The Statement of purpose

A maximum of 500 words

Please provide a statement of purpose, in English, describing how your background and research interests relate to the programme, following the template below. The statement should focus primarily on academic, research or employment-related achievements and interests rather than personal interests.

Please ensure your statement of purpose is anonymised with respect to your name, ethnicity and gender. Anonymisation of application forms is one of the actions we are taking as part of a pilot aimed at minimising conscious and unconscious bias in the admissions procedure for graduate students.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

  1. Briefly explain your motivation for undertaking doctoral study, including at least one specific example of how you have prepared yourself for doctoral study that illustrates your commitment and motivation.
  2. Summarise your previous achievements and experience, including information on any research you have conducted, relevant employment or work experience (if any), and any activities or experience that illustrate your communication skills, team skills or personal strengths.
  3. A) If you are applying for entry to the Environmental Research DTP without a pre-defined research project and supervisory team. Describe your current research interests and identify any potential supervisors or groups you are particularly interested in working with, explaining which aspects of their work most interest you.


B) If you are applying to undertake a specific project advertised by the Environmental Research DTP with a named supervisory team, please explain your motivation for applying to undertake this project.

  1. Explain your motivation for applying to this doctoral programme and why you are a suitable candidate for the programme (and where relevant the specific project you are applying to).
  2. Please tell us about any obstacles you have overcome during your education and career to date, for example, if you have had caring responsibilities, have had to work your way through your undergraduate degree, or other factors which may have limited or removed your ability to take up research or volunteering opportunities.

Your statement of purpose will be assessed for:

•             your reasons for applying

•             evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study

•             the ability to present a reasoned case in English

•             preliminary knowledge of research techniques

•             understanding of problems in the area and ability to construct and defend an argument.

It will be normal for your ideas and goals to change in some ways as you participate in the programme and if you are applying for the main DTP programme rather than a specific advertised project, you are not committed to work in the specific subject area or with any supervisor(s) you highlight in your application. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate your current interests and aspirations.