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SOP to general?


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Do you think a SOP that is broad might be detrimental to an application? I stated that I was interested in cell, molecular, developmenal, biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular genetics and phylogenetics. I explained that students need to be trained in multiple discpilines to be well rounded researchers. I did mention that I have become increasingly interested in developmental biology and the regulation of gene expression. I spoke with the department head at Purdue by phone, when he asked me what I was looking for in a doctorate program, I said that I was looking for variety and that I wanted TO DEVELOP specific interest. He said he really liked my answer. I really made sure that the programs I applied to had alot of different types of research. Ultimately, I would like to join a lab that takes multiple approaches to answering questions. Good luck with your applications. I haven't heard anything yet, it's a bit too early for most of my programs and from what I've seen on the results board, there has only been one interview invite to the programs I've applied to. So eager to get in somewhere!

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I think being broad, in the sense you described with your interests, is ok in the way you have done it. Let me explain.

You stated very clearly why you were interested in those areas and that it was beneficial to a student to become familiar with these techniques. In the real world (grad school) you may work in a lab with one of those specific areas of interest, but to be honest you will probably use a lt of techniques applicable to those other areas.

I think you played the field well in terms of marketing your self. Most schools Mol biol. type programs pride themselves on the fact they collaborate with multiple departments in order to develop well rounded students.

Excellent job.

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Being too broad can be dangerous as it makes it appear that you still have no strong focus. However, on the converse I think far too many people make their SoP far too narrow and alienate programs. Even saying that you would prefer molecular genetics or biochemistry might be too broad depending on the program as in many schools those sub-disciplines are housed in different departments.

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