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Study Objective - Precision Medicine - Applying for Fulbright Scholarship Program


darknight99 2 / 2 1  
Feb 15, 2019   #1
Hi guys, this is my study objective essay as a part of Fulbright scholarship program requirements for pursuing a graduate program in a US university. Looking forward on your feedback!

clear and detailed description of your study objectives



Prompt:
This section is very IMPORTANT: As part of the evaluation of your application, you are required to attach a one page (please do not exceed the 1 page limit) of a clear and detailed description of your study objectives. Give your reason for wanting to pursue them in the U.S. Describe the kind of program you expect to undertake, and explain how your proposed field of study fits in with your educational background, your professional background, your future objectives, and your future involvement in community development. Please type, do not write.

I am planning to pursue a master's degree in artificial intelligence (AI) field, particularly in the health care technology sector. This is aligned with my work experience in machine learning field in a technology company and also bolstered by my strong education background in engineering. I believe this program will help me harness the power of AI to leverage data that we have on the health care sector to build reliable precision medicine practices in Indonesia.

It all started when I lost a good friend of mine. Precision medicine is a long-term research endeavor to understand how genetics, environment, and lifestyle can help deliver the best approach to treat a particular disease. My curiosity arose when I know the fact that every year, millions of people suffered from adverse drug reactions (ADR) and it is ranked as the 4th leading cause of death in many countries, and Indonesia is no exception. Nevertheless, the majority of these ADRs are curable. To worsen the circumstances, the healthcare landscape in Indonesia today is expensive, reactive, inefficient and focused largely on one-size-fits-all treatments. That was what happens to a friend of mine who recently passed away because of an inappropriate treatment at a local health center around his neighborhood. If only we had sufficient information about him, he would still be around. Therefore, the answer to these circumstances should be personalized, predictive and preventive medicine. I want to be part of the solution by supporting the implementation of artificial intelligence in the world of precision medicine in the United States.

As a data scientist at GO-JEK, artificial intelligence is the heart of everything I do at GO-JEK, a USD$10b Indonesian ride-hailing company. I focus on the economics and incentives structure with the goal of balancing a supply-demand ratio between drivers and customers. I have contributed to projects such as building a platform which generates personalized incentive structures for drivers based on their behaviors. To do this, I crunched hundreds of driver behavior metrics as features captured through our app. I built the platform under a Bayesian A/B testing framework principle, with the understanding that doing so meant I could then iterate for better results as the data sets grew larger. Meanwhile, what precision medicine do is combining patients' health metrics to offer the best personalized treatments to patient-specific cases. I see many similarities between this project and the approach that precision medicine applies to tackle their challenges. Additionally, knowing that it will impact the lives of millions in Indonesia, and probably more around the world, it gives me a very clear vision to put all my efforts on this challenge.

The United States is a perfect place for me to observe and learn about precision medicine with its density of skilled doctors, cutting-edge medical treatments and timely care. Coupled with many notable universities pioneering many breakthrough AI researches, studying in the United States is a logical culmination for me to be an expert in the artificial intelligence field focusing on the precision medicine sector. One great example that I admired about the United States is a precision medicine initiative called "All of Us" by U.S. National Institute of Health in gathering 1 million volunteers across the nation to provide their genetics, biological samples and health information to be used for generating better approaches at predicting disease risk, understanding how disease occurred and develop better treatment strategies.

I want to create better disease treatments and preventions by embedding precision medicine methods into our daily medical practices in order to reduce ADR cases in Indonesia. Moreover, I am hoping to disseminate the practices at scale by building a mobile app in order to reach a wider audience for handling common diseases and do strategic partnerships with local hospitals and community health centers for taking care of diseases that need more comprehensive treatments. I am confident in my ability to turn this vision into reality after seeing the best practices and technical know-how I would gain from studying and living in the U.S. to directly witness the practice with my own eyes, to then help me strategically solve the problem in the future.

Holt - / 7,546 2001  
Feb 16, 2019   #2
Gibran, this essay does not touch on specific information in relation to your response to the topic requirements. You do not clearly explain why your friend's death motivated your interest in AI health applications. How long ago did this friend of yours die? Were you already working as a professional at the company or not? What sort of AI could have saved his life? Why do you think that such a program would have immense real world application these days? How do you see yourself implementing the AI tech in your country beyond the app? What is the community development aspect? How do these all relate to possibly having saved your friend? More importantly, you do not explain your educational foundation that could support or represent your ability to work in the AI field or allow you complete this course?

Your essay is composed mostly if implied answers. What you have to present are specifics. Specifics in relation to Precision Medicine and your academic background, professional experience, future professional aspirations, and community applications. How does your background as a Data Scientist make you a perfect candidate for the course? Simply explaining that you were a number cruncher is not enough to convince the reviewer that you qualify for this program. In fact, I am not convinced that you have the proper educational foundation, professional experience, and future plans that can make you successful as a graduate student. There are just too many missing factors in your essay that you need to fill in. The questions I presented above should help you revise the essay. It will show you which aspects are weak, should be replaced, or removed from the discussion. Personally, I do not think you should include your friend's death in the discussion because the program you wish to enter focuses on a national or international, rather than personal scale.


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