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jougami

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About jougami

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    Caffeinated

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  • Application Season
    2017 Fall

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  1. I didn't apply to PIBS, but contacting students you know in the program definitely won't hurt you (unless they harbor a secret grudge against you). During my interviews, I talked to a current student at one of the schools I applied to who I knew previously and they gave me valuable insight into the program.
  2. It depends on the school, but I hear post-interview acceptance rates are usually 60-90% or so for domestic applicants. I heard Princeton accepted around 2/3 of their interviewees, while UPenn accepted more than 90% last year https://www.med.upenn.edu/camb/app_info.shtml . It's just anecdotal, but I think most of the other schools I applied to accepted at least 80% of their domestic interviewees, with the interview acting as more of a recruitment tool than for eliminating candidates.
  3. My acceptances came within a few days to a week of the interview, while my rejections from Dartmouth took 2 weeks and Princeton took 6 weeks.
  4. I did 7 interviews my senior year of undergrad and met some people who did more, but I had a very light spring semester schedule so I didn't actually miss any coursework. While I really enjoyed my interview experiences, it does get exhausting eventually and if I had more classes to deal with it would have been a challenge to keep up with them. If you know you definitely don't care about a school, you can turn down their invitation since you already have 4 interviews (unless you're an international student). Do keep in mind though that a school you don't really consider at first might be an unexpectedly good fit when visiting in person and that interviews are also a good networking experience.
  5. What are your long term goals? I would think getting a master's is doable with the basic biology background you have and your gpa, as long as you can explain your desire to switch fields. In a master's program you could join a lab and do research to see if that's the path you would like to pursue.
  6. It shouldn't matter unless the program is really small and more people from the earlier weekend accept their offer than they can take. Otherwise, schools usually know how many offers they can make and treat the interviews independently.
  7. Based on your stats and experience I think you'll be competitive for the programs you applied for. I had a 4.0 from a flagship public university, 168/169/5.0 GRE, and 2.5/1.5 years of research (concurrently in different labs) when I applied and got into UPenn, Duke, and Cornell. I'm not in your field but I would say don't sell yourself short and apply to Stanford if you'd like to go there. If you apply to mainly umbrella programs, you don't need to be super specific about your research interests. In undergrad I did research on plant biochemistry and human cancer, which are two very different things; in my applications I vaguely stated that I was interested in research involved in curing disease, especially cancer, which is also very broad. I would say you don't need to contact more than 3 PIs; I didn't contact any before applying but like for all the above advice your mileage may vary.
  8. As an senior in undergrad (or as a grad student), you can apply for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, but the NIH fellowships are restricted to grad students as far as I know. For the NSF GRFP, the grant is paid to the institution as a $34,000 stipend and a $12,000 cost of education allowance for the student, yearly for 3 years. https://www.nsfgrfp.org/general_resources/about Most of the places I interviewed at stated that if a student receives a fellowship, they get a few thousand added to their stipend as a bonus (so you don't get the entire amount of the fellowship stipend on top of your regular stipend but you're not going to lose anything if your regular stipend is more than the fellowship). In addition to having a nice line on your CV, having your own research funding allows you to be more flexible in the advisor you choose and the research you do since they have to worry less about supporting you financially and can spend that extra money on the research.
  9. With your stats, I think you're a competitive applicant as long as you score decently on the GRE.
  10. 1. As long as the schools have good research and would be a good fit, you shouldn't really worry about prestige. I will say though, with your GPA and experience applying to more prestigious schools should be fine. Prestige isn't everything but it still is correlated to funding and other opportunities. 2. I am fairly certain I want to do industry but I put that I was keeping both academia and industry in mind when I did my application. During interviews the professors didn't seem to have a problem with this but I heard there was one guy who had an interview go bad after he said he wanted to do industry. Your mileage may vary but I'd say the safe bet is to say you're keeping your options open. 3. If you already have 3 professors writing your letters you could maybe have the post-doc's letter as part of your PI's letter. 4. With your GPA and major the subject test is unnecessary.
  11. It's worth a shot. It's almost April already and the worst they can do is reject you so I'd say go ahead and either email or call them.
  12. Rejected by Princeton. Pretty disappointed but I guess my research interests were too biomedical so their decision makes sense Now I have to decide between Duke and UPenn...
  13. I also agree that the science should guide your decision, but if you think you might be unhappy living in SF you could try emailing prospective advisors/grad students at Rockefeller and ask about their lab environments or if they are taking students.
  14. A broad scope of research shouldn't hurt you as long as you have some relevant experience. At application, I had 2.5 years of research on plankton biochemistry and 1 on cancer but applied to biomedical/mol bio programs. Interviewers didn't seem to mind and some were even interested in the work which I was concerned would be a detriment to my application. I would only mention the humanities thesis in my SOP if it had some relevance to my research or scientific goals, but you can include it in your CV as "Honors Thesis in Major So and So". Getting a job in a lab doing research would definitely help you in admissions.
  15. Same here! Now I just wait for Princeton...
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