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About facelessbeauty

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  • Location
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Interests
    Translational neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program

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  1. Hey, I actually got a phone interview from them a couple of weeks back, and apparently should hear a response by next week if not in early March. I'm a US student and even though our applications are pooled in with domestic applicants, I applied well before the international student deadline. Thanks for your response though!
  2. I received an interview invite to the UToronto's Pharmacology program, but never got an email back to confirm a time. Is it safe to assume that they've rescinded my invitation, or should I wait to follow up?
  3. Has anyone applied to U of T's Pharmacology program, and received an interview invite, but no confirmation about when the interview is going to take place? I'm freaking out over here.
  4. I submitted my application to a school way before one of their first deadlines and they invited me to an interview a couple of days prior to the application deadline. However, no one has gotten back to me about the final confirmed date/time. I have the option to go in person, but because of distance I am also flexible about doing a phone interview. Am I being overly anxious about it or should I wait and follow up if I don’t hear anything in a week? I’m hoping it wasn’t a mistake that they requested to interview me, seeing as it’s my top choice.
  5. Hi all, I am in the process of drafting personal statements for graduate school, and I was wondering how open I should be about pursuing a non-academic career after completing the degree. If I do decide to mention it, will it hurt my application?
  6. Hi all, I'm a recent graduate from a top liberal arts school who is interested in pursuing graduate study for neuroscience/pharmacology in Canada, and I am also looking to eventually relocate here permanently. I found a few programs and professors whose research areas fit my interests, skills, and experience extremely well. Although the websites claim that international students are guaranteed a certain stipend, considering that most grant agencies place restrictions on use of funds for non-citizens or non-permanent residents, it makes me skeptical that I would be able to get in on the basis of not having available funding. I know that there are limited scholarship opportunities available for non-Canadian students, but my GPA is nowhere near high enough to be considered for them (I'm in 3.5-land, GPA wise). If anyone could answer these, I would really appreciate it: Am I competitive enough for my programs of interest even without the ability to bring in additional funding? Even if I somehow manage to get in, how am I going to fund graduate study without going into a significant amount of debt? Thanks!
  7. I'm sorry if it wasn't clearer, but let me rephrase. While there is one researcher who I would love working with, I identified 4 or 5 other people I would also like to work with given the topics they study or the techniques they use. The same is true for McGill and Drexel, whereas there is maybe only one PI I would be interested in working with at Penn. What other elements should I incorporate into my SOP besides the obvious skills/techniques I've mastered and research interests? So far I have at least 2 if not 3 potential LORs that would be really strong, but I think having my third person be someone who is actually capable of speaking to my research abilities would be best. Was your post-bacc program a PREP program or a pre-medical post-bacc? Could you speak more about what your course load was like and how classes fit in with your research schedule (assuming you did the course work while you were holding the RA position)?
  8. Thanks for the information about Penn. My friend made it seem as if all of Penn's PhD programs offered a Master's degree at some point during the PhD. She was applying in a different field, that actually has a master's program. The research being done by one of the faculty members at U of T (sadly, he's in the Psychiatry department at the medical school and I don't know if I would be able to work with him at all) caught my eye, and he seems to be spearheading this initiative started by NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (RDoc) in Canada to improve diagnostics and treatment for mental illnesses. There are others who are doing very similar work, and coupled with the fact that the neuroscience arm of the Pharmacology department has a couple of people working on similar things (with an albeit less clinical focus), I think that it would be a good fit for me. Having a significant other in Canada who wants to study related things and spending quite a bit of time in Eastern Ontario and the GTA really make me want to live there. But yeah, I agree that the IRTA would be great.
  9. This is information I was given by a friend who was applying to programs at Penn. That may have been relevant to her field.
  10. I want to get a Master to see if I really enjoy research enough to pursue a PhD as opposed to going to medical school and working with patients or something. I know people have suggested I go the M.D./PhD programs, but from what I know of general cutoffs and stats, I don't think that I am competitive in terms of academics or experienced enough to qualify for that. That being said, I know that a PhD is a whole different ball game, but similarly to going straight for an MD/PhD I simply don't feel the least bit prepared. For my top choice (U of T), it would be best for me to apply to the master's program anyway seeing as you can always transfer in after the first 12 months in the program. I know where my interests lie (translational research/medicine if not pre-clinical research, particularly for addiction/psychiatric illness), just not the most appropriate channels for approaching them, I guess. That being said, I definitely wouldn't stop at a master's degree.
  11. Undergrad institution:US top 30 liberal arts school (depending on rankings) Major: Biology Minor: Psychology GPA in Major: 3.42 or something like that, should be higher when I graduate given trends in my grades Overall GPA: 3.45, which also should be above 3.5 when I graduate Type of student: Domestic, minority female, current senior I have not taken the GRE yet, but I plan to after graduation in May. Research experience: Summer research internship that I found by contacting a local PI whose research focused on the role of monoamine neurotransmitters and associated neuropeptides in stress related pathology. I got a poster and a presentation out of it, and a really good relationship with the lab. I still volunteer there from time to time, and am scheduled to present my poster at the local Society for Neuroscience chapter early next year. Additionally, I am in the processes of doing research at my home institution for a thesis. My project for the thesis is more based on neuroethology and contains more physiology than pharmacology, and even though this is not my primary interest I do like that I am getting to do electophysiological assays. Awards/Honors: 4 Year Full Tuition Leadership scholarship from a national organization affiliated with my college. I am on track to graduate Cum Laude (as if that matters). Activities/Jobs: I have been a TA for the introductory biology lab course for 2 years, so I have gotten to help students and do the more time consuming parts of experiments that focus heavily on molecular biology and genetics (which is the dominant focus of the bio department at my school). I am also head of a committee that advocates for the needs of students in STEM majors, where we have focused on improving career resources and advising for these students (which pales in comparison to what is available at large research institutions and probably Ivies). Heavily involved in student government all four years, as well as cultural groups on campus. These positions have taught me how to manage finances for clubs and manage larger projects and events. In my spare time, my SO and I are working on a book about mental illness or something to that effect. I'll let you know if we actually get somewhere! Applying to Where: I'm not applying this round, but next round (Fall 2018). But here are the following schools I am looking into, ranked in order by how much I want to go there. The list is short for now as I am still trying to come up with a list of 6-7 schools worth applying to. It should be noted that I am looking to go into a master's program as opposed to a PhD, because I don't think my grades + experience are quite there and I am not sure if I want to go the PhD route. I know that in the case of Penn, you are essentially getting a master, but also are basically being streamlined into the PhD program after a year. I listed it as an option seeing as quite a few people who graduate from my school do end up going to U Penn to get graduate degrees if they don't get an RA position there after graduating. University of Toronto - Pharmacology & Toxicology McGill - Integrative Program in Neuroscience/Psychiatry/Pharmacology (unsure which one suits my needs) Drexel Graduate School of Biomedical and Professional Studies - Pharmacology & Physiology (I did my internship here) UPenn BGS - Neuroscience Special Bonus Points: Minority status may help in the states, but I doubt it means much for Canadian schools. Other Info: I am also sort of pre-med, which shows in my coursework, but unsure if I actually want to commit to going to medical school. Additionally, exposure to certain topics in some of my courses really has me interested in the research side of things. Organic chemistry was not my friend but I received merit grades (no lower than B- though), however I did much better in lab than I did in lecture, but unfortunately the grade on my transcript does not reflect that considering that the lab course and the lecture course are combined into one grade. The same could be said for a lot of the courses in which I took lab courses actually, but my grades in all my other courses are much better. Additionally, a lot of my psych coursework is more neuroscience based or health related. Finally, I have taken two research methods/statistics courses, both of which have taught me how to use R (bio stats) and SPSS (psych stats). My main issue is that I don't think I am competitive for any of the master's programs I want to attend, so I was planning to use my gap year to not only delve further into my research interests, but to also get more research experience. Several alums have recommended that I go for an IRTA program at NIH, and I am considering that. However, i also have a great relationship with the lab I interned at and I know the tech is leaving this spring. I may consider taking his position also. The second option is more ideal because then I could resume work with the project I worked on over the summer, assuming my PI successfully secured grant funding to do a lot more with it. Would doing either of these things make me more competitive for the programs I am interested in?
  12. Hi! I wad wondering if you could describe the courses you take, the research that people are doing (more specifically how interdisciplinary or clinical based it is), and just things about the school in general. Do you like the program? How did you know it was right for you, etc? Basically, tell me everything. xD
  13. Hi all. I am an American student who currently attends a top 50 liberal arts institution, and is potentially interested in attending graduate school in Canada. In particular I am looking at McGill and University of Toronto. I wanted to know if anyone had more information on which would be better, both in terms of fit and reputation according to the neuroscience research they produce. I will be applying for admission in Fall 2018 (so next round) after taking a gap year to do some kind of post-bac program or working as an RA/RT. McGill is interesting to me because it actually has a Psychiatry masters program where you can do research that is directly related to that, whereas U of T does not have that. A PI that I worked with for my summer internship also has connections to some researchers there through a collaborator, and they are definitely participating in research that I am profoundly interested in (which is the role of stress circuitry in contributing to psychiatric illness). I feel as if this would be a great option for me since I am on the fence about if I enjoy research enough to consider a PhD, and if I were to go the medical school route I would likely pursue psychiatry. U of T does have a research group that is also dedicated to understanding stress circuitry, but it's not based at their main campus and I have minimal experience with the other campuses. The program I am most interested in is the pharmacology program, which is more in line with the work that I have been exposed to given my research experience. The physiology program also looks interesting as well since my undergraduate research fits well into this category. I know I have kept this brief but I would be happy to provide more info if anyone can help.
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