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palyndrone

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palyndrone last won the day on June 23 2019

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About palyndrone

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    Caffeinated

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  • Gender
    Man
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Microbiology

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  1. Most (if not all) of the applications I filled out asked about academic policy violations. There's typically a space to explain yourself if you check "yes", and it sounds like your violation wasn't of the degree it would prevent you from being accepted if you have an otherwise strong application. Be concise and honest. It will hurt you more in the long run if it's in your records and you don't disclose it.
  2. Hello! A good place to start might be going to the recent applicant profiles threads in the Life Sciences > Biology subforum. You may be able to get an idea of the kind of CVs that PhD applicants have who are applying in the same fields as you will be. I can also say right off the bat that besides meeting the GPA/GRE/TOEFL and class requirements, the most important part of a successful application is research experience. If you haven't already, seek out opportunities for research experience in relevant fields wherever you can.
  3. I'm gonna repeat good advice here and say that, unless it's directly relevant to your grad school program/field of study, limit talking about your personal life or making excuses for grades in your SOP as much as possible. Your SOP should highlight your qualifications, your motivations, and your ability to contribute something of value. Unlike an undergrad application essay, there should be a lot more "statement" than "personal". If your grades weren't great, focus on your internships and your individual skills. Even though it shouldn't, in a worst case scenario discussing poor mental health can make you seem unreliable and a potential risk to the reviewing committee. It's unfair, but the system does discriminate. Let your application speak for itself. If you feel like something stands out so much you have to explain it, keep it brief.
  4. Obviously you know how hard it is to find international phd funding in the UK, so a full tuition offer is probably your best bet. ( Congrats on that by the way! ) Not sure if you're already living in the UK or not, so I will say that there are pretty strict legal limitations on working hours for full time students on a tier 4 visa here. If you choose to take the spot and you can't find any external cash it will be difficult to support yourself on part-time wages. If it's somewhere like London or Oxford especially, you'll be paying out the nose for rent, but it's a little cheaper in the north. If you want to take a gamble and reapply in a year, you could see if there are also any postgrad exchange scholarship programs for your home country and the UK, like the Fulbright?
  5. You're right that each school will run its programs differently, even between related departments! You'll get the best idea of what kind of research a program does by reading the faculty profiles and the first-year student activities. You might find a few PIs/labs doing quant genetics that you think are a good match for you, but they could all be in programs with different names or organization styles. Maybe start out finding a few universities with big public health/med schools or genetics programs (Johns Hopkins, Harvard, UW-Madison, etc) and directly compare the programs they have to see which ones apply more to your research interests, so you can narrow down your search.
  6. If you're sure grad school is your goal: Start looking at programs now, and be realistic! Make a spreadsheet of admission requirements and application dates. Schedule your GRE early so you have time to retake it if you need to. For sure, use your final year and work hard to get your cumulative and major gpa past 3.0! For better or worse, scores matter, and you have to make the cutoff even if you don't apply right away. Because you probably won't be able to hit a 3.5 in time, which is the benchmark for a majority of big programs, you need to make up for it in the rest of your application. Do your programs have a senior thesis? Not sure about psychology, but in fields like neuroscience the research experience and lab time are probably the most important part of an application. Look for opportunities, no matter how small. Data entry is better than nothing! Talk to a career advisor or a professor you trust about wanting to go to grad school, and figure out a plan for how to get in shape academically. Get some real honest advice, and be real with yourself about how much work its going to take. Seriously consider other options: grad school is competitive, and you don't want to get caught out with nowhere to go if it doesn't work out. You might be in a better position to apply after a year or two of post-bacc research, lab teching, or industry work-- or you might be happier doing something else anyway. Take a look around the forums for application tips! But do keep in mind that this board is full of ivy-gunning overachievers 😆If you have any more questions on bio grad school apps or whatever I'm happy to help in this thread or on DMs.
  7. As Sigaba said -- you can try framing it like: "How could I improve my application in order to be more competitive in the next round" or "were there any outstanding weaknesses I could address to make my application stronger" etc. Questions like "how many more points do I need on my GRE scores to make the cut" are not likely to get answers.
  8. You can definitely ask how to improve your application or if there were specific reasons for rejection. Whether or not you get a response will probably depend on the size of the program/how many applicants they get. If you got to the interview stage, they're probably more likely to tell you something useful.
  9. That's really unfortunate, and I hope your appeal is successful! From what I recall, all of the applications I filled out asked about academic misconduct. Often, there was a space for you to explain the circumstances if you checked "yes". If you're able to explain the situation there to the grad committee in an honest way, including your appeal attempt, that might be your best bet. Homework collusion isn't a great charge to get slapped with, but....it could be worse. If the accusation sticks, all you can really do is try to make the rest of your application stands out. Letters of recommendation, especially, if other professors can testify to your academic abilities and integrity.
  10. Seconded! If you're viewing the actual unit, you have got to check for smoke detectors. My first apartment (as a sophomore fresh out of dorms) had absolutely no smoke detectors or alarms anywhere, just grey plastic circles in the ceiling. Bad idea! Look at the walls near the floor, the shower sealing in the bathroom, and around doors and windows for wear, holes, and mold spots. Sometimes you can see small damp patches on painted walls, or peeling paint, which is a bad sign even if theres no mold visible. If its somewhere cold, check for double paned windows: these are a huge plus for conserving heat and cash. Depending on climate and location, I'd also definitely recommend looking for slug slime trails. Seriously.
  11. I'm just starting my PhD this fall too, but I've been renting for a couple years now! Before you go apartment hunting, look up projected living expenses & utilities in your city, and figure out a rough budget. Doesn't have to be exact, just an estimate. Pick a range of what you're willing to spend on rent, and stick to it. Think about transportation too -- are you willing to pay a little more in rent if it means you won't have to buy gas/bus passes? (etc, etc) Living on campus can be good if you've never been on your own before, because typically utilities and maybe wifi are included, and of course its right where you need to be. You can always live on campus for a year and then decide to move somewhere with less tailgating after you get a better idea of the area. When you visit apartments, pay attention to the condition of the appliances and the bathroom especially. Find the nearest grocery store, hospital, laundromat, bus stop, etc. Some questions to ask: Is the heat gas or electric? Is insurance required? Are there laundry facilities in the building? Are you responsible for repairs or is the landlord/super? What are the rules for having people stay over? Is it mostly students in the area or are there a lot of families and retirees? Always look up the landlord or agency and do some thorough vetting -- you really don't want to get ripped off out of your security deposit or have somebody walking in unannounced to inspect you! Look out for red flags on review sites, beyond the normal complaints of loud neighbors. Good luck!
  12. @Corijoys The answers to those are all going to depend on the type of program and specific department! You have molecular bio in your profile, so most likely you will do rotations your first year rather than being sponsored by a specific PI & lab-- that's more common in the environmental/macro side of biology. Some programs in the molecular/cellular/micro fields are umbrella programs, where you only choose your "major field" after your rotations and your first year of coursework is finished. These allow more flexibility and range of choice for labs, if you're unsure about exactly what you want to do or want to try something new. Otherwise you'll apply directly to the program for one department, which might have a vastly different system than the one next door. Read up on the websites and faculty pages! Sometimes there will be a description of "first year activities" which is really useful. In general, 3-4 rotations of 6-10 weeks each is common, usually in your first 2 semesters but sometimes shorter. You choose a lab after your rotations are done, with approval from the PI and whoever else in the department is advising you. You might choose your rotations before you start, by talking to PIs directly, or you might submit a ranked list. I hope that answers some of your questions, but I'm happy to clarify!
  13. If you're applying for a quantitative field, a verbal score of 159 is just fine! I wouldn't take it again. The main use of GRE scores in the review process, at least at most R1 schools, is just to cut the applicant pool below a certain percentile. 159 is well above the 75th percentile for verbal, so you're probably good to go 🙂
  14. I've decided to apply to the University Village apartments, since its affiliated with the university and reduces my up-front costs. I think after a year of establishing residency and building credit I might be able to move somewhere else. At least the bus system is free!
  15. Nice to meet you! If you're relocating from out of state, how are you going about the apartment hunt? Grad housing on campus at OSU is so expensive!
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