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Midwest_newbie

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Midwest_newbie last won the day on June 18 2016

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About Midwest_newbie

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    Midwest
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  • Program
    Cell biology

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  1. Thanks!
  2. Are there any kind of stats posted anywhere about the people who are usually awarded the GRFP?
  3. Another update: the lab I joined with plans of leaving May 2017 has now changed to my staying in the phd program. Yay!
  4. Did you interview with them or have you not heard anything at all since submitting your application? When I applied (not an international student) the deadline was in December and I had an interview invitation in January.
  5. If I remember correctly, MD Anderson takes a while to get back to you.
  6. Hi, First thank you, everyone who replied. Your comments were helpful and allowed me to gain some outside perspective on my situation. Also, because I wasn't clear, I am a female. Just wanted to clarify because some of the pronouns got a little confusing while reading the longer replies. Anyway, I have joined another lab for the spring semester and the plan is to leave with a non-thesis masters in May. I have not officially switched to the masters program yet, as my new advisor said they wanted to give it 5-6 weeks and reevaluate. New advisor and I work well together and communicate amazingly well. It really is light and day compared with Old Lab and Old Advisor. I am still upset and coming to terms with how things turned out, but at least it was an enlightening experience and I know what to look for once I apply to phd programs elsewhere. Of course, I'm still hoping in the back of my mind that I somehow win the NSF GRFP and can, therefore, talk a lab into accepting me for a phd. (There are a few here that I was interested in as a first year but they didn't have funding back then).
  7. UPDATE: I've had a couple of meetings with the PI in regards to discussing what to do for thesis MS and timeline. PI, in both meetings, would straight up refuse to answer direct questions when asked. I asked about committee/proposal information (timeline to submit proposal b/c its 6months between proposal and defense) and PI refused to answer questions, frequently just talking about something else literally, "what is the process for submitting my written proposal? If we do it by end of Jan., then I can defend in June" etc PI's response "How do you think you compare to other students...". This was after the first meeting which he ended abruptly by telling me to figure out what I want to do next because I may not even need the masters, which was his idea in the first place. After these two meetings DGS scheduled another meeting with me to ask how things went and to know the timeline that PI and I designed. I said we were unable to plan one, explained how the meetings went, and DGS was speechless for a minute. Then I kind of broke down and admitted that I didn't feel like I could trust him to be honest with me about preparation and procedure. Part of this was because the previous grad student, who was a year further into the program than me, felt the same way when she left early with her MS. The PI would not tell her whether he felt she was prepared or not, I found this out later. Anyway, I expressed my concern that even though it was just one semester longer, the PI and I would not be able to fix our communication problems (I was willing to, and we had a meeting where I said this was fixable, he agreed, but refused any further action) and this would impact the quality of my project and ability to prepare, as PI would not mentor or offer any kind of guidance. DGS expressed similar concerns and told me that the best thing for me was to find another mentor for next semester, do a short project, and leave in the spring with a non-thesis masters option. DGS is actually a lab I rotated through, and said was willing to work with me and have me write a review so that I can at least leave with a publication, which would not be possible were I to stay in the other lab. tl;dr Relationship with PI has deteriorated further and DGS recommends that I find a new mentor for the spring semester and leave with a non-thesis masters.
  8. UPDATE: so PI is okay with me doing a thesis master's but if I want to do a phd I need to find a new lab. I'm in a small department so finding a new lab is close to if not impossible. Unfortunately an MS doesn't get me very far career-wise. I never wanted a job in academia so I am looking at other options. I'm leaning toward patent agent and maybe law school, as I was looking at policy jobs if I go the phd route. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to teach high school, which is about the only thing I can do with an MS. Does anyone here have any advice or suggestions?
  9. So Thursday the PI pulled me into him office and said that he doesn't feel that I am excited about the research and he is worried about the fit. He mainly just kept saying that he doesn't think I am excited about the work. But I have mentioned several times that I like the work and it's the kind of project I wanted to work on in graduate school. When I specifically asked him what he meant by excitement and what he was basing this on, he danced around the question and refused to give me a straight answer (according to a previous grad student in the lab, he is notorious for avoiding conflict until he cannot stand it anymore, also known to never give a straight answer). He basically gave me an ultimatum: I have thru the end of the year to change his mind. He also told me that he has felt this way for a while (but is just now bringing it up?) This PI and I don't talk much, we're both busy. We see each other at lab meeting once a week for an hour or less, but he doesn't want to meet more often. But he also said he doesn't want this to be a thing where I'm just worried about churning out loads of data and nothing else (when I specifically asked what he meant by that, no answer, again). But then he says that he doesn't think I'm committed and that grad school is about doing lots of reading and becoming an expert and going to conferences and being an expert on [project]. Then we proceeded to have a conversation about what is already out in the literature (not much, and nothing using our model), and nada, no comments from him, blank look on his face (he’s old, and sometimes I think he’s losing his mind, he’ll ask questions repeatedly. He has asked the same questions about my results three separate times, takes notes each time, but then always comes back with the same question, honestly it’s kind of like talking to a slow child, I have to walk him through everything, every time). He also, in a VERY roundabout way, questioned whether grad school was the right place for me, but he wouldn't come out and say it; Again, when I questioned him directly, no answer. I talked to older grad students in the department (I'm in the middle of my second year) and one said that some advisors are just like that and I shouldn’t freak out, this grad student had a similar talk with her advisor early in her career (she’s about to defend). Another one said if I really like the work, prove it to him, otherwise cut ties and run. A first year student (who is older and non-traditional like me) said New-Professor is looking for three grad students, and while his work is interesting, New-Professor would basically be training me from scratch and I feel uncomfortable with that, meaning a complete burden with nothing to offer in return. But first-year said with New-professor’s teaching philosophy he would be completely okay with that, and that I would just be expected to learn quickly (which is fine, I have some experience in this sort of thing from previous jobs, and coworkers/bosses from these previous jobs wrote me letters that got me into grad school). Sorry for this wall of text and if you’re still with me I am begging for some advice. Is this a sinking ship, should I run now? I really like this project and I’m really disappointed by this PI. Initially I liked it because he was laid-back and didn’t micromanage things like some of the PIs in the department and also a previous boss I worked for liked to micromanage everything, she was fired because production was non-existent because of her. This is why I wanted a lab that wasn’t micromanaged. Any advice for dealing with this type of person? Usually I’m really good at reading people and figuring out how to handle them, but not with this guy.
  10. Thanks for all the comments. Just to update: I found a lab to rotate in and it is going great!! It's a lot of awesome signaling heavy stuff which is exactly what I wanted!
  11. Also, their website was garbage when I was there and it doesn't appear to have changed any at all.
  12. Hi, I used to work there but not in the immunology department. I will say that BCM culture of the school/department was not a place I enjoyed working (my department was great but the other departments I interacted with had some really bad, sometimes unethical things occurring, from individual PIs or researchers). The work they do is amazing but individuals who work there don't seem to be very happy (probably because pay is total sh*t except for the lucky few). I left a few years ago (to go to grad school elsewhere) and they were talking about changing up some things, so I can't really comment on the current program (sorry). I do know other prospective students who interviewed there and were turned off by the departmental culture. The work they do there is interesting and good, but I also know a few grad students that are taking an extra year or two to finish than they originally anticipated, and I THINK that may be due to their individual PI's (not the department) but I'm not really sure. I don't think there's any kind of teaching requirement either (maybe there is now??) but if you are interested in teaching that is something to be aware of. There are a lot of universities nearby though so you may be able to set up some kind of teaching arrangement through them (I know of a postdoc who did this, but not about any grad students).
  13. Congrats!
  14. I am going into my fourth rotation (and of course it's not guaranteed that I will be accepted into the lab) and my other rotations didn't work out either: First: bad fit (I don't like PI or the way he manages his lab, lab is very small and no one is around. I was told by rotations committee that he doesn't have funding for a student even though he says otherwise). This lab was not my first choice anyway, but the PI I was interested in was full and waiting on grants so I opted not to rotate with him. Second: bad fit (per PI, I like PI and the work, but the lab culture is not for me. It's a very large lab and about half the members are really catty towards the other half of the lab. I don't think the PI actually realizes this). Third: PI didn't get a grant she was counting on, so she is (now) not taking any students. Fourth: I have meetings set up and I have to decide between 2 labs, but of course neither is a guarantee and there's a chance I will have to leave and find a new grad school. I'm really bummed about this because I really love my grad school but if I can't find a lab I don't really have an option. I moved across the country for this opportunity, don't really have money to move anywhere else, I'm 27 and not getting any younger, etc. This is a college town, so not many job options for the next year either I feel like I'm quickly running out of options. Has anyone else been in my shoes or had a similar experience? Thanks!