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About dorkstep

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    2017 Fall
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  1. Am I aiming too high?

    I'm a student in a top ranked institution in the UK, applying for synthetic organic chemistry PhD in the US. I am aiming high - I was planning to apply to MIT, Harvard, Scripps, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley. However, I am not sure given my background, if this is aiming too high. Research wise, I've done two summers and I am currently completing my Masters year (full-time research). All my projects have been relevant to my interests and have been in synthetic organic chemistry. Unfortunately, none of my projects have resulted in publications, mostly because I have been the first person on each project, meaning I've been getting it off the ground. I think my work could be published in the future, but not until after the admissions cycle. I have three recommendation letters from organic chemists, one of which is very well-known with a lot of connections. I'm in approximately the top 15% of my year for Chemistry. I got 167/161/4.5 on the general GRE and I'm waiting for my chemistry GRE score, but I'm hoping >90%. Do I have a chance of getting an offer from one of the institutions I listed?
  2. Thanks for your reply! Interesting to know that a good chunk do not have any publications.
  3. Thank you - do you mind if I ask why you think this? (are you a current student or have you applied in the past?)
  4. The schools I am currently most interested in are Princeton, Harvard, UIUC, Caltech, MIT and the like, I'm in organic chemistry and have lots of research experience but unfortunately I have been on projects which have not led to publication for one reason or another. I got to a top ranked undergrad institution and i'm in the top 15% - does this help at all? I would like to hear if anyone has applied and got into this tier of schools without publications, or from students who are at these schools and know people who got in with no publications. Thanks for your help!
  5. Unsure who to ask for letters of recommendation

    Thanks a lot, this is very helpful
  6. Unsure who to ask for letters of recommendation

    Thanks for your reply. The research fellow does have a doctorate (he's more like a postdoc really - he has published over 100 publications) - does that make a difference? Or do you still think it's better to use the other professors in a different field?
  7. I'm an undergrad currently studying in the UK, but I'm unsure who to use for letters of recommendation. The rule I've seen for LoR is to ask people who have known you for more than 6 months. Unfortunately due to the way my course works, there is only one person in my intended area (organic chemistry) who will have known me for this length of time, and he hasn't seen me outside taught courses. My choices are: A research fellow in org chem (who works for a famous prof) who has taught me for a year, my masters supervisor (organic chemistry - he will have known me for 4 months when I apply), a famous professor I did a summer project with (organic chemistry - worked with him ~3 months) or two professors in inorganic/physical chemistry who have taught me for three years and know me really well. I'm unsure who to pick. I'm scared if I don't pick 3 organic chemists this will hinder me, and also if only one person I pick has seen me do research. Is it bad to include people who have worked with me for less than 6 months, or this a general rule to insure the supervisor knows me well? Do I have any chance at top schools? Thanks in advance for help.