Hi guys. As some of you probably know, I'm a sophomore in college planning to study medicine. I'm also thinking about doing a research degree though, like a PhD. Therefore, I am applying for a Goldwater fellowship, which is a research fellowship. Now I think that there are some very intelligent people in this forum, some of whom may have heard of, applied for, or recommended someone for the Goldwater. So this goes out to everyone who is in the latter two categories. Like I said, I'm applying for the Goldwater and my university's internal deadline (since it can only forward 4 apps) is in 1 month. During the Spring quarter of last year, I researched organometallic macrocycles. However, it wasn't very interesting and I have now chosen my primary research interest for my undergraduate career. I am studying the structure and function of DNA to determine how it is able to achieve something like a 200,000 level of compaction. The hypothesis of the lab I'm working in is that there are certain sequences of base pairs that lend the DNA increased flexibility over generic DNA. Therefore, DNA is not necessarily a polymer in which any given segment is representative of the whole...Thus, the elastic rod model doesn't apply. We're also stating that DNA's flexibility in certain locations is extremely important to DNA-enzyme interactions, and that, contrary to popular belief, DNA has a greater role in the achievement of such interactions than the enzyme does. My major, though, is neurobiology. In the long term, I would like to get a PhD in biology, and perhaps continue to study genetics, but apply my knowledge of genetics to neurobiological and neuromedical applications, such as studying Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and figuring out ways to combat these diseases. I just wanted to give you guys a background. My question is, what makes for an effective Goldwater essay? How important are leadership activities to the Goldwater? Should all my recommendations come from science profs, or is it ok if one comes from say, an administrator with whom I have worked closely through the student government? Thanks for your help.