research
  • Collaborations with other scholars as well as your independent work
  • Funding Sources—past sources and organizations likely to support your research agenda
  • Alternate projects that show the depth and breadth of your interests

Recommended Format

  • 1-2 pages (absolutely no longer than 3)
  • Succinct paragraphs; avoid page-long paragraphs
  • Divide content into headings and subheadings
  • Use bullets/white space

Takeaways for Search Committee/Department Chair

  • The ability to determine your potential to be successful based on your prior achievements
  • The research problems you have worked on and what you are currently investigating
  • What trajectory you expect your research to take and how your research contributes to the department/college
  • Your short and long-term research goals, your area(s) of specialty, your potential to obtain funding to continue your research program, your academic prowess, and your compatibility with the research of others in the department/college

Recommended Reading

Research Statements, University of Pennsylvania

Writing Research and Teaching Statements, Dr. Michelle Bell and Dr. Donald Halstead, Harvard School of Public Health, MIT

Research Statements vs. Research Proposals, Dr. Karen Kelsky, The Professor Is In (as appearing in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Vitae)

Digital Resources

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