The personal statement is a short document of only 7 pages in which you aim at summarising your career’s achievements and your project proposal. Note that the guidelines La Caixa Foundation provides for the preparation of the personal statement are very limited and general. Here we give you some tips for writing a successful personal statement:
- Write the summary of your research career (3 pages max) as a series of logic and well-designed steps that have allowed you to develop the necessary unique profile and competences needed to approach the challenges you attempt to tackle in your project. Show how your profile has evolved since you started your PhD to become an expert in the topic of research in which generate new knowledge.
Put particular emphasis in the aspects of your career that underline your leadership, maturity in research and independent thinking.
- We recommend writing the summary of the proposed research project (4 pages without references) using the following outline:
Motivation and destination: Describe the main objective of your proposal and how it will contribute to tackle some of challenges society is facing. Describe the new state of knowledge reached after the implementation of your project and its societal impact.
State-of-the-art: Briefly describe the scientific basis that inspired your proposed strategy and methodology.
Objectives and work plan: Design specific objectives that address the key scientific parts of your project, and ultimately the main objective of the project. For each specific objective you should plan the methodology and work that will be carried out and the milestones that each objective will accomplish.
Implementation of the work: Once the work plan is defined, organise it into a schematic timeline to show how the work will be implemented. Make sure the timeline is feasible and logical.
Risk assessment and contingency plans: Include an assessment of plausible risks that might be encountered during the project and the contingency plans put in place to attenuate them and ensure the successful realisation of the project.