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Personal Statements


Overall Advice

  • This is where the reader gets to know your unique story as a coherent narrative – align this to the track and the themes that permanent throughout
  • Review examples and get a feeling for structure
  • Think about strongest area based on your track and your accomplishments
  • Consider main points want to highlight - outline
  • Engage in graceful self-promotion
    • Sell yourself without sounding arrogant
  • Have your Personal Statement reviewed for feedback by your mentor(s) and then by Dr. Nadine Kaslow before submitting them for your final packet.


  • Reviewers – with relevant expertise
  • Nonpsychiatric and behavioral sciences people (medical people outside your
    specialty, faculty throughout the institution, Board of Trustees)
  • Statement can not be highly technical, but needs to be sophisticated


  • 5 pages maximum
  • Discuss briefly your background
  • Cover each promotion area – scholarship, teaching, service
  • Order of areas depends on track and areas of strength
    • Start with greatest area of strength
  • Address work at the departmental, SOM, university, local, national, and international levels
  • If a weakness, contextualize it

Opportunity to

  • Tell your professional story – coherent narrative
  • Highlight most meaning accomplishments
  • Extract from CV what is most important
  • Differentiate self from mentor(s)
  • Be creative about how you frame information
  • Explain where things overlap
  • Address future directions in your career

Background (very brief, paragraph)

  • Who you are – job description
  • Why on particular track (if relevant – e.g., track switch)
  • How you got where you are – career trajectory
  • Life style changes that might explain a lag


  • Summarize research interests
  • Set self up in the field you are in
  • Focus on a few research topics
  • Discuss impact of your work, how it shifted the field, and how it is unique/different
  • Convey ways work has reached out
  • Address number and quality of publications and mention key papers and journal
  • Note funding success for research (federal, private)
  • Note media recognition
  • Emphasize collaborations (inside and outside of Emory)
    • See NIH document on Team Science
    • Your unique role in team science, as a Co-Investigator
  • Future research plans and how this will result in new publications and grants
    • Link future with present

Teaching (Most important for Clinical and MEST tracks)

  • Where are you teaching
  • Who learners are
  • Philosophy of teaching (covered more in Teaching Portfolio)
  • Courses taught institutionally, locally, nationally, internationally
  • Courses organized
  • Supervision
  • Dissertation and thesis committees
  • Mentoring
  • Lectures given locally
  • Lectures given at another university
  • Lectures given nationally and internationally
  • Comments on your evaluations


  • Unique service roles and responsibilities
  • Leadership roles – department, SOM, institution, locally, nationally, internationally
  • Need to emphasize your contributions to the field
    • Clinical service
    • Infrastructure service
    • Running a service core
    • Committee membership and role
    • Boards
    • Manuscript reviewing, editorial boards, special issues, and editing
    • Study section responsibilities (ad hoc, member)
    • Organization of meetings
    • Organization of symposia
    • Teaching administration (though could go under service)
    • Collaborations
    • Consulting (e.g., for nonprofit organization)
  • Community Outreach
    • Talks/presentations/panel discussions
    • Health fairs and science fairs
    • Media – public education
    • Serving on boards
    • Coordinating community activities