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  1. Hi Everyone, I didn't see a thread for those of us browsing the forum who are looking to apply next cycle. Post your profile, give feedback to others on school choices, current phd students can give advice on programs. Undergrad Institution: Ivy League Major(s): B.S. in Animal Science, graduated on the accelerated track in 3 years instead of 4 Overall GPA: 3.13/4.0 *GPA is on a 4.3 scale so that is it scaled onto 4.0 scale (urgh I know, a few C+'s and one C, most were freshman year) Grad Institution: Top 20 University Major(s): M.Sc. in Tumor Biology (lots of specialized classes) Overall GPA: 3.97/4.0 Type of Student: White female, domestic GRE Scores: V: 159 (82%) Q: 165 (84%) W: 4.5 (80%) (Plan to retake even though some of my schools don't accept GRE) Research Experience: - Undergrad ~8 months of research in animal physiology at Ivy League vet school, under 2 PI's - Graduate School: One year as the only student in the lab, director PI and Jr Faculty mentorship, hands on mouse work/breeding, journal club presentations, mid-author pub on this research project - 3 months (summer after graduation) optimizing COVID PCR testing at Public Health Lab - 1 year working as a Study Director at CRO, working with patient derived xenografts and flow cytometry, very intensive position managing 25 client projects, writing protocols and analyzing/presenting data - Working from now until PhD as a Drug Discovery Project Manager at a AI/Machine learning startup, selection of assays, medicinal chemistry, data analysis, fluid planning of next experiments for novel targets, tons of very connected PhD colleagues (esp on West Coast) Positions held: Medical Technologist, Study Director, Project Manager - Drug Discovery (current) Publications/Posters: - 1 publications (mid-author) IF: 22 - No posters or conferences but most of my experience has been during COVID times Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List final undergrad semester LoRs: 1 from PI during MSc which is my publication, 1 from Founder of my current company (CEO, same Ugrad as me, many employees at company have PhDs from schools on my list, small group <90 total employees at company), Final letter I have options for: Can use one of my team members who did their PhD at the specific school I am applying to, could use PI from undergrad (although he doesn't know a ton about my research since I left undergrad), may also be adding PT work for a clincial CRO with a CEO who has MD PhD and was director of two different medical schools? Advice on who to choose as final recommender? Applying to Where: I have listed all below, bolded are the ones I am definitely applying to, I understand some are a stretch but I am willing to pay the $ and put it the time for the slim chance. I am applying to whatever group oversees the cancer research, I plan to reach out to PI's in the next few months. Harvard MIT U of Mich George Washington Georgetown John Hopkins Yale Cold Spring Harbor UW Madison Northwestern MD Anderson UPenn Duke Berkley UCSF UChicago Princeton Mayo Clinic University of Cincinnati Purdue U Colorado (Med Campus Aurora CO) U of W (st louis) Brandeis Colorado State University of Pittsburg Not confident about my ugrad GPA but hoping my MS and industry experience makes up for it? Any others who have gone from industry? I make great money at my current job but I know in our current scientific environment especially in drug development that you cannot ever be the boss or the brains if you don't have a PhD, I know this isn't everyone's opinion but it is the decision I have made.
  2. Hey everyone, I saw a 2019 post for computational biology/bioinformatics/systems biology, but nothing posted yet for the 2020 cycle. I thought I'd get it started for this year because it was nice to read through a thread from last year that was separate from the biology postings. I'm curious to hear where everyone is applying to, and any news/tips anyone has as well. And of course staying updated once results start rolling in after the application deadlines. Good luck to everyone!
  3. Hello! I have my B.S. in Chemistry and have been a working chemist for about 5 years now but my real passion is working with animals and I am interested in pursuing a career in wildlife ecology/conservation. Does anyone have a similar experience of switching careers from chemistry to conservation/biology/etc.? I would love to just work in the field and gain experience without having to go back to school but that's probably not possible :( I do not have a strong biology background so I don't think I have much of a chance of getting accepted into graduate programs... I'm wondering if I should try getting a post baccalaureate degree in wildlife science/ecology/conservation/etc. or possibly get a graduate certificate or take some prerequisites before applying to grad school. Also, I live in Portland, OR and don't really want to move so I think my only schooling options would be online or OSU. OSU has a few different graduate programs, two of which I'd be interested in: Masters of Wildlife Science (very competitive) or a Graduate Certificate in Wildlife Management which would be easier to get into but would still require that I take prerequisites but could be a foot in the door for meeting faculty and give me an advantage if I want to enroll in the masters program later. Or I could get a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences but not sure if it's worth the time, effort, and cost. Basically I'm really confused and don't know what to do so any advice on this would be great! Thank you so much!
  4. I am starting this thread to start the discussion of interviews in a Covid world. I have personally scoured the internet and numerous other forums looking for advice and what schools are saying in regards to their interview plans and this is what I have found so far. I received this notice from Stanford's Bioscience admissions when I submitted my application "During the week of January 11, 2021, the committees will start to contact applicants who have been selected for an interview. The selected applicants will be invited to interview via Zoom and participate in programming with faculty and current students. Our interview dates are currently set for Wednesday, March 3 through Saturday, March 6, 2021, but may shift. This is our only interview session. All applicants will be notified of the decision on their application by the end of January." I have not seen any of my other programs change their websites yet to reflect how they will be conducting interviews but I assume many will follow suit. For resources I recommend listening to a Podcast I listen to for many of my Grad school related questions, its called "Hello PhD" their most recent episode 146: Ace your virtual Graduate school interview with Dr. Beth Bowman. This episodes they have a discussion with Dr. Beth Bowman, she is the assistant director of graduate programs at Vanderbilt University. They do go into how time zones would work and how to prepare. Their previous episodes do go into general interview prep as well as a vast amount of other topics. As much as I want to be able to meet the professors personally I am glad that schools are thinking about peoples safety. My only thing I do worry about is what it will be like trying to choose a school that maybe we never got to visit and how we can choose where we will be living and working for the next several years.
  5. Hi everyone! I am currently applying to PhD programs for biomedical science. I really just need an umbrella program because I have too many interests to confidently apply to a specific program. I have a lot of research experience but a 3.4 GPA , but my last two semesters is a 3.7 (adding that in my "additional information" section for applications. I have had the same mentor and advisor my full 4 years at undergrad. I have been in independent research with him since my summer sophomore year and currently doing an honors research thesis with him. He is writing my letter of rec, as well as the honors thesis director, and a professor I TA ed for. I don't have any "safety" schools that I'm applying to and honestly don't know where to look. So I was wanting some suggestions on biology umbrella programs. Also if there's even any chance of me getting into UNC chapel hill (advisor is an alum there), University of Arizona Tucson, or Vanderbilt. Thanks for your input and help!
  6. I am about to graduate in December and I am going to pursue a career in research. I just began applying for research assistant jobs that interest me when I got some discouraging advice. My current plan is this: 1. Be hired as a research assistant starting as soon as January. 2. Work as a research assistant for at least a year or two (Ideally work for a company that can pay for grad school). Use mornings/evenings before/after work to build on personal projects (businesses I will start, etc.) and goals. 3. Transition from work mode to school mode by doing some independent study of the most relevant types of coursework that I would need to refresh (ex: biochemistry), and prepare for GRE. 4. Apply to graduate school for PhD and attend. 5. Postdoc in Japan. 6. Career in cell biology and/or genetics research. Run my businesses. I like this plan, but I want to get advice to make the best moves possible. I did not get to give the person who gave me advice the full plan because they didn't listen to the whole thing. But their advice to me was that getting a research assistant job doesn't make as much sense as doing a postbacc, since a postbacc program may be designed in a way where continuing education is easier. They said that a postbacc would be better if I plan to go to grad school later. They also said that I might not have time in the mornings and evenings to do my own thing as a research assistant because I will be busting my butt on everyone's projects. They said some other things, but I felt like it wasn't really helping because they did not listen to most of the plan or my reasons for each thing. I will list some of my reasons for wanting to do a research assistant job, but I would really appreciate everyone who sees this correcting me where I'm wrong, answering my subsequent questions, and giving me advice that would help me succeed. These are my reasons for why I am leaning toward research assistant. I want to begin working in my field as soon as possible. If I'm going to do a postbacc program, my understanding is that the application cycle is already about to end. If I start applying for postbaccs now, and they start in the summer next year, I'm behind. I know some have rolling admission, but it's still good to be an early applicant. If I apply anyway, I need to work in the meantime. So it would make more sense to do DoorDash or something until then instead of trying to get hired in a lab. But I really want to do biology instead of going back to DoorDash. If I do a research assistant job, I may not find one right away, but at least an actual job doesn't depend on an application cycle in the same way a program does. I had already started applying right before I got the advice that it's a bad idea. I need to save money. I don't have very much in savings and I have big plans. If I work now, I can save up for future goals/plans. Some major goals include, moving out and getting my own place, money for graduate school, starting my own businesses. If I do a postbacc, that's about $30,000 that I need for admission, right? I might be getting paid during the program, but I don't know if it makes sense to have a big bill like that right after finishing college. I don't want to go straight into more school. I want to work right away to gain experience in research that I'm interested in and to make money. I want a break from school so I can work on me and my goals. Not all postbaccs have an educational component, right? But if I do one, it makes the most sense to find one that incorporates that supplemental coursework that I mentioned in the beginning, right? Based on my thoughts, can wiser people please give me advice on how I might need to tweak this plan? What are the most strategic options? If I go with my plan, am I putting myself at a disadvantage compared to doing a postbacc, or is it just simply a different path? And if my current plan is sound, can you please give advice on the job application process? And pray for me/wish me luck? Thanks for reading!
  7. Hi, I have written a SOP and a Personal Statement (diversity) and am wondering if anyone would be willing to look them over and give me some feedback? I am from an historically underrepresented group and am the first in my family to pursue a PhD, so I am a bit out of my depth here. Any help will be greatly appreciated (PM me)!
  8. I graduated this past spring with a BS in pharmacology and I'll be applying for fall 2021. I want to pursue a career in R&D in the future. I'm especially interested in joining a PhD program for neuroscience tied to pharmaceutical sciences, but I don't actually have much background in neuroscience. It would be super helpful if I could get some insight into where I would be standing in regards to applying for graduate programs. I was a transfer so I did 2 years at a community college (got a 3.83 GPA) and then graduated from a university with a 3.83 GPA. I did undergraduate research for almost 1.5 years where my project was involved in studying a chronic disease and its metabolic changes. There is a paper still in the works that I will be published in, but not as first author. It's also been delayed due to Covid-19, but I'm hoping that it will be out before I apply. Besides this, I don't have any publications. Since graduating, I've been working as a staff research associate at my current lab, so that's what I will be doing for the next year. I have two professors who I will be asking for a letter of recommendation from. One is my PI, who I know will give me a strong letter. The other is a professor who I have taken 5 classes with (both lecture and lab courses), but they do not know me nearly as well as my PI. They basically only know my name and face, and that I have had As in all of their classes. I'm not too sure where I will get my third letter of recommendation, but I'll likely ask another professor who I've taken classes with. I go to school and live in California, so I'd prefer to stay here. I am thinking of applying to UCSF, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, and Scripps. I will probably also apply to some out-of-state places. These are just some schools that I've been thinking about, but definitely not the only ones I'm open to applying to. I know it's hard to gauge how PhD programs will choose their applicants, but I'd like to get a general idea of what sorts of schools would be my reach schools and my safety schools. Thanks in advance.
  9. Hi, everyone! I am new here and hoping y'all could provide some guidance. I will be graduating this December with a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in statistics. Deciding what I want to do with my life has taken a looooong time, but I finally figured out my passions/interests: computational biology. As of right now, I am planning on attending graduate school in the Fall of 2021, provided I actually get accepted anywhere. Because my interest in the field did not come about until within the last year, so I have very little background in biology (as in...I'm taking an intro bio course this fall because the last time I took bio was in 2012 as a freshman in high school). I do know, however, that I am extremely interested in the field of virology and infectious disease research. All that being said, I have two questions: 1. Is computational virology even a thing? Like building computational models of viruses to better understand them and help figure out vaccine development/treatment strategies? 2. If so, do you guys have any suggestions of PhD programs which have a strength in this area? Thanks in advance, guys
  10. Hey everyone, So my future plans changed and I want to peruse PhD in biology or genetics. But I am not sure if I should wait a year to expend my resume or just try and apply this upcoming cycle. My stats as follow: 1. Major in bio ( 3.75ish gpa) 2. Multiple years on dean's list, some honors award 3. Peer TA for 1.5 years 4. Have different interesting activities ( open non profit after high school, work in interesting jobs, currently have a business, etc) 5. Research: Year and 3 months in biomedical lab, 2 years in computational/genetics lab, 3 month internship in top 20 doing annotations, summer in top 20 in genetic lab, one year clinical research ( not sure if it counts). I graduated this year, I have two offers with two year commitment- both really great options (at very established universities). 6. Presentations - about 6 , national and regionals 7. Pubs: 1 first co-author, 1 third author (review paper), 1 in the middle somewhere but in Nature. I am very interested in computational or genetic program, so want to apply to MIT and Stanford ( among others) but I feel like the application not as strong for those places. Should I take a year off, work for 2 years to gain more experience or should I apply? Do I even stand a chance given my a bit lower GPA for these schools?
  11. I am a 2nd year graduate student in a masters biology program. My field of research is cardiovascular disease. Specifically, I research the genetic expression and protein secretion profiles of unique adipose tissue depots in patients with coronary artery disease. I do not have any publications at this point in my career. Although, I have been fortunate enough to obtain ~$13,000 in competitive grant funding and fellowships. I am currently working on a mini-review and hope for my thesis research to be published, once completed. Due to a setback in my research, I will be staying in this program for 1 additional year; graduate May 2020. I have already completed all of the required coursework for the degree, just need to finish the thesis research. Although, due to the requirements for some of the grants that I have I must maintain full-time graduate status (9 units). This semester I have enrolled in 2 MBA courses (economics and operations management). I figured because I know nothing about business, and am in a STEM field, these courses would be interesting and prove worthwhile...I am loving it! I am able to use my analytical skills in a whole new way. This has put me in an interesting position between going for the PhD or the MBA. I am seriously considering applying to the MBA program at my university, fall 2019 start, as I am interested in research funding and development. It is a 2 year program. I recently turned 25, I would finish with both masters programs by age 27. If I go for the PhD it would be in biomedical sciences, or something closely related. Preferably studying coronary artery disease and working with humans as the model organism. I am seeking advice. I know 27 is not THAT old and I can definitely still continue on and complete a PhD. I would like to work more so in a management or consultant role rather than as an active scientist.
  12. Hey, Is there anyone who has received an admit from ETH Zurich's MSc Biology for Autumn 2020? I just did, and want to reach out and know more.
  13. Hi everyone! I noticed that threads like this don't include information about whether or not people were accepted, waitlisted, and/or rejected. If you applied during any year before 2020 and have results, please post below. 😀 I noticed math/physics have similar threads which DO include acceptance and rejection results from people. Wanted to start something similar for biology! Undergrad Institution: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Biology?)Major(s):Minor(s):GPA in Major:Overall GPA:Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)GRE Scores (revised/old version):Q:V:W:B:TOEFL Total: (if applicable, otherwise delete this)Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, club officer, etc...)Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections to advisors, grad classes, famous recommenders etc...)Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Year Applied: 20XXApplied to Where and Results: School - Department - Research Interest - ACCEPTED (MM/DD/YY), Funding: ____________________ School - Department - Research Interest - WAITLISTED (MM/DD/YY), ACCEPTED (MM/DD/YY), Funding: ____________________ School - Department- Research Interest - WAITLISTED (MM/DD/YY), REJECTED (MM/DD/YY) School - Department - Research Interest - REJECTED (MM/DD/YY)
  14. Hi everyone, I am an applicant for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences (IDPBS) at ECU. I applied on January 15th and still am waiting to hear back. I first emailed my prospective PI in the beginning of March to ask when I should hear back and she said soon... waited 2 weeks and still nothing so I emailed the graduate school and they said they had no clue. So last week I emailed the graduate program director of IDPBS and she said I should hear back after April 15th. Crazy, right? I should assume that I either got waitlisted or rejected! Because graduate schools have to let everyone have to the date to accept or reject their offer. Has anyone else experienced this? Either in the same or different program? I don't know if this is the normal for ECU. Honestly turns me off from the school.
  15. I applied in my senior year without hope as my stats weren't good, but I tried to take a shot to gain some experience. I applied to about 4 schools for chemistry and biochemistry programs and got all rejects, which I wasn't too surprised since I wasn't finished taking major courses. I'm not too proud of my stats: 3.2 GPA, 3.1 major GPA, 143/154/4.0 GRE, 2.5 years of research experience (both experiences in synthesis and biochemistry research), and no pub. I graduated already, and I'm trying to apply again this upcoming cycle around October-December. I have about 6-8 months before submitting my applications, so what would be the most productive way to fill this gap? Some things that I'm already working on are: - I am currently working on GRE, and I'm also planning to take the Chemistry GRE in September. - I talked with my research advisor, and we can work on a paper to submit for one of the research I did. So, I might possibly be a second-author for the paper. - I am also trying to replenish the LORs. The research advisor said he wrote a strong one before, and he would update it more for this one. I also have different professor writing LOR for this time who is very understanding and knows me well. I'm currently looking for 3rd recommender, but it's in process for now. - I am trying to find a research position of some sort to gain more research experience. I'm not sure if that would be helpful at this point, since I just have months left. - I am getting the feeling that doing Masters to recover my GPA won't be worth the chance, since it is another investment, and I have a set goal that I want to go for PhD for academia path. I've been seeing some good constructive advice here, and I would love to hear back thoughts and comments on my situation. Thank you
  16. I have great offers from two schools: One a Natural Resources Department and one an EEB. I’m hoping to get hired in a traditional biology department afterwards where my partner is. I’ve read online that some traditional biology departments look down on Natural Resources because they’re so applied and less theoretical. I wondered if anyone had insight into this? These do seem like very traditional departments: NSF grants and a rockstar professor in EEB and USDA grants + conservation contracts in SNRE.
  17. AS an international students who got a Master's degree in US, I applied for 15 different PhD programs this year and got 4 rejections, 2 wait-list and just 1 interview now. I am so stressful recently, I sent emails to those silent schools and got a general reply, "decisions have not yet been made", I do no really know what these mean, I kind of feel they were just wait a date to send all rejections at one time. As I found on the Grad Cafe, usually people got interviews no later than Feb, so I am so sad at this time.
  18. Hello everyone! I am currently applying for immunology Ph.D. programs. Would anyone be willing to look over my statement of purpose? If you are please PM me! Thank you for all of your help!!
  19. this is for people like me who despise the toxic gradcafe forums and just want to know whether they should begin focusing their attn to programs they still have a shot at instead of being left hanging by programs that don't tell you about rejections/completed offers. No stats, no chancing - private message or start a new thread if you want to do that (:
  20. Hey folks, so I'm a Canadian B.Sc student at UBC graduating in May. Im looking to go into a masters (in Canada ideally) and I've already got a couple mentors in mind but for some reason I'm terrified of contacting them and don't even know where to start. I know it should be a pretty simple and straight-forward email, but I'm not too sure what to include. Was hoping you guys could give me some tips/pointers on what to email to prospective mentors. Also, what the hell is a writing sample? I'm honestly feeling very confused about the whole process so if y'all could give a man a hand it would be greatly appreciated!!!
  21. Hi everyone, I'm applying to the USC Keck School of Medicine's molecular microbiology and immunology program for the Fall 2020 semester. I've been personally reviewing my own statement of purpose but I'd like to reach out and have a less biased reviewer possible help me out with some tips. The length requirement is 1-2 pages and the prompt is as follows: Why are you interested in pursuing the Master of Science in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology degree? How will this degree affect or enhance your career aspirations and goals? Any tips are appreciated! Thank you all and happy application and holiday season! -Matt USC SoP 2nd Draft.docx
  22. I am applying this year for Bioinformatics this year... Can someone give me a fair evaluation. Do I have chance getting into a good program. Worst international Asian male Undergrad school: Big state (I stupidly chose wait for 3 waitlists, I thought at least 1 out of 3, and ended up like this...) GPA:3.81 major GPA:3.95 Majors: Cell biology, biochem Minor: Math GRE: not taken yet, but will take soon, quant easy full score, verbal IDK, 145-150 prob Exp: 2 years research at UCSF couple summer research publications: Nth author on Nature comm 3rd author on median clinic journal 4th author on a field top journal 2nd on a paper under review for nature, quit big project Working on a (I think) very cool novel deep learning pipeline independently (code is done, result seems promising to my PI, need to finalize) Lof: big name in the field ordinary senior researcher somewhat big name prof in the biomedical filed honors: very competitive national honors for math, biology and physics in high school Putnam experience skills: python (very good, huge amount of projects on git), c/c++ (one project), R(fine, couple projects) , shell(fine, couple projects), cython (one project) and matlab (studied). What is my chance ? is it possible for a Big state international Asian male be accepted in good programs ?
  23. As most of us are aware the application season is well underway for fall 2020 graduate programs. I'm having a lot of difficulty deciding the type of program I want to apply to. I currently work as a lab tech for a major research institution in the united states. I am starting my second year here and this is the only research experience I have with one publication under my belt. I work in an immunology lab and we do a lot of cell/molecular based research. I enjoy my work here a lot but I often feel as if I'm missing the bigger picture. As such I've started to think about a research career in Epidemiology. However I do still hold a strong interest in how our biological factors (genetics etc) combined with environmental factors (nutrition etc.) contribute to health disparities and health outcomes. So instead of applying to immunology Phd programs (which I've already begun to do), I've been thinking of getting a PhD in Epidemiology hopefully there are programs that include some aspect of molecular biology in their epi programs (I've found one thus far) The other thing is I need a MPH or MsPH in order to be accepted into most Phd Programs for epidemiology. I'd like to keep my focus quantitative and research based. I hesitate to apply for masters because I have no experience in public health and do not want to waste time or money if public health field is not what i thought. I need to make a decision quickly so I can get applications in asap. Any insight you can provide is greatly appreciated.
  24. Hi I graduated with B.E in Biotechnology in the year 2017 from India. I have been working in a computational genetics lab since then. I don't have any publications yet. Might be submitting one by the end of this year. I am aiming for Phd in mathematical biology as that field really interests me. I have done courses in Calculus I and II, Linear Algebra and Differential Equation during my undergraduate studies. It would be great if you could suggest me any universities in the USA which offers this program of study. I would welcome suggestions in this regard, since I don't have a major in mathematics how much it is going to affect my application process. Also, do I stand chance at all for getting an admit(an international student plus not a strong background in mathematics). Really appreciate for reading this! Thanks in Advance!!
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