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About eevee

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    Espresso Shot

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    Los Angeles
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
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  1. Hi gang, can I ask some questions about the F31 NRSA application process? I just got my impact score back and am kind of confused about how paylines work and google was not super helpful.Basically I know there’s different paylines for different NIH institutes, but are there also different paylines for types of grants? I would assume there would be different ones for F31s than, like, R01s but maybe not. Also, how do you know if your application is actually going to be funded or is it just a guessing game based on the payline?I’m just confused because my impact score seems to be marginal (i.e. not clear-cut very below or very above the average payline) and I don’t know how to interpret it. Thanks!!!
  2. Don't worry about not being that narrowed down -- the good thing about most neuro programs is that they're rotation based and do a lot of broad coursework in the first year. If you have some specific things you're interested in, choose to apply to schools that have a good basis in that general topic but are also solid programmatically. You may find your interests shift over the course of your rotations. As long as you have some idea it's seriously fine!
  3. I 1000% agree with noisemaker. I asked my PIs for rotations over the summer but regretted it and changed plans later. I would recommend only "locking in" your first rotation early! From personal experience -- my interests changed after my first rotation and I ended up swapping out my planned second rotation that I had discussed over the summer with the PI. It turned out okay; the PI that I cancelled on was super understanding (and is now on my committee!), but not everyone is as awesome and even a 'soft commitment' like that still should be taken seriously, so don't do what I did!! I also ended up doing my third rotation in and then joining a lab that wasn't on my radar when I applied, and a few members of my cohort ended up joining brand new labs that came to campus during our first year, so keep in mind that those are also possibilities that you wouldn't be able to explore if you locked in all of your rotations too early. For your second and third rotations, I would recommend putting feelers out about a month and a half in advance and deciding by about two weeks until the start of the rotation. (If you're on the quarter system, this might look like: start looking into winter quarter rotations in week 6 of fall quarter, decide around week 8-9.)
  4. I'd love to hear from people who are TAing lab classes. I'm supposed to be doing so next quarter (in 2 weeks) and have received zero communication on how that will work!!!
  5. Current UCLA biosciences student here! Also not in M&I but I can tell you more about the school/location/etc if you want
  6. Best of luck to everyone going through the waiting game right now, I know it's such a tough time! I look forward to meeting any of you who come to interview at UCLA
  7. Also seriously don't worry about being less comfortable than undergrads in the lab! I felt that way during my rotations as well, but then realized that it makes sense to feel that way because in some cases, an undergrad may have been in the lab for like 3 years already and it's your first day. Don't feel embarrassed to ask an undergrad (or anyone!) to help you out / show you the ropes.
  8. I'm not sure about specific programs, but there are definitely certain PIs who collaborate more with companies. I'm in a similar boat and was looking for this within my neuroscience program, and ended up with a PI who has consulted for a few pharma companies and runs clinical trials as part of her research! I'm sure you'll be able to find something similar in almost any program you end up in. Maybe look for some that are more interdisciplinary and would allow you to work with PIs in pharmacology departments? I know this wasn't part of your question, but I recommend mentioning that you're interested in transitioning to industry as early as possible: certainly before you decide on your lab, maybe as early as rotations. If you're set on an industry career, you don't want to wind up with a PI who is unfamiliar with -- or worse, discourages students from -- 'alternative' careers.
  9. Honestly this is a big mood and is part of the reason why I switched to human/clinical (fMRI) research for my PhD after getting super frustrated about not having good enough motor skills to do excellent histology. I know this is probably not the answer you're looking for, but I'm so so so much happier now that all my data is digital -- while *technically* I guess I still have the risk of accidentally deleting files, they're on a server that gets backed up automatically so it's never anywhere near as catastrophic as that heartbreaking moment when you drop a sample. I don't know if transitioning into more of a digital or theoretical version of your research is an option for you; if not, just go slow, double-check everything, and literally cross off every step in your protocol. That won't help the issues that come from just being a klutz (no offense, I totally am one too), but it can at least minimize the other 'careless errors.'
  10. eevee

    Los Angeles, CA

    I live in a studio in Weyburn (Paseo, the new building) and it's smallish but very nice. It comes pre-furnished which is a great thing especially if you're moving from out of state. That being said, it's fairly expensive. I've lived there for a year and will be continuing to live in the same apartment for my second year, and then plan to find another place probably in brentwood or santa monica or culver city for the rest of my program.
  11. 1) Communicating your research. Is there a possibility for you to work on a paper? Not necessarily first authorship or anything, but is there anyone in the lab working on something related to your work for which you could help develop a figure or two, do some analysis, or help write up a lit review and maybe get a second or third author position? Alternatively, even though you said there are no relevant conferences coming up in the next 2 months, look at ones that are coming up later and submit an abstract / work on a poster for those. While larger conferences are better for networking, you could also look for a smaller, local, or even just university-specific one. For example, my college had undergrad research symposium just for undergrads to present their work. 2) As you're compiling your list of programs, start reaching out to faculty you might be interested in working with and/or students in the programs, and see if you can set up short skype/phone informational interviews. It's low stress but a good way to both learn more about the program and also show that you're a committed applicant. Best of luck!!
  12. I think apply directly to PhD programs! You could also apply to a mix of PhD programs and "back-up" masters programs. Speaking from semi-personal experience, one of the people in my cohort in a neuro PhD program did his bachelor's in biology, and he's been completely fine. Personally, in my program I wish I had more of a molecular/cellular background, because a lot of my first-year classes have been skewed that way. Most programs will have at least a year of general neuro background classes to get everyone "up to speed" including basics of neuroscience, so as long as you're generally good at science and learning I'm sure you'll do great
  13. Hey there! I'm a current UCLA biosciences (neuroscience) student! Happy to answer any questions you might have
  14. Sort of in contradiction to mcfc, I think you should go for the one that has 8-10 faculty you're interested in. Funding is always a question, and if by chance none of the 3-4 faculty members at GSK happen to have funds to take on a new grad student you'll be really sad. Having a higher number of potential mentors is never a bad thing. Also, I am of the mind that longer rotations are better -- in too short of a rotation it's hard to get a really good feel for how the lab operates day-to-day and it's hard to accomplish any kind of meaningful project. Just my 2 cents.
  15. That sounds like a significant enough update to warrant sending it in to the adcom, but do be warned that most programs are probably coming to the end of or have already made most of their decisions. If you're going to send it, send it SOON!
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