Preparing for the Job Search

Writing an Effective Research Statement
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Science and Engineering
Career Services, University of Pennsylvania

When do you need a Research Statement?
• It is usually requested as part of the job application process. • Even if it is not requested, you may choose to include it to strengthen your application.

Career Services, University of Pennsylvania

From a position announcement for a Postdoc: • Send CV. University of Pennsylvania . and names and addresses of three references to: Career Services. brief description of research and teaching interests.

From a position announcement for an Assistant Professor: • Applicants should send a detailed curriculum vitae. a statement of their interest in teaching and planned research and the names of at least three references. University of Pennsylvania . Career Services.

and a list of at least three references to: Career Services. a statement of research plan and teaching interests. a curriculum vita.From a position announcement for an Assistant Professor: • Applicants should submit a letter of application. University of Pennsylvania .

4) statement of research interests and plans. Career Services. interests and philosophy. 3) statement of teaching experience. and 5) at least three letters of reference. University of Pennsylvania . including a list of publications.From a position announcement for an Assistant Professor: • Application packet must include: 1) curriculum vita. 2) complete set of official transcripts.

University of Pennsylvania .From a position announcement for a Tenure-Track Professor: • Applicants should include in their response a clear statement of their teaching and research interests. and the names of at least four persons who may be contacted regarding the candidate's qualifications Career Services. a curriculum vitae summarizing their educational and professional backgrounds together with a list of published works.

– in what direction you hope to go. – academic ability. – potential to get grants. – compatibility with the department or school. – how your research contributes to your field. • The research statement tells – what you have been doing recently and currently. Career Services. University of Pennsylvania .Purpose of Research Statement or Research Summary It is expected that you will have begun to think coherently about research beyond your dissertation. it helps hiring committees assess your – areas of specialty. • Along with your c.. cover letter and letters of recommendation.v.

important. University of Pennsylvania . and innovative Career Services.Write so that you… • Give a context for your research interests – Why does it matter? • Communicate a sense that your research will follow logically from what you have done and that it will be different.

and the proposal for upcoming research because it includes current aims and findings AND future goals. Career Services.Parts of the Research Statement • A "Research Summary" combines features of both the statement of achievements and current work. University of Pennsylvania .

including potential outcomes. Career Services. This might convince the reader that you are on the way to getting a project funded. University of Pennsylvania . • Your specific goals for a 3-5 year period. you should have research goals that have broad enough goals so that if one topic doesn't get funded there are other areas on which you can work. • If you know what a particular funding agency funds.Future Goals or Research Plans Include: • Major problem(s) you wish to attack. • At the same time. you can name the agency and briefly outline a proposal. • The problem’s relevance to the field.

• Get feedback. University of Pennsylvania . and white space. 3 pages at the most. • Proofread!!! Career Services. bullets. • Avoid page-long paragraphs.Format • Use headings (and subheadings). • It should be1-2 pages long.How to Make it Effective -.

• Where appropriate. University of Pennsylvania .How to Make it Effective -. indicate that. Career Services. acknowledge the work of others.Content • Write as clearly and concisely as you can. • What excites you about your research? Sound fresh. • Use language that shows you’ve begun to think of yourself as an independent researcher • If you've identified funding organizations likely to support your research plans.

how many grad assistants needed. University of Pennsylvania . Career Services.) to start up the research.Preparing for the Interview • Consider preparing a longer version (5-15 pages) to bring along to the on site interview. Be prepared. etc.] • Candidates may be asked to describe research plans and budget in detail at the campus interview. • Include laboratory needs (how much budget you need for equipment. [Check with your advisor to see if this is necessary.

in which case the proposed simulation or modeling is discussed). University of Pennsylvania . observations (unless the subject is more theoretical in nature.Research Proposal For candidates who are more senior • Future Goals becomes an expanded Specific Aims page as required for grant application • Includes several sections. any historical research/findings that are significant to the study and a conclusion. including an abstract. a scientific justification. Career Services.

University of Pennsylvania .Statement…Summary…Proposal. – Depending on the position requirements you may want to say more about what you have done in a research statement or summary than in a research proposal. What’s the difference? • The three terms are often used interchangeably. • The statement and summary are quite similar in that they focus on current research. Career Services.

Sample Research Statements • Look at those of students/postdocs on the job market. • Surf the web to find statements. Career Services. University of Pennsylvania . • Keep in mind that everyone’s will be different.

with an objective of developing “smart” underwater vehicle systems so that the enemy cannot detect …The new sensing method is numerically validated on a thick-walled cylindrical shell with 55 piezoelectric panels mounted. Candidate’s Name • Current Research • Active Control of Rotorcraft Vibration • I am currently working with Boeing Helicopters to develop advanced control techniques for control of rotorcraft vibration. and Materials Systems Inc. My advisor Prof.1. This project has been funded by the Office of Naval Research.be flighttested in 2002. XYZ and his former doctoral students developed the X-frame actuator for those purposes. and I am working on the design and implementation of the advanced Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) algorithms using ….Sample Statement of Research Interests p. so that the vibration typically experienced by helicopters can be significantly reduced. to develop new technology for the reduction of radiated noise from vibrating underwater vehicles using smart structures technologies. Career Services. University of Pennsylvania . • Active Control of Noise Radiated from Underwater Vehicles • I have worked with Northrop Grumman Corp.

I will carry out research on structure/fluid/control interaction phenomena …will be critical design issues in those complex structural systems. I will continue my research on advanced control and decisionmaking algorithms for noise and vibration reduction of complex structural systems… Career Services. Finally. I will focus on the following three research areas. both in micro. which will… For this research goal. from the micro-scales (MEMS) to macro-scales (aerospace systems and underwater vehicles).• Future Research Goals p. First. so the fundamental understanding of the phenomena is very important to successful implementation of the structural/acoustic control algorithms. University of Pennsylvania . 2 • My future research goal is to develop “intelligent structural systems”. I will extend my specialization in smart structures technologies to the development of advanced sensors and actuators for intelligent …integrated within the systems will be critical in future areas of research. Second.and macro.scales.

University of Pennsylvania .upenn.vpul. 3718 Locust Walk) – Critiques of job hunting materials – Confidential appointments on your career – Workshops and speaker programs – www.edu/careerservices – E-mail distribution list of career information and position announcements • ScienceCareers– The Academic Scientist’s Toolkit http://sciencecareers.org/career_development/previous_issues/ articles/0000/the_academic_scientists_toolkit/ Career Services.sciencemag. McNeil Building.Getting Help with Your Job Search • Your advisor and other faculty • Your scholarly/professional association • Career Services (Suite 20.

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