Personal statements for phds


Hi, i was just wondering about how to write a really good personal statement for a phd application.  So far i have spoken about my degree why i chose it as it allowed me to do a placement, my placement company and job roles and A-levels.  I was going to continue more on my degree and perhaps what i enjoyed studying and experiments we carried out.

The guidelines say to explain why you want to study at the university and that particular phd.  how would i write about this without it sounding fake almost.   Its hard to explain, but i really do want this phd as its the area i wish to continue studying in and i'm finding it hard to word it correctly.  Also i was wondering what else i should include in my statement.

Any advice would be appreciated greatly, thank you


======= Date Modified 24 Feb 2009 07:39:02 =======
Are your A levels really relevant for a PhD app...are u coming straight from undergrad..If for personal reasons etc you eed to mention A levels fine...but if for solely academic purposes...perhaps focus on things more recent than high school?


I am applying to begin straight after my degree finishes. my A-leveles are chemistry, biology and maths and statistics. i briefly mentioned them should i not at all?


You could try googling "sample post graduate personal statements", this will give you an idea at the kind of wording to use in expressing yor interest in the topic. It helps to know what your potential supervisor works on and try to be enthusiastic about his direction of research if he has published any papers recently.
Good luck


Somehow I dont think your A levels matter much for a PhD application...i would push for a more research intentions focused piece, albeit with background about what interests you etc...but this is a PhD, even if you are applying straight from grads, I dont see much logic in writing about A levels...


======= Date Modified 24 Feb 2009 22:55:31 =======
If you write about your honest intention and motivation to study at a higher level, surely you won't come off as sounding fake?! :S Everyone has their reasons. I may not have a place yet but I've been getting a lot of interview offers since last summer. I tend to not mention my pre-University education, as others have said here. There's about a sentence on my CV showing the name of my school and the fact that I did A Levels at the same school and thats about it, the rest goes on Uni stuff and experience. Focus more on what you are doing now and towards the future. For example you could state what you want to use the PhD for.

Also, I hope this isn't rude but are your job roles relevant to research?


see i have always wanted to do something that will mean i am helping others and have also always found science very interesting so i naturally chose to do science at uni. i did a professional placement so i cud get some work experience and improve my lab skills. the phd is for strokes and researching preventions n therapies for stroke. many of my family members have been affected by stroke n during my 2rd yr, my gran who i ws very close to suffered a major stroke and tried to recover from it from march through to sept, when she passed away. in sept i also begun my placement (my 3rd yr) and during that year i had a chance to reflect on my degree and lossing my gran, this i when i decided i want to dedicate the rest of my career to researchin strokes and hopefully one day find something to help reduce the horrible effects it has, or increase the chance of surviving or even prevent such major strokes form occuring in the first place. this phd is perfect for me and i really do want to get it.