aberrant

Members
  • Content count

    568
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About aberrant

  • Rank
    Macchiato

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Far East to Wild West to Dirty South to Somewhere over the rainbow
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Completed

Recent Profile Visitors

9,463 profile views
  1. Should I apply for a Masters or a PhD in Chemistry?

    imho -- absolutely not. it comes down to a few things in no particular order: 1. your PI's connection/network (which is why you should also consider PI who is big in the field but not necessarily in a top program), 2. your connection/network (consider making an effort to network with any future PIs that you may want to work with through conferences, for instance), 3. your skill sets (has to do with the 'fit' of the lab -- either the lab always need people with your skill, or the lab is looking to expand its research through your skills), 4. your own funding/POI's funding source (i.e. if you have a fellowship, or if the POI has funding to hire a new postdoc), 5. your interest into the lab work/theme/methodology (you will have a chance to explain in your cover letter, and during the interview), 6. your productivity as a grad student/track record (there is always a 'minimum requirement' -- at least 1 first author publication in grad school), and 7. your letter of references (you will need at least 3 including your PI, but you should have more than 3 people in case someone was unable to deliver for whatever reasons). Hope it helps.
  2. My chances at a Biochemistry PhD program

    I'm even more surprised that you have no mentioned of Florida State University (FSU), where they basically home to the mag lab, or NHMFL (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory) -- if NMR is what you are going after.
  3. Should I apply for a Masters or a PhD in Chemistry?

    There are a few things that you have to considered: 1. how old are those faculties? faculty search process changes over time. it should be worth noting that how departments used to hire a professor back in the 70s or 80s would be way different than the current time. 2. who did they do their postdoc with? do they all worked with someone big name, or some of them worked with someone new/"small"? the perception of "school means everything" could be valid if there are cases where a Ph.D. student graduated from a top tier program, did a postdoc in a less well-known PI, and still managed to become a professor at a research-based university. 3. where did they do their postdoc at? similar to #2, except replace reputation of PI to reputation of a school. 4. how accomplished were they during postdoc? can they be unproductive and still managed to get a position, just because they were graduated with a Ph.D. from a top tier program? Without doing extensive research, I would expect that most faculty members at a research-based university did their postdoc with someone famous (recognized by people both inside and outside of the field), well-funded (recognized by people in the field), or a supernova/new "star" in a new field, who typically at a well-funded school (not necessarily top 10), and, most importantly, extremely productive during their postdoc. It can be multiple papers, or a few big papers (the cliche 3 -- Nature, Science, Cell-kind of journals). If my expectation was correct, then, how do their achievement related to where they got their Ph.D. from? It may have some sort of correlation, but it isn't a strong one in my opinion. Because no matter where you are from, you still have to deliver -- demonstrate what you can accomplished as an individual, not as a student from a particular school. And you can most certainly work as a postdoc in a huge PI's lab without getting your Ph.D. from a top 10 program (including myself, and countless people that I know). So it really comes down to your luck, to a certain degree.
  4. Feeling lost in new lab

    OP, I was in the almost-exactly-the-same situation, except, I was a postdoc and then there was the 1st year student. At some point, during your Ph.D. (especially if you are in STEM with wet lab stuff), you are going to learned and realized that your priority is to complete a certain task (i.e. an experiment) before the day ends. That priority will be placed above you taking the initiative and teaching a new member/rotation student in the lab to do something that you do routinely. Having said that, I used to wait until a new member of the lab to show up, and then show them what experiment(s) I'm doing now/next -- not anymore. Because I realized 2 things: 1) it is to my own interest to complete my task ASAP, and there is absolutely no reason to hinder my own experiment/schedule for someone who isn't part of the project (unless I was instructed by my PI that this someone has to learn this experiment ASAP), and 2) I am not the parent of this new member -- I have no obligation to tell this student that "hey, I'm gonna do this now" for every experiment that I do, all day, 7 days a week. That being said, my expectation (and my PI agrees) is the new student need to be proactive -- taking the initiative to shadow / learn from anyone in the lab (not just me). Others maybe busy, but scientists typically are happy to talk about their research/work, or demonstrate what they are doing to someone who is genuine interested, and seemingly passionate about their work. The student that was in the lab was quiet and all. In the first week, I showed this student what (most of the) experiments I do, and the student get their hands on. After the first week or so, I started conducting the experiments at my own pace and schedule. I was expecting that the student would either follow up with the things that we did, or ask and/or shadow what I (or anyone in the lab) were doing. Instead of showing interest to learn what everyone was doing, this student sat and their desk quietly the whole time, for the whole week. They came in, sit at the desk, and left however many hours later. From the my perspective, this student isn't interested in what we are doing, to say the least. Granted that this student claimed they were interested in our work, but had absolutely no experience on any experiments that we do regularly. In contrast, high school students and undergrads who I worked with were all passionate about everything that we did, and they typically stick around the lab long enough to have their own projects and go from there.
  5. Paying for graduate school

    college fees are fees not related to your classes (i.e. tuition) but everything else, essentially. Those fees can cover, for example, access to gym/swimming pool/recreational facilities, school shuttle buses, school varsity teams' events, etc. Typically most people hate that kind of fees but they are not a deal breaker for whether one attending that particular program (or not).
  6. Should I apply for a Masters or a PhD in Chemistry?

    A Ph.D. is a Ph.D. What's the difference between a Ph.D. from a Ivy League and a Ph.D. from, I don't know, last "ranked" at a R-1 school? There is none. What make the difference are what 1) you have accomplished, 2) what you have mastered, and what you are good at. It may also make a difference if you have a stronger letter of reference when you are going to postdoc and, ultimately, a TT position in academia. Honestly, though, your postdoc accomplishment matters more than your Ph.D. training, unless you are applying those Ph.D. to PI programs that some schools offered. As for getting a industry position, your connections matter more than anything else. While one can argue that top programs have more networking opportunities, I would counter-argue that it is solely based on how much of an effort do you put yourself out there for potential employer to hire. LinkedIn is a good start.
  7. Not sure why nobody is replying to your thread, OP. But if you are a international student, then I personally think that your profile is subpar for "top 20-30" programs. You may have a shot for the so-called "31-50", but I would focus more on your personal statement and emphasize what you are good at. You probably want to consider something that is outside of the "top 50" but really good at "organometallic catalysis and new synthetic methodologies" -- there can be big names in those fields who happened to not be in the "top 30" or even "top 50" programs.
  8. While admission percentage may give you some indication on how likely would a program accepts international student, your best choice should still be based on the number of faculties whose research interest you the most. General rule of thumb is to apply to a program where they have at least 3 labs that do research interest you, regardless of the "tier". Obviously, top tier programs are most competitive when it comes to admission. You can ask your LOR / PI to evaluate whether they think you are competitive for those programs, but keep in mind that your "fitness" to a particular program plays a huge role for admission committee. ps. And even though Harvard BBS currently have 254+84 students, you have to look into the actual number of 1st year students to determine the number of accepted students (presumably per year).
  9. sexual harassment?

    That's sexual harassment, doesn't matter what everyone says otherwise. It seems to me that your supervisor simply doesn't wanna engage in situation like these, which can distract her own work (I definitely have had a PI like that). I would file a complaint to the HR department (or its equivalence).
  10. NSF/NIH (External Funding) Questions

    Don't think people have discussed much about NIH extensively, so just to fill in some blanks, if any. You are probably looking at NIH fellowship(s) as opposed to a grant per se. Typically grants are for individual PI or an institution/facility/consortium, even if that is a training grant where students can be directly benefit from (i.e. finacial aspect). For a NIH fellowship, you basically need sufficient preliminary data to be even worth considering, besides the significance and originality of your proposed research. Hence, it isn't common for someone to apply and received a NIH fellowship before starting graduate school (nor would I expect someone can get it in their first year of grad school). A fellowship does not have indirect cost. They fund the student directly, but, to my understanding, the money still went through the office of research and distribute to you, per your school policy. Common practice, whether that be NSF or NIH, to my knowledge, is that a stipend from fellowship does not add to your original stipend offered by your program from your department at your school. In the event where your fellowship stipend is less than what your school is offering (i was in one of those situation), your school/PI would make up the difference, typically without requiring you to become a TA because most, if not all, of these fellowships require the awardee to devote 100% of their time and effort on the proposed research. In short, you will always received at least what your program's offer letter wrote, as your minimum stipend (if not more). That being said, you are unlikely to receive anything from NIH before you start grad school. Benefits of having a fellowship, however, is pretty obvious if you plan to have a career in academia.
  11. San Francisco Bay Area, CA

    Hey folks, Just wondering if anybody knows around what time of the year should I expect to see more rental listing? I know it is almost impossible to find a ~$2.5k/2 bed that allows dog, but that's what I'm currently looking for -- from downtown SF to Mission Bay, all the way down to San Mateo plus Daly City, as well as Emeryville -- wherever that can be close (walking distance) to Caltrian / Bart train (personally avoid buses). Thank you in advance!
  12. 0 to 100, jobless, real quick. <-- TFW your PI makes you get your PhD but offers no support for postdoc search.

  13. Oh so future postdocs will mostly be under J-1 and fewer employments would issue H1-B due to the minimum wage. I really wish the STAPLE act went through, but instead it was 'Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security' since forever.
  14. I find this hard to believe. It essentially means being a postdoc on H1-B will get pay better than most TT assistant professors in STEM.
  15. Why go to graduate school

    That is my perspective.