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  1. I just sent an email to my potential PI at each place (not everyone I'd met with). I just said I appreciated the time they/the department spent considering my application, enjoyed learning about their research/etc, but had found a better fit. Everyone was supportive and wished me the best.
  2. This all seems more or less typical, except for paying for your own flight. I never got a schedule of meetings more than a day or two in advance and definitely toured some unrelated labs. For one, I knew I was admitted but otherwise, no idea. It is weird they had someone come out that didn't have any meetings. They might know something about that fellowship that you don't or more likely, know they don't have funding for you from any sources.
  3. I haven't liked anywhere I interviewed much except the very last place.... which is the only one I haven't heard back from yet. I'm so stressed it's going to be the only one I don't get an offer at!!! It's a super small program and they can only take half of us.
  4. If none are top programs, it probably doesn't matter. There's a bias to a handful of school/programs but if you're at a solid program outside of that it, people probably won't be familiar enough to know if it's rank #50 or #80. Your PI's connections are going to matter more there.
  5. What do you want to do after your post doc? A TT position at an R1 has different expectations than a SLAC job that's teaching oriented, a data science job in industry, etc, etc.
  6. Prestige and connections matter a decent amount. Look through the CVs for profs at your school, your grad programs, places you'd like to be, etc. The same institutions will probably reappear a lot. Neurotree can help too. A lab where you'll actually finish > a toxic but prestigious lab though
  7. Plenty of schools don't even finish interviews and send decisions until mid March. Everyone knew that when they applied. Everyone knew about the April 15 decision date. If you need to make other decisions before April, you might miss out on opportunities. That really sucks! It doesn't mean people are selfish to carefully consider their offers though.
  8. Every grad student, post doc, and faculty member has told me not to make any decisions until I've gone on all my interviews/visit weekends and have full funding offers but strangers on the internet talked to "experts" who think it's rude so I guess I have to pick now 🙃 It makes no difference if you get off the waitlist today or in 2 weeks or in 1 month. Calm down.
  9. The prestige/connections of your letter writers matter more than the prestige of your undergrad institution, though those often go hand in hand. If you have prestigious research experience (REU, NIH post bac, etc) it won't matter where your degree is from.
  10. I don't think people are holding offers just to hold them. People are deciding the next 5-6 years of their life. It's going to be slow. I have 3 offers right now + another interview + a waitlist... No idea where I'll be or if I'll go. I have major concerns about each and need to figure out which issue worries me the least.
  11. You didn't get invited to the interview, but if your POI's interviewees don't work out (either aren't admitted or decide to go somewhere else), the POI may still admit you.
  12. I'm not sure, but I was told the same thing for Duke CCN. I think it's just a heads up to expect a waitlist.
  13. Some perspective: there are two full months until April 15. Yes, it sucks to not know early, but it really doesn't make a difference if someone turns down an offer and you get a spot today or in 2 weeks. Realistically, most people are not going to start turning down offers until they've gone on all their interviews, 48 hr rule or no 48 hr rule. The whole April 15 deadline came about so programs couldn't send early offers and pressure students to accept before they had all their offers on the table.
  14. Sometimes the waitlists are also tied to specific lab. I had a PI explicitly tell me I was an alternate if his interviewees don't work out. Even if every other offer is turned down, I still wouldn't be admitted as long as his accept. : /
  15. Sure -- if you know you're not going to go based on another offer, then it's best to withdraw your application or decline the interview asap. The 4 places I'm interviewing are pretty evenly matched (with different but significant drawbacks to each). I've been admitted to 2 and could see wrestling with them for awhile if I'm admitted to all 4.
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