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    Biology (Genetics focus)

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  1. In my program, (rotational umbrella biology department) there is not a lot of benefit to contacting PI's beforehand. Unless you manage to contact one of the PI's who is on the admissions committee, it won't help or hinder your chances in admissions. It is extremely rare for a PI to actually vouch for a prospective student, unless they know the applicant personally. It is definitely different at schools where you are directly admitted into a lab, but for my program which is rotational, a PI is not going to put forth the effort to contact the admissions committee regarding a student they emailed with once or twice. On the otherhand, emailing with genuine questions regarding the program is a different story. But you are more likely to just get forwarded to a grad student in the lab to answer the questions.
  2. Might as well add my own results. 3rd time no luck, just a pat on the back. HM VG/VG E/E VG/VG Our scholarship and grant office was very clear about how NSF looks at the GRFP. According to them, NSFGRFP is about funding the person and funding the most diverse group possible. So when they are picking who is offered an award over some of the HM, they are picking on non-science related things like where you went to high school and what college you are at. Congrats to those of you who were awarded. And to the rest, remember you scientific worth isn't measured by the results of one fellowship.
  3. there definitely are labs with active work in biomedical applications, and even in labs where it isn't obvious(my lab is a great example, its a structural biology lab by trade, but there are a couple of postdocs working in stem cell models) but its not as wide spread as the labs that are closely tied with the hospitals like at Dana Farber and MGH. I don't think doing your thesis work in a more basic lab setting limits you from moving into a translational field afterwards. Its just more about what you are exposed to outside of your research on a daily basis. Grad school is about learning how to think and formulate questions which you can find methods to answer them. Whether you do that in a basic biology setting or not doesn't change the foundational skills you are learning or limit how you apply them after grad school.
  4. I am currently a Berkeley MCB student, but I interviewed for both the programs you are asking about. I definitely am biased towards Berkeley. The difference for me, was that I liked how much more localized the Berkeley program was compared to BBS that was spread out over so many building in boston (longwood campus, MGH campus). To me it felt like there was a greater community between the graduate students at Berkeley where BBS you dispersed into your lab and never saw people again. I judged this from the # of older grad students involved in recruitment and younger grad student knowledge of the scientific interests of their classmates . As a student at Berkeley I can say that there is a strong cohort feeling to my class and my impressions as a recruit were accurate of the program. I think one of the bigger differences is the scientific approach between the two programs. Berkeley is WAY more basic science, where the majority of the BBS labs has a translation slant to them. So you will be exposed to way more biomedical science within BBS, where Berkeley is more about fundamental basic biology. Both are important, but it might be better to pick based on that. For me I knew I could be excited about both types of science and ultimately I cared most about being trained in a program/lab that really cared about their students. I ended up at Berkeley and am very happy.
  5. @ nicknameless I was choosing between MIT/Berkeley. (didn't look at princeton so no help there) For me it really came down to environment outside of lab. I felt there were equal number of labs I was interested at both places, along with equal quality of science. Therefore I couldn't make a decision based purely off science. MIT's first year program didn't appeal to me since i've been out of school for 3 years due to the emphasis on classes. Berkeley seemed to focus a bit more on teaching good scientific communication. Berkeley came across as more collaborative, while MIT seemed more intimating-ly smart(Not a bad thing, but for me a turn off). Location also influenced me. I'm currently in Boston, but originally from the west coast. So moving back to a milder climate was appealing. Another thing i liked about Berkeley was the commitment to getting you out in 5.5-6 years. I anecdotally know of multiple grad students taking 7-9 years to graduate from MIT. For them it was a mixture of bad luck/personal/lab issues, but that seemed less likely to happen at Berkeley. For others I’m sure MIT was a better fit. But for me, I went with Berkeley.
  6. For my casual interview (in boston) I was going to wear nice tall boots(mid-calf), with dark jeans, a shirt and a biege blazer. The shirt is nice enough that I can take off the blazer if i'm feeling overdressed, but still looks good underneath.
  7. @ gradschoolyay Many but not all schools on the list have sent out invites. But some of the dates are from school websites, not actual invites.
  8. ^^ Not sure why the formatting changed so much when i copied and pasted.....
  9. Albert Einstein: Jan 12-13, Jan 26-27 Case Western Reserve University (BSTP): Feb 3-4, Mar 2-3 Columbia (Pathobiology & Molecular Medicine): Feb 3-5 Columbia (Integrated CMB): Jan 20-22 Cornell (Weill): February Dartmouth (PEMM) March 2-3 Emory University (neuro): Feb 9-11 or Feb 23-25 Harvard (BBS): Jan 26-29 and Feb 9-12 Harvard (Neuro): Jan 19-22 Harvard (BPH): Jan 26-27 MIT (Biology): Feb 11-14, Feb. 25-28, Mar 10-13 Northwestern (Neuro: NUIN): Jan 19-20, Feb 2-3, Feb 23-24 NYU Sackler: Jan 19-20, Jan 26-27 OHSU (neuro) feb 5th- 7th Princeton (Neuro): Feb 16-18 Rockefeller: March 1-2 and 8-9 Scripps Research Institute-CA campus: Feb 24-25, Mar 2-3 Sloan Kettering: 1/17-1/19 Stanford (SCBRM) feb 29th - mar 3rd Thomas Jefferson (Neuro): Jan 26-27 Tufts-Sackler (Genetics and ISP) Feb 10th UAB (BMS): Jan 19-21 University of Chicago (BSG): Feb 23-25 University of Chicago (Molecular Biosciences): Feb 16-18 UC Berkeley (MCB): Feb 5-7, Feb 26-28 UC Berkeley (MBN): Jan 26-27 UC Davis (GGG): Feb 16-17 UC Irvine (CMB):Jan 26-28,Feb 2-4 UCLA ACCESS (Molecular and Medical Pharmacology): Dec 22 UCSF BMS: Jan 26-28 OR February 9-11 UCSF Tetrad: Feb 2-3 UChicago (Neuro): Feb 10 or Feb 13 (but travel times drag it out several days before and/or after) UMASS Worcester: Feb 2-4 and Feb 16-18 U Maryland - Baltimore - Feb 3 UMich (PIBS): Jan 27-28 (Cancer Bio), Feb 3-4 (general) UNC Chapel Hill (BBSP): Feb 2-4, Jan 26-28, Feb 9-11, Feb 23-25 UPenn (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics): Jan 19-21, Feb 9-11 UPenn (CAMB): Jan 12-14 UPenn (Neuro): Jan 20, Feb 10 UT Austin (CMB): Jan 26-28, Feb 16-18 UVa (BIMS): Jan 12-14 or Feb 2-4 UW-Seattle (Biology): Jan 13 or Jan 20 UW-Seattle (MCB): Jan 25-27,Feb 8-10 UW-Seattle (GS): Feb12-14, Feb 26-28 U Wisconsin - Madison (Biophysics): Mar 1-3 Vanderbilt (IGP): Jan 12-14 WashU (Neuro): Jan 27-28, Feb 3-4 Yale (B.B.S.): Feb 2-5
  10. Columbia (Pathobiology & Molecular Medicine): Feb 3-5 Harvard (Neuro): Jan 19-22 Northwestern (Neuro: NUIN): Jan 19-20, Feb 2-3, Feb 23-24 Scripps Research Institute-CA campus: Feb 24-25, Mar 2-3 University of Chicago (BSG): Feb 23-25 UCLA ACCESS (Molecular and Medical Pharmacology): Dec 22 UPenn (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics): Jan 19-21, Feb 9-11 UPenn (Neuro): Jan 20, Feb 10 U Wisconsin - Madison (Biophysics): Mar 1-3
  11. Krypton would you can to elaborate? Do you know if the invites go out in waves? or by sub discipline? Thanks
  12. Undergrad Institution: Ivy Major(s): Biology and chemistry (double) Minor(s): GPA in Major: 3.62 Overall GPA: 3.54 Position in Class: Middle Type of Student: Domestic Female GRE Scores (revised/old version): Q: 790 V: 620 W: 5 Biochem: 660 Research Experience: 2 years part time in school, 3 summer internships, 3 years post-bac (1 at big pharma, 2 in academia) 1 publication in PNAS as middle author Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Chem TA for 7 quarters, Bio for 1 Special Bonus Points: Took Continuing Ed Grad classes in Biology Applying to Where: MIT-biology Harvard- BBS Tufts-Genetics BU-Genetics UCSD-Biosciences Scripps-Biology UCSF-Tetrad UC Berkeley- MCB Stanford-Genetics
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