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Your personal statement is a great opportunity to expand upon your CV.That could mean providing more detail about academic degrees (as above).A personal statement is very likely to be requested if you you’re applying to an advertised project with pre-defined aims and objectives (and aren’t submitting your own Ph D proposal).
Crafting a good personal statement requires discipline and planning.
Writing about yourself may not seem particularly hard, but selecting, sequencing and organising your material can be harder than it seems.
Examples of your character and qualities may be relevant for some projects – particularly those with a charitable focus, human-interest angle or clear social benefits / outcomes.
Otherwise, try to stick to relevant skills such as organisation, independent project management, self-motivation, etc.
This page explains what a Ph D statement needs to cover, suggests an effective structure and provides some additional tips for success.
A personal statement provides additional information on a Ph D applicant’s academic background, relevant experience and motivations for undertaking postgraduate research.If you’re also submitting a separate research proposal you should probably focus more on why you want to research a Ph D than the specific topic you’re proposing to research (that, after all, is what your research proposal is for).If you’re applying for an advertised project (and proposing your own research) you should say something about your interest in that Ph D: what interests you about it and what you can bring to it.Your personal statement isn’t a CV, so avoid simply listing qualifications you’ve detailed elsewhere in your application (on your CV, for example).But your personal statement a chance to comment on your CV and explain the significance of those qualifications for your Ph D application.This is vital if you want to stand out from the crowd. Be proud of your own results, but explain what those degrees (including specific units and dissertation projects) taught you about the subject you now want to research.Another way to build upon your academic qualifications is to include other experience that has also demonstrated (or developed) relevant skills for your Ph D. You may also wish to include one or two examples of your wider experience and achievements, but the focus should be on your suitability for Ph D study.It’s a good idea to say something about how this Ph D fits into your wider aims and career goals.The specifics of what you plan to do after your doctorate may not matter to your admissions tutors, but the fact that you plans and can show that a Ph D fits them demonstrates that you’ve thought seriously about a doctorate and are likely to commit to overcoming the challenges it involves.But it can also mean explaining any gaps or irregularities and anticipating some of the questions they might raise.Perhaps you didn’t do as well as you hoped on your undergraduate degree, but went on to find your niche and succeed with a more specialised Masters.