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BabyScientist

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  1. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from TheDefeater in What should I prep for my interviews?   
    A small notebook might be a good idea. I found it helpful to jot down a few notes with my thoughts after each interview so that by the time April rolled around and I had to decide on a program, I could refresh my memory on what I thought of interviews in January.
  2. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from balisticFeanor in What should I prep for my interviews?   
    A small notebook might be a good idea. I found it helpful to jot down a few notes with my thoughts after each interview so that by the time April rolled around and I had to decide on a program, I could refresh my memory on what I thought of interviews in January.
  3. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from dopamine_machine in Ask questions about the PhD application process!   
    Unhelpful to ask for an informal chat before interviews.
    I found it completely unnecessary to read papers for my interviews in advance. I started off doing them, but the papers never came up. You should have an idea of what they do, but focus on knowing how to talk about your own research. Also know why you want a PhD and why that program is a good fit for you. They are unlikely to test your knowledge of their science, and more likely to test your knowledge of your own science.
    You also won't be expected to come in ready to do their research. You're expected to show interest and intellectual ability, they'd teach you whatever technical skills necessary to perform research in their lab. It's school, after all.
    I don't think any of my interviewers asked me about my strengths and weaknesses...
    Your goal in the interview is to show them you're passionate and dedicated and KNOW you want to be there.
  4. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from sirt3 in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    You can get interviews at both
  5. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Mimititi in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    You can get interviews at both
  6. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from nerdyneuron in Jobs for Biology majors   
    The 2 most common tracks are industry or academia. Industry being pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In those you could do well with just a bachelors, but a masters and a PhD would increase pay, and a PhD would increase autonomy (depending on the position/company). Depending on the field and what you want, academia could mean professor/principal investigator, or research scientist.
    Other than those there are "non traditional" options like science writing, science policy, consulting, etc.
    If you're in undergrad currently, I recommend looking for internships that would give you a taste for science application so you can decide what you want. If you want to do something that requires more specialized knowledge that your bio degree didn't get you, consider a masters. If you love research and see yourself doing it fora long time, consider a PhD.
  7. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from M246 in Jobs for Biology majors   
    The 2 most common tracks are industry or academia. Industry being pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In those you could do well with just a bachelors, but a masters and a PhD would increase pay, and a PhD would increase autonomy (depending on the position/company). Depending on the field and what you want, academia could mean professor/principal investigator, or research scientist.
    Other than those there are "non traditional" options like science writing, science policy, consulting, etc.
    If you're in undergrad currently, I recommend looking for internships that would give you a taste for science application so you can decide what you want. If you want to do something that requires more specialized knowledge that your bio degree didn't get you, consider a masters. If you love research and see yourself doing it fora long time, consider a PhD.
  8. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from D2R in Ask questions about the PhD application process!   
    Most interviews go like this:
    They ask you about your research experience. You start telling them about it, they occasionally stop you to ask questions.
    They tell you about their research (this is why reading papers in advance is unnecessary). Ideally, you try to ask questions or relate their work to yours or things you've heard of.
    They ask you if you have any questions about the program. You ask questions about how their lab works (how big it is, if they send people to conferences, if they have space for you, where their funding comes from, what their students go on to do, etc). This shows them you know what goes into a PhD.
    You shouldn't be focused on one particular line of research. You should be open to studying many things within the general field. If that's the only professor studying it at that school but he isn't taking students, they won't accept you. Or if multiple do but aren't taking students, same thing.
    You should show that you're excited to talk about your own work, you are able to think about other people's work (by asking questions about their research), you know what goes into a PhD, and you know why you want a PhD. If you're not sure about the why, they'll likely be able to tell, and they won't want to accept anyone who might end up quitting their PhD.
  9. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from gaultiero in Ask questions about the PhD application process!   
    Unhelpful to ask for an informal chat before interviews.
    I found it completely unnecessary to read papers for my interviews in advance. I started off doing them, but the papers never came up. You should have an idea of what they do, but focus on knowing how to talk about your own research. Also know why you want a PhD and why that program is a good fit for you. They are unlikely to test your knowledge of their science, and more likely to test your knowledge of your own science.
    You also won't be expected to come in ready to do their research. You're expected to show interest and intellectual ability, they'd teach you whatever technical skills necessary to perform research in their lab. It's school, after all.
    I don't think any of my interviewers asked me about my strengths and weaknesses...
    Your goal in the interview is to show them you're passionate and dedicated and KNOW you want to be there.
  10. Upvote
    BabyScientist reacted to schaffercolls in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    I think above a certain threshold of “stats”, it boils down to research interests and luck. If the people you have a good fit with aren’t accepting students from the 2020 cohort, you’re SOL. However, the person who may rank slightly below you stats-wise may get an invite because that person wants to work with a PI who is desperate for students, so is accepting upwards of 2 students from 2020, etc.
    One of my best friends and I both applied to UCSF and Berkeley. We have worked in the same lab for the same amount of time, and we edited each other’s papers, applications, and our stats are extremely similar. The only difference in our apps is research interests. However I got an invite to UCSF and got rejected from Berkeley while the opposite happened to her. i think the key takeaway is that you shouldn’t give up because your “stats” are not the best, or because you are getting rejections from a couple schools. If even one person likes your application and thinks you are a good fit, it means you have a chance!
  11. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Fruit Flies in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    I interviewed for one of them in the past. It's not awkward - everyone knows both programs exist and is super nice/treats everyone the same.
  12. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from TheDefeater in Difficult interviewers   
    Didn't happen to me in all 7 of my interviews. Never heard of an interviewer trying to discourage anyone... They are trying to attract you as much as you're trying to attract them. 
  13. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Fruit Flies in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    They accept for both. 
  14. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from DRMF in Do decisions ever come out on weekends?   
    They could send them out literally any day or time.
    BUT you should unplug and enjoy yourself. They aren't going to take your invite away if you don't pick up the phone when they call. 
  15. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from StardustCrusader in Ask questions about the PhD application process!   
    They wouldn't know or care, tbh. The only people who would probably be upset are your letter writers, with short notice to write and submit letters. 
  16. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Neuro_logos in 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    Definitely normal to contact PIs.
    I don't know if any places to get examples of the 2, but an SOP should be more based on your research interests and experiences that lead you to want to pursue a PhD, and why you want a PhD. A PS is more of a who are you and what brought you here, academically relevant or otherwise. SOP is more about your academic life and a PS is more about your whole life. 
  17. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from DRMF in 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    You're applying for way too many competitive schools (and generally too many schools). I think your application could be totally solid, and you could reasonably get in to graduate school, but your list is made up entirely of reach schools.
    If you're committed to going to one of those schools, I would recommend taking a year or two to work full time in a lab, get some publications under your belt, etc. 
  18. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Neuromantic in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    Knowing someone can help skew things in your favor, but it's still a committee. They have to convince everyone else that you're worth accepting.
    Tbh if you declined Pitt after your PI pulled for you, it makes him/her look bad. They essentially wasted a slot on you they could've given someone else. 
  19. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Neuromantic in 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    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. 
  20. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Scrappyhappy in 2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results   
    Definitely not bad form, I'd encourage it. Get an idea of if the people you want to work with are good people and if they're even taking students. Reach out and express your interest in their work and that you're applying and would love to hear more about their work/the program. I had a few phone calls with faculty of interest.
    EDIT: this won't necessarily help your chance at admission, but is more for you to know what you're getting yourself into before you apply. 
  21. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from smurky in 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    I think that's a solid list. No publications? That can be excused since you worked industry. It'll depend on strength of LORs and SOP. Good luck! 
  22. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from mcal in Personal Statement Read- Is it too specific?   
    I'm happy to read it 
  23. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from Bak3rm3 in Ask questions about the PhD application process!   
    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. 
  24. Upvote
    BabyScientist got a reaction from serialexperimentsleon in Advice on courseload in final semester before application   
    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. 
  25. Like
    BabyScientist got a reaction from LumosNox in How to go about building up my profile for a Ph.D in Biological Sciences   
    Focus on getting research experience. If you can work in a lab and make significant contributions (research papers, conferences, etc) 
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