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Posts posted by mcal

  1. Hi, so I think you have a good GPA and good research background so I think you would be a good candidate for a PhD program, but I do suggest looking at more schools as well because it is better to be safe than sorry. The only Cali school I applied to was USC so I do not have much to say about the ones you want to apply to. I believe they are more on the competitive side so it would be beneficial to look at additional schools who have research you are interested in. I was told that those who want to go into a more industry-based career should go to a school in a location that does have a lot more industry-based jobs so that may be something to consider for an R&D career.

    In terms of not having a neuroscience background, that is okay. Use it to your advantage to say that your previous research experience in disease and metabolism will give you a unique perspective of the neuroscience field. Make sure you come across as committed to learn about the field and to complete the PhD, capable of doing independent research, and can think critically. That is more important than what your previous research experience has been.

    For your letters of recommendation: Make sure to give your CV and draft of your personal statement to the professors you only took classes with (in addition to your PI) so they know what to emphasize when writing your letter. It could be beneficial to highlight to them what you think is important for them to include, especially those who do not know you as well as your PI. 

    Anyways, good luck!


    Undergrad Institution: R2 State School

    Major(s): B.S. Neuroscience

    Minor(s) : Mathematics

    GPA in Major: 3.90

    Science GPA: 3.92

    Overall GPA: 3.841

    Type of Student: Domestic, Asian Female


    GRE Scores (revised/old version): Not taken yet, but on practices I have been getting in the low 160s Q and mid 150s V and 4 W 


    Research Experience: 

    2 years at a stand-alone scientific institute studying aging→ 2 papers in preparation, no first author; wrote an honors thesis 


    1 year at a lab at my school studying behavioral neuroscience→ 2 presentations (at my school only)


    Just started a post-bac program this past July at a stand-alone scientific institute studying neurobiology



    Outstanding Thesis Award

    Dean’s List for 2 semesters

    President’s List for 3 semesters 

    Received the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry Grant 


    Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

    I help at the outreach events at my institute targeting the local community as well as students. 


    During Undergrad-

    Part of student government for 3 years (leadership)

    Was on the e-board of a club for 3.5 years (leadership)

    Tutored high school students in geometry, chemistry and SAT prep


    Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

    I attended the Frontiers in Aging and Alzheimer’s didactic research training course by the Pittsburgh Development Center. I met some PIs of labs at schools that I plan to apply to and asked them if they would be taking grad students for when I plan to begin. 


    Special Bonus Points:

    One of my PIs is well-known in the aging field and my current PI is well-known in the neuroscience field. I suppose the letter from my first PI will matter the most as I plan to apply to schools that have strong aging labs. 


    Applying to Where:

    University of Southern California - Gerontology - Biology of Aging

    Northwestern University- Driskill Graduate Program (DGP)

    University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)- Biological Studies- Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB)

    Mayo Clinic- Biomedical Sciences- Clinical and Translational Sciences OR Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    University of Texas Health San Antonio- Biomedical Studies- Biology of Aging

    NIH/OxCam- Biomedical Sciences

    Brown University- Molecular and Cellular Biology- Molecular Biology of Aging

    University of Wisconsin, Madison- Molecular and Cellular Biology

    University of Pennsylvania- Biomedical Graduate Studies- Cellular and Molecular Biology

    Cold Spring Harbor- Biological Sciences 


    *I chose my programs based on what faculty they have who do aging research*

  3. Hi! I am applying this fall for Biomedical Sciences/ Molecular Biology PhD Programs. I want to do aging-related research (senescence) and I kind of geared my personal statement so it is clear that it is the type of research I want to do. However, I worry that it may be too specific. Would anyone be willing to read it and give some feedback? Please feel free to send me a message :) 

    Thank you! 

  4. 2 hours ago, AspiringMD/PhDScholar said:

    Any word from those institutions? Still waiting to hear myself...

    I interviewed with Northwestern and am waiting for final decisions to be sent by the beginning of April. I have the BU Interview next week. I have got offers from labs at the NIH. 

  5. 13 hours ago, NK Advocate said:

    Was rejected from UCD last week! started to apply to a few lab tech positions! Have faith in yourself this is all but a small detour, heck some of my new options look even better.

    You could always apply to the Post-Bac IRTA Program with the NIH. It is not too late since they take people via rolling admission. I have had 4 labs reach out to me since submitting my application and 2 offers. 

  6. @Smeb lol thank you and I think it may be a new program or not actually an NIH PREP program. They only offer 3 assistantships and it does not directly say if it gets the money from the NIH. But I definitely think they should update their website if it is from the NIH though. 

    I've never actually been to Boston, but it is a place I definitely want to live in for a bit to see if I like it since I've always wanted to visit. 

    I just hope I get into one of the programs. I would be happy with any of them!


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