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About DRMF

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    Double Shot

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    2019 Fall
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  1. From last year's experience, NYU probably have more than 2 available weekends. They will likely tell you the first 1 or 2 options, and if you tell them that you can't make it, they'll then ask you if you could make their alternative date(s).
  2. Well then you'll have to look up that Treaty and see what it says (google "tax treaty US [your country's name] F1 student" or something like that). For instance, the US-China tax treaty says that Chinese nationals studying in the US with <$5,000 annual income are exempt from federal taxation. The Treaty between the US and your country could be something wildly different (these things are negotiated individually between each pair of countries, as I understand it). You'll also have to figure out your "tax residency" status (which is a separate concept from being a "US citizen/permanent resident/alien"). This is rather easy: if this is your first time studying in the US on a F1 visa, you're likely a "tax non-resident". If I remember correctly, without a tax treaty, income exceeding tuition for F1 tax non-residents is taxed at a flat rate of 14%. If your country has a tax Treaty, that usually means you get taxed less, so you should have >86% of your stipend free to spend after taxes. Again, exactly how much depends on what that specific Treaty says. Note that most US universities do not withhold taxes for PhD candidates receiving a stipend, so you'll have to budget that yourself, pay quarterly taxes on your own, and remeber to not spend every dollar you receive in the bank account.
  3. Which program at Harvard? Harvard Immunology has likely sent out all invites (interviews happening 1/23) but not sure about the other programs.
  4. I think applying to umbrella/more flexible programs (that include a solid list of immunology faculty) is a smart move for someone trying to switch into the field. I would say that when I interviewed with Imm specific programs, most of the other interviewees I talked to did have considerable Imm research experience or exposure (e.g. worked in microbio or cancer labs that dabbled in immunology). I had a 3.75 GPA and 90+ percentile GREs, which I was pretty happy with, but my undergrad PI felt it'd be much safer if I had a 3.8 (he brought it up multiple times during my senior year and I was like, I really appreciate the input but at this point it's mathematically impossible LOL).
  5. Same as above - never met with anyone who's "not interested". A particular interviewer may not be specifically interested in taking you as a student in their lab, but should be interested in evaluating your qualities and recruiting you to the school. If an interviewer is really just not interested in recruiting you to the program, they probably wouldn't agree to interview in the first place, or would make it really short and boring, with no meaningful discussions or conversations, rather than spending some effort to make it "difficult". When they throw difficult questions at you / seem to act a bit mean/harsh, that's likely their style of challenging you and trying to assess how well you actually know what you're talking about.
  6. Various offices at Harvard (including my program's admin office) have sent emails saying they're closed from Dec 23/24 - Jan 02. Some offices are closed till Jan 06. Staff may occasionally check emails and reply to truly urgent ones, but I wouldn't expect any news until at least Jan 02 or 03.
  7. You're probably right about Skype interviews for international students being later in general. Now that I think about it, the "early interviews" I had in mind were mostly initiated by applicants contacting PIs directly and asking to talk over Skype with them (i.e. not officially organized by the program/adcom). I just looked through my emails and realized almost all the rejects I got were sent to me in mid Jan - early Feb. It probably felt like later to me b/c I already had offers at that point and was in a "I'm done! I don't care!" mental state lol. There are a few schools that never sent me any communication about decisions, including UCLA, Columbia, and (my home school) UChicago, all Immunology programs. Literally nothing at all after 12/1, according to my email search. Judging from past TGC posts, this type of ghosting behavior isn't uncommon, so sadly you'll probably have to be prepared for it. Congratulations and good luck with the Notre Dame interview!
  8. When you say others have been "accepted", do you mean actually receiving an offer, or just getting an interview? An actual offer from biology programs at this time point is very rare, usually given out to exceptional applicants who are, literally, the exceptions (or occasionally international applicants who already did Skype interviews). If you mean others have been invited to interview (i.e. gotten regular interview invites, not the "I know some PIs here so I got a call to interview super early" kind), it's likely that your app has been read and was unfortunately not selected for further review. A lot of programs only send out rejects towards the end of the admissions cycle, but if you email them to ask (at this point you should probably wait till after the New Year), they'll likely tell you what's going on, i.e. whether you're still under consideration. Also each program's committee works on their own timeline, so someone hearing about a related but different program at the same school tells you nothing about your specific program's review status (e.g. Stanford biosciences has multiple programs and they always say in their interview invite email something like "your classmate or coworker may or may not have heard from us, but no news does not mean bad news"). Also it's a good idea to add "biology" to your post or title, since the "waiting it out" section does not specify fields; things vary a LOT between grad schools in different fields.
  9. Sloan Kettering probably sent all invites all at once, extrapolating from what they did in the past 2 years. They usually have their interview weekend really early as well. I saw that you already heard from Weill Cornell - congratulations! As you know those two programs are historically very closely related and the faculty you wish to work with at GSK are likely available through Weill Cornell as well. If they're not, you can still possibly contact them/the admin to see if they could be added to the faculty list at Weill Cornell and be your adviser.
  10. If you're currently located in the US and presumably interested in an in-person interview, (to my knowledge and from my personal experience) you should receive interview invites the same time/way domestic students do (obv if the program sends different batches, you'd never know which one yours would be in). If you're outside the US and expecting Skype interviews, the timeline might vary quite a bit (no personal experience there). I imagine some may do these earlier b/c the logistics is easier and can be scheduled anytime, while others do those later b/c they're waiting to see a financial report in order to figure out how many international students they can afford next year. You shouldn't expect to get rejections from most schools at this point; those typically come in Feb/March after schools send out offers to those who interviewed.
  11. I had a less than pleasant experience with a LoR writer as well, who was also French (but located in the US). In my case I knew that this professor didn't have much experience writing/submitting LoRs (he's very established in the field, but because he seems scary most students don't ask him for letters - which is probably wise). I've no idea how it works in France, but I could somewhat understand this behavior if French schools don't typically require this kind of effort from letter writers (I think most US supervisors understand that providing letters later on for jobs/admissions, potentially for multiple times, is a natural part of being a mentor). Maybe your supervisor never showed it in previous years, but the thought that you were asking too much of a favor was always there in her head. Or perhaps there was a true misunderstanding (e.g. you asked "Can you do X? Can we meet to talk about it?" and she replied "ok", meaning okay to talk but you thought it meant okay she'll do X). In my case it was a much less important letter for me, but I can very much empathize with your urge to submit a complaint so that the same doesn't happen to someone else. I ended up sending an email to the department's undergrad dean briefly describing the situation, in case future students want her advice on who to ask for letters. I did this after I was all done with admissions, and the dean never responded to me. I personally would not file a formal report or complaint for this situation; I'd just do my best to informally communicate this information with relevant people (e.g. your Master's program director, or when future students considering choosing her as their supervising reaches out to you to hear about your experience), while remaining professional.
  12. I didn't know interview offer *withdrawal* is even possible.
  13. That sounds like an easily fixable mistake. Email the relevant people ASAP and perhaps attach the correct transcript to that email as well; if the app portal allows uploads after the deadline, also upload it there. Once they have the complete, correct transcript, I don't think they'll hold this against you.
  14. Oh in that sense yeah, I think it's reasonable to expect no communication between Christmas and maybe a few days after New Year.
  15. Maybe more than half are, but I'd say not close to all. And some subfields within biology just typically all follow a later timeline. Typically interviews are mid-Jan to early Mar, so those that host interviews early will send invites early. I had 6 total invites, 4 were sent in mid/late-Dec (interview dates were in Jan-Feb) and 2 were sent in mid-Jan (interview dates were Feb-Mar). I think a month before the program's earliest interview date is a good estimate for when they send invites.
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