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BabyScientist

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BabyScientist last won the day on August 15 2018

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About BabyScientist

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    Mocha

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Neuroscience

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  1. Remember that everyone coming in has a different background. There's no shame in asking for help - definitely better to ask for help than to mess something up because you weren't sure. Things fail all the time in lab, what they'll care about is how you handle it. The PI will know that what matters more is how you handle yourself - new techniques are easy to teach, human behavior... not so much.
  2. The actual content of what you'll be learning in each program varies dramatically, though. Generally you apply for the degree that will teach you the content you need to perform the research you're interested in. If you want to learn about genetics, do a genetics program. If you wanted to be in a neuroscience lab, usually you can join labs from different departments and still be getting a certain degree. Clinical psychology is the most random of the three, as it gives you a completely different set of skills, but if that's another interest you want the potential to pursue, that's fair. I'm just trying to understand how you chose genetics vs neurobiology at those schools. Generally, I think your application is strong enough. Your GPA just might prevent you from getting through at places like Harvard or Caltech. It's all on SOP and LORs.
  3. Those are very different programs. Clinical psychology, neuroscience, genetics.
  4. Women, not as much, but minority, sort of. More funding options are open to minorities and funding agencies like to fund minorities, which means universities like to accept minorities because they're more likely to get funded by outside sources.
  5. Ask letter writers a few months before the apps are due. If you tell them too far in advance, they'll forget. I suggest asking after apps open, in case they want to do it right away. Make sure to follow up a couple weeks before apps are due. Don't expect them to do them in a timely manner. Shouldn't matter if you spell them out. If you have the space, go for it, otherwise, they know their own program's name. I recommend making it a CV. Consider what's most important to them and order your sections that way. Mine was: education, research experience, publications and abstracts, other experience.
  6. I'm happy to help! You also might want to consider letters of rec as a possible cause of last year's outcome. One bad line in one letter of rec is enough to blacklist someone.
  7. Like I said, they don't scrutinize every course you've taken, and they won't scrutinize courseloads. If taking fewer courses will help you do better, then do it.
  8. Your GPA showing improvement over time should help. I suggest having people review your SOP, it's hard to judge your own writing about yourself. I'm happy to help with this if you want. No one can make a list for you - we don't know your interests. What you should do is look for faculty you're interested in working with and apply to the schools that have at least 3 faculty you're excited about. I'm happy to review such a list once you've made one.
  9. So long as there are at least 3 faculty at each institution that you'd be excited to work with, I think your list is fine.
  10. I don't see it hurting, but I doubt they would really look at it unless it was in their field and they were interested.
  11. Why do you want a Master's at all? I was always told that, in science, you do an MS if you're not sure you want a PhD or not sure of what you want to study. You can get into PhD programs directly with a bachelor's in the US. Also, if you're only a rising sophomore, I'd say don't worry about it until maybe midway through your junior year. For now, join a research lab at your school and start contributing to actual research.
  12. It sounds like you'd be a solid applicant for PhD programs and would have a unique perspective. I've enjoyed my experience thus far. I love research, and it's what I get to do. Best aspect: Freedom. I guess this depends on your mentor but mine is very open to my ideas and I, with guidance, mostly make my own decisions. My day is dictated by what I want. Worst aspect: Frankly, you'd make a lot more as a PT. The PhD stipend is, on average, around $30k a year. So you're making around that much for 5-6 years, then if you do a postdoc you make maybe $40-50k a year for the 3-5 years of that. Unless you want to go into industry, then you could make a lot more after your PhD. That being said, I love what I do and am not doing it for the money. If you truly hate what you're doing, and enjoy the research you're doing, it sounds like a great idea to apply for PhD programs. And I admire your commitment to finish what you've started. Good luck!
  13. There was a PhD student in my former lab who did exactly this. I imagine it depends on the field you want to study, and MS vs PhD. There's a chance when you come back you'll want to do research again for a bit before applying, though, just to boost your chances.
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