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BabyScientist last won the day on August 15

BabyScientist had the most liked content!


About BabyScientist

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    2018 Fall
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  1. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Agreed on this generally, except that I know some people are just really set on starting next year. If you just really want/need to get into grad school, nothing wrong with applying to some schools you might not have otherwise considered. I ended up loving my initial least favorite schools and hating my initial tops. You get a different view after interviews. One of my "safeties" ended up being the main contender to the program I ended up choosing because at interviews I learned that they had some of the biggest names in a specialized subfield I was interested in, even though they didn't generally have as good a reputation as some other schools I got into. Moral of the story: focus on schools with faculty doing stuff you're interested in, not well known schools. Don't Google schools and check their faculty lists, Google people and check where they are. Ultimately the research you do is most important (not that institutions reputations don't matter, but if you can be successful in a lab matters more).
  2. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    GRE scores are being weighted way less nowadays. Don't worry about them. Depending on your LORs and SOPs, your list looks fine
  3. BabyScientist

    2019 Applications: Neuroscience Msc/PhD (Profiles &Stats)

    I recommend posting this in the biology forum where there are specific posts for this already.
  4. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    That's not the standard in the US, but it's not unusual to at least contact faculty to express interest.
  5. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    10 is pretty standard, but only apply to schools with faculty you really want to work with. You have a good application (depending on SOP and LORs), but you probably have 2 too many top tier programs. Make sure there are actually at least 3 faculty members at each school you'd be really excited to work with.
  6. BabyScientist

    Faculty involved in autoimmune diseases

    I know that UVA has a strong emphasis in neuroimmunology - that probably includes some autoimmune disorders.
  7. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Safe doesn't really exist. Just depends on your stats....
  8. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Also make sure those 5 aren't top tier schools. To have the best odds at admission, you should have a few top, more mid, and a few lower tier schools (I don't think "low tier/safety" really exists in grad school). If you can't find any lower to mid tiers you'd be interested in attending, and you would be okay with not getting in this year and applying again next year, that's fine. But you should try to look into people doing stuff you're interested in at non Ivy/Ivy-level schools.
  9. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I think you have a very solid application. There's nothing that jumps out as could hold you back. As long as you have great letters of rec and a strong SOP, your list looks fine. As I say to everyone, though, make sure you're actually interested in at least 3 faculty at each school. As far as school suggestions, I think Brandeis has great people doing membrane trafficking stuff. I think your special bonus points and any other info comments could both be looked at as very interesting by admissions committees. If cancer is relevant to why you want to go into research, you should mention that in your SOP.
  10. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    It shouldn't matter. They just want an idea of if they choose to accept you will you have way better options or is there a good chance you'd accept the offer.
  11. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Seconded. It's really hard to just put all your eggs in the prestigious basket when it's so ambiguous what your odds are as an international student.
  12. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I think your profile is okay for those schools, but it's always hard to judge with international students. If you have the means, you might want to add a few more lower tier schools if you can find some with faculty of interest.
  13. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    That is a very long list of really high tier schools. If you can afford it, go for it. But it also is almost impossible that you have enough faculty of interest at each of those schools.
  14. BabyScientist

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I think your list is okay, but with the added factor of being an international student it's hard to judge. It sounds like you could really benefit from taking at least a year to work in a lab to bolster your application. It's not necessarily your GPA I'd be worried about, but working in a lab full time in a formal setting and not for a grade is VERY different from undergrad lab experiences. Your experience sounds pretty good, but especially if you yourself are saying that you don't think you're a strong enough candidate, you might want to take more time. Those insecurities can come through on applications and in interviews, and it would improve your odds. What's the rush?
  15. BabyScientist

    Lab Rotation Expectations

    Put time into what you're doing. It's not like you're expected to get a ton done, but the more you get done the more impressed they'll be. But it's not just get it done, get it done well. Quality over quantity. You probably also have to balance your classes, so function with that limitation in mind. Generally the PI is evaluating your motivation above all else, as well as your fit in the lab (socially, as well as with your interests). Grad students function fairly independently. A PI wants to know that he/she has students who are self motivated who he doesn't have to push to come to lab to finish that next experiment. I suggest expressing excitement about getting results. If you have the option to analyze the data tonight or tomorrow, doing it tonight because you just can't wait to see the results will look a lot better than waiting. Also expressing excitement about the research in general (duh). Also remember that PIs largely function as mentors. You can have a discussion about your interests and what you love about research in general. You should also be evaluating them and if you want them to be your mentor for half a decade.

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