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Motivation letter to Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Free Univ Berlin

delelse 3 / 8 2  
Nov 17, 2017   #1

PhD Programme of the GEAS application

I am applying the PhD program at the Graduate School of East Asian, Free U Berlin. Please help review my motivation letter. Your comments are much appreciated!


In your motivation letter you should provide strong arguments as to why you decided to apply for the PhD Programme of the GEAS and how this step fits into your overall career plans. Please keep the letter short (600 words maximum) and upload it below.

My Motivation letter:

As a master student in Gender Studies, I want to become a social scientist with a focus in gender and China in the future. For my doctoral research, I propose to study the socio-economic elements that has led to the thriving of HPV vaccination tourism between mainland China and Hong Kong. I think my research interest and topic match well with the research at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies, therefore, I strongly hope to apply to GEAS.

As a Chinese young woman, I have developed a sensibility for seeing how gender inequality influences our life over the years. Meanwhile, my academic training has enabled me to view the inequality from a gendered analytical perspective. When I studied at XXX University, I was trained to analyze the role media plays in constructing gender with a political economy approach. Wishing to further my knowledge in gender studies, I continued my study in Gender Studies at YYY University. There I was able to see gender within more different disciplines. By interviewing local housewives and sex workers, I cultivated insights into diverse social and individual interactions. I gradually developed my interest in women's living experience in relation to body, sexuality, and activism. After graduating from YYY University, I started writing articles about gender and sexuality for several Chinese social media platforms. It was then that I felt an urge to do more in-depth research on gender studies. Now I am doing master in Gender Studies at ZZZ University. My master project investigates how the grassroots sex education organizations have altered the current discourse on sex, gender, and sexuality in China.

During the process of carrying out my master project, I have made up my mind to do a doctorate and become a social scientist in the future. By conducting online ethnography and interviews, analyzing the data with a Foucauldian approach, I am confident to carry out a research project independently. In addition, my work and research experiences have enabled me to establish an academic network in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions, which is helpful for undertaking research in China. I believe these experiences and resources will allow me to complete a doctoral project effectively. Furthermore, I hope to contribute to the current Chinese studies by taking gender as a central concern of the research. I regard research as a form of activism. By taking women's diverse experiences and perspectives into consideration, realizing the multidimensional power relations in shaping different women's experiences, my research will contribute to the well-being and emancipation of Chinese women. Quite many foreign scholars have been conducting Chinese Studies researches with a gendered perspective, and there are more and more Chinese young scholars joining this trend. I wish to become one of them.

For realizing my goal, I cannot imagine a better place to do a doctorate than GEAS. GEAS hosts brilliant researchers from all over the world, provides an interdisciplinary approach to examine the East Asian society, and offers students ample opportunities for collaborating with other research institutions. As my research covers different disciplines, I look forward to exchanging with fellow students and international scholars from other areas. Further, I wish to work with Professor Hansjörg Dilger in particular, as his researches explore the dynamics of the intersection between medical science, human sexuality, and institutions. I wish to utilize similar approach for my project. I believe that I can bring in diversity and innovation, and I wish to cultivate professional competence for my academic career at GEAS.

Thank you for your kind consideration.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,249 4652  
Nov 18, 2017   #2
Wenjia , you need to have a stronger approach to your opening statement. Rather than saying you that you "want to become", it would be best to instead say "I am on my way to becoming". That indicates that your career path is on track towards your PhD ambition. This implies early on that you have both the academic and work experience to achieve your goals as a PhD student. Paragraphs 2 and 3 are best suited for inclusion in your SOP essay. I would like you remove that for use in that particular essay. For this motivation letter, give a one paragraph summary of what your dissertation topic will be about and why you feel that this topic is aligned with the courses being taught at the university. Do not speak of the courses in detail (save that for the SOP). Instead, use the motivation letter to explain what criteria led you to the steps of GEAS. What made you decide that the university was special among the others you could have chosen and why do you think your country does not have a university that can help you achieve the type of research your work requires? You can best represent the questions by discussing a summarized form of your career plans in relation to your university choice. Once you establish these information in a 4-5 paragraph essay your motivation letter will be complete.
OP delelse 3 / 8 2  
Nov 18, 2017   #3
Mary, thank you very much for your comment. I see that I need to prove that I am motivated to apply for the GEAS. For my application, SOP is not needed. So I suppose I can still write a bit about my previous experiences as I have done in paragraphs 2 and 3, and write more about the motivation part? Thank you very much.

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