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About ballwera

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  • Gender
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  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    Computational and Systems Biology

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  1. Math GRE for Computational Neuroscience PhD

    Currently doing mathematical modeling (not neuro I'll confess) witha math background similar to yours. Depending on the modeling work you plan on doing, you wouldn't need more than what you've already taken, as the vast majority are differential equation based (ODE or PDE). I would just pick up a textbook and do some self learning. Modeling for the most part is vary applied in nature, so as long as you understand the concepts for the most part you should be ok! If you aren't super comfortable, most programs will let you take additional courses to beef up your background in areas of need (which is what I did). I wouldn't take the math GRE unless it was completely required by the program (which is doubtful). Also remember these subject tests are generally geared at students with an undergrad degree in the subject and most of it would be outside the realm of what you've taken formal classes in.
  2. Interview planning

    Yup that's what I was getting at.
  3. Interview planning

    Only one of the programs I interviewed at had multiple dates. I went on the last date and I think at least half of us were admitted. I would also recommend holding interview offers as long as possible, because you can never know for sure if the interview dates will be similar to years past or if they will offer you multiple dates.
  4. NSF/NIH (External Funding) Questions

    are you in a medical school setting? For my program at least ,we are paid directly with dept. funds (some of which comes from a T32) for the 1st 2 years and the following 3 years are funded directly by the PI, usually in the form of a grant. So in this case those in our program would be fine, actually our handbook states that we get x% of any money that we bring in through a fellowship or F31.
  5. NSF/NIH (External Funding) Questions

    Gotcha, just out of curiosity, what field are you in?
  6. NSF/NIH (External Funding) Questions

    Just grabbed this from the NSF site, again no idea how exactly this would fit in. May I be paid (supplement my Stipend) as a teaching or research assistant on top of my Stipend?Fellows are expected to devote full time to advanced scientific study or work during tenure. However, because it is generally accepted that teaching or similar activity constitutes a valuable part of the education and training of many graduate students, a Fellow may undertake a reasonable amount of such teaching or similar activity, without NSF approval at the affiliated institution. It is expected that furtherance of the Fellow's educational objectives and the gain of substantive teaching or other experience, not service to the institution as such, will govern such activities. Compensation for such activities is permitted based on the affiliated institution's policies and the general employment policies outlined in The Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials.
  7. NSF/NIH (External Funding) Questions

    I could see this maybe being an issue for year 1 or 2, but it still doesn't make much sense. Most programs have your funding guaranteed before you even matriculate. I'm not sure how you could be taking a pay cut for winning a prestigious fellowship...
  8. How far does a first author pub get you in grad apps?

    I mean a first author in Nature (assuming you mean mother nature), is usually what Postdocs ride into a Tenure-Track faculty position. I'd assume that along with LORs would put you in the highest tier of applicants for any program.
  9. If I knew then what I know now

    Don't sell yourself short.
  10. 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Could also mean they've got some grant money but nobody to do the actual work. Happens a lot in my dept because the # of PIs >>> # of Grad. Students
  11. Path to Longevity Research? Also: Necessity of a PhD?

    Just as a general comment about studying aging, make sure the lab you choose is prepared to do the type of project you have envisioned and have a good plan B. Aging is a pretty high-risk high reward area for a dissertation project.
  12. Tech seeking advice for improving application

    Coming from a former tech: Highlight the research you've done as much as you can in your SOP, and make sure to get strong letters of support from PIs involved in the research that you are doing. You have a leg up on most applicants in that you've spent 2 years doing nothing but research, use that to your advantage as much as possible. Try to see if your PI will give you a bit of freedom for a more independent project, I know this helped out my application more than anything. More for the interview phase, be able to explain your research as clearly as possible and what the purpose was. You don't want to look as if you were just a set of hands doing work for your PI. Just as a bit of a side note, I do wish more people were techs prior to grad school.
  13. 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    The only glaring issue that I may see arising is what your research interests are, because the programs you applied to are all over the place (in terms of field). I hope you addressed this well in your SOP.
  14. 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    If you haven't done so already, I'd recommend removing yourself from as many e-mail lists as possible. Will save you from having a few mini heart attacks a day. Also don't forget to check your spam/junk folder every couple days. I had an e-mail or two from programs fall in mine during my application season.
  15. Will a post-bacc program/RA position increase my chances?

    You'll be surprised when this was all over w/. I was in the exact same boat as you but w/ out an entire post-bacc ( took 2 online courses) and wasn't expecting much from my first application cycle. Ended up having to choose between multiple offers, and considering I wasn't expecting any at all that was an extremely difficult choice. I'm always rooting for my fellow low gpa applicants. Good luck!