The SROP takes an anti-racist approach to supporting BIPOC excellence. To us, this means creating a workplace culture where people are centred, among other things. Therefore, we want to know about you. This is what we hope to learn through the Personal Statement.
Generally, we want to know the answer to 4 questions:
- Who you are
- Why you are here
- What has brought you here
- Where you want to go.
The Personal Statement is the sibling essay to your Research Statement, because a really good Personal Statement will provide a personal background to the research interests you describe in the Research Statement. For that reason, we recommend that you write your Research Statement first, but you should definitely “listen to your gut” in terms of the best workflow for you between the two statements.
The maximum word count is 250 words. Given that most academic sentences are between 20 – 25 words, that means you have about 10 – 13 sentences for the essay. For the most part, the 4 questions posed above are equally important, so you might split the sentences evenly between them (e.g., ~3 sentences to answer each question).
Within each set of 3 sentences that you spend on each question, you might come up with a common structure, like having sentence 1 be a high-level answer to the question, sentence 2 (and maybe 3) providing some background to sentence 1, and then the last sentence connecting this to your interest in a PhD in psychology, management, or neuroscience.
That being said, the Canada SROP is designed to prepare you for the PhD programs. When describing where you want to go, please be sure to say why you want to get your PhD!
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.