Skip navigation

Career Education Logo

  • Fall Updates
  • For Employers
  • In the Know
  • Make An Appointment
  • Internships
  • Employers We Work With
  • CCE Programs
  • Funding Programs
  • Drop-in Hours
  • Career Counseling Appointments
  • Practice Interviews
  • Programs & Services
  • Summer Updates
  • Design Your Next Steps
  • Resumes & CVs
  • Cover Letters
  • Negotiating
  • Career Advancement
  • Graduate School
  • Free Premium Resources
  • Communications & Media
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Financial Services
  • International Affairs
  • Non-Profits & Social Justice
  • Psychology, Counseling & Social Work
  • Ways to Gain Experience
  • Career Assessments
  • Connect With Alumni
  • Student Experiences
  • First-Generation/Low-Income Students
  • International Students
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Veteran Students
  • LGBTQ Students
  • Visiting Students
  • Students of Color

How to Write a Personal Statement for a PhD Program Application

Personal statement guidelines, general guidelines to keep in mind:.

  • One size does not fit all : Tailor your personal statement to each program and department you are applying to. Do your research to learn what is unique about each of your choices and highlight how this particular program stands out.
  • Yes, it’s personal : Showcase your unique strengths and accomplishments. Explain what influenced your personal decisions to pursue the program. Ask yourself, could this be applied to your friend or neighbor? If so, you need to be more specific and provide examples. Saying that you are a “good scientist” isn’t enough. Provide examples of your previous research experience, projects you’ve completed, and what technical skills you learned. Explain how you overcame any challenges along the way.
  • Set aside enough time :  Although personal statements are generally short in length (approx. 700 words; 1-2 pages), give yourself ample time to write a strong, well-written statement. It takes more time than you think to develop a final draft for submission.
  • Focus on your spelling, grammar, and vocabulary :  It’s important to present a well-written statement with good grammar and vocabulary. Write concrete, succinct sentences that flow well. Avoid flowery language. Visit the  Writing Center  for additional review and feedback.
  • Proofread one more time:  Check your grammar and spelling again before submitting your final draft. Ask a friend, professor, or advisor to proofread your final draft one more time before sending it in. 


  • Why do you want to complete further research in this field?  Write down a list of reasons as to why you are interested in pursuing further study in the field. When did you become interested in the field and what knowledge have you gained so far? Describe how your previous work provided the foundation and for further study.
  • Why  have you  chosen to apply to this particular university ? Does the institution have a particular curriculum, special research facilities/equipment, or interesting research that appeal to you?
  • What are your strengths ? Demonstrate how you stand out from other candidates. Highlight relevant projects, dissertations thesis or essays that demonstrate your academic skills and creativity. Include IT skills, research techniques, awards, or relevant traveling/ study abroad experience.
  • What are your transferable skills?  Be sure to emphasize transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, and time management skills. Give examples of how you have demonstrated each of these with specific examples.
  • How does this program align with your career goals?  It’s okay if you don’t know the exact career path you plan to take after completing your PhD. Provide an idea of the direction you would like to take. This demonstrates commitment and dedication to the program.


For examples of successful personal statements, visit the  Online Writing Lab (OWL) .

Privacy Policy Accessibility Notice of Non-Discrimination Terms of Use

How to Write a Personal Statement for a PhD Program

How to write a personal statement for a PhD program

Writing a personal statement for your PhD program is often a key requirement when applying to most institutions. The personal statement is considered to be a crucial part of the PhD application process, playing a major role in admission decisions. Even though it may seem difficult, writing a PhD personal statement gives you the chance to highlight your qualifications, share your reasons for wanting to pursue a PhD, and, most importantly, highlights your eligibility for the doctoral program.

In this article, we will discuss what a personal statement is, why it is needed, who will read it, and when to write it. We will also provide some tips and guidelines on how to write a successful personal statement for PhD application.

What is a personal statement and why is it needed?

Your personal statement is a key means through which the admissions committee gets to know more about you and your suitability for the PhD program. The statement should therefore demonstrate your motivations, relevant research and work experience, accomplishments, strengths, and your career goals. This is important to position yourself as an apt candidate for the chosen PhD program.

Who will read your personal statement and when to write it?

While the research proposal is considered the most important document in the PhD application process, some institutions also ask candidates to submit a personal statement. Your personal statement will likely be read by the admissions committee and the interview panelists. Along with other documents submitted during the application process, your personal statement plays a big role in assessing whether you meet the often-stringent eligibility criteria and evaluate if you are a suitable candidate for a doctoral program. Remember that panelists for your interview may also have questions for you based on their review of your personal statement, so be as honest as possible.

How to write a personal statement that makes an impact

The PhD personal statement should be concise and convey only the important aspects about your work and professional achievements. You should be aware that the personal statement would be read by a committee that will be evaluating many applications, so keep it short and ensure that it is aligned with the program requirements stated by the institution.

Generally, universities and institutions provide details about the required word count or length of a personal statement. While there is no perfect personal statement format, it is essential that you follow a structure to ensure logical flow. Include a good introduction of yourself followed by details of your research interests, relevant skills, and past experience in the discipline you have opted for.

What to include in a personal statement

  • Reasons for pursuing a PhD: Your personal statement should clearly communicate the factors that encouraged you to apply for a PhD program. It should also convey how this chosen program builds on your previous experience and education.
  • Relevant skills and competencies: The personal statement provides you with a good opportunity to communicate any international academic exposure, awards, research projects, and any other competencies or experience that may be relevant to the PhD program applied for.
  • Address any gaps in your CV: Clearly explain the reasons behind any gaps or short breaks that you may have taken as you pursued your academic career. Also, remember to mention any changes made mid-way during your academic program. This ensures better transparency.
  • Long-term career goals and aspirations: It is important to explain how your PhD will feed into your future career plans. To the admission committee, this will reflect your seriousness and commitment to the study program you have opted for.

Tips to keep in mind when writing a personal statement

Prepare a unique personal statement for each university.

Universities offering PhD programs will typically ask for different criteria or questions to be answered in the personal statement. Therefore, relying on creating a single personal statement that will be shared with different universities with only slight modifications may not prove to be effective. Take the time to write personal statements that address specific points required by each university that you apply to.

Avoid repetition

Always remember that a personal statement is very different from your research proposal. Focus on highlighting your goals, skills, accomplishments, and experiences that are relevant to your study program but be careful not to be repetitive. Also mention any challenges you faced and overcame along the way to showcase your problem-solving ability.

Invest sufficient time

Keep in mind that while writing the personal statement, you must provide key information about yourself in a way that will convince the admissions committee of your eligibility. However, this needs to be done in a concise, compelling way. While it might be tempting to write every small detail, be careful to only include points that highlight your candidacy. This requires time and careful consideration, so start the process early enough to write a clear, persuasive personal statement.

Avoid jargon and irrelevant details

Always keep in mind that the admissions committee has to handle numerous applications. Therefore, keep the information in your personal statement  direct and to the point, avoiding complex technical jargon, big words, and/or flowery language.

Don’t skip editing and proofreading your work

Nothing is worse for your candidacy than poor language and difficult-to-read personal statements. So, ensure that the language, grammar, and syntax used in your personal statement is correct and devoid of any errors. It is always a good idea to share what you have written with your close associates for a final read through. Getting a second or third pair of eyes to check and help polish your personal statement can be especially helpful if you have English as a second language.

Finally, it’s important to remember that your personal statement should be the outcome of deep introspection as you take the next step in your career. It should be a good reflection of who you really are and what your aspirations are for the future, both in terms of what you want to study and how you want to steer your career in the future.

Paperpal is an AI writing assistant that help academics write better, faster with real-time suggestions for in-depth language and grammar correction. Trained on millions of research manuscripts enhanced by professional academic editors, Paperpal delivers human precision at machine speed.  

Try it for free or upgrade to  Paperpal Prime , which unlocks unlimited access to premium features like academic translation, paraphrasing, contextual synonyms, consistency checks and more. It’s like always having a professional academic editor by your side! Go beyond limitations and experience the future of academic writing.  Get Paperpal Prime now at just US$12 a month!  

Related Reads:

  • Manuscript withdrawal: Reasons, consequences, and how to withdraw submitted manuscripts
  • 4 Key writing styles and examples of academic writing  
  • How to choose and write reasons supporting your peer reviewer recommendations
  • How to write a research paper title

Navigating language precision: Complementary vs. complimentary

Sentence length: how to improve your research paper readability, you may also like, 7 ways to improve your academic writing process, how to write a conclusion for research papers..., ethical research practices for research with human subjects, 5 reasons for rejection after peer review, what is peer review: importance and types of..., self-plagiarism in research: what it is and how..., characteristics of academic writing, academic writing groups: 5 benefits for researchers, what is a thesis statement and how to..., how to write a research paper introduction (with....

Biomedical Graduate Education

Writing an Effective Personal Statement for PhD Graduate Programs

Personal statements should be a reflection of your academic skills, success, and goals.

By Kaela Singleton Doctoral Candidate in Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience

A personal statement is one of the most important components of any doctoral graduate school application. This post will guide you with some general steps to get you started with generating a personal statement that is concise, reflects your academic success, and emphasizes your goals for graduate school. The individual graduate programs will provide writing prompts that detail exactly what you should address in your statement, so be sure you touch on everything that they want you to cover!

Before you start writing

  • Update your CV:  Having a complete list of your accomplishments will make it easier to include and exclude information from your personal statement. Your CV can be used as a timeline of your achievements, and therefore an outline to how your past experiences have prepared you for graduate school. For guidance on CV writing, see  7 Tips for Writing a Successful CV.
  • Research Graduate Schools of Interest:  Gain insight into the coursework, faculty, and student life for each program you are considering. Using the program website, generate a list of qualities that appeal to you about each school you’re applying to. Emphasize how and why these qualities contribute to your decision to apply to this program. This list should include research and faculty members that interest you as well as any other pros (i.e. location, cohort size, post-graduate jobs etc.)
  • Create a team of editors:  Your personal statement will be read by faculty members and graduate students studying different topics within the program. Therefore, your personal statement should be compelling to a broad audience. Ask peers, mentors and advisors from various disciplines well in advance to edit and provide feedback on your statement.

Now start writing


The goal is to engage your reader with a quick synopsis of who you are, what you want out of graduate school, and your qualifications to join this specific program.

  • Introduce yourself and identify your academic interests:  Provide a brief introduction of yourself and your academic interests. If you have a personal anecdote that explains how you became interested in science and research, start there. These “narrative hook” anecdotes engage the reader and set up a great platform to describe the motivation behind your experiences. Then go into your academic interests, which can be a couple of sentences broadly stating your research interests.  
  • Emphasize your skills and overall goals:  Use both your research on the program and CV to highlight how your skill set will complement and grow from participation in this program. Speak in broad terms, showcasing how your goals align with the overall mission of the program.


The goal is to expand on the points you mentioned within the introduction. Provide concrete examples of how past and present experiences led you to writing this application.

  • Explain how you became interested in your particular scientific field:  Highlight key moments that encouraged you to apply to graduate school. This can be the very start of your interests in the field or from skills and knowledge that you gained from internships, research experiences, or coursework and class discussions.
  • Describe your prior research experiences and importantly what you learned from each experience:  Provide a past experience where you used and developed a new skill that is pertinent to your ability to conduct research. Be sure to explain how this skill will be useful for your future in graduate school. It is critical to discuss what you learned from experience and to be as specific and concise as possible.  For example: I worked with Dr. A at institution B. My work focused on C. The project entailed D, E and F techniques. From this experience, I learned G. This taught me F about my decision to attend graduate school. 

In the conclusion paragraph, you should discuss what you learned about the graduate school program that you are applying for. Highlight specific faculty members or courses listed that excite you, and re-emphasize your goals.

  • Summarize your qualifications and experiences:  Bring everything together here. Emphasize the skills you currently have and how joining this program will aide in continuing your success. 
  • Personalize:  In this final paragraph, include specific faculty and program qualities that appeal to you as an applicant. Show that you have researched specific faculty or courses that will aide in your future training. Also be sure to discuss your career goals. 
  • Edit:  Proofread and edit. Send your statement out to friends, faculty advisors, and people outside of your discipline. 

Personal statements should tell your story and be compelling across fields. Remember that a PhD program trains you to build and utilize scientific skills to advance research. You won’t want to try to convince the reader that you’ll cure cancer or discover the flu vaccine. Instead, focus on persuading readers that graduate training is right for you, and that the accompanying enrichment of your research skillset will help you reach your academic and professional goals.

personal statement phd education

More Career Advice

Learn from faculty, staff, postdocs, students and alumni through our Career Catalyst blog.

PhD Personal Statements

What Is a PhD Personal Statement?

How to structure your personal statement, final thoughts, phd personal statements.

Updated March 14, 2023

Edward Melett

When applying for a PhD position, a personal statement is often required. This can be the case whether you are applying for an advertised PhD research project or with a personally devised project.

This personal statement is separate from your PhD research proposal, which will go into much greater detail about the PhD project you are proposing or applying to undertake.

This article will delve into what to your PhD personal statement should contain and how to structure it for the best chance of success.

A PhD personal statement will support your application and is intended to shed more light on your motivations, academic background/ achievements and personal strengths .

Your statement will most likely be read by the admissions tutor for the department, who, based on your statement and research proposal, will decide whether your application should progress to the next stage of the process.

A personal statement will not always be required, so make sure to check the requirements for your institution and department.

What Should a PhD Personal Statement Contain?

When writing your PhD personal statement, you will need to convey your suitability for the programme or position, indicating that you have the academic ability, background knowledge and drive to take on a project of this level of complexity.

Statements are expected to be heavily related to the discipline and research angle being proposed. Your statement should draw out the strands of your previous exploration and research and illustrate what led you to apply to complete this particular PhD project.

It should discuss your interest in the subject matter, your academic interests within the field and your motivations for applying to the institution in question.

Below is a list of topics that need to be addressed in your personal statement .

The examples provided are for illustrative purposes only. It is important that your writing is grounded in your own experiences and aspirations, and consistently linked to your research proposal.

1. Why You Want to Do This PhD

It is important to talk about your motivations for undertaking the project, along with an awareness of the challenges you may experience, as this will display your drive for completing your research.

Directly reference your research proposal, talking about how your current or previous studies relate and have prepared you to undertake this project.

The strongest argument for why you want to undertake the PhD will come from the arc of your academic research and displaying a genuine enthusiasm for advancing the research of your chosen field.

During my master’s degree at the University of Nottingham, I had two primary focuses: cultural behaviours and social media impacts. I was interested in how culture reacts under new stimuli, so I wrote my dissertation on how cultural practices can be newly read through the lens of media platforms. My proposed research proposal takes this theoretical and desk-based research a step further, exploring the reflections of the specific cultural practice of...

2. How Your Work Will Benefit the University

When applying for a PhD, what you will bring to the university as a junior academic is an important factor in the decision-making process. You will not just be a student but a member of the department, most likely with teaching responsibilities.

The faculty will want to know that you can meaningfully contribute to the department through both your research and teaching.

If your work links into other PhD projects currently being supervised, or to the research of a senior academic or professor, it is good to indicate these connections and the potential they hold – whether this is in terms of supportive research, a complementary strand or a new angle or perspective.

If there is an academic whose work you are particularly interested in and you have not already indicated that you would like the opportunity to work alongside them, highlight this. Display that you are knowledgeable about the department’s current research interests, specialities and standing.

Since beginning my MSc research and developing a more specific interest in mangrove restoration, I have closely followed the research being conducted by Professor Stephens into restoration and wave attenuation. As I subsequently elaborate upon in my research proposal, I believe that my project fruitfully intersects with this research. It aims to make a meaningful contribution to a department world-renowned for its research into marine and coastal climate change impacts.

3. Why You Want to Study for a PhD at This University

It is important to convey why you want to conduct your research specifically at the institution you are applying to. Admissions will want to know that you have thought carefully about your application and know exactly what undertaking a PhD with their department will involve.

Conveying this intersects with the sentiments of the above point, as you should display that you have investigated the work of the professors in the department and are aware of any individual research groups or projects that relate to your work. These intersections help to show why the university is the best choice for you.

I believe that the University of Cardiff offers the best reciprocal environment in which to grow and diversify my approach to this research. Working alongside my supervisor, I intend to tap into the departmental expertise on biodiversity mapping and – using the framework of the 2019 report by Fischer, Raymond and Wills – reveal new insights by building upon the current research.

4. Why You Are the Best Candidate

The PhD personal statement is an opportunity to promote yourself, so it needs to be specific, personal and unique – nobody else has your history, aspirations or skill set, so explain what it is about you that makes you best suited to this endeavour.

When stating that you possess certain skills, back them up with concrete examples or explanations that are unique to you.

Be wary of making your personal statement too general or simply writing what you believe the admissions team want to hear. There are no correct answers, perfect CVs or ideal academic paths to have followed to reach this point. Your personal statement should reflect your journey and what you have gained from it, segues and unconventional routes included.

During my English Literature master’s degree, I focused on videogames and late medieval literature. I could see at that point that literary studies had a lot to offer the study of games and that games provided interesting new angles for applying longstanding theoretical approaches and fields. This led me to complete a further master’s degree in videogames as I sought to apply my research in a more specific and digitally focused arena. I found, because of my background in humanities and literary theory, that I possessed a perspective that my fellow empirically-minded colleagues, with backgrounds in coding, lacked. Using this unique perspective, I am now seeking to develop the research of my master’s dissertation through a PhD project

personal statement phd education

5. What You Learned During Your past Degrees and the Skills You Developed

To get to this stage, you will have already spent many years devoted to studying and growing your interest in your subject matter, so sell yourself and your talents. Think about the individual and group projects you have undertaken and the skills they helped you to develop and hone.

Remember to be specific and relate your skill set back to your proposed PhD project. For example, talk about the methodological approaches you have used previously to yield results, the new connections and collaboration you fostered across disciplines, or the positive impact made by projects you were involved in.

Your examples will vary greatly depending upon your academic background and the PhD you wish to complete but, regardless of topic, it is important to reveal your high level of skill and competence.

During my MSc, I conducted fieldwork in [location] and gained direct experience of collecting samples for paleolimnological analysis. I developed an aptitude for rapid algal species analysis and enjoyed the challenge of comparing this population data across cores and sample locations. This practical background has enabled me to be confident in my ability to source and analyse the sediment cores I require for this PhD project.

6. Any Explanations for Lower Grades (If Applicable)

If you have any extenuating circumstances for any results or grades, do not be afraid to explain the situation in your statement. Be honest about your struggles or challenges and seek to convey how you have grown as a consequence of these.

7. Your Future Plans

It is important to have thought carefully about your plans for life after your doctorate, as displaying clear goals will help the admissions team to determine that you have the correct motivations for applying.

Having a considered path you intend to follow beyond your proposed research gives confidence in your dedication to the project. Someone with articulated ambitions is more likely to be committed to the programme in the face of challenges.

If you wish to pursue a career in academia, as many PhD graduates do, show that you are aware of what this will involve. If you have a different industry path in mind, don’t be afraid to share it in your statement. PhDs can lead on to a variety of different career paths, so impress the admissions team with your aspirations of practical application.

The university will also want to ensure they can provide you with the skills and training you require to be successful and reach your goals. Letting the department know early on about your aspirations can help to ensure that the tailored support you will require can be provided.

After completing my PhD here, I intend to pursue an academic career within an architectural faculty in the UK. If the opportunity is available, I will be looking to apply for a lecturing position within this department. I am, however, acutely aware of the fierce competition in this field. I will be proactively seeking legacy funding for my research project as its potential to inform the typologies of housing used for settlement upgrading extends well beyond the timescale of this PhD.

If you are applying to more than one institution, which is highly likely, ensure that you tailor your personal statement to each university. Taking the time to craft a statement that speaks to the specificities of the university and the research of the teaching department will exponentially increase your chances of moving on to the next stage in the admissions process.

Below are our tips for structuring your PhD statement. You must ensure that you are aware of all the requirements set out by the university to which you are making your application, as these will influence the structure and content of the piece.

Step 1 . Structure

PhD applicants are expected to be highly adept at writing, so it is paramount that your personal statement is carefully constructed and reflects your ability for written communication .

The university you are applying to may provide you with a word count , or it may be stipulated by the space allowed on an online application form . Check if this is the case, as it is far easier to write to a specific word limit rather than having to make extreme edits to a piece that exceeds accepted length.

A PhD personal statement should be approximately one to one-and-a-half pages in length and be split into clear and concise paragraphs. If a sentence does not add value to the personal statement, omit it.

As a guide, aim for between four and six paragraphs , depending on their length. As previously indicated, it is best to keep paragraphs shorter rather than longer, as this will make your statement easier and more enjoyable for the admissions team to read.

Open your personal statement with a context-setting introduction regarding your academic interests and what has led you to apply for this research project. Seek to convey a real sense of yourself, so that those who read your statement can get a genuine sense of the student and junior academic you will be.

In the middle paragraphs , explore your motivations in greater detail, along with the qualities that make you a suitable candidate– with examples of when you displayed them.

It is important to provide a closing paragraph , bringing together the strands in your statement to solidly iterate why you are the right candidate.

Although it is best to avoid clichés and keep your writing original and interesting, conclude your personal statement by thanking the admissions tutor for taking the time to read your statement and considering your application.

Step 2 . Tone

When writing your statement, use a formal tone , correct grammar and appropriate language.

Colloquial and familiar language should be avoided. It is important to talk about your past academic and, perhaps, fieldwork or research experiences, but keep these professional in tone rather than anecdotal.

Ask someone to read through your statement to sense-check the tone and language used. It is always good to get a new perspective, particularly on a piece you spent a long time crafting.

Ensure you thoroughly check your grammar and spelling using the spell check function on your computer and also by eye. If including complex academic terminology, double-check that your terms are spelt correctly and have not been mistyped or incorrectly recognised and changed by your computer.

Writing a personal statement that accurately reflects your achievements, abilities and drive to take on your PhD can be a difficult task.

It is important to leave yourself enough time to write a draft statement so you can receive outside feedback, review it yourself and make the necessary improvements to ensure your piece does your potential as a PhD student justice.

Demonstrate your suitability for doctoral work with a personal statement that is personal to you and your unique experience and skills. A carefully thought-out, well-structured and well-evidenced statement will sell yourself and your academic abilities.

Seek to connect with those who read your application, explaining why your journey has equipped you for completing a PhD you will be proud of.

Choose PurpleCV and get:

  • Access to your own specialist writer
  • Unlimited revisions for 12 months
  • Average 2-day turnaround (specialist CV 5 days)
  • No templates are used on any of our CVs

Was this article helpful?

You might also be interested in these other Wikijob articles:

What Is a Postgraduate Degree?

Or explore the Postgraduate / PHD sections.

  • English (US)

Writing the Perfect Personal Statement for your PhD Application

A Ph.D. personal statement is vital to your application, giving admissions committees insight into your character and background. It can make or break your chances of getting accepted.


What is a personal statement for a Ph.D.?

It's a letter outlining your personal and professional qualities and research interests. Through this statement, you can explain why you're the ideal candidate for the Ph.D. program.

Why do you need a personal statement for a Ph.D. application?

A Ph.D. personal statement is an essential requirement in the admissions process. It's your chance to show why you're an excellent fit for the program and stand out from other applicants. The admissions team will use your statement to gauge your qualifications, motivations, research interests, and potential for success in the Ph.D. program.

How to start a personal statement letter?

It's essential to address the admissions officer from the start and explain why you are interested in completing the doctorate program in question. Personalize your letter to each department and program you are applying to. Research and learn what is unique about your chosen programs and share why it appeals to you.

Your statement should answer the following questions:

personal statement phd education

Why do you want to research this Ph.D.?

Explain why you want to pursue further study in your chosen field. What knowledge do you have already, and when did you first become interested in this area? Share how previous work or studies have provided a good foundation for your interest in studying for your Ph.D.

Why have you chosen a particular university for your Ph.D.?

Were you attracted to the university's research facilities, or does it have an excellent curriculum to suit your learning style? Do you like the campus or professors leading the program? The website of most university departments includes details of the professors who are experts and what they publish. Use this info fin your reasons for choosing the university.

Outline your strengths and transferable skills.

Share relevant essays, dissertations, or projects which reflect your academic background and skills. Pinpoint what makes you unique from other candidates. Specify any awards, IT skills, or research and teamwork qualities you have.

Explain how the Ph.D. program lines up with your career goals.

Share ideas of the direction you would like to take after your Ph.D. to demonstrate your commitment and dedication to the program. However, don't worry. It's ok not to be sure about your future plans and see where the Ph.D. takes you.

How long should a Ph.D. personal statement be?

A Ph.D. personal statement must contain 400-50 words that fit on an A4 page. Your university may have a specific number and length of words, so check your application.

Academic experience

Your Personal Statement will help you explain why these qualifications are necessary for your Ph.D. application. It's essential to stand out. Many of the candidates have excellent academic credentials. Be proud of your accomplishments, and explain what the course of study has taught you to do the work you want to investigate.

Other areas or issues arising from your CV

Your statement will help expand your CV and reveal detailed information regarding academic qualifications. That often means explaining gaps in knowledge and planning for what they may pose. Maybe your master's degree didn't go how you envisioned for your Ph.D. application; explain this if your doctorate is very closely connected.

Tell your life story only if it adds to the statement.

Don't talk about stories and experiences irrelevant to the Ph.D. program you are applying to. In the case of an aspiring Ph.D. in American Literature, you may leave out the ''From my first time learning reading'' part. It is likely true for most applicants and will not distinguish you from your peers in any way.

Use these tips to write the perfect personal statement for your Ph.D. application. Best of luck.

Find a program in these categories

Read related articles

Three female PhD students

The Ultimate PhD Degree Guide for International Students

July 2023 Study Abroad Education

PhD Interview for a Research G

Get Paid to Study: PhD Funding Opportunities

October 2023 Student Tips Education

5 Side Jobs for Scientists

5 Side Jobs for Scientists

January 2018 Education Student Tips

  • Applying to Uni
  • Apprenticeships
  • Health & Relationships
  • Money & Finance

Personal Statements

  • Postgraduate
  • U.S Universities

University Interviews

  • Vocational Qualifications
  • Accommodation
  • ​​​​​​​Budgeting, Money & Finance
  • ​​​​​​​Health & Relationships
  • ​​​​​​​Jobs & Careers
  • ​​​​​​​Socialising

Studying Abroad

  • ​​​​​​​Studying & Revision
  • ​​​​​​​Technology
  • ​​​​​​​University & College Admissions

Guide to GCSE Results Day

Finding a job after school or college

Retaking GCSEs

In this section

Choosing GCSE Subjects

Post-GCSE Options

GCSE Work Experience

GCSE Revision Tips

Why take an Apprenticeship?

Applying for an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships Interviews

Apprenticeship Wage

Engineering Apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship?

Choosing an Apprenticeship

Real Life Apprentices

Degree Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

A Level Results Day 2023

AS Levels 2023

Clearing Guide 2023

Applying to University

SQA Results Day Guide 2023

BTEC Results Day Guide

Vocational Qualifications Guide

Sixth Form or College

International Baccalaureate

Post 18 options

Finding a Job

Should I take a Gap Year?

Travel Planning


Gap Year Guide

Gap Year Blogs

Applying to Oxbridge

Applying to US Universities

Choosing a Degree

Choosing a University or College

Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Guide to Freshers' Week

Student Guides

Student Cooking

Student Blogs

  • Top Rated Personal Statements

Personal Statements By Subject

Writing Your Personal Statement

  • Postgraduate Personal Statements
  • International Student Personal Statements
  • Gap Year Personal Statements

Personal Statement Length Checker

Personal Statements By University

  • Personal Statement Changes 2024
  • Personal Statement Template

Job Interviews

Types of Postgraduate Course

Writing a Postgraduate Personal Statement

Postgraduate Funding

Postgraduate Study


Choosing A College

Ivy League Universities

Common App Essay Examples

Universal College Application Guide

How To Write A College Admissions Essay

College Rankings

Admissions Tests

Fees & Funding


Budgeting For College

Online Degree

Platinum Express Editing and Review Service

Gold Editing and Review Service

Silver Express Editing and Review Service

UCAS Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Oxbridge Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Postgraduate Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

You are here

  • Mature Student Personal Statements
  • Personal Statement Editing Service
  • Personal Statement Writing Guide
  • Submit Your Personal Statement
  • Personal Statement Questions 2024

Education Personal Statement Examples

Our teacher training personal statement examples below, as well as our top rated statements , will inspire you to write your own unique statement, and help you understand how students have successfully gained a place on these courses in the past.

Related resources

Teacher training interview questions.

personal statement phd education

Find out more

How To Write A Personal Statement

personal statement phd education

  • Personal Statement FAQs

personal statement phd education

10 Personal Statement Writing Tips

personal statement phd education

  • Personal Statement Editing Services

personal statement phd education

A Level Results Day

personal statement phd education

Clearing Guide

personal statement phd education

What is an education personal statement?

Writing a personal statement for education is a chance to sell yourself to the admissions tutors and show them why you would make a good education candidate. It’s a place to describe your skills and strengths, as well as your career plans.

You are allowed up to 4,000 characters to explain why you are applying for an education degree, so you need to make sure your statement is as polished as possible to stand out from the crowd.

How do I write a good education personal statement?

Good education personal statements always use evidence to support their claims. You need to convince admissions tutors that you’re a good match for the programme, so if you claim to be committed or inquisitive, then use examples from your life to back it up.

To write a successful education personal statement you need to start early, brainstorm some ideas, and then begin your first draft.

This will then need to be carefully revised and edited before asking family and friends for feedback. Incorporate their comments and suggestions, and see how it is improved before asking them to look at it again.

Read through our education personal statement examples above to get an idea of what a good education statement entails.

Make sure you proofread your statement for grammar and spelling before sending it off, and if you feel you need a little extra help, take a look at our personal statement editing services .

What should I include in my education personal statement?

Many students choose to start their statement by picking a specific aspect of education and explaining why they enjoy it, e.g. developmental psychology, equality and diversity, etc.

Admissions tutors want candidates that are as passionate about the subject as they are.

As well as your motivations for studying education, think about your hobbies and extracurricular activities too. What skills have you learned from these and how will these help you in your education degree?

Talk about any work experience placements you have completed, e.g. shadowing a teacher or TA. What did you take away from this experience? Do you feel you have all the necessary personal traits and qualities that make a good sociology student?

Your wider reading is also important, so it's worth mentioning anything you've read recently that you found interesting and why. Generally, admissions tutors like students who express their views and opinions, and can back them up with evidence.

For more help and advice on what to write in your education personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Personal Statement Timeline
  • 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

personal statement phd education

  • All Courses Apply Online
  • Business & Management
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Criminology & Law
  • Computing & IT Course
  • Health & Social Care
  • Human Resource Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Coventry University
  • Oxford International
  • Bloomsbury Institute
  • Arden University
  • De Montfort University
  • St Mary’s University
  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate
  • London: Best City For Education
  • Dundee, Scotland
  • Living in UK
  • Living in Dundee
  • Personal Statement Creator
  • Request Campus Tour
  • Refer a Friend
  • Scholarships
  • IELTS for UKVI | IELTS Preparation Tips – 2020
  • UK Visa Requirements
  • Student accommodation in UK – Deciding the type of accommodation
  • Blended Learning at Arden University
  • Work with Us!
  • Ulearn Student Survey 2019
  • Ulearn Partnerships
  • Education Event in London on 1st June 2019
  • Study UK Fair in Indonesia
  • Ulearn Pakistan

Personal Statement – PhD

Phd position on photocatalysis supported by non-innocent ligands.

I have high ambitions to make it into the academic field and to be a leader in chemistry research. As a female scientist I feel strongly about promoting women in STEM. This is shown by my campaigning to be an NUS delegate for the NUS Women’s and National conferences 2017 where I will aim to ensure STEM women have a voice. As a student I have noticed that academia in chemistry is a male-dominated environment and changing these statistics is something that I am passionate about. What particularly inclines me to Chemistry at the University of York is its great emphasis on promoting equality and diversity in the department. Being the first academic department in the UK to receive the Athena SWAN Gold award and with Chemistry’s Equality and Diversity Group, the steps taken to ensure fairness in the school means a lot to me. I believe I have what it takes to take on the challenges that come with research. Currently working on my Masters project, I am looking at The Synthesis and Evaluation of Pyrene Functionalised Organometallics as Catalysts. My project is particularly concerned with the use of ruthenium metal and tethering a pyrene-derivatised moiety, synthesised myself, onto the dichloro(p-cymene)ruthenium(II) dimer precursor, in order to create a novel compound with great catalytic potential. The pyrene would play a key role in allowing for adsorption onto a graphitic surface via non-covalent interactions, resulting in enhanced catalytic activity of the ruthenium centre. My project has a wider aim of achieving a homogeneous catalyst with the advantages of a heterogeneous catalyst. What I really enjoy about my Masters project, is its interdisciplinary aspects. Being an ‘all-rounder’ student with each discipline of chemistry being particularly strong, this is something that is a ‘win-win’ for me. The opportunity to synthesise ligands in an organic manner, coordinate them onto a metal centre in an inorganic manner and then analyse the catalytic activity by means of physical chemistry, aligns very well with my interests and your field of work.

The project on photoredox catalysis and exploring photophysical properties is the perfect crossover research for where inorganic meets physical chemistry; two fields I really enjoy. Furthermore, having studied about spectroelectrochemistry, probing metal ions from UV/vis and EPR, the opportunity to put theory into practice through training provided in this PhD will be an exciting opportunity for me.

A key lesson that my Masters work has taught me so far, is that patience is a virtue and even if reactions don’t work or I don’t get results as desired, that in itself is results. My project has challenged me in the sense that it’s a relatively new area of chemistry to both myself and the research group I work with and as with all new research, a lot of it has been very open-ended. On work experience at Croda Ltd. I worked as an analytical chemist validating a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method. The placement required quick learning of HPLC, adapting to the professional environment and becoming a part of the Croda team. This experience has demonstrated my high capabilities of working in the chemical industry as well as in research labs. As an active student at university, I’m passionate about bringing change to better the student experience. I feel that I have made a significant contribution to the School of Chemistry at Leeds and even our university on a wider scale. I feel strongly about encouraging students to speak their voice and about representing the underrepresented; this is demonstrated by my volunteering to be a Chemistry Course Representative, a Library Representative and now I’m the School Representative for the School of Chemistry. In these roles, I have helped shape the department by putting forward ideas to forums and liaising with academics to bring about change. As a 3rd year Course Representative I proposed extended hours in our chemistry computer cluster which has now been put in place and as a Library Representative I established a prayer facility in our newly built library, an achievement that I am particularly proud of. Not only that, but my success has extended out in being the School Representative for Chemistry, where I have introduced the Dean’s List for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Course Representative hoodies for the 30 Course Reps that I now lead. In addition, I took an idea to out Better Union forum which was introducing women’s-only gym sessions at our on-campus gym, to my content the idea passed and now I’m working with the Union and gym staff to implement it! My high capabilities are demonstrated by my exceptional exam marks reflecting my ability to problem solve under pressure. In my 3rd year, I achieved the highest mark in the modules Chemical Bonding and Reactivity and Solid State and Materials Chemistry. As School Representative, I constantly look to improve the Leeds chemistry student experience, by changing the way student-staff forums are run and developing new student-led committees. Whether it’s achieving a new running Personal Best or getting the highest mark in an exam, my determination, ambitious character and drive to accomplish something ensures I put all efforts into everything I do. All in all, I have demonstrated exceptional academic potential, high capabilities of research, significant contribution outside of studying and a passion to make it in the world of chemistry research. I hope you will consider me for this PhD opportunity, I would be happy to answer any questions or provide any further information if needed. Thank you for taking the time out to consider my application. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sample Personal Statements

  • Personal Statement – PhD
  • Personal Statement – Chemistry Research
  • Personal Statement – Science
  • Personal Statement – Medical

You can see how this popup was set up in our step-by-step guide:

personal statement phd education

Refer a Friend !

Enquire now.

personal statement phd education

Apply for the Course


  1. Get PhD personal statement sample by following this link https://www.personalstatementw…

    personal statement phd education

  2. phd statement of purpose sample in finance

    personal statement phd education

  3. FREE 8+ Personal Statement Samples in PDF

    personal statement phd education

  4. Phd Statement

    personal statement phd education

  5. PhD Personal Statement

    personal statement phd education

  6. FREE 7+ Sample Personal Statement For Graduate School in MS Word

    personal statement phd education


  1. Navigating the Canadian Education Landscape: Funding Options for Your PhD

    Are you considering pursuing a PhD in Canada? Congratulations on taking this exciting step towards advancing your academic and professional career. However, one of the biggest concerns for many prospective students is the cost associated wi...

  2. The Advantages of Pursuing a 1-Year Online PhD Program

    In recent years, the demand for flexible and accessible higher education options has been on the rise. Many individuals are seeking to advance their careers and knowledge through online programs that offer convenience and flexibility. One s...

  3. The Ultimate Guide to Studying for a PhD in Germany: What You Need to Know

    Are you considering pursuing a PhD in Germany? With its world-class universities, renowned research institutions, and vibrant academic community, Germany offers an excellent opportunity for individuals seeking to further their education and...

  4. How to Write a Personal Statement for a PhD Program Application

    YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT SHOULD ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: · Why do you want to complete further research in this field? · Why have you chosen to apply to

  5. phd-ci-annotated-exemplar-of-statement-of-purpose.pdf

    After grounding the preceding text in both personal experiences and.

  6. Personal Statement Example: Student Applying for a Ph.D. in

    In addition, the rigorous graduate curriculum in the RMA program placed a strong emphasis on individual research and intensive academic writing to prepare me

  7. How to Write a Personal Statement for a PhD Program

    Focus on highlighting your goals, skills, accomplishments, and experiences that are relevant to your study program but be careful not to be

  8. Writing an Effective Personal Statement for PhD Graduate Programs

    Personal statements should tell your story and be compelling across fields. Remember that a PhD program trains you to build and utilize scientific skills to

  9. Personal Statements for PhD Study

    What should my PhD personal statement include? · 1. What is your background? · 2. Why do you want to research this topic? · 3. What academic

  10. A Guide to PhD Personal Statements [With Examples]

    What Should a PhD Personal Statement Contain? · 1. Why You Want to Do This PhD · 2. How Your Work Will Benefit the University · 3. Why You Want to

  11. Writing the Perfect Personal Statement for your PhD Application

    personal statement is vital to your application, giving admissions committees insight into your character and background. It can make or break

  12. Writing a personal statement

    Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. The 1,500 word personal statement is an important element of your application to doctoral study, whether full

  13. Education Personal Statement Examples

    It's a place to describe your skills and strengths, as well as your career plans. You are allowed up to 4,000 characters to explain why you are applying for an

  14. Personal Statement

    What I really enjoy about my Masters project, is its interdisciplinary aspects. Being an 'all-rounder' student with each discipline of chemistry being