Personal Statement is written to communicate your background and why you want to join a particular program. When writing personal statement for PhD Chemistry at Lehigh University, applicants are faced with the task of connecting their current occupation and their chosen course which most times don’t come off as an easy task. So, we are presenting a sample personal statement for PhD Chemistry which was actually submitted by another applicant to guide you when writing yours.
Areas to cover when writing your personal statement includes:
Personal motivation to study the course
Academic and professional background
Relevance of program to your career
Why you picked the school and country.
Qualities that would make you a good addition to the program
Personal Statement for PhD in Chemistry Lehigh University
My motivation to pursue this PhD in Chemistry at Lehigh University stems from my desire to make a difference in the deplorable state of electricity in xxx and the environmental impact of fossil fuel. Despite being xxx largest energy producer, my nation struggles to generate 4000 Megawatts of power daily to serve its people. This means that the majority of my people lack access to an efficient, clean, and cheap energy supply, which has led them to depend on oil-based generators that produce fumes that are dangerous to human health and the environment. My goal during this doctoral study is to conduct innovative research that will uncover the behaviour of atoms and molecules to make recommendations of novel useful materials that will promote sustainable energy and environmental protection in xxx.
I obtained my first degree (BSc) in Industrial Chemistry from xxx in 2015. In my 4th year, I researched the bioremediation of organic pollutants in the environment. The contaminant of concern was phthalate, a well-known endocrine disruptor that can be found in food packages, medical devices, children’s toys, and cosmetics waste. In this research, I investigated the usefulness of a bacteria isolated from municipal solid waste, bacillus aquimaris, to degrade di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in the environment. During the biodegradation experiment, I carried out an extraction procedure on the mixture of DEHP and bacterial suspension, and the results of this study suggest that DEHP can be degraded by microorganisms. This culminated in a recently published paper with the Malaysian Journal of Microbiology where I was a co-author.
After a mandatory one-year national service to my country, I was recalled to contribute my knowledge as a lecturer in the Chemistry Department of xxx (the university attended). During this period, I tutored, mentored, graded, and advised more than fifty freshman-year chemistry students. Through this experience, I realized a deeper sense of purpose for the field of chemistry. As a result, I was inspired to further my studies in the field of Chemistry. Currently, I am undertaking my Master’s Degree Program in Physical Chemistry at xxx, which I hope to conclude by July, 2022. In this course, I have been exposed to different key concepts of Physical Chemistry including; including Quantum mechanics, Thermodynamics, Advanced chemical kinetics, Heterogeneous catalysis, Potential Energy Surface, and Photochemistry. These modules have left me more inquisitive for knowledge in the field of Quantum and Computational Chemistry.
Driven by my passion for Computational Chemistry, I have utilized different learning opportunities to develop significant computational modelling skills. During one of my lab sessions on WebMO, I adopted Density Functional Theory, with the B3LYP functionals at the 6-311 + G(d,p) level to perform geometrical optimization of malondialdehyde molecule and determine the proton affinity of pyridine. I have also developed competency deploying GAMESS, Avrogadro and MacMolPlt software. With this softwares, I have been able to compute the Transition State geometries for amide hydrolysis at the PM3 level of theory.
I am interested in the Lehigh University doctoral program in Chemistry because of the one-third formal work and two-thirds research work approach of this program. Firstly, the research-intensive learning approach will allow me to exhaust my research strength; I hope to integrate multiple and complementary computational simulation software to gain molecular and atomic level insight into chemical processes. Secondly, I see this program as the perfect place to utilize my knowledge in Python, R, C++, C and Machine to explore the field of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.
Going through the list of lecturers for this program, I wish to work with Professor Smith whose research on employing computational methods to solve energy problems closely aligns with my research interest. I am invested in the application of computational tools to heterogeneous catalytic conversion processes of sustainable chemicals and polymers from plants (biomass). Hopefully, once I get the opportunity to fulfill my research interest under the guidance of my supervisor, I will be able to learn how to apply quantum chemical and electronic structure methods to predict the properties of catalyst materials for the rational development of energy conversion, harvesting, and storage technologies. I intend to employ DFT calculation to elucidate the role of different facets on catalyst selectivity and activity for CO2 reduction. Lastly, I look forward to learning from different groups of students and highly rated professors in the Department of Chemistry at Lehigh University.
This PhD is important to my career because upon graduation I look forward to becoming a renewable energy expert in xxx in the short term. In this role, I intend to conduct research projects that will develop small scale renewable energy solutions for homes in xxx. And in the long run, I wish to pursue my post-doctoral studies in order to become a University professor. As a professor, I plan to teach and train aspiring scientists in the field that intersect computational chemistry and renewable energy.
As a way of giving back to the school community, I have good teaching skills, and I will be interested in helping and mentoring chemistry undergraduates during the period of my studies. I have read a lot about the cooperative learning environment of Lehigh University, and I look forward to a productive learning experience.
In conclusion, I believe I will make a good student for this program because aside from my refined research skills, I have gained leadership and work ethics that will help me relate well with my lecturers and fellow students. I hope that this statement is enough to make you see my motivation and the benefit that this program holds not only for my gain but also for the solution I want to give to my country. Thank you for your consideration.
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