I have applied for many scholarships throughout my academic journey before now and gotten a couple of them. My masters program was a scholarship to China to study computer science and I have about two Ph.D. scholarships already secured. Therefore, I’m in the best position to give you this tip.
“Tell me about your academic journey” is a frequent question asked by Professors and graduate academic staffs. While this question may be tough to answer, don’t blame them for asking. They only want to familiarize themselves with you and to know if you’re capable of what you claim you are. So how do you answer this question?
- Have a story to tell: This method always works. You essentially want to give them a summary of your research journey from being an undergraduate up till masters level, or to what you currently are researching on as the case may be.
- Show your research prowess and abilities in the essay: It is important to mention your role in the research team, the journal/journals you have published if any and the relevance of your publication.
- Show your enthusiasm to research: The first thing every Professor wants to see is your zeal and enthusiasm for research. Without this, you may not likely finish your program, because research could be overwhelming at times. Every researcher understands this.
Here is an example that captures all these tips, look at the block below
My research Journey started since 2014 after a course taught by a Professor on data analysis in my fourth year leading to my final project year. I picked interest in data security and integration for identification management and along side two others in the team, we were able to accomplish the task.
At that time, there was a lurking challenge with the Nigerian data bureau department, in that there was no databank or a form of data integration between government agencies. Each agency was almost monotonous, collecting the same information from citizens every time it was required. The project was quite challenging seeing that the task to to develop a mathematical model that could integrate database of different schemas which was a difficult thing to do because we had no prior knowledge of other schemas of data apart from the structured data forms.
With the help of my supervisor and my team mates, we pulled strides of excellence to make this possible using prototype schemas from from 12 governmental agencies at that time because real user data was not given to us due to confidentiality issues. Hereafter, we published a paper in the European scientific Journal to this effect.Furthermore, my interest for data security deepened as I embarked on another journey of research in my master’s program, this time using blockchain technology. After reading several papers on SQL injection attacks, I found a gap i could fill, thereby solving a major problem for database administrator and web developers. At that time, there were many models that dealt very well with SQL injection attack, but these models could not deal conveniently well with second-order injection attacks. This method mimics a previous method developed by Boyd & Keromytis, 2004 using a random key on every SQL keyword, but this time, I not only used random key but used the public and private keys of the stellar blockchain technology, an Ed25519 public-key signature system that verifies the query process. Eventually, my model solved the problem while still maintaining just a little above the response time of the previous models. Overall, my journey has been quite an interesting one, having met a plethora of great research minds, in my universities as well as on research network platforms like research gate, where I was able to ask questions and collaborate with other researchers. it is now very glaring that studying and doing research are endeavours I would like to engage in even more.