58

I'd shorten and tone it down if I were you. Being a researcher involves a lot of sitting in other people's talks, so we all know that lectures are boring. But we still do it, because those are an excellent chance to socialize. We might just pack a paper to read in case it gets too boring. So your statement makes you look a bit like a loner. And being able to ...


24

First, I am sympathetic to your dislike of sitting in classrooms, at scheduled times, for artificially limited intervals, and too-often lecturers/teachers who add little to the textbook, or even to their own notes... and are possibly non-interactive as well. Or, as in k-12 in the U.S., often far more concerned with crowd control (not their own fault) than ...


22

Yes, it might look a bit weird, but you don't have control over that. And he is giving you good advice that he shouldn't write you a letter. Not every advisor is willing to be so honest. But, I don't think it is an absolute block to your plans. Find others to write you strong letters and (US perspective) you should be ok. What you need are letters from ...


15

It is a judgement call. On the one hand, if you are sure it is no longer relevant, then mentioning it could be a problem since some would doubt you are cured, I think. On the other hand, it shows personal growth. Congratulations. But having grown as a person may not be as relevant to future research as you think. At least in the minds of others. On balance, ...


15

Do not press for a recommendation letter of someone who is reluctant to give you one. Nothing good is coming out of that. You have a different approach to things. It's very dangerous of you to label him as "idealist", maybe what happened is that he considers you an strong pragmatist and if you let through that you see him in the opposite side of ...


13

To begin with, I think it is silly that application processes even ask about these things, but that seems to be the way of the world now. If the guidelines recommend that you discuss your economic background (in the case where it is seen as a desirable "diversity" requirement) you could do this in a fairly short and sweet manner, which ...


9

I would think that two and a half times the maximum would be a bit extreme and leave people less than pleased. A few extra words wouldn't hurt most likely, but what you suggest seems unreasonable. Factor out the most important ideas and express them concisely. Consider it a test that you don't want to fail. A note on the SoP. Don't use it to reprise what is ...


7

I am assuming this is US. I want to suggest an alternative. Kindly ask your references to add the situation in their recommendations. I don't think Bill Nace's suggestion is exactly the right one, simple because of this answer. From questions regarding SOPs and from some personal experience I understand that at least some admission bodies in US universities ...


7

A personal statement is a story/pitch that describes/sells your suitability for a position. Your historic phobia of animals might be a starting point for your story. Overcoming that phobia showcases part of your personality. Do you think its a good idea to include that I overcame my phobia by myself? I don't think overcoming your phobia is the key message, ...


7

First, only you can decide what you are comfortable with. While you are required to divulge some information (e.g., your academic record), there is no requirement to be so open with your private personal and health information. That said, I suspect including this information might help your application. As you say, it is helpful context for your achievements ...


5

Considering that admissions committees are interested in anticipating/predicting your (professional) future, the more data points the better. Whether or not one believes that "overcoming adversity" is a good thing in itself, achieving this-or-that from a position of relative privilege and security is quite different from achieving the same thing in ...


5

Short answer: No. Long answer: This is from the perspective of a hiring PI. These days I am flooded with applications of candidates that seem very motivated, but give me little confidence that they are the right person for the job. This is mostly for two reasons: 1. lack of relevant background for the position; 2. poor self-presentation (for example, not ...


4

Your ORCID would be better off placed on your CV, either next to or below your name. You can certainly cite your published paper in your statement of purpose, if it is relevant to the work you want to pursue in your PhD. You should also list your publications on your CV. It might be worth looking at the websites of a few professors in your field, to find ...


4

I actually think the problem isn't that your math classes are off-topic. I know lots of Physics PhDs who double majored or minored in math. The problem is that you're focusing an awful lot on your coursework in your SOP. Your classes really shouldn't be the focus: anyone reviewing your application gets that information from skimming your transcript. Most ...


4

Did your GPA improve as a direct result of not attending class? Or did it improve as a direct result of you using the time you would have spent in class to do more study by yourself? If so, the fact you didn't go to class is irrelevant.


4

As the other answers here suggest, this is a subtle issue so I won't give a firm recommendation. However, there are some things you might consider in making a decision. First is that the SoP should be forward, not backward, looking. People evaluating your application will be looking for predictors of success in the future. This mostly involves your academic ...


3

Look around, but I think @Anonymous Physicist is right that this isn't about you but about how you will handle diversity in your interactions with the university community you are likely to encounter if you are hired as a PhD student at this school (and maybe as a Teaching Assistant (TA)). See, for example, Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching's definition of ...


3

I do not think you can be too specific about your research interests. You said not offered admission because how they explain their plans of research are "too specific" What has actually happened here is that the applicant has applied to the wrong university. You should follow these steps: Identify faculty working in your area of interest. ...


3

This sort of thing is always a strategic decision. While some readers will appreciate the clarification, for others it may serve to highlight something that would otherwise not have attracted attention. I suggest seeking advice from professors at your current institution, who can comment on how your overall application looks. If you do decide to address it, ...


3

Usually PhD admissions in the US are by a committee of several professors. Everyone on the committee will see your application (except that applications are often triaged or only read in full by certain members); the professor you mentioned may or may not be on the committee. If your application suggests you are interested in working with a particular ...


3

Typically how many recommendations, does "the more the better" hold true here? The job advert will usually tell you how many references to provide. I'd be wary of exceeding the number they ask for -- you want to demonstrate basic competency by following the instructions about the application. The same goes for any formatting of CV, cover letter or research ...


3

I agree with the other answerer in that some self-examination will probably yield many ways in which you have overcome adversity or worked to support others from diverse backgrounds. But here's another angle that's worth considering: Why does the university require a diversity statement in the first place? You'll encounter many forms of diversity at a large,...


3

My advice here is to use written application materials to focus on your success and your likelihood of future success, not your shortcomings in the past. If you are asked about grades at some point, then talk about it honestly, but don't "waste" valuable space dealing with things you have overcome. There is normally at least an informal tendency by ...


2

Yes, mention it, but don't make a big deal out of it. A single sentence like "With regards to my transcript, please note that the lower averages in my first three semesters were due to the University's 78% rule, that is fully described elsewhere on the transcript." Any more than that will look like you are whining or trying to make excuses. But, ...


2

If a statement of purpose or a letter of recommendation is so generic that it could legitimately have been written about two different applicants, it's a pretty bad one to start with. I honestly don't see the point. And to answer the question, no, to my knowledge, there is no such database.


2

Actually, I suggest that you find somewhere else to mention this, and make the SoP entirely forward looking. The CV and such give your history. The introductory letter can give something of motivation. But the SoP should be used for just that, what is your purpose going forward. It isn't about what you have accomplished in the past. What do you want to study?...


2

From reading this forum, I know that it is a bad idea to mention the name of a faculty. I do not know where you got this impression. In the question you linked, the (excellent) answer simply points out that if you write "I want Bob to be my advisor," then the fate of your application probably hangs on whether Bob wants to (and is able to) advise ...


2

Yes, your understanding is correct. While the CV lists past accomplishments, your SoP is a statement about your future goals, both for graduate study and thereafter. It need not, in general, be specific about a research topic, just a fairly narrow area. A Research Proposal, on the other hand, is a specific outline of a research project that you suggest you ...


1

I think you should bring a positive spin and explain how it would help you to become a better student and how you will be beneficial to the university. Something like "Due to my ADHD, I had to work extra hours and develop new teaching aids. Further, I have worked with other students with similar disabilities and it has helped me collaborate with a wide ...


1

Just like the rest of your PhD application, the diversity statement is not about you. It is about why you will be a good PhD student. You certainly could write about your ADHD, or any other disability, or membership in any other represented group. When doing so, you need to explain why you will be a good PhD student. For example "My experience with (...


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