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About ballwera

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  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    Computational and Systems Biology

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  1. Entirely possible. I was sitting in my first graduate school lecture when I got my final rejection letter.
  2. Way to early on in the process to be worried about something like this. Choose undergrad based upon where you think you will be given the most opportunities to succeed in general. In addition, I'd go where you will have the least debt load possible following undergrad. If you do end up choosing an undergrad w/o a large amount of research, make sure to apply for REU/SURF for summer research opportunities.
  3. Does anyone have any experience with these "clinical" fellowships? They seem like interesting career options. https://pediatrics.duke.edu/education-and-training/fellowship-programs/medical-genetics/training-and-curriculum#clinical_molecular_genetics
  4. Thanks for the advice! Hopefully I wasn't to abrasive about the academic track! I'm just a bit burnt out and was disappointed to say the least when i discovered the man behind the curtain. I looked into law and medicine options, but I'm not sure I can handle any more schooling to be honest. I'm also not sure if my wife will sign off on that either (already kinda put our lives on hold for this degree). I've been extremely interested in the biotech/pharma option, as my skill set is pretty desired. It also seems the research is much more translational, which is more interesting to me than basic research. I've made a few pharma contacts, and have been applying for internships so may that will pan out. On a side note, I do hope we can keep this an open topic on the board. In all reality, only a small fraction of us will be able to secure tenure track positions so it's useful to have these types of discussions.
  5. Thanks, I'll take a look at these types of positions. Not completely necessary to stay in the computational world either. I've been looking at these clinical genetics fellowships as well.
  6. Thanks, but unfortunately it doesn't look like our program has access to this. I might see if there is a way for the graduate school to get access, as I'm not the only one struggling with these decisions.
  7. I'm approaching the end of my 3rd year ( and hopefully the end of my PhD) and its time to begin thinking about what to do post-graduation. As with most students, I came in to graduate school thinking I was going to cure cancer (really insert any disease here) and ride my successes int a good post-doc and then to a tenure-track position. With each passing day however, I have become increasingly disillusioned with academia ( and basic science research in general). I have a few grievances (more of a rant than anything) : Science seems to move too slow for my tastes and is far removed (in most cases) from impacting patient care in any meaningful way; funding is more about luck than anything else, the judgement of success (publications, grants etc.) is arbitrary at best and is determined by too many forces that are outside your control, and just the political nature of science in general. Does anyone have good suggestions on some alternative career paths? In particular, career paths that have more of an impact on patient care/outcomes? My general background is in Computational Biology with a focus on genomics and mathematical modeling. I also have pretty extensive knowledge of molecular genetics. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the depressing rant.
  8. 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.
  9. Yup that's what I was getting at.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Gotcha, just out of curiosity, what field are you in?
  13. 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. https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12062/nsf12062.jsp#mib
  14. 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...
  15. 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.
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