Hey guys, I'm stepping into unfamiliar territory here applying to some research programs and the infamous SMDEP. Lots of these programs ask for a 1-2 pg personal statement with a "prompt" somewhere along the lines of 'Describe your interest in the biological sciences and why you would like the opportunity to participate the ____ Summer Research Program. Discuss your specific research interests and relevant experiences in this field,' and 'Describe your educational and career goals,' and even 'List awards and honors you have received, research experiences, special skills and activities in which you have participated during the past two years. Describe how they are relevant to your educational and career goals.' Should I list them? The "personal statements" written for college apps were very lucid and pretty much personal stories. Are these statements supposed to be very professional (such as in a cover letter) or can they include vivid descriptions of past experience? I feel like they are more straight forward than the typical college app essay where it's imperative to use flashy vocab and sentence structure, instead of simply "stating goals." For example, do they want: "In the spring of my Senior year in high school, I worked at ____ lab and performed ______ techniques, from which I have gained _________" versus "With both legs shaking nervously as if I stood atop the Eiffel Tower, I walked into the ___ lab clueless of what I have gotten myself into, ignorant of the graduate-level material, and struggling to even recognizing the simplest of instruments...."? Also, are these programs very competitive? I'm applying to quite a few and half of them are from non-ivies or not schools at all (i.e. U of Oregon and Brookhaven National Lab). Btw, I am thinking about MD/Ph.D since I want to contribute to innovate and help bring medicine to its next level.. not just M.D. Thanks!