Application Essay – MSc/PhD Molecular Biology
My reasons for pursuing a Master of Science and PhD degrees in Molecular Biology are myriad, as I consider this the culmination of several years of hard work and dedication to the field of biology. As of right now, I am a working nurse with more than 3 years of experience as a research associate and laboratory technician, channeling my existing education into effective medical practice. However, I would like to advance my training in the research techniques and concepts of the continuous and rapidly expanding fields of molecular biology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. At this point in my career, I believe that having an undergraduate degree in this field is no longer enough to keep me advancing professionally, which leads me to the pursuit of this next step in my personal, professional and academic development.
In my career thus far, I have experienced the general milieu of nursing research, including theoretical perspectives and methods used to advance awareness of health and illness and the policies required for the delivery of evidence-based quality care. It is apparent that studying molecular and genomic based knowledge will provide unequaled possibilities to progress the understanding of inherent factors in human health and infection – with multiple applications of this awareness to the deterrence, diagnosis and management of diseases. It is for these reason that I wish to focus my efforts on bettering my understanding of Molecular Biology, and contributing this knowledge to the medical field at large. I believe that this academic path will allow me to both greatly inform my existing nursing practice and aspirations in molecular research.
There are many reasons for which I have chosen Georg-August-Universität Göttingen for the pursuit of my advanced degrees. The university has stood for centuries (since its founding in 1734) as one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Europe, with a long reputation of contribution to scientific research and study. The legacy of the university is immense, with dozens of Nobel Prize Laureates having taught at the school, and a generous spirit of collaboration between teacher and student. One of the most attractive aspects of the university for me is the cutting-edge DFG Collaborative Research Centers, in which much of today’s most exciting molecular research is taking place. The prestigious nature of these centers draws prominent researchers from all around the world to the university, and it is my hope to be able to work with them on exciting projects that are determining the future of molecular biology. I believe that hands-on experience is a fundamental aspect of learning, particularly in the sciences, and the combination of Göttingen’s expert faculty and scientists at the top of their field would permit me to learn from the best researchers around the globe. I am always open to new and exciting perspectives in my field of study, and having the chance to experience them firsthand through field work with the well-respective staff of Göttingen would go a long way toward enhancing my understanding of molecular biology.
I have always been a hard worker, and immensely dedicated to my studies; I have made the Dean’s List at Jefferson state, Chadron State and University of South Alabama on multiple occasions. This has allowed me to benefit from financial aid , including the nonresident scholarship at Chadron State College from 2004-2007; I fully intend to apply to Göttingen’s generous and exciting financial aid program and do whatever I can to earn a place at this university. This also includes taking advantage of the three-year doctoral project funding at Göttingen when it comes time to work on my capstone. Between my existing accomplishments and the potential for greater financial support from the university, I believe I can provide a high return on investment for the university through my research.
With my prospective studies at Göttingen, I hope to continue the dedication and hard work I have maintained in my academic career to date. In my existing undergraduate studies, I have accomplished a great deal; at Chadron State College (where I conducted the majority of my undergraduate work in Molecular Biology), I performed the testing for stability of integrated HPV16 DNA in various sample transport media, as well as development and characterization of HPV subtype controls. I am also immensely skilled in microbiology, having worked with optical microscopy, bacterial staining, enumeration and identification of bacteria, sterile technique, media and buffer preparation.
During my biology and chemistry education, I gained experience with agarose gel electrophoresis, pipetting using micropipette, matrix and multi, Spectrophotometers, RT-PCR, DNA sequencing, extraction techniques, distillation, filtration, titrimetry, analytical balance, chromatography (HPLC), UV/Vis, fluorometry, Nanodrop and more. I have intermediate computer skills, having worked with Bioinformatic tools like BLAST, as well as basic data entry/information programs like MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I am extremely willing to work in a team environment, possess good communication (verbal/written) skills, and can deliver analytical thinking and attention to detail – I am also extremely detail-oriented and capable of strict organization of projects and administrative infrastructure.
The completion of my MSc and PhD programs at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen relates directly to my career and personal goals, both long-and short-term. My short-term goal in these graduate programs is to build upon my strengths; this includes expanding my research capabilities in molecular biology and gene expression in order to become a successful independent scientist. As for my long-term goals, my eventual desire is to become a well-funded accomplished researcher, serving as a mentor who could encourage the participation of minorities in molecular research. Through my accomplishments, I hope to become a strong example for people of color who wish to enter the sciences; it would be my great pleasure to facilitate those opportunities for budding biologists and molecular researchers of underserved populations. For all of these reasons and more, I very much wish to continue the next phase of my education at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. By completing my Master’s and PhD programs in Molecular Biology at this august institution, I believe I would be receiving the best education possible in my field – combining excellent academic work with cutting-edge field research at the DFG Collaborative Research Centers. In my existing career and education level, I am well-equipped in the basics of molecular biology and the sciences; however, Göttingen has the tools and the opportunities to cultivate my interest into a burgeoning career as a molecular biologist. If given the chance to attend Göttingen, I firmly believe I could reach my full potential as a scientist and student, using the skills and experience learned there to help make incredible advances in this highly important scientific field.