How Can I Improve My PhD Research Statement?

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In summary: Graduate Research InterestsThroughout my previous projects, I have aimed to understand the physics behind the evolution of our universe. I am convinced that a PhD position in your research group focusing on investigating the cosmological implications of theories beyond the standard model using the gravitational waves astronomy brings me a step closer towards that goal. With my combined academic background in Cosmology, Machine Learning techniques, Computational Physics and Quantum Field Theory, I am confident that I can live up to the expectations of the group. I would also like to bring into your consideration that I have qualified UGC-CSIR NET fellowship, which is qualified by about top 1% of post-graduate students in India and two other highly competitive
  • #1
hareesht23
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This is a draft of my research statement for my PhD application. kindly give opinion and suggestions for improving my research statement.

"I am a post-graduate in Physics (2017-2019) from Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kerala, India and currently working as a technical assistant at the Department of Physics, CUSAT. I am writing to express my interest in the advertised PhD position under your supervision at the ...... University, focusing on the project .......

Academic Background and Motivation
My initial enthusiasm towards cosmology was a result of my exposure in popular science literature, and it took a formal turn when I joined for my post-graduation. While pursuing my master’s, I took courses in Cosmology and General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory and Computational Physics. During the coursework, I studied in detail about the standard cosmological model, mastered various computational techniques and learned in-depth about the canonical quantisation of Fields. I believe that these relevant coursework has given me the basic theoretical background to pursue a PhD position in your group.

For my Master’s Project, I worked on the Emergent Gravity Paradigm where the postulated expansion law of the universe based on the holographic equipartition law had uncertainty regarding the choice of volume when extended to a non-flat universe. I solved this problem by analysing the feasibility of first law of thermodynamics at the apparent horizon with different choices of volume. I also showed that the expansion law could be followed from the first law of thermodynamics in higher-order gravity theories like Gauss-Bonnet and Lovelock gravity.

Our results were recently published in the Journal for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP 1912 (2019) no.12, 024). During the project period, I learned Mathematica and got the chance to create in-depth insight into the methodology of research.

To cope up with the coming era of big data, I took a course on Artificial Neural Networks. As part of the coursework, I completed a Project on optimising the performance of a feed-forward neural network for classification problems. The network was implemented with Python using Stochastic Gradient Descent method, and we studied how the efficiency of the network can be improved by varying the network parameters. I believe that my exposure to machine learning techniques will give me an edge in theoretical modelling and analysing the data from the gravitational wave detectors.

Graduate Research Interests
Throughout my previous projects, I have aimed to understand the physics behind the evolution of our universe. I am convinced that a PhD position in your research group focusing on investigating the cosmological implications of theories beyond the standard model using the gravitational waves astronomy brings me a step closer towards that goal.
With my combined academic background in Cosmology, Machine Learning techniques, Computational Physics and Quantum Field Theory, I am confident that I can live up to the expectations of the group.

I would also like to bring into your consideration that I have qualified UGC-CSIR NET fellowship, which is qualified by about top 1% of post-graduate students in India and two other highly competitive national level fellowships which are JEST and GATE. Also, I believe that my IELTS score of 7.5 is a testament to my excellent communication and scientific writing skills. Considering my prior academic background, demonstrable research experience and the strong passion for the subject, I believe that I am a suitable candidate for the advertised position."
 
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  • #2
This tells me nothing about why you want to come to my university and work with me. It just says how wonderful you are.
 
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  • #3
[Added whitespace to improve readability.] :wink:
 
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  • #4
Vanadium 50 said:
This tells me nothing about why you want to come to my university and work with me. It just says how wonderful you are.

I don't mind that approach for statements included in the admissions application that will be seen by a graduate admissions committee. I tend to recommend statements more individualized for each specific faculty member in private communications directly sent to a small number of faculty members one has identified as being interested in working with at a given institution. Those direct communications are the place to show one has read their papers and has real interest in working with specific faculty.
 
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  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
This tells me nothing about why you want to come to my university and work with me. It just says how wonderful you are.
Thanks for the reply. I have changed the first lines of the last paragraph and hope that it would be satisfactory. If not, kindly give more suggestions.

'I am particularly keen to apply under your supervision as your investigations to the understand cosmological implications of theories beyond the standard model using the gravitational waves astronomy is in an excellent match with my research interest. I have gone through your publications and the quality of research maintained by your group at the University of ... is evident from your research papers, and it is one another reason I inspire to be a part of your group. With my combined background ...'
 
  • #6
berkeman said:
[Added whitespace to improve readability.] :wink:
Thanks for the help:smile:
 
  • #7
Dr. Courtney said:
I don't mind that approach for statements included in the admissions application that will be seen by a graduate admissions committee. I tend to recommend statements more individualized for each specific faculty member in private communications directly sent to a small number of faculty members one has identified as being interested in working with at a given institution. Those direct communications are the place to show one has read their papers and has real interest in working with specific faculty.
Thanks for your advice and clarification.
 

Related to How Can I Improve My PhD Research Statement?

1. What is a research statement?

A research statement is a document that outlines a researcher's current and future research interests, as well as their background and qualifications in their field of study. It is typically used in academic settings, such as when applying for grants or positions at universities.

2. Why is a research statement important?

A research statement is important because it allows researchers to clearly communicate their research goals and interests to potential collaborators, funders, and employers. It also serves as a way to showcase their expertise and credibility in their field.

3. How do I write a strong research statement?

To write a strong research statement, it is important to clearly define your research interests and goals, provide evidence of your qualifications and expertise, and explain how your research will contribute to your field and society as a whole. It is also helpful to have a clear and concise writing style and to tailor your statement to the specific audience or purpose.

4. What should be included in a research statement?

A research statement should typically include a brief introduction to your research interests and background, a summary of your current and past research projects, a description of your future research goals, and any relevant publications or accomplishments. It should also highlight your unique perspective and approach to your research topic.

5. How long should a research statement be?

The length of a research statement can vary depending on the purpose and audience, but it is generally recommended to keep it between 1-3 pages. It is important to be concise and focus on the most important information, rather than including lengthy descriptions or unnecessary details.

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