Would you please provide instructions for writing the research statement?

The goal of the SROP is to support your path to graduate school in Psychology, Management, or Neuroscience. In graduate school, you will need to have a research focus. While you do not need to know that focus precisely now, the SROP is designed for students who are considering a research career. So, if you are considering a career in research, what do you want to study? What skills or experiences do you have that you think will be useful in a research environment? These are the things that we hope to learn about you through your Research Statement.

Example Content

The primary goal of your research statement is to describe your research interests. We want to know more about the topics that you are passionate about researching and what you find interesting about them. We want to know about the methods or skills that you seek to gain through more training, as well as research skills or relevant experience that you already have.

By “research interests,” we mean: What topics you want to research? What knowledge do you want to discover or share with the world? It is fine if your research interests are specific (“morality”) or broad (“psychology”); What matters is that you feel compelled to know more about the topic.

You have 250 words for the research statement. Typically, academic sentences are about 20 – 25 words, which means you have about 10 – 13 sentences in total. Here is an example of how you might use these sentences:

  1. It is best to begin with a clear statement of research interests as Sentence 1.
  2. For Sentences 2 – 3, it would be good to define, elaborate on, or provide more nuance about your research interests. If you can cite past research or describe the relevance to a cultural event, those two things are both compelling.
  3. For sentences 4 – 6, you might try to briefly connect your overall research interests to each of the faculty research projects that you identify in your application. For each faculty research project you identify in your application, describe how the project is relevant to your research interests described in the first 3 sentences.
  4. Now would be a good time for a new paragraph! For Sentence 7, you might describe the skills that you will bring to the research project (e.g., good people skills, experience with statistics).
  5. For Sentences 8 and 9, you could describe how you gained the skills you described in Sentence 7
  6. For the remaining Sentences 10 – 13, you would say what skills or experiences you are specifically hoping to gain as a budding researcher by participating in the SROP. If you want to be really fancy, then you could connect what you want to gain from the SROP to your research interests from Sentence 1 (e.g., how the SROP will help equip you to embark on your own future programme of research).

Important Note

Please note that you do not need to use the structure described above. We are providing this template to help people who are not sure where to start write a strong statement. We invite you to write a statement that inspires you: If it inspires you, then it will inspire us.

Published by pagegould

Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould's preferred pronouns are she/her/hers. You are welcome to call her "Liz." She is the current website administrator for the Canada SROP and Quant-TIDE. Liz is an abolitionist, friend, wife, mother, activist, mentor, and colleague. She is also the Canada Research Chair in Social Psychophysiology, an Associate Professor of Psychology, and the Chair of the Graduate Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto.

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