By Serena Quarta, PhD Before you know it, the day will come when your contract ends, or you just feel like applying for a new and exciting position. You may feel a bit lost in preparing all the documents you need for that new job post. Do not worry, there is advice out there. One thing you will need is a Statement of Purpose or Research Interest Statement if you want to apply, mainly, for academic positions.
Understand the Purpose of the Research Statement The primary mistake people make when writing a research statement is that they fail to appreciate its purpose.
This painting is the earliest known likeness of the artist. Writing a persuasive case about your research means setting the stage for why the questions you are investigating are important. Writing a persuasive case about your research means engaging your audience so that they want to learn more about the answers you are discovering.
How do you do that? You do that by crafting a coherent story. The Op-Ed format is your basic five-paragraph persuasive essay format: Second, third, and fourth paragraphs each covering a body of evidence that will prove your position: Fifth paragraph synopsis and conclusion: Although the five-paragraph persuasive essay format feels formulaic, it works.
And like all good recipes, it can be doubled. Want a paragraph, rather than five-paragraph research statement? Double the amount of each component.
Take two paragraphs to synthesize and conclude. And in the middle, either raise six points of evidence, with a paragraph for each, or take two paragraphs to supply evidence for each of three points.
The op-ed format works incredibly well for writing persuasive essays, which is what your research statement should be. Whereas the op-ed format works off deductive reasoning, the Detective Story format works off inductive reasoning.
Rather, the Detective Story starts with your broad, overarching research question. For example, how do babies learn their native languages? How do we remember autobiographical information? Why do we favor people who are most similar to ourselves?
How do we perceive depth? How does the stress we experience every day affect our long-term health? For seven years this number has followed me around, has intruded in my most private data, and has assaulted me from the pages of our most public journals.
This number assumes a variety of disguises, being sometimes a little larger and sometimes a little smaller than usual, but never changing so much as to be unrecognizable.
The persistence with which this number plagues me is far more than a random accident. There is, to quote a famous senator, a design behind it, some pattern governing its appearances. Either there really is something unusual about the number or else I am suffering from delusions of persecution.
I shall begin my case history by telling you about some experiments that tested how accurately people can assign numbers to the magnitudes of various aspects of a stimulus. Those opening paragraphs are from a Psych Review article, which has been cited nearly 16, times.
Science can be personalized. Another example of using the Detective Story format, which opens with your broad research question and personalizes it, is the opening paragraph of a research statement from a chemist: I became interested in inorganic chemistry because of one element: The cage structures and complexity of boron hydrides have fascinated my fellow Boron chemists for more than 40 years — and me for more than a decade.
Boron is only one element away from carbon, yet its reactivity is dramatically different. Along the way, clues to the answer are provided, and false leads are ruled out, which keeps readers turning the pages. In the same way, writing your research statement in the Detective Story format will keep members of the hiring committee, the review committee, and the awards panel reading until the last paragraph.
Therefore, you need to convey the importance of your work and the contribution of your research without getting bogged down in jargon.
Some details are important, but an intelligent reader outside your area of study should be able to understand every word of your research statement.
And those two or three people are unlikely to have carte blanche authority on hiring. Rather, in most departments, the decision is made by the entire department.
Therefore, the target audience for your research statement in a job application comprises other psychologists, but not psychologists who study what you study the way you study it. Envision this target audience explicitly.The Purpose of a Research Statement.
The main goal of a research statement is to walk the search committee through the evolution of your research, to highlight your research accomplishments, and to show where your research will be taking you next. Teaching and Research Statements. Teaching Statements. Humanities and Social Sciences.
Sample Teaching Philosophy I; Sample Teaching Philosophy II; Sample Teaching Philosophy III. Writing a Research Statement. What is a research statement? A common component of the academic job application is the Research Statement (or Statement of Research Interests).
This statement provides a summary of your research accomplishments and current work and discusses the future direction and potential of your work. The . Developing a Winning Research Statement • “Writing a research statement”, Jim Austin (), monstermanfilm.com This document is about you: who you are as a scientist, what interests you, where you see your research going in the future.
Don’t make it solely about the research (like you would a research manuscript or grant). Use. Research & Teaching Statements Research and Teaching Statements (separate documents) are supplemental materials for most academic searches. However, some search committees require them. Teaching and Research Statements.
Teaching Statements. Humanities and Social Sciences. Sample Teaching Philosophy I; Sample Teaching Philosophy II; Sample Teaching Philosophy III.