Writing a Research Statement
The research statement (sometimes called “research summary” or “statement of future research”) is another common component of academic job applications. In about one to three pages, the statement should describe your current work, highlight your accomplishments, and discuss the direction you expect your research to take.
Possible questions to consider:
- What motivated you and got you excited about your past research? Why are the questions you asked are important to your field?
- What types of methodologies do you favor for addressing these questions?
- What is new about your research? How is your approach innovative?
- How will your future research be beneficial to the institution to which you are applying? For example, will you be able to bring in grant money? How will you involve the students there? (This is particularly important for those in the lab-based sciences.)
Try to situate your work in the context of your field, so that people from across your field can understand the impact of your work. This is particularly true when you are applying to smaller schools and community colleges where there may be only 1-2 sociologists in a department of social sciences and human services, for example.
- Penn Career Services sample teaching and research statements
- Duke University Career Center research statement suggestions and samples
- To find samples from your own academic discipline, search on the Internet for “your discipline” + “research statement”
- “Writing Samples and Teaching Statements” by Julie Vick and Jennifer Furlong in The Chronicle of Higher Education
- “Dr. Karen’s Rules of the Research Statement” from The Professor Is In
- Research statement advice from Cornell University
- Research statement advice from the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College