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One page essay explaining interest to attend a professional workshop on modeling

Shuting 3 / 23 4  
Apr 2, 2018   #1
Hi there, I am applying to a workshop on modeling in my research area. Please help me revise my essay, any suggestions and comments are welcomed! Thanks.

"1 page essay explaining your interest in the workshop and possible science questions you would like to address. "

workshop in atmospheric modeling

Dear Admission Committee:
My name is XXX, I am a first year PhD student in the YYY University. I work with Professor ZZZ on EE chemistry using VVV model.

During Master's course, I studied on the development of instrumentation for online measurements of ambient trace gas pollutants like FFF. While the importance of observations and field studies cannot be underestimate in atmospheric sciences, I am more curious in the processes that drive changes in air composition, and how these processes can be parameterized in models. Numerical modeling makes it possible to understand the complex coupling between these processes, and to make detailed connections between theory and observations. Motivated by my curiosity on the chemical mechanisms, transportation, emission and deposition of pollutants, I decided to transit my research focus into modeling during my doctoral study.

My research topic is to examine GGG variance over preindustrial-industrial and glacial-interglacial timescales, and to investigate the implications for tropospheric chemistry and climate. Specifically, there are two scientific questions I am interested in: What are the biggest drivers for the variance in GG abundance over the two important climate timescales? What are the potential implications for the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere and short-lived climate forcing agents CH4, tropospheric O3, and aerosols? I will conduct the research through adding GG sources and chemistry schemes in VVV model, and evaluating CC proxies.

As a beginner of modeling studies, a fully understanding of the model structures and how specific processes are represented in models is the first step. The initial part of my research work is to improve the model performance by implement new chemical schemes. This includes multi-phase reactions of GG in snow and sea ice at polar areas, and the formation and transportation of sea salt aerosol, since they act as an important source of GG. Therefore, a systematic training on fundamentals of atmospheric chemistry and aerosol modeling is a perfect opportunity for me to build a solid background for my future study.

Through the lectures offered by the workshop and interactive exercises, I hope to gain a clearer understanding of model studies, and furtherly hone my skills in model works. I will also gain a broader perspective on models across different scales (box models, regional models and global models), understanding the advantages and disadvantages of these models, which will help me choose an appropriate model to suit various research objectives. Last but not least, the workshop offers an exceptional opportunity to network with not only renowned atmospheric scientists, but also peer students, postdocs, early career professors and researchers in the field across the country.

I look forward to attending this workshop, to sharing and communicating with scientists in atmospheric modeling. I sincerely hope you will consider my application favorably.

Holt [Contributor] - / 8,561 2482  
Apr 5, 2018   #2
Shuting, in order to make this essay more interesting to the reviewer, you should focus less on what you hope to learn in class and concentrate instead, on explaining how you developed these questions that you hope to find answers to. By doing that, you will be able to narrate your research experiences and, more importantly, explain how you developed your research and laboratory skills, which as vital skills for an applicant to this program. What you hope to learn about need not be discussed in greater detail as the questions you posed, along with the method of the development of these questions, will already represent your academic objectives, as well as your research goals during your time as a workshop participant. I suggest that you write a new essay instead that better represents the areas of interest for the reviewer instead.
OP Shuting 3 / 23 4  
Apr 13, 2018   #3
Thanks for the idea Holt! But I am a little confused here. My interest in the workshop is by and large motivated by my research topic, since modeling is the main method I'm gonna use to achieve my research goals. So first I expressed my interest in modeling studies in general, and then I listed specific scientific questions I want to answer and how I'm gonna investigate these questions through model studies. What I hope to learn during the workshop came naturally (at least I think) after that and also motivated me to apply for this oppurtunity of systematic training. But overall I think my focus is my research questions, not just the skills I hope to learn from the workshop.

Are you suggesting I should write more on my motivation for the research topic and my skills to appeal reviewers? I'm not 100% sure I get your idea, so could you explain it more specifically? Thanks a lot!

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