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Everything posted by Marius

  1. Well our lab tech was already working in both our lab, and another (where they will be moving full time). So the PI of that lab knows the situation and said she would help out. I think with her go-ahead I'll get in touch with the DGS again explaining whats going on and stating that I'm set on moving. Previously I hadn't really felt comfortable airing my concerns about this PI because I didn't think it was my place as a grad student to be critical. Now I don't really care since I feel my mind is made up anyway. The way I see it, its between me and the PI anyway.
  2. I've approached the director twice. Problem is, he really wants me to stay in this lab. His attitude has really been "stay the course" whenever I've voiced my concerns. I'm feeling like the best course of action right now is to approach faculty who I'd want to work with, see if anyone is willing to take me on, and then go to the director and state that my intention is definitely to move labs.
  3. Thanks guys! I really appreciate the responses. I definitely have been turning this over in my mind a lot recently. On the one hand, I feel that I would be better off somewhere else, but on the other I feel like there will be a stigma that I didn't "tough it out" or "make things work" in my current lab. I've gotten input from people who know and have worked with this PI and they've all raised similar concerns about him that I have had. If I did decide on switching labs, how would I go about this? I don't really want to declare that I'm leaving now without another spot lined up, but then I'
  4. The first thing I want to do is explain how I ended up with this guy, because given the red flags I often wonder to myself "Why did I choose to work here?". Ok, so for starters I'm in a cell biology PhD program with a focus on neuroscience, and I finished my first year lab rotations. Now, the one guy I liked working with the most couldn't take on anymore students, and the one person I did rotate with who had funding I am working with now. So funding played a part, but at the time of the rotation, when I was just learning some techniques used in lab, things seemed alright. That isn't to say I h
  5. Some schools are really terrible at getting back to students. Sometimes it means they haven't made a decision yet. Other times a program won't send out their final round of rejections until they have everything squared away and have filled all their spots. And then sometimes they're just bad at getting back to you. I applied to TJU for their neuroscience program, was told I'd have an answer in two to three weeks (this was in February) and finally got a rejection letter in the mail in May.
  6. Ha! Wait till you have to choose a mentor after lab rotations Don't worry though, really. Everyone understands that you can only choose one school and one lab. It's the nature of these kinds of programs and nobody will hold it against you.
  7. It might not be required for everyone, but it is required for my program. I did have a discussion with the professor; he said as long as I can get at least Bs from here on out I will be fine. I'm just going to be studying a lot to try and get out of this hole.
  8. I am going to meet him during office hours. However, it is a required course.
  9. Now I've gotten an email from the professor saying that he recommends anyone who was 10% or more below the class average should at least "consider the option of withdrawing from the class". I was exactly 10% below the class average. I was thinking, hey lets do this, but now I'm worried. It seems as though the professor doesn't think, at least historically, that students who didn't do well on the first exam will be able to recover on the later exams. Totally freaked out now.
  10. I've always thought I was more comfortable with biology conceptually. I've never been good at math... although its interesting that you point out because I've consistently scored very well on the more quantitative tests I've had in my field that dealt with things like membrane potentials, ion flux, and electrical activity. I'm currently in a lab doing electrophysiology and loving every minute of it. That being said, I still need to pass this freaking biochem class somehow.
  11. I have two lecture classes that give exams and I just got my first round of exam scores back. My "core" course for the program I'm doing very well in. In fact, I think I've gotten the highest score among the students in my program taking this class. The other, what was supposed to be a "basic introduction" to biochemistry is turning out to be a nightmare. Now I've had biology and organic chemistry before, and this is supposed to be a combined undergrad/grad crash course in biochem, but its nothing like I've encountered. At my undergrad institution our professors generally stressed concepts and
  12. I think mine was ~500 words. The idea is to get your thoughts across as concisely as possible. You want to relay all the important information you need to: background, experience, goals, etc. and at the same time not get too wordy. Those reading your SOP are going to be swayed by content, not overly elaborate wording or story telling. Although of course it will still need to be well written. Make sure everything is grammatically sound. Read it out loud, make sure everything sounds right. If you're using the same basic template for multiple SOPs make sure you change all the times you use th
  13. I was checking my spam folder for a while there...
  14. Ultimately I went with Rutgers. The program was better overall and closer to my own research interests. I think I would have been happy at Drexel, but the faculty at Rutgers was just as friendly and ultimately it was a better fit given my interests. I would have had to compromise a little with Drexel on that point. I think I could have lived with it but, given the choice, why compromise right? I emailed everyone back at Drexel saying I really enjoyed getting to talk with them and will be on the lookout for any work they publish in the future since it all seemed very interesting.
  15. Yeah but nobody says when they have to tell you. A grad student in the lab I work in said he got a rejection letters as late as June.
  16. Dunno about their schedules, but most neuro programs have made decisions by now. If you got an interview and haven't heard back, they may just be taking awhile or you might be on the waitlist. I don't know of any neuroscience programs that don't require interviews, although it may be a little different if you're an international student. I think they'd still do a phone interview or something.
  17. I did it out of courtesy at each school I interviewed at. I think it may have helped get me an admit at one of them. I had a good email exchange with one faculty member that ended in a hint that I could probably write a grant looking into the questions I had asked about his research. Ultimately I chose to go with a different program that was a little better fit. So yeah, I think they can definitely help. Although if you're like me you'll feel bad turning a program down after you've just had a nice communication with them, but oh well we can only choose one school after all!
  18. I applied to seven and got two offers and I'm positively ecstatic.
  19. I'm two for three so far on acceptances from interviews. Haven't heard back from TJU but I already accepted Rutgers' offer so its moot now anyway.
  20. Depending on what faculty are getting to take on students they'll form a list of top applicants best fitted for the available spots. If those students don't accept they'll have a backup list of applicants.
  21. Which has the stronger neuroscience program? It seems like Rutgers is ranked higher, and the program has more breadth than Drexel. My PI and some of my other professors have recommended Rutgers based on reputation, funding, and the size of the program. Right now its basically between choosing a school with the stronger reputation, or the school who's faculty seems to be more interested in me as an applicant. I've received a couple of very nice emails for faculty at Drexel discussing possible research. I want to choose the more reputable school, but at the same time I feel bad turning down
  22. Second acceptance came in today. They're coming late in the season for me, so don't despair they are definitely still busy admitting people!
  23. They may follow different schedules, I'm not sure, but if a program requires interviews they're generally going to do this in January/February because decisions need to be made by April 15th. Were you placed on a wait list without an interview?
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