The general outline of your Statement of Purpose and Research Interests should address the following questions:
1. What am I interested in studying?
2. How did my undergraduate education prepare me to do research?
3. What specific research projects have I worked on and how did I contribute to them?
4. What kinds of skills have I developed that could contribute to a research lab. What kinds of skills do I want to have mastered by the time I’ve completed my graduate research?
5. Did I contribute to research that will result in peer-reviewed publications? If so, what are the titles of those papers and what were my contributions?
6. What career goals will a graduate degree help me achieve?
7. Have I contacted faculty in the department I want to do research in? Who are they, what do they work on, why is that of interest to me and how could their work help me to meet my career goals? (THIS SHOULD BE MODIFIED BASED ON WHERE YOU APPLY.)
-Only provide details that highlight your skills and knowledge.
-Highlight a couple-to-few of your character traits with a brief example that will communicate your ability to solve problems independently, deal with failure in a productive way, work collaboratively, demonstrate initiative and good judgment, and/or generate new ideas and research directions that have been productive.
-Do not include personal anecdotes unless they speak specifically to your educational or career goals. We expect that most people who apply to MS and PhD programs have had related interests in early life and/or some life event that encouraged this educational pursuit. Therefore, if included, this information should be very concise to allow for more text related to the questions listed above.