If there is a gap in my CV, or perhaps an anomaly due to some personal struggle, is it worth explaining the situation? Or just not saying anything in the SOP?

If one was perhaps wrongfully accused or terrorism/murder or suffered depression? which forced them to take a year out.

On one hand it can demonstrate resilience on the other hand it might be negative.

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    Please specify where you are applying, as the answers to this will vary a lot according to country and local academic (or national) culture. Aug 20, 2017 at 22:39

2 Answers 2


I think a quick examination of human psychology suggests that being specific about this stuff is a terrible idea. Even people who want to be neutral would associate you with murder (unfairly, of course). Better to never put the idea in their head.


I think you could hint at it, but I believe it would be misguided (hurt your application) to include (too many) details. It is irrelevant information and only distracts; your SOP should focus on reasons why to take you, and not on reasons why one shouldn't take you.

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