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  1. Bumping to ask if anyone has any updated advice on Newark, but mainly pertaining to surrounding areas. My partner is moving there in the fall and I will hopefully follow subsequently, but we're both unfamiliar with the area beyond knowing the reputation of Newark. He's thinking of looking for places with a 30 minute or so commute to live in a nicer area. Any recommendations or thoughts on how the area has changed in the past 5 years?
  2. Hi everyone, I hope you're staying sane during the quarantine. I am nearing the end of my 4th year in my PhD program in Biology. Up until about a month ago I thought I would be able to graduate at the end of my 5th year, but my advisers very suddenly decided they wanted me to do more experiments. Meanwhile some of my committee members have emphasized that I should stop doing research and just write everything up and try to graduate. I very much side with them. Unfortunately, I feel pretty powerless against my advisers and they do not seem to understand why someone would want to try to graduate
  3. I'm in my 4th year of an ecology, evolution, and behavior program. Due to the job market and my personal strengths and weaknesses, I'm considering transitioning to industry (or another field) after I graduate. In order to get my foot in the door since my research focus is uncommon in industry, I am planning on doing an industry internship this summer before my (hopefully) final degree year. At this point it looks like I have a good chance of getting an internship offer. However, my advisers are implicitly against industry. One has complained to me of one or two of his students leaving after do
  4. Hi ctenophora, sorry for the late response. Based on everything I have heard about the program since then, the main thing to avoid seems to be specific faculty members (the cladists), and beyond that it is a well-regarded program. The facilities are really outstanding too. Hope that helps.
  5. There's not a highly specific format they're exclusively looking for, but I would recommend putting all of that info into your first email. You definitely want to use "Dear Dr./Professor" or something else formal rather than "Hi". My dad who is a prof says he finds it juvenile when applicants start by saying "my name is" since that info is not super important and can be found in your email address as well as your sign-off. That opinion is subjective though. My emails started out more along the lines of "I am a senior at college X applying to graduate programs in field X. I have research
  6. Hi Furlock, I'm in EBE so I don't think that's exactly the same as molecular ecology but we have some such people in our department. I applied to 8 EBE programs and got into 4. I would suggest applying to more than 4 at least because I know that has been too few for some other EBE applicants even with good stats. One crucial factor depending on the structure of these programs is whether the specific PI you want has the funds and department go ahead to take on a new student. For me I had to apply directly to one or two PIs as opposed to doing rotations, so if that is the case for you as well yo
  7. Yes that's what I mean. I think that you don't necessarily need to outright say "you guys won't need to train me" but at some point you will sit down with the PI or someone and they will ask you about your research experience. You can summarize it and also say something like "during this project I learned a lot about technologies x and y, which I know you use in your lab, and I'd like to apply my experience with these tools to project q if I work in your lab". Hopefully you can make it sound more natural than that
  8. samman, I think it's not a huge boost but I'm not totally sure. For me, the thing my potential PIs were most concerned with was not the field of my past research but the plans for future research I laid out in my application. It definitely is enormously helpful to your actual PhD research to land in a lab where the PI does basically exactly whatever it is you're going to do (otherwise you need to buy a lot of equipment and seek a lot of external help). However, I'm not sure if they'll like you much more than other applicants just for having experience very very similar to the lab's focus. I wo
  9. Thanks guys TakeruK, I have trouble making this distinction myself. I am pretty sure based on past experiences that I am imposing at least 80% of it on myself. My advisor is kind and soft-spoken but I am always paranoid that something that I've done will be the last straw, because it seems to me that I am making a lot of egregious mistakes. His response was pretty neutral. Obviously he would have liked me to get it right the first time but he didn't criticize me at all for getting it wrong and said my apology was unecessary. I think one of my prroblems is that none of the stude
  10. I have been in my lab for almost one year. I have extracted some challenging RNA samples from a few non-model organisms. I have already sunk money (my advisor's) into my work due to needing kits and reagents, not to mention a year of stipend. Now that it comes time to sequence my samples I am feeling completely overwhelmed by the costs (which in my mind equate to pressure on me for the payoff to be excellent) plus the fact that due to my semi-inexperience with buying sequencing services I keep getting the price wrong, thinking it's lower than it really is, having my advisor sign a PO after con
  11. I also had a super enjoyable first semester. I didn't have to teach for my salary last semester, but I do now. At first it seemed overwhelming but I'm settling into it and enjoying it more now. I love coming up with my own research ideas and trying out stuff with fancy lab equipment. I also love having some undergraduate assistants to do my bidding. One of my labmates, who is doing very similar things, is, however, extremely stressed all the time and seems to be in his office from early morning until very late at night. Sometimes he makes me paranoid that I'm not "working hard enough" but then
  12. Yeah, I'd say it's fine to say a school is your top choice. I actually said something similar at most of my interviews (it just so happened that I liked each new school better than the last, so I really did think each was my top choice at the time) and I got accepted everywhere I interviewed. I also suspect that one of the places I got rejected (didn't interview there) rejected me in part because I failed to show great enthusiasm about them being a favorite school of mine, especially since it was technically less competitive than the places I was accepted.
  13. I ended up sort of playing it safe in that I kept using last names/titles even when PIs signed with their first names. However, this eventually resulted in one PI ending an email with "you can call me [first name] by the way". The rule of thumb I used before applying to grad school was to use titles until meeting them in person in the context of doing research with them or having them as an adviser.
  14. Definitely no. I had some people I wanted to work with ask specifically about my scores and they only asked about the V and Q scores. And yours are so stellar anyway. Furthermore, the AWA score only reflects your ability to write a very specific kind of non-biology-related essay. You have ample opportunity to prove your science writing abilities/essay writing abilities in your statements and in the fact that you have publications/presentations listed on your app. On top of all of this I think EEB programs do not put a lot of stock in the GRE except to throw out applicants with really low score
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