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Infinito last won the day on December 14 2015

Infinito had the most liked content!

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About Infinito

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    United States
  • Application Season
    2016 Fall

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  1. Feel free to ask them questions, like if you'll get the travel grant stipend from it, if any amount can be allocated to your own small project, whether you can activate it in your third year, etc. But unless policy is clearly stated that you get some sort of "bonus" or anything else for getting a grant, programs tend to just absorb the money to keep the program afloat and make up for students that don't get the award (as most programs require their trainees to apply to the NSF, so they already have internal metrics that it's a crapshoot to get, and to make it fair for everyone they tend not to
  2. VG/VG, VG/E, E/E (Life Sciences - Cell Bio) Honorable Mention. Second year in a row and no more chances. The reviewers had really nice, heart warming comments, but obviously that wasn't enough. One of the VGs might have sunk me as their comment alluded to one of my rec letters explicitly stating what I was doing as this was my rotation PI adding to what I had no space to write about in my proposal, even though I did write it out (seems like they deducted points because I wasn't more specific about which "confocal microscopy" imaging I'd use, or which protein modifications I'd be looking a
  3. I personally wouldn't invest myself in one PI, especially if the school isn't a top program. Maybe if the school had other options in case something happened with the PI, then I would consider it. Just imagine if your PI loses funding, decides to retire, move to another university, etc. Would you be okay then? I had planned to rotate with one PI since I got to where I am, but now there is the potential that they will move to another university. Definitely didn't see that coming. Things like that you need to be aware of, even if you think it'd never affect you.
  4. Accredited programs give you until April 15th to decide. You might just be overestimating their statement. Unless your offer is tied to something like an additional fellowship offer which might be time sensitive to lure people, they can't rescind their admission if you don't get back to them until after March 15th.
  5. Unheard of school, low GPA, or actually if you're applying to a program for which your undergraduate major or coursework doesn't seem to fit the picture (an example in my current class would be a music major who took time off, did a post bacc program, and took the GRE Bio exam to apply to a Biomedical Sciences PhD program).
  6. Obviously I don't know your financial situation, and I know I'll probably personally have a higher tax payment this year as I worked before graduate school, but we're pretty much in the lowest tax bracket, which is pretty much ~10%.
  7. Agreed. Pretty much when you're in a top tier program, it really matters up to you how you get to industry if that is your goal. Sometimes it can be useful to have connections through a PI that collaborates with industry, so being at a university where industry pathways and collaborations are not shunned (as they classically used to be) may be something to consider when picking your PhD program. I just recently went to an alumni event for my program which had some panelists from different career paths. On major take away was that you can actually end up in industry without planning for it or e
  8. Housing is about on point if you don't try harder to get into a larger house. It's probably ~$1200 if you land in campus housing. Food is probably lower than you think. First years get plenty of free food, so much so that I usually don't cook for weeks on end. Taxes would be a better estimate at ~$3000 for the year for Federal, and ~$300 for CA. Note that obviously your first year at UCSF you'll only have gotten the stipend for a quarter, and you don't pay CA taxes until you've lived there for a year. Transportation is also too high, unless you're going to be living really far and doing the $7
  9. I've been mostly holding off on commenting until I saw my pal @Bioenchilada post, so I figured I'd chime in as well. Pretty much everything that Bioenchilada said was on point. Having gone to an Ivy League for undergrad myself, and knowing that prestige of school and overall funding =/= grad school experience or funding, I only applied to like 1 Ivy only for their program during my application round. That being said, I'm now at UCSF and had some misconceptions before I even got here, so let me address some parts in the section I quoted above. 1. UCSF is TWO campuses - Parnassus
  10. Any school worth its weight will have classes that are challenging - they're critical to make you think like a scientist, and unfortunately most undergraduate programs don't help develop these critical thinking skills. I can tell you that taking time off before going to grad school has taken me out of the zone for studying, and this is true for more than half of my classmates. That being said, programs have an incentive to help you pass. Nobody fails. You may suffer for a bit, but it will eventually pass, and you will learn form it. And, usually after your first year, you don't take courses an
  11. Linking to my previous post on this matter (and the forum search function is great since this gets asked every year)
  12. This. There are plenty of non-traditional postbacc programs as well (designed for people in your situation). However, if you don't get in to your Masters programs, I suggest actually applying to PhD programs. Even if you believe what you do as a tech doesn't count as research, that is irrelevant to the adcoms since your personal statement will drive home the fact that you have been doing science for many years now, and are hungry and passionate to pursue a research career where you are actually asking the questions. There are plenty of people whom I met during my interview weekends and wh
  13. Two quick points to follow up on some of the conversations here. 1. If you are wait-listed, other people declining will rarely move you into the "admitted" zone. Every accepted individual has until April 15th to decline, which is when you also need to accept your acceptances to be safe. Because schools accept more people than they plan to have matriculate to get their desired class sizes, you need to consider that you might only be called off the wait-list only in some catastrophic circumstance, and most likely after April 15th. So if you're betting on this, think very carefully ab
  14. Absolutely agreed. The best piece of advice that I can give you @Pepperoni and anyone else asking this question is that you need to take department rankings with a grain of salt. Even for US News, their rankings are heavily influenced by undergraduate prestige, endowment, etc. This sometimes translates over to the graduate programs, but the correlation isn't strong. Just think of a couple of schools with huge university endowments, and then remember that most of that money is not dedicated towards departments or graduate funding. Finding out about all these unquantifiable/subjecti
  15. As a current BMS student and someone who was heavily involved in recruitment, I can validate that statement. Faculty get assigned (most likely someone you interviewed with), and they have until the end of the week to contact you. Good luck
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