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You're right nun-translator, and thanks for your good help! So here's some more context:
in my application letter for a masters program I want to clarify why I choose this program at this university. One of the reasons is the emphasis they have on the dissertation as an original fieldwork-based research. So:
I greatly appreciate/like/??? the emphasis on an original fieldwork-based research, because I believe it is in the practice of ethnography that the vitality of Anthropology resides.