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Biostatistics Masters Degree Sample Personal Statement of Purpose

When I was twelve years old, a man visited our house in Saudi Arabia and asked my parents lots of questions relating to our health and the medical history of their families. I was intrigued by this visit and curious about the reasons behind it. I had lots of questions about why such information is collected and why it is useful. My parents explained as far as they were able and over time I did a little research of my own. I became of the specialty of Biostatistics and eventually also that the specialty is not widely studied or its fruits applied in my country, indeed it is not possible to study Medical Biostatistics as a major undergraduate or graduate subject in Saudi Arabia. It is my goal to be part of the solution to this ‘gap’ in my country’s knowledge and skills especially as these are essential to the well-being of so many.

 Among other notable medical problems in Saudi Arabia, there are notably high rates of chronic preventable disease such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Many members of my own family have suffered with these conditions and this situation has fired a great determination in me to help to reduce the chances of the next generation suffering as much. If the country is ever to reduce the incidences of these conditions, it will be necessary for much work to be conducted by Medical Biostatisticians to identify causes and possible remedies and I want to be involved in doing so. I have a scholarship from the Saudi Ministry of Health for the Master’s program and have contracted to work for the Ministry at the end of my studies.

Having gained an excellent bachelor degree in Mathematics, many careers were open to me. After very carefully considering how my knowledge and skills might be most usefully applied, I decided to pursue Medical Biostatistics in which field I believe that I can make a beneficial difference to the lives of many and help to fill a real need for such specialists in Saudi Arabia. It is my goal to become one of the pioneer specialists in Saudi Arabia conducting useful research and, ultimately, pursuing a Ph.D. and passing on my knowledge, skills and passion to other future specialists in the field at a Saudi university. I have taught high school level mathematics and found great satisfaction in doing so, seeing a new concept understood, especially by a struggling student, is a special joy. I relish the thought of being able to share knowledge and skills again in my future career.

I appreciate that skills in Mathematics, though vital in the specialty, are by no means sufficient alone. I understand that it is necessary to possess almost limitless academic curiosity and to be capable of creative and original thinking about problems. It is vital to separate the superficial from the underlying and not so easily identifiable causes of apparent problems. I understand that a truly effective professional in this field must be able to relate well to others to encourage cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of insight and opinion which is so vital to excellent outcomes. I also aspire to acquire and to apply the soft ‘artistic’ skills of intuition and subtle interpretation to supplement the scientific models and techniques that I shall be using.

My special area of interest is in public health and biomedical research, particularly in the design and analysis of large and complex data, primarily in the context of epidemiological studies. I also aim to contribute to consulting and collaborative research in various other related fields in my future career. I am aware of the vital importance of statisticians maintaining independence and objectivity so that their skills are not used as a tool to ‘prove’ that what is untrue is ‘true’ or vice versa and that this ethical component is of great significance where there may be entrenched or even corrupt pressures for a pre-decided or biased outcome. These considerations are perhaps particularly relevant in the medical applications that are of special interest to me in which scandals have occurred.

I am a native Arabic speaker and have been enrolled in the Intensive English Program at the Language and Culture Institute, Blacksburg, VA. I feel confident speaking, reading and writing English. I like the French language and intend to learn the language when time permits. I have undertaken various voluntary activities in the US including holding offices in Saudi and women students’ organisations and have been involved in the ‘Feeding America’ program. I am happy to take the lead or work as a team member as required. I am a confident public speaker and event organizer.

I have a wide range of interests and hobbies. I like to write and was involved in school journalism with I should love to do again should the opportunity arise. I enjoy craftwork and art, I am a sporty and energetic person who enjoys keeping fit and believe that the health of body and mind are closely linked.

My choice of your program is made because of the close alignment between my specialist interests and those being taught, the prestigious faculty, the outstanding facilities and the successful outcomes for so many graduates. I can assure the reader of highly enthusiastic, committed and diligent participation in the program, if selected.

Thank you for considering my application.

Elizabeth Clarkson, chief statistician The trustworthiness of electronic voting systems in Kansas.


Sample 1st Paragraph for the Masters Degree in Statistics, Ethiopian Applicant

I am a young Ethiopian man now completing my undergraduate studies here in America in Mathematics and will graduate this coming May of 2015. I hope to being studying towards the Master’s Degree in Statistics this coming Fall semester at the University of XXXX because of the sheer excellence of your program and the way in which it will enable me to receive an interdisciplinary education, so as to prepare myself for making the maximum social and economic contribution to my country of origin upon my return. I hope to contribute to the celebration of diversity in your program and take full advantage of the vast resources of both your university and the surrounding area.

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Statements of Excellence for Admission to Graduate School in Statistics

Sample Personal Statement of Purpose for a Second Master’s Degree, Nigerian

I earned my MPH Degree from the University of Leeds in 2013. My work in Public Health in my native Nigeria, however, is presenting me with such great challenges, the entrenched and intractable nature of the public health challenges that we face in Africa’s most populous country, have me convinced that I need very much to return to the University of Leeds for further study, earning a second, complimentary Master’s Degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Additional Essay Material for Application to Master’s Degree Program in Statistics

  1. What personal qualities or life experiences set you apart from the other applicants? How do you feel these qualities or experiences will enable you to continue to the graduate experience at XXXX?

My undergraduate degree is in Economics. My choice was partly made because, like Statistics, it can be considered to be as much ‘art’ as ‘science’ in that it calls for high levels of interpretative and intuitive skills to convert raw data into truly usable information for the final user. I believe that I have demonstrated qualities of determination, motivation, attention to detail and interpretative and intuitive skills in my academic and professional career to date and that this provides an excellent basis to excel rather than merely succeed in the program. My hobbies are the piano and rock climbing. No-one succeeds in these pastimes without showing commitment, determination and understanding the need for planning and sacrifice to reach goals.

I am highly numerate and have always loved Mathematics. I took part in Mathematics Modeling contests when they arose during my undergraduate studies and won several prizes. As a Sourcing Analyst, it has been necessary to demonstrate numeracy skills in financial math, scheduling, budgeting and accounting, data analysis and accurate estimation. I could not have been effective in my work without excellent planning and communication skills which provide a base for academic and professional effectiveness in all fields.

I have studied, worked and socialized with people of many ethnic and social backgrounds. I get on easily with others and like to share information and opinion. I look forward to sharing the fruits of my academic and professional background and benefitting from those of other students.

Women in Statistics Conference 2014.

The Heroines of Statistics

It’s music to our ears when we hear about women like these. They see no reason why they can’t fulfil their dreams in any field they want! Rock on!

Victoria Stodden

Victoria Stodden is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with affiliate appointments in the School of Law, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Statistics, the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the National Center for SuperComputing Applications.

She completed both her PhD in statistics and her law degree at Stanford University, and went on to be an affiliate scholar with the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Stodden is also a faculty affiliate of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).

Stodden’s research focuses on the multifaceted problem of enabling reproducibility in computational science: this includes studying adequacy and robustness in replicated results, designing and implementing validation systems, developing standards of openness for data and code sharing, and resolving legal and policy barriers to disseminating reproducible research.

Stodden is also the developer of the "Reproducible Research Standard," a suite of open licensing recommendations for the dissemination of computational results, and winner of the Kaltura Prize for Access to Knowledge Writing.

Stodden is the founder of the open source platform, designed as a pilot project to study the verification of code and data associated with published results, and enable independent and public cloud-based validation of methods and findings. She is also one of the co-founders of, an open platform connecting data and code to published articles.

She was awarded the NSF EAGER grant "Policy Design for Reproducibility and Data Sharing in Computational Science"; she is a co-PI on the NSF grant #1541450: CC*DNI DIBBS: Merging Science and Cyberinfrastructure Pathways: The Whole Tale; she is the creator and curator of SparseLab, a collaborative platform for reproducible computational research in underdetermined systems, and a nominated member of the Sigma Xi scientific research society. We admire you so much, Victoria Stodden.

Helen M. Berg

Helen M. Berg (RIP) was an American statistician and politician, and served as the first female mayor of Corvallis, Oregon, from 1994 until 2006. Berg was also the longest serving mayor of Corvallis to date.

She received her master's degree in statistics in 1973 from Oregon State University. Berg was in her 40s at the time, but just two years later, in 1975, she became the director of the Survey Research Center at Oregon State; she continued to work as the center's director until her retirement in 1993.

Enid Charles

Enid Charles was a socialistfeminist and statistician who was a pioneer in the fields of demography and population statistics until her death in 1972.

She was born Dorothy Enid Charles in DenbighWales, and obtained a bachelor's degree in mathematicseconomics and statistics at Newnham CollegeCambridge University and a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Cape TownSouth Africa.

Charles met the conscientious objector Lancelot Hogben while at Cambridge and they married in 1918. 

Out of a dozen or so socialist and feminist couples in Britain in the early 20th century, Charles was the only wife to keep her name; the couple later had two sons and two daughters.

Charles worked on fertility rates and nuptiality for the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in Canada for many years. In 1934, she projected drastic decline in population of the United Kingdom should the fertility rates continue to fall, and the results led her to speak out against the then commonly accepted principle of eugenics.

Charles subsequently worked as a Regional Adviser in Epidemiology and Health Statistics, and then as a Population Statistics Consultant for the World Health Organization in Singapore and New Delhi.

Elizabeth Leonard Scott

Elizabeth Leonard Scott (1917 – 1988) was an American mathematician specializing in statistics born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Scott’s family moved to Berkeley, California when she was 4 years old, and she attended the University of California, Berkeley where she studied mathematics and astronomy.

There were few options for further study in astronomy, as the field was largely closed to women at the time, so Scott completed her graduate studies in mathematics. She received her Ph.D. in 1949; she was offered a permanent position in the Department of Mathematics at Berkeley in 1951.

Scott wrote over 30 papers on astronomy and 30 on weather modification research analysis, incorporating and expanding the use of statistical analyses in these fields. She also used statistics to promote equal opportunities and equal pay for female academics all over the world.

In 1957, Scott noted a bias in the observation of galaxy clusters—she noticed that for an observer to find a very distant cluster, it must contain brighter than normal galaxies and must also contain a large number of galaxies; she proposed a correction formula to adjust for (what came to be known as) the Scott effect.

The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies now awards a prize in her honor to female statisticians.