3

The fellowship (I'll call it XYZ) I'm applying to requires me to write a personal statement (note that this is not a research statement). This is their definition:

The Personal Statement includes information about the applicant’s background, practical experience, special interests, and career goals, with some attention to plans after degree completion.

After satisfying all the needed information, and trying not to be bombastic, I intend to compliment them a little bit, like this:

I have been in regular contact with the XYZ team via email and I am pleased to say that they respond promptly and quickly.

Do compliments help? Will they feel that I'm fawning over them, so I make a bad impression? Will it be not good but not bad, and just a waste of space (which I don't have) and a waste of their time to read such a useless thing (which it may be)? If it does help, how much?

I think we should have an Impression tag

12
  • 7
    Which does it address: your background, practical experience, special interests, career goals, or plans after degree completion? Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 14:57
  • 1
    More likely none. It's flatter. With that said, you're still free to take liberty in expression. Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 15:36
  • 6
    Re "I have been in regular contact with the XYZ team via email and I am pleased to say that they respond promptly and quickly.", to me that comes over as patronising, which is even worse than fawning. Strongly suggest you leave it out.
    – A E
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 19:56
  • 2
    @Ooker, it's because you're giving them a "well done!" for doing something very easy ("respond[ing] promptly and quickly"). If you were impressed with the world-class quality of their research then that would be different, but being impressed with their ability to reply promptly to emails ......
    – A E
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 20:29
  • 1
    Only if it's the Fellowship of the Ring.
    – Etheryte
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 23:00

1 Answer 1

17

Leave it out. I think it definitely comes across as fawning. It's clearly irrelevant to your qualifications and plans, which is what the personal statement is supposed to be about, so it shouldn't be included.

If the fellowship's administrative staff have been particularly helpful, you could send a separate email or letter saying thanks. But this shouldn't be part of the application.

3
  • 2
    On the other hand, "I have been in regular contact with the XYZ team via email and I am pleased to say this has resulted in new research idea A for me and a change of direction towards B for them" seems completely on-topic -- and potentially more complimentary anyway. Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 20:53
  • 1
    @daniel: Remember that XYZ in this case is the organization sponsoring a fellowship. I was assuming the email contacts related to administrative details of the application process. Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 1:57
  • @DanielWagner so do you agree that compliment is good, as long as it's appropriate?
    – Ooker
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 9:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .