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  1. If you get the Fulbright, ask the programs about deferment. Many, not all, programs allow students to defer or take time for Fulbright or other similar awards. If the PhD programs are a great fit for you and where you want to be if you weren't on a Fulbright, talk to the director of the program and your POI about whether that is possible. If you feel like the programs are good but not the best for you, then I would probably decline and reapply to those schools and more next year after the Fulbright. Also, as battermix said, all this is only after you would officially be awarded a Fulbright and not before.
  2. Did you apply? I was about to answer, but know I am too late. I hope you took the chance and applied.
  3. Thanks for your reply! I haven't heard from them, but I figured it was a rejection since some acceptances trickled out in early and mid-February. I have not seen any rejections on the results page, so maybe they haven't sent them out yet. Congratulations on your acceptance!
  4. For your second choice school, I would reach out to the supervisor you were assigned and ask to talk. Just having the chance to introduce yourself and start a conversation about the program will give you a better idea on if you think you will get along with this person and be able to talk openly about your academic interests that differ. The supervisor you were assigned was matched because the program feels there are enough overlap. How flexible they are to your own area of interest will vary from person to person. There is a good chance they already know your research interests based on your application, so you are not starting from square 1. Them agreeing to supervise you means that at least have some openness to your research. For the first choice school, I would just wait to hear back from. It often doesn't do any good to reach out to them and let them know you were admitted elsewhere because they already have a set timeline of reviewing application and getting decisions out. They likely won't have too much flexibility. You could email the POI just to reiterate your interest in the program and excitement to hear back. They may give you some unofficial news sooner, but the admission team as a whole probably won't be able to give you more information before their set timeline. Best of luck!
  5. I would reach out to current students in the program to get more information on how accurate it is that the "majority" of the Ph.D. students have secured funding by fall or spring semester. You will get a better picture on that from current students rather than the program coordinator. You can also ask current students on whether funding sources are continually changing, if they can rely on consistent assistance, and how much responsibility falls on students to find funding versus the faculty to find funding for the students. With that information, you can better see if the program fits your needs and if you are able to commit financially.
  6. I understand friends and family making you second guess your choice, but those outside the field don't know about faculty, research, and resources that lead to a good fit. You are going into the program to advance your career and research opportunities. Those within biomedical science will know that JHU and BCM are strong programs. It seems like you should go with your gut. JHU is a good fit in terms of the program and city.
  7. Is there any insider knowledge on how to best use the search function? When I try to search for something I find the results not particularly helpful or on topic. There maybe a word or two that corresponds but I do not think I am getting the best matches. Any tips on how to better search?
  8. I cannot speak to that particular program, but I also received verbal admission to a program. I was told over the phone that I was admitted and my official letter and email would come later. It took a week and a half to get the email of acceptance and about two weeks to get the official letter. I think the school just wants to give you information of the acceptance as soon as possible, but it takes time to get the paperwork shuffled through the department and campus. Hang in there!
  9. Is anyone else still waiting to hear from Indiana? What schools are you still waiting on?
  10. When I applied, I prepared myself to not hear until March. I have heard back from two programs earlier than expected, and it has made me more anxious to hear from the rest!
  11. If you are interested in getting the most you can from the experience of visiting, I would say visit during admitted student day. It is nice to be able to meet other potential incoming students, but more importantly there is a schedule of events. You will get to hear from current students, faculty, and staff during the day in a way that they likely won't have the time or space for if you visit on your own. Going on your own, you would still be able to see the city, walk around the campus,and meet with some students and faculty, but you will have to arrange times and work with the schedules of busy faculty, staff, and students. If you aren't able to go, you can certainly arrange your own visit but it will be more effort and possibly less benefit.
  12. I am not sure if you made a decision yet or have more information, but I thought I would follow up. I would suggest you find out more about why the program has no funding for your first year. Talk to the director or your POI and politely ask for more information about why. I think important to the decision is determining why they aren't giving you funding. I don't think it necessarily means they have less confidence in your success, but I would question if they do not have money to fund you this year, how can they be sure they have money for you next year? If it is an issue of funding this particular year (budget issues), then maybe ask if you were to apply next year and be admitted, would the award more likely have funding for the first year? If that is the case, you may consider pushing back your timeline a year. If it is typical of that particular program to not fund 1st year students and they are not funding other 1st year students, then I would be more open to thinking of how to make the first year work. They may or may not allow you to do part-time. Maybe you can talk to current students in the program to ask what students typically do in the first year of the program if they are not funded.
  13. I bet you had your visit already, but I just came across this and thought I would offer support. The university I am currently at does have an essay as part of the interview day. It is nothing to stress about. For us, it is a 30 minute session where you are given a prompt and asked to write a short essay. The purpose is to test some writing and critical thinking skills in a way that takes focus off GRE writing scores or other flawed methods of evaluating incoming students. They do not expect perfection; they know it is a short time and not something you prepared for. In my experience, they just want to give you an assessment that is closer to your actual research area and will use it as part of their holistic evaluation.
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