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Optional Personal Statement?

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Hi, all,


I am currently finishing an application for PhD study in theology, and I have what I think is a very strong proposal, good letters of recommendation from professors at a top university, and an all-around strong application. I am an American student and the program is at a UK university, so as you can imagine, funding is among my biggest concerns right now. I am applying for a fully-funded international studentship as part of my application, and one of the biggest criteria is that I am well-suited to work with my potential supervisor (we have met before and he has agreed to work with me and shown enthusiasm for my project).


The personal statement for this PhD program is optional, but I wonder if this might be a place for me to show that I am compatible with my supervisor and that my vocational goals set me apart as a particularly good candidate for the scholarship. I do find writing personal statements very challenging, but I have this one about 1/2 way done and definitely want to finish if it helps my application. So I guess my question is, if the personal statement is optional, should I do one? Or is this just kind of something PhD students don't usually include?

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