Crucial BBQ

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Crucial BBQ last won the day on October 9 2014

Crucial BBQ had the most liked content!

About Crucial BBQ

  • Rank
    Latte Macchiato
  • Birthday March 10

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    NorCal
  • Interests
    Math, physics, biological oceanography, reading non-fiction, homebrewing (beer), hiking, and drinking way too much caffeine.
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Physical Oceanography

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  1. Ask questions about the PhD application process!

    I imagine it would have to do with wanting to do basic research or applied research. If you are more inclined to do basic research then med schools are likely not the place for you.
  2. Ask questions about the PhD application process!

    In my opinion, this would depend on how the application process is done at the program in question. At two programs I had applied to the first cycle was to simply deem your application as admissable or not. All this meant was that your application is complete and/or had met some base-line criteria. From here, applications went into a pile with individual PIs from around the department looking through it at their leisure. As you can see, it makes sense in this case that a PI could be on the lookout for your application. Otherwise, they might not have any pull at all unless they really want you to join their lab. Now, if you had a meeting with a PI it certainly would not hurt if you shot them a quick email. Keep in mind they may have also met with other applicants, too.
  3. 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Contacting profs is the best strategy. Don't rely on websites as profs/PIs/labs don't seem to update the websites with any sort of frequency. A POI that you are interested in, as an example, may be going on sabbatical or is retiring from research. They may have left the department or is no longer associated with the institution, for all that we know. Speaking of neuro, and I had wrote of this story here on GradCafe a few times, I know of a woman who graduated from a ho-hum State university with an average uGPA and below average GRE scores who was accepted into one of the better programs for neurosciences in the U.S. This woman was friends of an ex, who, had also graduated from that same State university, but with a high uGPA. Her GREs were really low and she was accepted into the #2 ranked program for her field of study at Johns Hopkins (if you believe that grad programs can be ranked, like USWNR does). With her, however, she had applied to perhaps 8 programs, all for Ph.D. She was denied, expect by two, and both only had offered her admissions into their MS programs. I do know that with Hopkins they were concerned over her low GRE QR score, which is why they had denied her into their Ph.D program.
  4. 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Yeah, I heard all of this too. I also have a low uGPA with great research and volunteer (directly related to field) experiences. I did not publish while in UG, nor did I run my own lab--both of which I assume will be huge advantages for you, but I did also receive stellar LORs. First time through the application cycle I was denied by five programs and waitlisted by one... ...only to ultimately be denied by that one, too. Second year, applied to 7 programs and was denied by all seven. I was in contact with a PI at one of those programs and I had thought for sure I was in as he practically all but said it. Third cycle/year/attempt I had applied to five programs, including to the same lab/PI I had just previously mentioned. Was denied by four but was accepted into that PIs lab. Each time, with each rejection, I had contacted the program director to see if I could find out where in my application I may have been delinquent with the hopes of arming myself with that knowledge for the next cycle. My SOPs were good, LORs were good, experiences were good, GRE scores good enough, and so on. Turns out, it was my low GPA that caused the rejections. It's really hit or miss, though. Some will say that a well-written SOP, good LORs and UG research experience are enough to overcome a low uGPA. Others, will tell you otherwise. There is truth to both and it really depends on the department, who's looking to take on students that particular year, and on and on. Luck plays a role in all of this, too. *edit to add* I've been a member around here for five years or so. If history bears any evidence, this thread will get swamped with bio undergrads looking at neuroscience programs, immunology, oncology, and a few other programs more-or-less related to a medical field. Competition in these areas is intense, in particular when compared to other fields of biology such as marine bio, micro, ecology, and a few others. Not to discourage anyone from applying, though, and I am wishing everyone good luck.
  5. Old George Carlin joke: Eat right, stay fit, and die anyway. I feel that I had posted the above in this thread, perhaps with a few other comments that were a bit defensive. Not sure if I came to my senses and decided not to post, or, if my previous post was deleted? I am a long-distance thru hiker and I tend to walk everywhere. I used to walk to work and back, five miles each way. Many people thought I was nuts for that; I kept thinking "Huh? Five miles is totally within walking distance". I only stopped when I got a job that was roughly ten miles from home, and in that case I was forced to ride a bike. I was also a former 8-year vegan. My own two feet are still my preferred mode of transportation, however, I haven't rode the bicycle in a few years, as I now drive to most "far away" destinations. To add, been packing on the pounds as I have been sitting on my behind a lot over the last two years or so. I went from always being on my feet, even while at work, to now sitting through most days. I feel so agitated and have this strange desire to run. So I joined the local Y, even though I get free access to the gym at school. Not very exciting or informative; that's what the opening joke is for. I also have a love for beer.
  6. Plan B?

    My Plan B was to get on with life, and to reapply the following year. That may sound facetious, however I am older than most around here, already have a career, home, and so on. In reality, grad school was my Plan B.
  7. Indoor Gardens? House Plants?

    Gotta say it, a grow light and indoor "herb" garden... Anyway, I've had house plants for most of my adult life (I am on the older side of Grad Cafe forum members). I grew up with them; my mom practically kept an indoor jungle. I am not sure how she managed to, though, as for a long time I couldn't keep anything alive for more than a year. I now have a handful that have been going for four years now, so I must be onto something. Here is what I know: different plants have different requirements (sunlight, temp, humidity, water, etc.), so it's best to match plants to your indoor environment and to your own habits. For example, don't get plants that require more sunlight if you live in a place that receives little, or you are a vampire. For herbs, you don't need a grow light unless the area you want to set up the garden in gets little sunlight to begin with.
  8. Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Likely not what you want to read at this point: sing the contract, get your name in print, wash your hands and be done with it. Ten years from now you'll be glad you did. Your best work (and publications) is ahead of you.
  9. The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread

    Could you potentially do the MS part time? Edited to add: I ask because based on my limited understanding it seems that those who use work experience to overcome low uGPA usually put in five to ten years of work post undergrad before applying/being accepted into Ph.D. programs.
  10. The sub-3.0 GPAs ACCEPTANCE thread

    A few years ago I would have told you "yes". Now, I would advise against it with two exceptions: 1. The extra year was done with more rigorous courses than you had previously taken and/or for your major. I would stick to courses heavy with the analytics only. 2. You were to retake a few of those courses that contributed to low GPA. Other than retaking courses, the more credits you have attempted and accumulated, the slower your GPA will raise--even with straight As--however depending on the number of courses/credits attempted next semester, and assuming straight As, you can likely make it over the 3.0 hump. Be warned, though; you run the risk of damaging your GPA even more or at the least not seeing a net gain. At this point, your objective should be to prove that you are capable of deep analytical thought, not to boost your GPA. In order to accomplish this objective is to first honestly identify what caused those low grades. The second, to overcome. Thirdly, to prove this be taking some tougher courses.
  11. Is it just me or....

    It is easy for me to say this now, but it's worth it to now take it easy and relax; assuming you want to attend all programs applied to it only takes one admit to "win". I was also encouraged to visit a lab and had four conversations by phone which I assumed were interviews.
  12. Dealing with Funding Rejection

    This is not just subject to academic, it is very much a part of life/career in general. Numerous applications before landing a job even though you may be one of the most qualified for the position, passed up for promotion/raise for no discernible reason even though you are well qualified/deserving, being paid less than a lazy co-worker, and on and on. Since the OP is ultimately about the written word, here are more rejections: http://www.litrejections.com/best-sellers-initially-rejected/
  13. Is it just me or....

    I applied Oceanography/Biological Oceanography/Marine Biology and did not hear anything this early regarding interviews or decisions. Some programs didn't interview at all, and with all, decisions didn't start coming in until March. For the rest: applications for most programs are still open. Sure, some apps closed in Dec. and some have heard back regarding interviews and admits, but that's not the norm for the majority. Also keep in mind that this is the Internet. If you do not know the individual personally, take it with a grain of salt. And as always, if in doubt or just curious you can always contact your program coordinator about anything expect to ask if you've been admitted or not.
  14. Blogging 2016

    Yeah, I'm still interested.