Please give an idea about the ideal length of a brief research statement and its format. Should I write about the research that I have done in my Ph.D. or should i propose a new research idea for post-doc research?

2 Answers 2


The best thing to do is to try finding examples of research statements written by people in similar positions. Many people put their research statement on their website. From these you can see the style and length that is typical in your field.

Your research statement should discuss both the work you have done and the work you want to do in the future. It should also discuss the bigger picture that links these together.

Generally, less is more. People instinctively write long research statements describing all their work in detail. This instinct must be fought, as no one will read a 10-page research statement. For a postdoc, I think 2-3 pages (not including bibliography) is typical, at least in my area of theoretical computer science. Faculty-level research statements will be a bit longer.

Keep your audience in mind. (I.e. does the person reading this know your area?) Proof read and polish meticulously. And definitely ask other people to look at your draft and give feedback.

Good luck!

  1. I have often seen a limit of 2 pages, i.e. one sheet of paper. It depends, though.
  2. Write a bit the research done, write more about new research you want to do.

    While you are at it, it is important (IMHO) to highlight links to other researchers and outputs (both existing and prospective).

  • What kind of prospective links? Is that in terms of same field of work? Should I highlight links with researchers whom I know? How can I manage to explain links with other researchers whom I have never met or worked with? Is this part really that important? If yes, how?
    – LekhaS
    Mar 28, 2018 at 4:39
  • 2
    It depends, read the calls. Definitely highlight existing collaborations. Sometimes the universities want to to state with whom you could collaborate in-house. Mar 28, 2018 at 20:39

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