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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


Is the personal statement compulsory?

Yes, if you would like to be considered for a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship you must complete the Harding section of the online application for postgraduate study by submitting a statement of no more than 500 words (approximately 3,000 characters) explaining how you believe you fit with the HDPSP’s three values.


How is the personal statement used?

The statement will be used by the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships Selection Panel to help distinguish between PhD candidates who have been assessed as being academically excellent by Departments and Faculties.  This is the only part of the application process where applicants can demonstrate their fit with the HDPSP’s three values.


What we’re looking for in your personal statement

The HDPSP’s aim is to provide fully-funded Scholarships to some of the world’s most talented postgraduate students, regardless of their citizenship or discipline. A defining characteristic of the HDPSP is its diverse, multidisciplinary Scholar community and consequently there is neither a ‘typical’ Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholar, nor an ‘ideal’ personal statement.   However, as the HDPSP personal statement is supplementary to the other supporting information you are asked to provide as part of the postgraduate application process, the Scholarships Selection Panel does not expect you to duplicate information you have provided elsewhere in your application; instead you are expected to write a statement that specifically addresses the following question:


How do you believe you fit with the three values of the HDPSP?


1.         Academic Excellence and Integrity

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars strive for excellence in their academic endeavours by pursuing the highest standards of research, practice and reflection throughout their Scholarship, with a commitment to personal and professional development. Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars work in an ethical, open, responsible and accountable way to maintain these high standards and are beacons of intellectual rigour.

Your statement might include an outline of:

  • how your experience has equipped you with the skills to continue to strive for academic excellence and pursue the highest standards of research, practice and reflection;
  • how you intend to work in an ethical, open, responsible and accountable way during your studies.


2.        Innovation and Exploration

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars are creative and critical thinkers who explore the bigger questions and challenge the norms. They are intellectually curious with a passion for discovery, knowledge acquisition and connecting and engaging with communities to put their research and wider professional activities in context.

Your statement might include examples of:

  • your innovation/creativity in answering questions or solving problems;
  • how you have challenged norms or held a dissenting point of view;
  • occasions where you have proactively sought out knowledge and/or new experiences and this has had a positive impact on your academic work.


3.      Multidisciplinary Awareness

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars welcome the multidisciplinary nature of their cohort, champion a collaborative learning environment and respect alternative approaches and perspectives.

Your statement might include a summary of:

  • why you think a multidisciplinary Scholarship programme is important and the benefits you think this might have on your postgraduate student experience;
  • how you have built productive relationships with people outside your discipline/peer group, particularly where you engaged them in your field of expertise.

Our values

How to apply