Advice on Candidate Statements

The Candidate Statement is an opportunity to describe the impact and innovation within your field for your scholarly activity, teaching, and service. Only five pages (no more) are allotted for the Candidate Statement. Please review the video and slide presentation from the Making Your Statement for Promotion workshop provided by Faculty Affairs and click here to see examples of statements organized by discipline.

The Candidate Statement includes an overview of the progress and impact of your scholarly activityas well as description of evidence of teaching and service contributions detailed in your Teaching Portfolio and your Service and Outreach Portfolio. If you are in a continuing-status position, then your Candidate Statement should discuss your position effectiveness.

The Candidate Statement is an opportunity to tell the story of your work over your period in rank; as such, it is much more than a laundry list of the activities that are already indicated in the curriculum vitae. Highlighting certain activities with sufficient explanation and detail will provide evidence and strength to back up broader statements about your work. The statement is an excellent opportunity to position your work within your field or between interdisciplinary fields. As such, clarity about benchmarks and norms in your field or associated fields can help reviewers better understand the quality and quantity of your work.  A hallmark of successful statements is when the reader can understand “why your work matters (e.g. to the field, department, university, society)” in regard to your scholarly activity, teaching, and service. Below are some question prompts that can help your reflection on your own work to craft a clear and concise statement for both experts in your field as well as university colleagues who are unfamiliar with your disciplinary norms.

  • How can you highlight your achievements in ways that relate them to promotion expectations, especially your departmental and college criteria?
    • Highlight your most prominent and impactful work, rather than trying to discuss every component of your work in detail.
  • How can you relate your research, teaching, and service to the duties in your workload assignment to demonstrate your professional performance?
  • How can you use your major achievements to demonstrate the progress and impact of your overall program of work and your professional effectiveness?

  • Given that your external reviewers will establish the baseline assessments of your research and professional performance, how can you set out your program of work to demonstrate its impact?
    • What are the problems, terms, and concepts that will be of most interest to expert readers?
    • How can you help less specialized readers by providing definitions and examples?
    • Can you benchmark the importance of your contributions, perhaps by noting invitations to present your work, the standing of your publication venues, or adoptions of your innovations?
  • How can you benchmark the progress and impact of your program of work?
    • How has your research, scholarship and creative work advanced since your dissertation?
    • If you work on research teams with senior colleagues, how can you demonstrate your independent contributions to those collaborations?
    • Where is your research headed? What will its impact be, and how will you achieve it?

Remember your readers will include non-specialists as well as experts. Your external reviewers may look to your Candidate Statement to help them assess the development and significance of your research and position effectiveness.  Your research and scholarship are detailed in your publications so focus on major findings and contributions and refer to your publications for specifics.  Remember that most of your internal reviewers will not be specialists in your field.  They will generally be more broadly concerned with how your work matters.  They may also be interested in the broader impact of your scholarship and other professional contributions.  To be effective with such readers, you should avoid overloading sentences with complex terminology.  Use your Candidate Statement to discuss the overall program of work that is detailed in your CV.

  • Has your research improved your teaching or position effectiveness? For example, have you worked with more graduate students or residents or helped collaborators in new ways?
  • How does your work contribute to the missions of your department and the university, for example, through the creation of internships, research opportunities, or partnerships?
  • What is the broader social and economic impact of your program of work?
  • Could the Service and Outreach Portfolio help you document your leadership and impact?

In addition to discussing your basic research contributions, you may wish to draw on the university’s “inclusive view of scholarship” to discuss how your work has “advanced through discovery, integration, application, and teaching.” Our “inclusive view of scholarship” recognizes “original research contributions in peer-reviewed publications as well as integrative and applied forms of scholarship that involve cross-cutting collaborations with business and community partners, including translational research, commercialization activities, and patents.” Go to our The University's Inclusive View of Scholarship page to learn more about how to interpret inclusive scholarship, teaching, and service, as well as to find more resources on this topic