Research Statement

Also called Statement of Intent, this is your chance in 1 -3 pages to write a statement directly to the faculty who may be working with you for 1 – 4 years. In Indonesia you often write about how important this is to you to be admitted to a USA University and how it fulfills a life long dream. The USA faculty already know this, so they are more interested in having you write your letter in 3 sections:

  • What have you done?
  • What will you do when you are at the American University?
  • What will you do when you return to Indonesia?

Do not promise things you cannot predict – for example do not promise World Peace. But do consider things you think can be realistic on.

  1. What Have you Done? Write about your professional accomplishments. The Quality of your S1 university, What you accomplished when you were there. Your S1 project/skripsi. Your leadership.
  2. What you will do in USA. The faculty you hope to work with. The topics they publish on. How those topics relate to you. The theories you are interested in. The theories they state and how they relate to your work. USA faculty are interested in a) Do you know their work/ who will be your advisor? and b) What work have you read in terms of theory and how does it relate to studying at the ABC University in the USA ?
  3. What will you do when you return home ? We do not care a great deal about the specifics. Many things may change between now and when you complete your degree. But the USA University does want to attract the ‘best and brightest’ who will make a better world. What will you do? Say it here – in the third paragraph of your statement.

Here is a sample Research Statement. In the statement, placeholders like 1,2,3 or ABC, or blah blah are used so you can insert information specific to you:

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