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cyberwulf last won the day on October 23 2019

cyberwulf had the most liked content!

About cyberwulf

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    Latte Macchiato

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    Biostatistics (faculty)

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  1. I think it’s likely we’re going to see a lot of international deferrals due to the visa situation.
  2. Agree with the above. Depending on your letters, you could have a real shot at a top 10 biostat PhD program. I wouldn't bother with a Masters first; a substantial minority of biostat PhD students come straight from undergrad without a math/stat degree.
  3. Nobody knows anything yet. Even in normal times, discussions on available funding and cohort size typically start in mid-fall, a month or two before admissions deadlines.
  4. I think you are going to see another "post-doc pileup" similar to what happened in 2008-2010. Before that time, most PhD grads in stat & biostat seeking academic positions didn't do postdocs; then, for a couple of years, a ton of grads were pushed into postdocs by the lack of faculty positions and when hiring started again they had much better CVs than the fresh grads they were competing against. So, for the past 10 years, it's been pretty tough for PhD grads without a postdoc to land a tenure-track position. I expect things to trend even further in this direction over the next several years: it may become virtually impossible for new grads to get academic positions without a postdoc, and multiple postdocs may become much more common. We may start looking increasingly like the lab sciences, where it's rare for new Assistant Professors to be hired without 3+ years of postdoc experience. However, there is one countervailing factor that may work in (bio)stat's favor. Interest in data science was already high pre-pandemic, and I expect that even more people will become interested in statistical modeling and data analysis due to this experience. As a result, funding for stat/biostat hiring may be one of the first to return to pre-COVID levels simply to respond to increased demand for both data-oriented teaching and research.
  5. Yes, I would expect that there will be fewer funded (mostly Ph.D.) positions available for Fall 2021, but there may not be a major impact on the availability of unfunded (mostly Masters) spots. Indeed, programs might try to expand their Masters programs to try to make up some of the financial shortfall. The folks who are likely to suffer the most are current graduate students approaching graduation; the job market over the next 1-2 years could look pretty bleak.
  6. Yes, we're quite aware that COVID-19 is a thing, and a lot of institutions are doing some form of optional or mandatory Pass/Fail grading. I would anticipate that we'll essentially just ignore Spring 2020 grades when evaluating applicants.
  7. Just include extracurriculars and don't worry about it. At worst they'll have no impact, and at best they might catch an admissions committee member's eye as a slight positive.
  8. Disciplinary boundaries only matter insofar as they influence what you are likely to work on and where you are likely to publish, hence how much your profile will appeal to potential postdoc supervisors.
  9. 4 years is fairly standard for someone with a Masters in the same field. And if you're almost but not quite done in your fifth year and making good progress, then most programs will happily find something for you even if they didn't "guarantee" it up front.
  10. Unfortunately, the middle of the admissions & recruiting season is probably the worst time to make an "unofficial" campus visit. Faculty and staff are already occupied with admitted students (who have highest priority) and may not be particularly keen on making additional arrangements for someone who is unlikely to be admitted. They would (rightly) also be concerned about precedent; if you were to visit and then ultimately be accepted, this would potentially create a big incentive for future non-admitted students to try to arrange such unofficial visits. Things could quickly get out of hand.
  11. Here's the thing: It's much easier for programs to make "no decision" on applicants who aren't admitted in the first round and aren't obvious rejections than to come up with an official waitlist of people who are first in line to be admitted if first round offers decline. So, many schools keep a bunch of applicants hanging, even though most of these aren't really in the running for admission (editorial comment: I think this is unfair to students, but it's the reality). If you haven't heard from a school, offers don't seem to be trickling out gradually, and you haven't been notified that you're on an official waitlist, then you should probably be prepping yourself for bad news.
  12. In my ~10 years doing admissions, I've never seen a student try to negotiate a higher stipend. So, it's not commonplace, and if you haven't thought about doing it, you're not missing out. Sometimes, if a student is really on the fence, we'll try to come up with additional money, but this almost always comes in the form of additional (lump sum) fellowship awards. Base salaries (i.e., stipend amounts) are often dictated by university regulations, and so are difficult (sometimes impossible) to change. Also, from an accounting perspective, it's much easier to budget an up-front fellowship payment than an increased salary over an indeterminate (4-6 year) time period. Honestly, a student negotiating a stipend would rub me the wrong way. We are trying to make the most attractive offer we possibly can while juggling concerns about equity and fairness. Further, Ph.D. programs generally lose money so it's not like we're holding back on stipend amounts to boost profits. If you feel that the stipend offered by a program isn't livable, then you probably shouldn't go to that program. If it's just about trying squeeze more money out of a program, it isn't worth it.
  13. As in, they had people visiting in previous years who didn't show up to events during the recruiting visit? That's pretty crazy.
  14. This is the first time I've heard of UW doing in-person interviews during visit days. Could be a strategy to increase their waitlist yield: if you admit & invite 20 to visit and waitlist 10 more (no visit), your yield on those last 10 is likely to be lower than if you invite 30 to visit then admit 20 and waitlist 10.
  15. If you don't have anything particularly notable to write, and it's optional, it's probably not worth your time to draft one.
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