I am going to prepare a research statement for a tenure-track position. How is the structure of a research statement for a tenure-track position? Must the sections be separated into "Past Experiences" and "Future Plans"? Or it is possible to describe future plans within the text of past experiences?

2 Answers 2


Discuss your past experience only to demonstrate that you are the correct person to carry out the ambitious program of research which you are proposing. Your CV, letters of recommendation and sample publications will already speak highly of your prior work, so your research statement should be almost entirely forward looking. Good luck!

  • Thank you for your answer, another question which I have is : Should I put an abstract-like section as well?
    – user40491
    Dec 26, 2020 at 18:22
  • @user40491 Indeed, if at all, you should describe your describe your past experiences within the text of the future plans!
    – user151413
    Dec 26, 2020 at 23:59

In my research statement, I organized it by sections.

  • Section 1: two paragraphs on my research at a high-level with important aspects bolded.

Given that I focused on two areas I did

  • Section 2: Focused on areas of interest 1 and jumped right into

    • Section 2.1: abstract of project 1 under area 1
    • Section 2.2: abstract of project 2 under areas 1 etc
  • Section 3: same format as section 2 just about area of interest 2

  • Section 4: future interest areas with some additional details on my plans (with subsections explaining this).

I do not know if this is the best structure but it is the one I did. It was intro, details on past work, and then details on future work. With the sections clearly broken up, it was easy for the reviewer to identify a project of interest and read about that.

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