nicedogs Posted November 15, 2015 Share Posted November 15, 2015 Hello, I have this SOP written up but I have a very nagging feeling that it just isn't good enough. Any advice on making it better would be very welcome, and I will gladly trade/reciprocate. Here it is: I am applying to X because I want to further my dream of being an academic researcher in Neuroscience. Because of the complexity and mysterious intricacies of the mind, Neuroscience is an exciting field to be involved in. The breadth of knowledge needed to assess the complexities of the brain calls for exceptional work in a variety of fields, and I feel X would greatly prepare me to take on this challenge. I am particularly interested in the systems and computational subfields of neuroscience, with an emphasis on their effect in behaving animals. I was first introduced to Neuroscience while working with Dr. Y at STATESCHOOL during the duration of my senior year. We researched visual processing bias and involved discrimination of moving dots by human participants. Though that research group had a growing body of data, Dr. Y passed away in May of this year. He introduced me to Dr. Z of OTHER STATE SCHOOL, and I interned in her lab doing histology and microscopy analysis while investigating a possible commissural pathway that had not been previously reported on in the Cerebellum. After graduating with a BS in Biology with minors in Mathematics and Psychology, I began working in Dr. Z’s lab as a technician. While I met the lab’s need for an assistant in slice preparation, mouse colony management, and presentation of papers of interest during lab meetings, I also got involved with their research. Building off the experience in MATLAB that I gained while working with Dr. Y, I developed a handful of programs to help a graduate student in Dr. Z’s lab. My goal was to quantify overlap between two different populations that project to the cerebellar cortex, and eventually the program was put to use in a poster presented at The Gordon Conference and The Society for Neuroscience 2015 Annual Meeting. The same software is currently being refined to analyze an entire cerebellum for use in a figure for a paper pending submission. Since then, I am pioneering two studies of interest for the Z Lab. The first of these involves characterization of a PRRT2 knock-out mouse in hopes of advancing research of dystonia thought to be related to this gene. I am also working on understanding the role of the cerebellum in vocalizations, specifically by using optogenetics with mice who vocalize ultrasonically during courtship. Outside of my research experience, I am interested in computational biology, especially in system modelling. While completing my mathematics minor at STATESCHOOL, I was especially interested in using differential equations to model ecology populations. I have experimented with modified Predator-Prey models with the hopes of introducing cyclical modifying variables to simulate the effect of seasonal availability of food. I also applied Predator-Prey concepts to the SIR disease model in order to simulate diseases where reinfection was possible, and to calculate longevity of diseases under those special circumstances. Through these experiments I developed a few skills to help think about how replenishment models can function. Though my passions currently lie within the realm of Neuroscience, I originally enrolled in college to pursue a career as a studio artist. My family has produced many artists, artisans and others concerned primarily with aesthetic work, and I thought that I was meant to follow in their footsteps. While taking a sabbatical from this, I acquired an interest in psychology and the workings of the brain. While studying psychology, I found that the biological aspects of cognition were what I was truly interested in, and focused on this aspect of neuroscience for the remainder of my undergraduate career. While the world of art is long behind me, the spirit of creativity remains an essential part of my approach to science. This, combined with my insatiable curiosity, and background in the spectrum of neuroscience related fields, make me uniquely suited for tackling subjects what have evaded straight-forward analysis. [Paragraph describing specific researchers I want to work with]. Sincerely, nice dogs Thanks again guys! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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