I've some troubles with organizing my SOP. I can not formulate how to express my passion in (theoretical) cosmology because of lack of relevant research experience, since I've engineering-based background (BSc. and MSc. in Astronautical Eng. and Mechanical Eng., respectively). I have sufficient research experience on the bio-mechanics; decent gpa(s), 1 conference presentation, 1 journal paper, 1 patent and I'm expecting PGRE +750. I will apply for top 30-100 schools but I'm a bit worried about getting funding (TA/RA), since most of universities expect you to indicate a particular research interest. Here are couple of questions come out naturally
1) Is it true that some universities accept students without looking at their research interests and consistency of their research experience with that research area? If yes, please suggest me some university names.
2) I know that hep-th and cosmology are really competitive and difficult to get in. Does it mean that some universities accept students based on the availability of research funding on these areas?
3) Should I organize my SOP emphasizing my passion in cosmology in a convenient way? Or should I construct my SOP on biophysics in order to increase the chance of acceptance, since I've a relevant research experience in biophysics.
P.S. Some of my friends told me that it is not necessary to do a research on the area that you specified in your SOP.
I've not decided on a specific topic yet, but I've a great interest in black holes, quantum gravity and dark matter and I've some computational skills that can be useful in some way. (I've audited graduate level General Relativity during my undergrad and I'm taking Quantum Mechanics I in MSc. at the moment. I've taken some physics courses in my undergrad, besides I've studied core physics courses from undergrad curriculum independently)
4) I've a full funding from my government for the phd study. I'm also planning to apply for top 20, indicating that I have a full fund, covering the tuition. In this case what are my chances for top 20?
Thanks for your attention.