The Narrative Statement

Candidates for promotion are strongly encouraged to include an optional narrative statement in their promotion materials. The purpose of the narrative statement is to give candidates the opportunity to place their work and activities in the context of their overall goals as a faculty member at UMMS.

Because most reviewers are not within the discipline of the candidate, the statement should be written for a general audience. The statement should include the following sections:

Download a handout for this section: Guidelines on Preparation of a Narrative Statement (pdf)

Introduction

  • Overview of philosophy as a faculty member within academic medicine, and at UMMS;
  • Identify themes or passions that link your activities into a coherent whole and help reviewers understand the decisions you made to undertake the various types of work in which you have engaged;
    Examples: goal of establishing an independent research program; goal of integrating teaching, research and clinical service; goal of expanding global health; goal of fostering diversity.

Research/Creative Accomplishments

  • Clearly explain/define your research agenda so that someone outside your discipline will understand your research; explain major topics on which you have focused;
  • Demonstrate how you have moved toward being an independent scholar;
  • Explain why the research questions on which you are working are important to your discipline and what your research contributes;
  • Identify innovations and contributions;
  • Explain how your scholarship informs your teaching (if appropriate);
  • Comment on research in progress and plans for future research.

Educational Activities

(if submitting an teaching portfolio, summarize major points)

  • Statement of teaching philosophy;
  • Overview of courses generally taught;
  • Pedagogies employed to meet student needs;
  • Scholarship supporting teaching;
  • Use of student feedback to improve instruction;
  • Innovations in teaching and assessment of effectiveness;
  • Plans to improve teaching or plans for the future.

Service

  • Statement of service philosophy;
  • Explain how you have linked service to scholarly work and/or teaching (if appropriate);
  • Provide an indication of the impact of your work: what difference(s) have you made? What innovations have you contributed? Identify your most significant achievements;
  • Identify your efforts and impact to support diversity (if appropriate).

Conclusion

Briefly (one paragraph maximum) comment on future directions for your career and what you plan to accomplish.

REMINDERS:

  • The narrative statement should be no longer than 3 pages.
  • The statement should be written in the first person.
  • It should be written so that a reviewer outside of your discipline can easily understand the value and impact of your accomplishments.
  • It should describe your professional journey; do NOT include personal information (divorce, illness, childbirth, etc.).
  • The statement provides an opportunity for the candidate to:
    • Describe the significance of her/his accomplishments
    • Describe contributions or accomplishments not included in the CV
    • Explain any changes in career direction or pathway
    • Provide a concise summary of the candidate’s role within the organization.
  • The narrative statement may be included in materials sent to external evaluators.
  • Ask senior colleagues and/or mentors to critically review your draft.