The Research Statement is different from the Personal Statement submitted with Part 2 of the general application. In the Personal Statement you discuss your academic background, work experience, and personal insights that led you to decide to pursue a PhD. The Research Statement is designed to give you the opportunity of exploring a problem, question or issue that interests you, and that you might like to pursue in your doctoral work. Of course, we realize that your interests may change once you are in the doctoral program, but you should discuss a problem that is of sufficient importance to be considered suitable for doctoral level work. You should specifically address the question of why you have chosen the Informatics PhD program at Illinois in which to pursue your doctoral research.
As you discuss the problem, question or issue, clearly describe it and why it is of interest to you. Why is it important? What fields, departments, or disciplines have contributed or might contribute to work in this area of research? Why do you think it has not been addressed sufficiently beforehand? Why should others be interested in it? How might you go about investigating it in order to come up with results that would further our understanding it? In evaluating your Research Statement, the committee will look for how well you have conceptualized the question or problem and explained its implications. They will also consider the appropriateness, rigor, and creativity associated with how you propose to go about finding answers or solutions. The Research Statement should be no more than two pages (about 800 words).
Where to submit the Research Statement on the online application:
On the Statements page of the online application, you are asked for the personal statement and resume. Then you are given options for a few program-specific statements. There is one dedicated to a writing sample and another two are listed as program-specific statements. Please upload your Research Statement in the program-specific section. There will be a pop-up for this.