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Other REU personal statement help please

  1. Oct 9, 2016 #1
    Hello,
    I have my personal statement written for a bunch of REU. I am currently a freshman and I really want to get a REU in the summer. Would anyone please look over it and spot any grammatical or idea error? Thank You

    Personal Statement

    Seeing my first spatial model of protein’s structure in my high school’s textbook sparked my sense of wonder in biology. How molecular engineers are able to revolutionize the modeling and simulation process of the macromolecules with limited resources and sheer knowledges have become my aspiration to join the wonderful people who strives for a better understanding of biology. I plan to pursue a master degree in molecular engineering after I finish my bachelor degree in chemical engineering at the University of Tennessee. As an engineering student, research is a vital step for my pursuit of a master degree. Having to do research at University of (confidential) for one week has shaped my decision to pursue a graduate school. I believe that researching at the … program will allow me to gather more research experience while building leadership and professionalism in the engineering field.

    I built my passion to become a molecular engineer doing research in the High School Introduction of the Engineering System program at the University of Tennessee. During the program, I worked with my mentor, Dr. Abel, with a project of building a mathematical model for cancer cell growth in a simulated healthy cell population. By solving differential equations and using MATlab, I formulated variables that affect cancer cell growth and form different graphs projecting the effects of cancer cell growth to healthy cell population. Then, I investigated the possible chemotherapy by targeting cancer cell’s growth rates and death rates. After finalizing my research with my mentor, I was able to confidently present my project to hundreds of parents and university’s staff through the satisfactory results from my hard work.

    Since there was a limited amount of time for such a challenging research, the environment was time constraining and stressful. However, I was able to adapt to the environment by using time management resources. I got to my lab on time every day and finished the project at deadline. Not only that, I talked to my mentor, forming closed relationship with him to stay motivated and driven for the project. Regardless of the environment, I loved every aspects of the experience: the closed relationship with my mentor, the satisfaction of achieving my goal, and the joy of solving challenging problem. I discover my interest in studying macromolecules and computerizing its compartments. I learned how to form experimental data based on outside knowledges, how to synthesize the whole research into a brief presentation, and how to take initiative to share my ideas to assist the progress of the research.

    I started to enroll in challenging, science courses such as Molecular Biology and Engineering Fundamentals at the University of (confidential). I deeply find interest in these course and even spend time outside of class working on project. In my Molecular Biology class, the professor challenged me to model the structure of the protein of my choice and find out how the protein is related to human. I then researched information about a protein called Isoprene Synthase, modeled it by using a specialized protein modeling program, and created possible genes that the protein derives from. Much of my effort I put in my Biology class was a desire to challenge myself and grow my fascination in modeling biological compartments, thus sharpening my interest to become a molecular engineer.

    In order to further develop my path to earn a master degree, I need to gather more research experiences. By joining the … program, I will gain valuable research experience in the technological biology field while exploring my interest in …(whatever). Not only that, I will be able to build leadership skills, initiative, and professionalism in the engineering field by attending ..(events)… and learn from the current leaders. I am confident that I will provide productivity and adaptability to the program’s research environment. In conclusion, I relish the opportunity of expanding my research experience and developing myself to an exceptional molecular engineer.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2016 #2

    Stephen Tashi

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Consider saying "about biology" instead of "in biology".

    It should be "has become". And "who strive". (Use singular verbs.)

    Instead of saying "How .... has become my inspiration...", it would better to say "Seeing how...." or "Studying how..." "has inspired me to join the wonderful people who strive..."

    Should it say "bachelor's degree" ?

    If you say "Having to do research..." it sounds like you were forced to do research. Perhaps you mean "Having the opportunity of doing research..." or "Being able to do research...".

    It's self-evident that researching will give you more research experience. And if you say "I believe that ..." it leaves open the possibility that you are wrong. I would be better to say "The ....program will give me research experience". Is the program going to make you a leader? Or are you going to be a apprentice?

    Some people may know what the "High School Introduction of the Engineering System" progam is. Most people won't. Did you get the name of that program correct? Is the name really "High School Introduction of the Engineering System"?

    It's better to say "on a project to build a ...".

    What would it mean to "formulate" a variable? Do you mean that you "identified variables"? Instead of "form different graphs", you probably mean "created graphs". (You don't have to say "different".) You should say "to a healthy cell population".

    If what you did was to predict the effects of various chemotherapies and compare their effectiveness then it would be best to say that instead of saying "investigated the possible chemotherapy".

    As general advice on writing, try to avoid describing actions about other actions. For example, it is straightforward to write "I presented my project to an audience of parents and university staff". It isn't necessary to say "I was able to present my project to an audience of parents and university staff". It is even more unnecessary to write something like "It happened that I was able to present my project to an audience of parents and university staff". It would plain crazy to write something like "It was fortunate that it happened that I was able to present my project to an audience of parents and university staff."


    You don't need to say the environment was "time constraining", since you already mentioned there was a limited amount of time. Simply say "the environment was stressful."

    It isn't clear what "time management resources" are. Say "by managing my time well".

    Did you finish exactly "at" the deadline or did you finish "by" the deadline - meaning perhaps a little before the deadline?

    You don't need to say "Not only that". You mean "close relationship" (not "closed"). It would be better to say "and stayed motivated". Say "throughout the project" or "during the project" instead "for the project".

    Corrections: "every aspect" (singular), "close relationship" (not "closed"), "solving a challenging problem" (use the article "a").

    Use "discovered" (the past tense). It isn't clear (to me) what you mean by "its compartments". Do you mean "their components"? Or perhaps "their properties". Anyway, you should use the plural "their" to match the plural "macromolecules".

    I think you mean "analyze experimental data". Is "outside knowledge" supposed to mean "theoretical knowledge" ?

    It's better to say "synthesize research" instead of "synthesize the whole research". You don't need the phrase "to take the initiative to". Just say "how to share my ideas". The phrase "assist in the progress of the research" isn't specific. Leave it out.

    Did you "start to enroll" or did you "enroll" ? It's simpler to say "I enrolled in challenging science courses such as...".

    (This is another example of avoiding sentences that describe actions about actions. If you enrolled, you don't need to say "I started to enroll".)

    Better: "I am deeply interested in these courses and spend time outside the class working on a related project."

    You need to say "to human protein" or "to human tissue" or something else specific.

    Say "I researched a protein called Isoprene...". To say you "researched information about" is an unnecessary phrase.

    You should rewrite that sentence completely. Do you really mean that "my effort" "was a desire"? You effort might satisfy a desire or be caused a desire, but I don't see the effort itself being a desire. Is "compartments" a technical term in molecular biology? I'm not a biologist, but the term sounds strange to me.

    It would be better to say "pursue my goal to earn". You should say "research experience" (singular).

    The phrase "technical biology field" is an unknown field to me. I think you mean "experience in biotechnology".

    Just say "I want to build leadership.." Say "and learning from...". (so "learning" matches "attending").

    You could omit "I am confident that", but it is more modest to say "I am confident that", so you can use that phrase.
    You should say "will be productive and adapt to ..." because these are things you are doing, not features of the program that you are incrementing.

    That's a good sentence.
     
  4. Oct 9, 2016 #3
    Oh my god thank you so much!
     
  5. Oct 9, 2016 #4
    Would you say that my personal statement successfully convey my skills and achievement? or would you say otherwise? Is this good or bad?
     
  6. Oct 9, 2016 #5

    Stephen Tashi

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Your statement does convey your skills and achievements. The defects in your statement concern grammar and style, not the fundamental content. An admissions committee that is accustomed to reading applications from brilliant English-as-a-second-language students may grab you for their program.
     
  7. Oct 9, 2016 #6
    Yayyyy, I honestly thought I was going to be bad! Thank you again for helping me
     
  8. Dec 22, 2016 #7
    Hello, sorry for not coming back for a while,

    I changed some of the paragraphs since my first semester is finished and i can actually add info about my research experience and GPA into my personal statement. Can anyone read the changes and see if there are any grammatical errors and fundamentals errors?

    Thank you!

    Studying how molecular engineers are able to revolutionize the modeling and simulation of the cells processes with limited resources and sheer knowledge has inspire me to join the movement to gain a better understanding of biology. This fascination never ceases, and when I began my studies at the University of Tennessee, I declare my major as a Chemical Engineering major with Biomolecular concentration without hesitation. My goal is to attain a PhD degree in bioengineering. This REU experience will allow me build research experience in...as well as valuable skill in conducting research and work ethics in labs.

    My passion for chemical engineering began while doing research in the High School Introduction to Engineering System program at the University of Tennessee. During the program, I worked with my mentor, Dr. Abel, on a project to build a mathematical model for cancer cell growth in a simulated healthy cell population. By solving differential equations and using MATlab, I identified the variables that affect cancer cell growth and created graphs projecting the effects to a healthy cell population. Then, based on the graphs, I predicted the effects of various chemotherapies and compared their effectiveness. After finalizing my research with my mentor, I confidently presented my project to hundreds of parents and university staff through the satisfactory results from my hard work.

    Since there was a limited amount of time for such a challenging research project, the environment was stressful. However, I was able to adapt to the environment by managing my time well. I got to my lab on time every day and finished the project by deadline. I talked to my mentor, formed a close relationship with him and stayed motivated through the project. Regardless of the environment, I loved every aspect of the experience: the close relationship with my mentor, the satisfaction of achieving my goal, and the joy of solving a challenging problem. I discovered my interest in studying cells and modeling their properties. I learned how to analyze experimental data based on theoretical knowledges, how to synthesize research into a brief presentation, and how to share my ideas during research.

    I obtained a position as a research assistant in Dr. Gladys’s laboratory during my first semester at the University of Tennessee. Her lab performs studies in chemotaxis and environmental responses of the bacteria Azospirillum brasilense, a strain of nitrogen fixing bacteria. I was trained by a graduate student to become familiar with lab techniques such as gel electrophoresis and PCR in order to prepare myself to conduct independent experiments in the future. Throughout my lab trainings, I also focused on doing well academically as well as gathering abundance of extracurricular activities and leadership experience on campus. I managed to attain a 4.0 GPA with the rigor of my 18 credit-hours, STEM related course loads in my first semester. Not only that, I actively participate in engineering organizations such as Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participations. By balancing my academics, research experiences, and extracurricular activities, I am preparing myself to become competent for graduate schools and other academic endeavors.

    (I am going to add another paragraph here just for specific REU programs)
     
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