I am currently a master's student at upenn, and I am trying to apply for phd in other schools. Would it be okay if I explicitly mention upenn in personal statement because I was trying to talk about a specific lab I've been working in here

  • 3
    Can you clarify why you think it might not be okay?
    – cag51
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 0:51
  • 1
    I thought it could give away too much personal info and potentially bias a reviewer's decision?
    – user165165
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 0:53
  • 2
    Well, personal information is pretty much what they are looking for. Knowing UPenn, your lab likely has a good reputation so that reflects well on you and your abilities.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 1:11
  • @Lleryomof Are you applying to schools that have ablind application process somehow? Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


Yes! You should absolutely mention your lab, the names of the people you work with and the university at which you are studying/researching. I would find it extremely odd if a research statement or CV did not include any of those details.

Networking is extremely important in academia. In fact, I think it's the single most important component to a successful career, or at least to getting a position (PhD/postdoc/permanent). Some people realise this too late, and have a lot of problems getting a postdoc after their PhD, for example.

In a comment you said you are worried about giving away too much personal information, and biasing a reviewer's opinion. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to conduct an academic career anonymously. People need to know who you are and what you are working on. It's like word association: they need to see the name Lleryomof and instantly think Mating habits of three-toed sloths... or whatever your research topic may be. As you get further on in your career, this association will become automatic, as you write papers, give talks, and visit other institutions (i.e. networking).

Regarding biasing a reviewer's opinion -- well, you want to do that, don't you? In your favour! That's the goal of any application -- convince the person hiring that you're the best person for the job. One great way to do that in this case is tell them about all the cool research you have been doing during your Master's degree at an internationally renowned university, UPenn.

Make sure you get a lab mate (maybe a friendly PhD student or postdoc) and your Master's supervisor to look over your application and give you feedback before you submit it.

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