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About DRMF

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
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  1. Probably needs a bit more context... does the program normally do rotations? Is this form of "early" admissions a part of the program's setup? Usually PIs reach out to tell you that they'd love to have you join, but that just means they want you to rotate and then hopefully stay. Most bio programs have a required number of rotations anyway.
  2. I'm in no way trying to take the joy of online shopping away from you, but just dropping in to say that when I did interviews (in person) I didn't wear any "business casual", and still to this day do not own a blazer lol. My go-to was knitted/sweater dresses in muted colors. I interviewed with 4 schools and was probably among the least dressed up for all of them. Ended up with offers from all 4 🤷‍♀️
  3. I sent thank-you emails to all interviewers, usually the Mon/Tue after the interview weekend. Emailing the director wouldn't hurt either. Regardless, I'd say that the emails are just niceties and really wouldn't change your chances in most cases. Some admissions results come out super fast, so some of my emails actually ended up being sent after I got accepted lol
  4. I got that when I applied 2 years ago, also moved from Immuno to Cancer. I then got an interview from Cancer, which conflicted with other interviews I already committed to, and in the end didn't happen since I got into places I liked better. I mostly worked on tumor immunology at the time of application, so it could just be a general thing they do for tumor immunology-oriented applicants, if that applies to you.
  5. Essentially all US grad school offers have the same reply deadline from you (April 15th). There are exceptions, but generally that's the national deadline. https://cgsnet.org/april-15-resolution
  6. What exactly is this money referring to? Not personally relevant, and I'm not familiar with post bacc programs, but I've just never heard anyone say having to pay a lot of money for them?
  7. A few potential factors, some are wild guesses: - location (people like California). - the fact that Stanford Bioscience allows you to choose 3 programs under the umbrella and use the same application for them, so nominally the number of apps per individual (e.g. Genetics) program probably looks much higher than that of a standalone program elsewhere. - great outreach/advertising. Anecdotally, out of the ~dozen outside speakers my program invited over and had lunch with us (while I was a first year), the Stanford person was the only one who specifically asked which of the first
  8. A couple schools have a checkbox on your phd application asking whether you'd like to be considered for their Master's program as well. I can't remember specifically which ones though. I don't think that tick would change your chances of admission either way.
  9. From my personal experience and anecdotal knowledge, I think it's pretty common for international students mostly due to lack of private funding at some less resourceful schools. Also like you said, some of it is just arbitrary. I applied to both GSK and Weill Cornell, which have almost overlapping faculty because they used to run a joint program, and yet I was only invited to interview at GSK. And then one of the GSK interviewers started telling me about the differences between the two programs and how to choose between them, so I had to semi-awkwardly interrupt him and say I didn't get
  10. I'm from China and have been in the US for 6 years (college, gap year, now grad school). I've seen a similar thread on TGC and I actually posted a thread on my personal FB to get more responses from my American friends. It was quite a shocker to me how dating people of a different age group/life phase is frowned upon in the US. I personally see nothing wrong (meaning, neither morally wrong nor instinctively "creepy/gross") with socializing with or dating someone much younger/older, and tbh if I see a couple like that my first reaction would be "it's is so sweet and inspiring that they're worki
  11. I think your chance of NOT getting in anywhere is pretty low. If you'd be truly happy to go to any of the schools you have listed, I think you're fine. If you're looking for more "international-friendly" schools, I recommend UTSW and Sloan Kettering. Also what areas within Biology are you thinking of? BTW please check each program's funding info carefully. Even schools that normally would be able to take on international students may not be able to this cycle due to Covid. If anything is not clear I'd email program directors. (Back then I decided not to apply to Washington Immunology beca
  12. I think you have a solid shot at the schools you listed; whether you're reaching too high depends on how important it is for you to go to grad school in 2021. Some people only apply to competitive programs because they simply wouldn't be willing to go anywhere else; maybe they have a good plan B and would rather apply again next cycle. If however you really want to get in *somewhere*, I'd personally add in some safer schools. One school that was recommended to me that'd be easier to get in (especially for an international student) but still great for a PhD was UTSW; my interview experienc
  13. I mean, the standard duration of a Bachelor's is 3 years in the UK, I can't imagine universities there having a problem with 3.5 years... I feel finishing college early is seen as neutral to slightly positive in the US (as in, it took you less time to do the same amount of work, so you must be a studious and efficient student). The only downside is if you didn't take as many elective courses that would otherwise be relevant for the field you're trying to get into, or if you could have done a thesis research project but chose not to, etc.
  14. I'd say you should, though you don't have to use that letter for every school you apply to. (It's always good to have a 4th alternative rec letter anyway.) Some programs' app portals will explicitly state that at least 1 letter needs to be from faculty; some may not care at all. The tricky ones are those that actually strongly prefer a letter from a professor but doesn't make it clear - I recommend contacting each program's director to get a sense of what they want to see.
  15. (1) I'd say many of the programs I applied to required (at least 1 of the 3) rec letter writers to be university faculty that taught you. Their general website may not specify but the actual application portal usually would state such requirements, if there's any. You may want to start an application account for each target school to figure out this detail. (2) For your grad student friends - are their PIs nice/sympathetic people? Have you interacted with them in any academic/research capacity? If so, you could ask for the student/friend and their PI to "co-sign" the letter, which is not
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