Advice for new applicants on statement of interest
1. The faculty member reviewing your statement of interest is seeing between 20 and 30 applications in a short period of time. Your statement is your best opportunity to say something original and distinctive about yourself –something that sets you apart from all the other good applicants. We are interested in your background, your motivations, your hopes for the future, and ideas and problems about environmental and resource management issues that drive you. Pay attention to your writing–we care a lot about writing quality in REM and will look at how well you put your ideas on paper.
2. Show that you have some clear ideas about your areas of interest in general, about the research ideas you’re interested in pursuing, and potential projects in which you might develop those ideas. Your supervisor will want to see that you have a sense of what makes a good Master’s (or Ph.D.) research project, both intellectually and in terms of scope.
3. Don’t feel like you need to have a well-developed proposal for a specific project to which you and your supervisor will be committed. If you have a specific project to which you are very committed, by all means say so in your letter, but this is rarely the case. However, we expect applicants to be clear about the general direction of research, which will be refined into a specific project in later interactions between the Supervisor and the student during the first term. It is more common for a Ph.D. student to arrive with well-formulated research plans than it is for a Master’s student, but this is still not true for all Ph.D. students.
NOTE: The online application form will ask applicants to fill out a section on their proposed area of research. This is in addition to the Statement of Research Interest you need to submit directly to REM. Applicants can copy and paste the first part of their statement into the online application form.