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Stanford Biosciences Phd Application Personal Statement

Instructions for Writing Your Personal Statement

You are required to submit a Personal Statement as part of the Graduate Application for either the MS or PhD degree.

Please note that the BMI program focuses on the development of novel computational and quantitative methods that can advance biomedicine. If your primary interest lies in the application of such methods to pursue problems in a particular domain of biomedicine, then other Biosciences home programs are likely a better choice. The Admissions Committee will read your Personal Statement carefully to determine how well your aspirations align with the mission of the BMI Training Program.

In your Personal Statement, please tell us how your schooling, work, research, and life experiences prepare you for study at BMI, describe your current research interests and career goals, and explain how our training program will enable you to achieve them.

The Personal Statement should be 1-2 pages. Please do not append class projects, research proposals, draft manuscripts, published papers, posters, or other ancilliary materials.

  • Reputation. Stanford is ranked #1 for graduate training in Biological Sciences (including Genetics / Genomics / Bioinformatics), Computer Science, and Statistics. You will work with world-renown leaders in these areas.
  • Interdisciplinary Research. BMI is part of the Stanford Biosciences PhD program, and draws on faculty from research and clinical departments located throughout Stanford's School of Medicine. We have access to the extensive research clinical database and clinical informatics expertise at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. In addition, we have strong ties to Bioengineering, Computer Science and Statistics. All of these are in close physical proximity on Stanford's main campus.
  • History. Founded in 1982, our program is one of the oldest and most illustrious in the United States. Our graduates have gone on to become distinguished faculty at top universities and medical schools, industry leaders at major corporations and startups, or high-ranking positions in government.
  • Curriculum. Our core courses span a wide array of topics, including Analysis of Biological Sequences and Structures, Translational Bioinformatics, Imaging Informatics, Data-Drive Medicine, and Biomedical Ontologies. Much of the course material is based on cutting-edge research conducted here at Stanford. Electives come from BMI, Computer Science, Statistics, and other departments.
  • Scientific Communication. We place a very high value on being able to present complex ideas to colleagues, collaborators, and the public in speech and in writing. First-year students present at Journal Club. Second-year students present their research-in-progress. Senior students defend their dissertation proposal and results. All students make presentations regularly in their labs. Public talks are reviewed, prior to presentation, by the program's Executive Director to ensure comprehensibility, coherence, and quality.
  • Community. BMI is a small, collegial, friendly program. We have an annual off-campus retreat, and a strong alumni network.
  • Location. Stanford University's campus occupies over 8000 acres, bordering Palo Alto, California. It has an ideal Mediterranean climate, is the heart of Silicon Valley, and provides easy access to the amenities of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program

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