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biotechie last won the day on June 5 2017

biotechie had the most liked content!


About biotechie

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    Cell and Molecular Biology

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  1. Any research experience is good experience, and you have more than many students coming into grad school. I think your current experiences make you a good candidate for graduate school. However, if you're interested in those other areas, it doesn't hurt to try and get into labs studying those things. If you decide to stay in the lab you're in now, though, you can just state your interest and try and attend relevant seminars on the areas you're interested in.
  2. Write a pro-con list for each lab and see if that helps. Then think about what would happen if you asked to join one of those labs and they told you no. Would you be more disappointed in not going to Lab #1 or Lab #2? In addition, as long as you're reasonably interested in the project and know that you'll get good training, the most important things become how you interact with the mentor, the lab environment, and funding. You can pursue your dream projects later. It seems like you may have some concerns with Lab #2 as far as environment and that you have concerns with Lab #1 as far as fi
  3. I definitely did not misunderstand; even new postdocs need to be attending conferences in my opinion. In fact, I'm attending a conference in November. I will either have JUST started my postdoc the month before or will be getting ready to start it. That is about as new as you can get. In my mind, going to the conference would be nonnegotiable. I would go no matter what. As a new postdoc that might be applying for faculty positions in 3-5 years, you need people to see your face, learn who you are, and watch you develop. Like others have said, it is okay to talk about your PhD work, especi
  4. I would definitely attend. I recently attended a conference that I wasn't presenting at, and word got out that I was looking for postdocs. As a result, I did four unplanned interviews at that meeting. I also found some interesting new collaborators for my current lab and met the editor of the journal my paper was being reviewed at. All of these were extremely beneficial interactions that I never anticipated. You never know when you're going to meet someone who will be on the fellowship review committee or who might be reviewing your paper. It also never hurts to meet new potential collaborator
  5. The MOST important thing you can do (even more important than having stellar grades) is to get into a lab as an undergrad and actually do some research. I had the opportunity to help with admissions one year, and that is definitely something they look for! Summer Research Experiences for Undergrads (REUs) are okay, but they're not really that great for building confidence in your research ability. In a 6-8 week REU, all you really do is learn the basics of a technique, but you don't really get into much real science. What would be better would be to spend a whole academic year, 20 or so h
  6. It should NOT hurt your application. If it does, you don't want to go that institution, anyway. While a lot of PIs still want their students to go into academia, they and the institutions have to be realistic about where their students will end up. That's why my institution, BCM, now has an awesome career development center to help students figure out what skills they need to hone for their future careers.
  7. biotechie

    Houston, TX

    If you live on the bus route or rail to school, it is pretty good. If you want to use it as your only mode of transportation, it is not so good, so it is good news that you have a car! I like using the rail for events like the Rodeo or to get downtown, but other than that, the only time I use it is for getting to lab. Uber/Lyft are also pretty good. I lived outside of the 610 loop for my first two years, and I would avoid living that far out. It was a 45-minute bus ride each day, and now that they've changed the bus route, is a 45-minute ride + a 20-minute walk or 8-10 minutes waiting/rid
  8. Does your school have a career development center? Mine has one that is only a few years old, but it is already a great benefit for our students that want to leave academia. Students are going into consulting, becoming genetics counselors, teaching, working in policy, and others. Since I want to stay in academia (I know, I'm crazy, but I still love science), I'm helping them gather the necessary information to help build out the academic track. You should see if a career development group or something like this is available to you. They can talk through things with you and help you develo
  9. You're welcome! The stats you see here represent a very small proportion of the applicant field, and honestly, after seeing the stats here, many people choose not to share theirs because they think they don't "measure up." Based on what you've said here, unless you have some weird black mark on your record, you should definitely be able to get into a graduate program somewhere. If you limit yourself to schools that have strict cutoffs for GRE and GPA, you might have less luck, but I think that sort of system is a poor measure of a scientist because the GRE and GPA only measure your ability
  10. Hey there! I got the opportunity to help with recruitment a couple of years ago; we didn't really look for publications. Instead we looked to see that people had worked in labs. Often people have papers as a consequence of experience, but I'd say only about 1/4 of applicants actually had them. I didn't, and my papers from the M.S. STILL aren't published. What seems to be most important is that you understand the research process and that your letters reflect this as much as the dates on your CV. 16 months of solid lab experience looks better to the AdComm than a summer REU at a prestigious uni
  11. That matters much more for postdoc than it does for graduate school. I actually recommend joining a smaller lab with a junior to mid-career PI that will have time to really mentor you and teach you how to be a scientist. Then you can go for those HHMI labs when you're a postdoc and are ready to start being more independent. I went to the more extreme end of the "early career" PI spectrum and joined a brand new PI's lab. If you pick a good one (which you should be able to figure out in your rotation), younger PIs and PIs with smaller labs are great. I have been better prepared for postdoc
  12. Definitely send Thank Yous! Also personalize them, especially if they're someone that you might consider rotating with in the future. Make sure you send them almost as soon as you get back home as most AdComms meet within a week of your interview. Also, if you had a student leading you around, make sure you contact them, too. They will likely also be giving some notes to the committee. In addition, usually there are one or two students directly serving on the AdComm from my experience. I got to serve for one season and I can say it is definitely worth your while if you're serious about th
  13. I have a M.S. and will finish a PhD in the next few months. While I've chosen to pursue academia as my own path, there are TONS of non-teaching options for you with a PhD that will be more difficult to attain with just a M.S. Do you want to run your own projects in the future? If so, a PhD is probably going to be a better route for you if you want to do industry. If you're happy being part of a group of scientists that work under someone else, you may be able to get by with a M.S. However, we had a lab manager a few years ago that wanted to move into industry. Even with 3 years of experie
  14. Both are great schools, but there's a lot more that needs to go into this decision. For example, if you're interested in lipids and cardiovascular disease, UTSW is going to have some great labs, but if not, it could still be a good school. Have you heard back from all of the places to which you applied? Which program design do you like best? Are both similar? Will they prepare you for the career you are interested in pursuing? Are there more professors you're interested in working with at one institution over the other? How likely are they to be taking students next year? Where do their s
  15. I did not include citations in any of mine, but I was applying biomed, not bioengineering. Also, check the prompt for each school's written parts closely. I did not go into my research in detail in any statement of purpose as mine asked me to talk about why I'm motivated to do science and my aspirations, not what research I had done. Some asked me to talk about research I wanted to do, but half of my schools had a separate research statement or summary that I was to submit about my previous experience.
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