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About CozyEnzymes

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    2017 Fall
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  1. You definitely don't have to stick with the same project. I'm working on an entirely different subject area than I originally got my award in. The annual reporting requirement is really casual, too - as long as you turn in a write-up of what you've been doing by May 15th every year, you're golden! There's no stressful aspect about any of it afaik so don't worry. Best of luck getting it
  2. Hi there! I don't know exactly what your research area of interest is but I can tell you more about my program's opportunities for biotech stuff. I'm at UW-Madison in the biochemistry program (IPiB). I would say there are a lot of resources here for someone interested in biotech. A couple of the big biotech companies have branches in Madison and there are a lot of smaller start-ups around too. One of the best aspects, I would say, is the Biotechnology Training Program which is funded through an NIH training grant to the school. It gives students the opportunity to do a fully-funded internship with a biotech company as well as a lot of career development opportunities for someone interested in that kind of career! As far as other universities that cater to biotech-minded applicants, I've heard good things about both UCSF and UNC-Chapel Hill. Best of luck with everything!!
  3. I don't really have any advice on your stats/background, but this list is coming along. I applied to UNC BBSP and am going to UW-Madison for biochemistry in the fall. I personally cut UCSF from my list since their app was expensive and they didn't really have anything for me, but your outlook may be different. I would recommend adding Emory - and have you looked at Vanderbilt? Their IGP had a lot of neuro-related stuff and had by-far the nicest program directors/staff! Plus the app is free. As far as mentioning the reason for your interest, I think it's a good idea - just don't lay it on thick with the platitudes. If those interactions with people suffering from neurodegenerative disease are what sparked your interest in the field, then you should say that! In many cases, committees are looking for authenticity... they can tell when people are being fake, so don't worry. One last piece of advice - don't worry too much about the GRE writing sections. I was sweating bullets going into the test, got a slightly above average score and it never caused me a bit of trouble! It's more important to be above the threshold where people will say, "ah, this score is really bad." Beyond that, it doesn't matter.
  4. I interviewed for Emory's BCDB and two of my friends are joining the molecular biology and genetics programs. I was really impressed with the quality of education and research opportunities that students at Emory had access to - I'm really happy for you! Best of luck in the fall!!
  5. As someone who's going to UW-Madison for IPiB next year, I used the same metrics to make my decision. If you felt good about Yale and you're ready to give your best effort in the program/research area you chose, then I wouldn't worry. I wish you the very best of luck in the fall!
  6. I never heard from them either. I wondered if I was on some kind of "silent waitlist" since I heard nothing at all from them after my interview. I also got waitlisted at Duke, but they told me like two weeks after the interview and it was a small department so idk. UW-Madison does rotations in that program so I don't know yet! There were several profs in the department that caught my interest (I'm primarily into enzymology and protein structure) so I'll have good stuff to choose from. I can't wait!
  7. What a great idea for a thread! Thanks for starting this. :) I'm 95.9% sure I'm heading to UW-Madison's Integrated Program in Biochemistry this fall, and I'm really excited for it. I haven't signed the papers yet since I'm having a last chat with one of the admissions committee members this week. It's a big move for me (13 hours from my undergrad) - it's really exciting but nervewracking at the same time!
  8. I am not an engineer but one of my friends got her master's degree in ChemE last year. I'm not really familiar with either of the programs you applied to but her's was a thesis master's. She got a job with a decent salary coming out (around 80k? I think) and she's happy with her decision. I wish I could offer more help but I just wanted to share that success story in case it could influence your opinion. Personally I would choose the field I was most interested in working in. There are a lot of different directions that biomedical engineering can go that ChemE doesn't really cover, so I would consider that aspect as well. Best of luck!
  9. This is a good answer. I have too many RPGs/MMOs that I'm looking forward to FINALLY being able to sink a little time into. Hurray for one last summer of complete freedom!
  10. What is the most polite way to broach the topic of receiving the fellowship with a potential graduate program? I want to let them know that I am a recipient and also ask some logistical questions, but I also don't want to sound like I'm trying to hit them up for additional money or something. Any tips?
  11. I can only answer your first question - usually the NSF replaces the stipend from the grad school, you can't receive both. Because the grad stipends at most schools come from NIH/NSF training grants, you can't "double up" in receiving two different sources of government money. I know it's kind of a bummer (I thought so) but I can see the reasoning and at least the NSF is higher than a lot of grad stipends.
  12. I personally didn't like Nashville because it was very expensive to live and also downtown areas seemed kind of .... grungy and gross, and not really a nice place to live. I know that Durham is kind of a sketchy town but I have a friend who lives there and he's very happy there. Honestly I think both areas are fairly good. Probably neither of them are as diverse as NYC but near the universities you'd probably find a good quality of life in that respect. Durham's in the Research Triangle so there's a good amount of diversity in that area that I know of. Also, the program I applied to (Duke Biochem) had a LOT more international students so that may be something to look into to compare the two. I also agree with the other poster that since Duke's research reputation is really good, that might outweigh some potential cons as well. Sorry if this wasn't entirely helpful but maybe it will give you some more insight. Best of luck in choosing!
  13. THIS post made me cringe, so I'm here to scientifically slap you with the truth (whatever that means.) PhD's can be used for so much more than jobs in academia - in fact, it's actually absurd to think that everyone should try to pursue an academic career, since as you said many individuals who go to grad school are not well-suited for it and there is an over-saturation of PhDs compared to the academic jobs available. To imply that people who pursue careers outside of academic are not SCIENTISTS is quite frankly ridiculous, especially for scientists in industry. Is the person who directs R&D for a drug company not a scientist? What about biochemists and analytical chemists working in the food industry? Would you turn these jobs over to individuals without intensive training in a PhD program? These jobs are not "soft" by any estimation and I have no idea why you would think that in the first place. Also, you seem to hold the outdated belief that the only way to get a worthwhile graduate education is to suffer for five years under the most challenging professor to work with. I hate to break it to you, although that statement may have had some validity fifty years ago, it's no longer true in any way. Yes, it's important to work with a PI who is well-respected in your specific subfield of interest and who publishes frequently in good journals, but your educational experience will be much better overall if you choose someone who works well with your learning style and can improve your ability to engage as a scientist. Like you said, the goal is to cultivate raw talent and bring the student up to become a peer to the professors they work with. Choosing a compatible PI personality-wise not just about being happy - it's about being productive and getting the training that helps you advance to that level. Please don't suffer in the name of trying to be the best. Rank means nothing in grad school; it's all about what you do for yourself. This elitist attitude - you should really try and check it before entering a grad program. Otherwise, you're going to wash out very fast when you have an inability to "roll with the punches" and consider ideas that challenge your worldview. Also, if you're only interested in academic careers, treating your cohort like trash behind their backs is a great way to burn those bridges you might need to secure a tenure track. You may think you're better than them, but science is an enterprise of people - you've got to get along to get ahead.
  14. Hey y'all! I've heard back from most of my schools so I haven't been around a lot, but I wanted to stop in and leave a note for people feeling nervous about needing to reschedule an interview. I emailed the lady at Wisconsin very apologetically because I needed to change my interview day, and she told me it was BETTER to have me visit that weekend because they had overbooked the first one. I was anxious that it might be a huge hassle to make the change, but it ended up fine. So don't worry!
  15. Just talked to Stanford Biochem, all of their interview invites were sent out by yesterday. @KR Marksmen
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