Writing a statement of academic research interest

Your ‘statement of research interests’ contains a proposal for future academic research and shows how that builds on your current expertise and achievements. It forms the basis for discussions and your presentation if you are invited for interview.

Writing an academic research statement

Tailor it for each academic position you apply for. Your research interests are likely to be broad enough to be tailored to the local interests and expertise. Make sure that there is palpable synergy between the research you are proposing and what the employing department carries out. This is worth the substantial time investment.

In preparing your statement, read your colleagues' statements. ask for feedback from your supervisor/principal investigator or colleagues.

Previous research experience

Consider structuring your research experience by project, tailored as far as possible to your proposed research, as follows:

  • aims
  • achievements
  • relevant techniques
  • your responsibilities.

Research proposal

If at all possible, talk with people in the department you are applying to. This will raise your profile with potential future colleagues as well as inform your thinking. They are likely enjoy the opportunity to explore exciting new research avenues and will appreciate being asked.  Getting to know them will also make the application process seem less daunting to you.

If you are asked for a research proposal, a word limit is normally specified: this can vary enormously.