In a Ph.D. application, a statement of purpose (or more precisely, research statement) is required. I think a candidate should use this statement to showcase his/her good research qualities backed up by the research experience to the admission committee.
In order to make those qualities (i.e., those positive adjectives) stand out, can one emphasize those adjectives by italicizing them?
Specifically, I am referring to qualities such as "independent thinking ability, rigorous"...
In my opinion, the research interests and professors of interest should be highlighted in bold so as to facilitate the faculty reader allocation. This way, highlighting these adjectives also in bold will be pretty messy. So it may be a good idea to highlight the adjectives in another and less catchy form, i.e., the italic form. Am I right?