Urgent help needed for Nuffield Research Placement PS!

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Mystery.
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#1
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So my choices are :
Maths/Engineering
Computing
Chemistry

I'm wondering if anyone has applied with my chosen subjects and if you could please help me with my personal statement because I have no idea what to do.

Should I write a paragraph on each subject or make it more general??
How do I make it stand out?
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1682795
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It would be much easier to write personal statement with only one subject. But it's your choice and just remember it won't give you the same flexibility you would normally have.

I would say, go for 'general' because you will avoid unnecessary confusion.

Go here (point number 2)

https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/arti...nt-issues.html
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Mystery.)
So my choices are :
Maths/Engineering
Computing
Chemistry

I'm wondering if anyone has applied with my chosen subjects and if you could please help me with my personal statement because I have no idea what to do.

Should I write a paragraph on each subject or make it more general??
How do I make it stand out?
I'd say pick one or a couple that are related and go with those. You don't want to come across confused or unfocused. I've had Nuffield research students for the past two years and wouldn't pick one who doesn't seem to know what they're really interested in. Talk about why you're interested in the subject, what the placement will give you and what your future plans are.

(Original post by Impressive)
It would be much easier to write personal statement with only one subject. But it's your choice and just remember it won't give you the same flexibility you would normally have.

I would say, go for 'general' because you will avoid unnecessary confusion.

Go here (point number 2)

https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/arti...nt-issues.html
You're talking about a university personal statement and even then the advice to go general is just wrong. You need to pick one subject or very similar subjects and stick with it. Admissions officers will not be impressed by someone who is confused or unfocused.
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Mystery.
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Thanks guys.
But I thought it was compulsory to pick at least 3? Because in the form it asks you for three top choices invade your first choice isn't available?
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1682795
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(Original post by alleycat393)
You're talking about a university personal statement and even then the advice to go general is just wrong. You need to pick one subject or very similar subjects and stick with it. Admissions officers will not be impressed by someone who is confused or unfocused.
Spoiler:
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university ps - my bad


Also, what do you mean it's wrong?

There are two options which mystery stated. First: talking about different subjects or second: go for general. If we are talking about personal statement and if we only consider these two points, the second one wil be better because you don't want admission team to read about something that isn't even related to the course. And as I said before, choosing a variety of courses won't give much flexibility which means, it will be quite limited. This is where your point comes in, your suggestion on sticking to one or similar subjects.

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alleycat393
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It is wrong to advise applicants to apply for a variety of different courses and write a general PS. Admissions tutors want to see that the applicant has done some research around the subject, developed their interests in it, maybe gained some relevant work experience and/or skills and knows what studying it is about. Applicants run a very high risk of being rejected from everywhere if they write general unfocused statements for uni so please don't advise applicants to even consider doing so. Incidentally, point 2 in the article you linked to in your first post says the same thing.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Mystery.)
Thanks guys.
But I thought it was compulsory to pick at least 3? Because in the form it asks you for three top choices invade your first choice isn't available?
Yup but 3 related ones. Maths, engineering and computing require similar skills and complement each other. Chem is different.
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¡Muy bien!
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Hi, I did a nuffield research placement last year in computer science, which was my first choice. For other subjects of interest I put physics, Maths and astronomy/astrophysics in that order. What I did was write a (short) list of all the sciency/mathsy things I've done and then prioritise them in my personal statement according to the order of subjects I chose. So I started off with compsci stuff and then added maths stuff.
I hope that helped a little!
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1682795
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(Original post by alleycat393)
It is wrong to advise applicants to apply for a variety of different courses and write a general PS. Admissions tutors want to see that the applicant has done some research around the subject, developed their interests in it, maybe gained some relevant work experience and/or skills and knows what studying it is about. Applicants run a very high risk of being rejected from everywhere if they write general unfocused statements for uni so please don't advise applicants to even consider doing so. Incidentally, point 2 in the article you linked to in your first post says the same thing.
I was focusing on the user rather than something that should be done. If the applicant is interested in applying to variety of different subjects you have no right to stop him/her.

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alleycat393
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(Original post by Impressive)
I was focusing on the user rather than something that should be done. If the applicant is interested in applying to variety of different subjects you have no right to stop him/her.

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No one has any right to do anything to someone else's personal statement. But this forum is for us (PS Advisors like myself who have been doing this for years and who work in the field) to give applicants good and correct advice. Hence we discourage and correct incorrect advice.
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1682795
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(Original post by alleycat393)
No one has any right to do anything to someone else's personal statement. But this forum is for us (PS Advisors like myself who have been doing this for years and who work in the field) to give applicants good and correct advice. Hence we discourage and correct incorrect advice.
So you're saying my entire first post was wrong? Also, I haven't been giving advice on applying to multiple courses, I was saying how it might be better to structure the ps if mystery would apply to these.

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EnglishMuon
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(Original post by Mystery.)
So my choices are :
Maths/Engineering
Computing
Chemistry

I'm wondering if anyone has applied with my chosen subjects and if you could please help me with my personal statement because I have no idea what to do.

Should I write a paragraph on each subject or make it more general??
How do I make it stand out?
Good luck with the application! Im currently year 13 and applied last year for Maths. I was given a place but my local coordinator for the project 'forgot' about my application, and in the end was told it was too late for my placement to be processed (*Shakes fist in air*). It all worked out in the end though, I independently applied to NATS/Air traffic control and got to work with mathematicians their instead :P But yeah, let me know if you have any questions! If you want I can check your ps for u when you're done. What I did is just show how passionate I was about the main subject I was applying for, e.g. I read these maths books and "I believe an opportunity to experience maths in the workplace will give me problem solving skills that I would not experience otherwise". I would still briefly mention the other subjects though in the same way
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Mystery.
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Yup but 3 related ones. Maths, engineering and computing require similar skills and complement each other. Chem is different.
Ahh,okay. Makes sense, thanks.
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Mystery.
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(Original post by EnglishMuon)
Good luck with the application! Im currently year 13 and applied last year for Maths. I was given a place but my local coordinator for the project 'forgot' about my application, and in the end was told it was too late for my placement to be processed (*Shakes fist in air*). It all worked out in the end though, I independently applied to NATS/Air traffic control and got to work with mathematicians their instead :P But yeah, let me know if you have any questions! If you want I can check your ps for u when you're done. What I did is just show how passionate I was about the main subject I was applying for, e.g. I read these maths books and "I believe an opportunity to experience maths in the workplace will give me problem solving skills that I would not experience otherwise". I would still briefly mention the other subjects though in the same way
Haha, sounds like you enjoyed it in the end!
Do you think it helped your personal statement for uni/college at all if you have applied?

Also, thanks for the advice on the ps because I myself read these maths books which I totally didn't realise could be put in the ps!
Anyway, I appreciate your help and will pm you if I need any help with the statement.
Thanks!
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PQ
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(Original post by alleycat393)
It is wrong to advise applicants to apply for a variety of different courses and write a general PS. Admissions tutors want to see that the applicant has done some research around the subject, developed their interests in it, maybe gained some relevant work experience and/or skills and knows what studying it is about. Applicants run a very high risk of being rejected from everywhere if they write general unfocused statements for uni so please don't advise applicants to even consider doing so. Incidentally, point 2 in the article you linked to in your first post says the same thing.
A PS for a nuffield research placement isn't going to admissions tutors or universities though (although a number of placements are at universities they aren't the primary audience) - it's going to the placement coordinator and the people offering placements.

They don't expect 100% dedication to a specific subject - they're looking for people enthusiastic about science and research who are likely to benefit from the experience.

http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/guidance-applicants
Generally speaking, there are three main areas which the coordinators are looking for in a 'good' application:
  1. A convincing account of why you want to undertake a placement and what you hope to gain from the Nuffield experience
  2. Information about the subjects that interest you and why you enjoy them
  3. A description of the qualities and skills you can bring to a placement which will help you to be successful
Subjects - plural.

We offer projects across all types of science, technology, engineering and maths, and the more open-minded you can be about what you will take on, the more likely we are going to be able to find a placement that suits you. If you are too specific about what you want to do - for example, you only want to work on a project about sea turtles - it is harder for us to find you a relevant project. Nuffield Research Placements are about skills development as much as subject development - the idea is to learn as much about research skills as you do about the topic you are working on.
http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/project-expectations

They're encouraging non subject specialism

(Original post by Mystery.)
So my choices are :
Maths/Engineering
Computing
Chemistry

I'm wondering if anyone has applied with my chosen subjects and if you could please help me with my personal statement because I have no idea what to do.

Should I write a paragraph on each subject or make it more general??
How do I make it stand out?
The nuffield guidance is pretty useful - have you read it? The exercises are particularly useful to help you think about your audience and what you want them to understand from your PS.

I'd say start off like with any PS with bullet points (either for each subject or just in general) of what points you want to get across. Once you've got those it's easier to start looking for themes or common elements that might make your statement flow well. If not then group by subject area that you're interested in. Have a look through the case studies http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/student-case-studies and think about whether you have any experiences or interests that would help you if you were in those situations doing those research projects.
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EnglishMuon
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(Original post by Mystery.)
Haha, sounds like you enjoyed it in the end!
Do you think it helped your personal statement for uni/college at all if you have applied?

Also, thanks for the advice on the ps because I myself read these maths books which I totally didn't realise could be put in the ps!
Anyway, I appreciate your help and will pm you if I need any help with the statement.
Thanks!
No problem, glad to help Yeah it really helps with your ps for uni- It actually formed the basis for my actual one and generally saved quite a lot of time as the concise style needed is the same. So do you think you will be applying for maths next year?
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Mystery.
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(Original post by EnglishMuon)
No problem, glad to help Yeah it really helps with your ps for uni- It actually formed the basis for my actual one and generally saved quite a lot of time as the concise style needed is the same. So do you think you will be applying for maths next year?
Yep, fairly certain I am. Just not sure whether to go for pure maths or something more applied like engineering/finance. How about you, have you applied for maths this year ?
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EnglishMuon
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(Original post by Mystery.)
Yep, fairly certain I am. Just not sure whether to go for pure maths or something more applied like engineering/finance. How about you, have you applied for maths this year ?
Good choice Yea I applied for maths. If all goes to plan Ill hopefully satisfy my Cambridge offer which would be the best thing ever. A couple of years ago I was planning on studying physics but it all turned out it was the maths behind it that I enjoyed. A couple of current students I spoke to seemed to think maths with physics wasn't quite as good as maths (as less in depth in some sense) but I guess it's all personal preference so don't let it all influence you
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alleycat393
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(Original post by PQ)
A PS for a nuffield research placement isn't going to admissions tutors or universities though (although a number of placements are at universities they aren't the primary audience) - it's going to the placement coordinator and the people offering placements.

They don't expect 100% dedication to a specific subject - they're looking for people enthusiastic about science and research who are likely to benefit from the experience.
The OP is talking about Nuffield placements but the post that you've quoted refers to UCAS statements and was written in response to what someone else said about them. I'm well aware of what Nuffield placements are thanks. I supervise placements every year and have already offered my perspective on how I view the PSs as a potential supervisor.




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