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The statement of purpose is an essay crafted to convey your academic and career goals, with an emphasis on your current research interests. In this essay, you should demonstrate an understanding of questions and issues within your discipline and clearly explain your reason for pursuing doctoral level (PhD or MD-PhD) training.
Consider the following questions in preparing your statement of purpose. These should help guide the writing of your research story.
Why are you interested in research, what helped develop this interest, how have you pursued this interest thus far, and how do you hope to carry this interest into a PhD program and career?
What are your current research interests? The clearer you state your research interests (whether they are specific or general), the easier it will be to identify potential faculty mentors.
Describe how previous research projects, coursework or other experiences have influenced your interests. Would you prefer to continue on a similar path of inquiry, or to engage in a different approach, technique or field of study?
What are your future educational and career goals, and how does training as a researcher fit with your goals?
What academic, volunteer or work experiences have best prepared you to engage in research?
If you have had a previous research experience, describe it in detail, answering the following questions: Who was your mentor or supervisor? What was the purpose of the project? Why was it an interesting project? What impact did it have on your scholarly goals?