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About StemCellFan

  • Rank
    Double Shot

Profile Information

  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Biomedical Science PhD

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  1. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I think you have a good philosophy and I think that shouldn't apply anywhere you do not see yourself going. If you have one school on the list because it's a safety school but you would not be happy there or would never go there, I would not apply. I would take a year or two off and (re)apply to the schools you actually would be interested in going to. That said, you have a tough list of schools there, and your scores are good and your research experience is decent. Do you have any presentations? Will you have 3 solid LoRs? I think the application season might be rough--but apply anyway. If you don't get in this season, take a year or two off, work in a research lab, and reapply.
  2. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I would go ahead and send the the second set of scores. Percentile-wise, there isn't too huge of a difference between your two verbal scores, but your AW jumps from a 17% to a 41%. AW is the score they care least about. Either way, your verbal scores are still pretty decent and are above the 70th percentile.
  3. StemCellFan

    Updating my CV

    Hi, To answer some of your questions: 1) I would take out anything that's not related to research or teaching. It doesn't matter if you've done it as a high school student, if you've done research, I would definitely include it on there. Teaching I would put under a separate section 2) Mine starts with my name, education, research experiences, bibliography/publications, presentations, teaching experiences, I have a small section on the two undergraduate grants I wrote, if you have awards (like a poster award) you can add that, and I have my relevant volunteer information last (ex. science fair judging). 3) I went into a fair amount of detail with my research. I mentioned what my projects were or what my job duties were if I was a tech. I didn't go into background, significance, or into the techniques I used too much when describing my research in the CV. I saved that information for my research or personal statements.
  4. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    No problem! I was a couple years out from my undergrad before I got a middle author paper from my thesis work and another from my work as a technician. And it's taken me almost 5 years post-undergrad to get to the point where I have a couple first publications coming out. I think what's considered a good impact journal, outside of the prestigious ones, depends entirely on your field. I work in blood research right now, and the top journals for us are Blood (Impact factor: ~15), ATVB (Impact factor: ~6), and Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostsis (Impact factor: ~5.5). Journal of Clinical Investigation (IF: ~13) is also popular for us it seems. This will differ for people in the Neuro field. Journals that are associated with major conferences or societies generally have good impact factors and are well-regarded in those specific fields. I don't want to put too much emphasis on impact factors since that also differs from field to field, but even journals with lower impact factors (i.e. 1 or 2) would still look good to an admissions committee, as long as the paper went through the whole stringent peer-reviewed process.
  5. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Any pub from a reputable (as in, non-predatory) peer-reviewed journal looks good, but a high impact, prestigious journal like Nature or Science might make the adcomms look at your application more closely. Subfields also have their own high-impact, well-regarded journals. If someone is really interested in the work you've done, then they might look at your actual publications and read them more closely, but overall the committee will just look at publications as a measure of your research accomplishments. During my interviews, I've had a couple PIs request to meet/interview with me because they read through one of my publications and wanted to discuss the work. Having a publication or not won't make or break your application, and for undergrads, it's actually not as common as you may think for them to have publications--especially not first-author pubs.
  6. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I didn't, and another user made a topic and posted this link here. The individual who did is Dr. Joshua Hall at UNC (Who directs admissions to the BBSP program there). His contact information is at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  7. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Hi, I'm late to the party, but I wanted to mention that there are a number of PhD programs in biomedical sciences/biology that are waiving GRE requirements. This link will give you more information on that: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MYcxZMhf97H5Uxr2Y7XndHn6eEC5oO8XWQi2PU5jLxQ/edit#gid=0 I know Brown isn't on the list, but I think it's worth it to apply. See if you can make a connection with someone there since you will be an alumnus, as BabyScientist suggested. I'm not familiar with your field, but other schools in the area I know of are Harvard, Tufts, Boston U, UMass Medical School (Worcester), and Northeastern U that all have PhD programs. Whether there are faculty doing research you are interested in, I'm unsure about that. Good luck!
  8. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I'm not familiar with the microbiology field, however I think you might be aiming too high and being an international student adds another degree of competitiveness. 3 schools are too little of an amount to apply to, especially with schools that are in the top or middle/top tier like these. When I see a small school list like this it's typically from people who contact faculty to join a lab rather than go through a general admissions process, or they apply to a small number of schools due to financial reasons or geographical limitations. Or they have very niche research interests. Unless you fall into any of those categories, I would highly suggest adding a few more middle-tier schools to your list if you can. You should be aiming for 6-10 schools if possible.
  9. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I think it depends somewhat. I do not think undergrads who are applying are expected to have publications, but should have at least presented their research at a conference or completed a thesis if that's an option at their school. I went to a small state school that was focused on teaching more than research and I didn't get my first middle-authorship from my undergrad lab until after I worked as a tech for a year. Students publishing as an undergrad was uncommon at my school, but many of them presented their work at undergraduate or regional/national conferences. Maybe it's different if you go to a bigger school where PIs publish multiple papers a year? But, if someone worked as a research tech for a couple years in an academic lab, or did a post-bacc somewhere, I think there are expectations to at least have middle-authorship if not first or second authorship on papers that are at least in preparation or submitted. If someone is working in a non-academic research area like industry, I wouldn't expect them to have published. I think the most important thing is to be able to demonstrate that you are passionate about research and that you are able to describe your projects. Why is the research you did important? What broader impact does it have? What controls or methods did you use to get your results? What do your results mean? I think being able to demonstrate this is more important than a certain number of publications. I was told by multiple PIs that publications aren't expected but they are nice to have. They can make up for lackluster GRE or GPA, but they won't make or break your application. It's like icing on an already really good cake.
  10. StemCellFan

    Should I retake the GRE

    You don't need to retake it. Those scores should be good enough to get you through an initial screening.
  11. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    What schools are you looking at? Your verbal is great and your quant is still hovering at 50%. I think with your research experience, the quant score won't hinder you too much if you can write a great SOP and get great letters of rec. I would definitely apply to a range of schools if you can. I would look into well-regarded flagship state schools, a couple top tiers like Harvard, Stanford or UCSF, and see if you can find a couple schools in the mid-tier. This will depend on what your research interests and career goals are, of course. I got into Wisconsin, which I consider a solid mid/high-tier choice, with a 48%/55% quant/verbal score and a lot of solid research experience. Also, there are a few programs in biomedical sciences waiving the GRE requirement, so I would take a look at some of their admissions requirements.
  12. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Unless you cannot find other programs with faculty you are interested in working with, I would suggest putting a couple schools in the mid-tier on there (maybe look at well-regarded flagship state schools). This is a pretty top heavy list. Also, some of these programs may be waiving their GRE requirements. I would certainly take the GRE because you might need it, but I would aim for 75%+ in quant and verbal for these top schools.
  13. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I second BabyScientist's remarks. I got C's in both introductory and organic chemistry courses (I wasn't doing great as an overall student at the time...) and still got into a lot of good programs. I think you have a good spread of schools on your list too.
  14. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    If you're looking at the midwest specifically, I would also consider University of Michigan (PIBS program) and possibly University of Minnesota. UMich is a really good school and closer to the top-tier, I think, but still worth it to apply to. University of Notre Dame has stem cell biology researchers as well. Cincinnati Children's Hospital I already mentioned. If you're looking for more classical developmental biology/regeneration maybe look at University of Chicago, but you're looking at top-tier institutions again. Other places with Stem Cell/Regenerative medicine I know of are Stanford, UCSF, UCLA (Broad Institute), Harvard, Yale, Duke. I saw a recommendation for Boston University as a place for cell and regenerative medicine research but I didn't apply there because I wanted to stay in the midwest. I know California got a huge funding boost a while back to do stem cell research, so I would peruse any of the UCs you might be interested in going to and see if they might fit your needs. I would consider Davis, Irvine, and Santa Barbara as mid-tier choices. As for University of Wisconsin, I chose it for both professional and personal reasons (I'm from Wisconsin originally). I do think they have excellent institutions to do the work I want to do, everyone I met with was very passionate about both their work in stem cell biology and the translation/clinical implications of their research. I was also impressed by the different techniques everyone was using. They have training programs specifically for stem cell and regenerative medicine, including a fellowship students and postdocs can apply to, and I really liked their science outreach efforts. They also recently built a medical research complex in the school of medicine and public health and the labs/building looked great. On the other hand, Cincinnati probably had the best facilities for core services of any place I interviewed at though.
  15. StemCellFan

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    So I think your information looks good, but I would consider adding a couple more schools in the mid-tier to your list if you can afford to (I know University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital has a dev bio program which I interviewed at and enjoyed it). I would also make sure that your 3rd letter of rec writer is a strong one as well. Are you applying to University of Wisconsin? I'm going there for stem cell biology and feel free to ask me any questions.

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