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Found 100 results

  1. researching a disease you have

    Hi, I was wondering what people thought about someone picking a research topic (biomedical research field) on a disease that they themselves have or someone close to them has. Is it an additional source of motivation, or is it too much stress/pressure? Are there any ethical issues? Thanks!
  2. Hey, guys! As a foreign student, I've never had the need to write anything like a statement of purpose. Well, now that I'm applying to Grad School, I just finished mine. I would like to know if there's anyone here willing to take a look at it and give a few comments on how it is. Thanks!
  3. Got Kicked out

    At least a year back from now everything was going great in my Biology PhD program. Apart from the occasional feeling that I was not being able to work to my full potential, the quarterly reviews with my PhD committee members were “excellent”. My advisor was comparatively satisfied with my progress in research than with other members of the lab and that brought additional responsibilities. However, little did I know that a ‘B’ in a stats class was all that was required to send me back to my miseries, two years into my program. My advisor was relatively new and to my knowledge did all he could to save my ass, which wasn’t enough at the end. The only thing that he assured was a letter of recommendation if I ever reapplied. I was a graduate assistant and with the assistantship cancelled I didn’t stand a chance to continue. I tried talking to the stats instructor but it did not yield favorable results. Fast forward a couple months after getting kicked out. I am back in my country. Sitting on the same chair, in front of the same computer that I used while sending out applications about 2 years ago. All I can think of is I don’t want to die a failure and if I really have to fail I would prefer failing in something that I am at least happy doing. I do have a job a present but I know that I don’t want to do that. I want to get back to my PhD (of course a fresh start somewhere else) or at least try. I know it might be difficult (as per some blogs) and even if I get in I might face an analogous situation during the coursework. For the time being though I am trying to tackle one problem at a time. Just wanted to know if any of you guys have had similar experiences. Both optimistic and pessimistic views are welcome in addition to suggestions related to increase my chances (if any).
  4. Hello, I did a bachelor's in biology and environmental science, with only one 400 level statistics course. I'm taking further math classes at a community college right now, before applying for an MS in Biostatistics. I know my limited math background already puts me in a bad spot, but I'm unsure about my picks for recommendation letters as well. I was wondering if it matters that my writers dont all have PhDs, esp since only 1 is in math. Right now, I have one biology professor (PHD bio), one environmental science professor (MS env sci) and the stats lecturer (he wasnt a professor. MS applied math) They all know me well, but is that good enough?
  5. Laptops for Biomedical Science

    Hi Guys, I know there are already a few threads on this but I couldn't find anything that is particularly current/relevant for my situation. I am looking into buying a new laptop soon after my coursework year at gradschool (in around 6 months time). Would mainly need it for office, running bioinformatics software, possibly for some data heavy work (genomics/proteomics work). I've been leaning towards an macbook air hopefully with an i7 and 512gb ssd or an asus model with similar specs. I've never owned a mac but have used some. My main reason for leaning that way is durability. I've gotten tired of my pcs slowing down after a year or so of use and I hear that macs work better for longer, with the sacrifice of better specs for the price point. I plan on waiting and discussing it with people in the lab I eventually join as well to make sure I don't have any compatibility issues. Would love to get some feedback from the older and wiser. Thanks!
  6. Hi Everyone, I'm interested in applying to grad school for Molecular Biology for Fall 2018. I finished my B.S. in Biology this year. I had applied to 5 of the top PhD programs in neuroscience last year for this upcoming Fall but I was rejected from everyone. I want to try again this year, but instead apply to Molecular Biology programs. My GPA is a 3.95, my GRE score was 83rd percentile on Quantitative, 97th percentile on Verbal, and 93rd percentile on Analytical Writing. However, I only have one full academic year of research experience and participation in a summer research program. I attended a CSU. I will be taking the GRE Biology subject test next month. I was hoping during my year off I could work in the biotech industry to gain experience but I was not qualified for most of the positions I found so I am working in more of a clinical position. Given this, what schools would you recommend that I could realistically get into? I would prefer to stay in California but I am open to other options. Also, I've heard that it's good to contact professors that you might be interested in having as your advisor. What would you suggest saying to these people when I contact them? Thanks!
  7. I'm currently doing my Bachelor's (BTech. - Final year) in Biotechnology in Manipal Institute of Technology, India. I'm quite keen on applying for graduate programs later this year, colleges like UCB, UPenn, Columbia, UCSD, Cornell and also considering Yale, MIT, Stanford and the works. I will be giving my GRE exam shortly and also have completed a 2 month internships in a pharmaceutical company and a premier university (Indian Institute of Tech) in India. I will also be interning from January 2017 at the Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB, Hyderabad), another renowned lab. I had previously briefly worked on a project in college to devise a diagnostic kit and am currently working on another (in collaboration with the Department of Virus Research, Manipal). I am hopeful of publishing a paper on the latter, sometime later this year. Being from India, I'm severely lost with regards to the requirements expected from top universities as mentioned above in terms of GRE scores, GPA requirements and lab experience & LoRs in general. Given my lab experience and a 8.5 CGPA (Indian standard) without publications, am I being realistic in considering these colleges for my master's? Would working in few more well-established labs and applying next year improve my chances?
  8. Hey all! I really wanted to start an acceptance thread for a while, but I waited! Hopefully, it's around a good time right now to start one. I wanted to ask all of you macro/micro biologists on this site about what programs you'll be attending starting this fall. Starting with me: I'm attending USC's MBBO program~! I'm going to be a Marine Biologist. Where are you all attending and what program? Or what two schools are you deciding between?
  9. So, Last year I applied to graduate schools. I didn't get into any of my schools but I did get feedback from almost all of them. The only thing they could all say was that I had no publications. Unfortunately, this is rather hard to fix. Since then I have been working as a field technician in my field (ecology) and I have talked to my PI about authorship. She said that I can take an active role in the papers that come from the research I'm doing, but that these papers likely won't be even closed to published when I apply to graduate school. Since this was my only feedback last time I applied, does anyone have any additional advice on improving my application, since these papers won't be on there? Some general stats: Graduated in 2016 with a BS in Biology: Ecology and a BA in History from the University of Texas: Austin GPA: 3.5 GRE Verbal: 85th percentile GRE Quant: 51st percentile GRE Writing: 90th percentile Research Experience: Worked in labs since my freshman year, internship at the EPA, senior project and poster presented at my university's poster fair, field technician position, a poster at the end of this summer and most likely a paper eventually. I'm planning on retaking the GRE in September to hopefully improve the quantitative score. Not much I can do about my GPA at this point.
  10. I'm about to publish my undergraduate thesis in Nature as first author (so grateful and happy!). I'll likely get another first author publication out of my project by the end of the year, likely lower IF. I know it doesn't make me a shoo-in for PhD programs, but how far could this take me if I apply to competitive programs in my field (Rockefeller, GSK, UCLA, MIT)?
  11. I'm planning on applying for fall 2018, that being said I've started to research programs over the past months. I am interested in how humans have used the land in the past, and how we can use that information to inform the way we conserve ecosystems. Initially I was just looking at ecology programs, however I keep finding anthropology programs that seem to fit very closely with what I'm interested in. However, I'm nervous to apply to these programs since I don't have a lot of direct experience with Anthropology (besides an introductory cultural anthropology class I took as an undergrad). As an undergrad I double majored in Biology(with a focus in Ecology) and History. This year I have been working as a field technician on a project looking at how the warming climate will impact grass communities in the upper midwest. While this isn't directly related to anthropology, it has given me experience on proposing research questions, making a plans, and carrying out that research in the field (and also trouble shooting because nothing goes right when you're doing field work). So, questions: 1. Is there anything I could do to specifically make my application seem more appealing to Anthropology programs? 2. What should I keep in mind when applying to an Anthropology program? 3. Should I contact professors directly that I am interested in working with, or should I contact the departments? In ecology you contact the professors, but I've gotten mixed signals from social sciences and liberal arts. 4. If a school asks for a writing sample, what should I provide? I have some fairly long papers from my history degree. I did do a senior project in ecology, but that was presented in poster form so there is not written component to submit.
  12. Hello, guys! I'm going to apply for MA in Canada (University of British Columbia) and I've got a few questions about it, so maybe smb had similar experience. I've got Russian diploma in Medicine (M.D.) and also it is veryfied in Israel. But I'd like to change my speciality and apply for MA in Science (kinesiology in priority, biology, genetics are also possible). I looked through application requirments and it's said there that I'm able to apply for these programs because I've got a diploma in related field.The problem is that all these programs are connected with researches and I don't have any background in research, just a few weeks of work in clinic. However, I have to find a supervisor before application. The main question is: is it possible to find supervisor without any background? I'm going to join volunteer programs in lab, visit conferences and so on, but I actually don't have appropriate credits, experience and documents. I thought about applying for PhD in Russia and spend there a year or smth for experience and credits, and then apply for MA in Canada, But it would be such a waste of time... So please tell me about your experience in situations like mine, I'd really appreciate that!
  13. Like most PhD students, I am having a difficult time with my qualifying exams and would like some recommendations on how to proceed from others who may have experienced something similar. I should start out by explaining that I started my program as a Master’s student at the suggestion of my advisor. I didn’t come from a great undergraduate program that actually had research options and my only prior experience with research was during my year off working with a previous graduate of my advisor. During my third semester, I petitioned for a switch that my advisor was enthusiastic about and transferred to the PhD program. I was also informed recently that I received the NSF graduate research fellowship award, meaning that I won’t have to be supported with teaching/research assistantships any longer. All students are expected to complete a prospectus which entails writing a research proposal about planned research and then presenting that proposal in front of the graduate committee. I did this during my second semester as a Master’s student and again in my fourth semester after my switch in programs took effect. Also during the fourth or fifth semester, PhD students take the qualifying exams. This requires five written exams over the course of one week, each from a committee member which assigns you a topic - usually related to their field of research, not yours. If you pass this, you are able to move on to the oral exam where they ask you additional questions with all members present and this may be related to previous topics or from any topic in biology. The topics I was assigned: general ecology, comparative physiology, flight biomechanics, mammalian auditory systems and auditory processing, and mammalian and insect visual systems. I was given eight weeks to work through a mountain of textbooks and papers that were recommended, in addition to resources I found myself. Needless to say, I haven’t slept properly due to all the stress and have been remarkably unproductive in every other aspect (which is extremely unlike me). I passed the written exams with little problem. They weren’t spectacular, but no exam I’ve ever taken (SAT, GRE, midterms, finals, etc…) has ever been great just due to the anxiety from all the pressure. For my oral exam, however, I was asked the first question and I just broke. Ultimately, I ran out of the room in tears right before an extreme panic attack, unable to even tell my committee members what was happening to me. The stress, the anxiety, were things that I tried to keep unnoticed because I don’t want to be perceived as weak, or that student who can’t handle the pressure. Since that incident, I’ve talked with my members and admitted to struggling with these things. To say that I’ve always struggled with tests and public speaking is an understatement. But it’s something I’ve been actively working (including counseling and medications) on since beginning undergrad and have focused especially on this past semester knowing I would have to do this. Despite all the work and preparation, I couldn’t do it and I don’t know if I actually ever will. My committee members tell me that it shouldn’t be any different than any other time I have to speak. I disagree. When preparing for a conference or a lecture or even a job interview, you are generally narrowly focused on one topic that you’ve had the opportunity to rehearse and practice (not to mention no one at a conference tells you that you can’t come back if your talk isn’t good). This is very different from walking into a room with five people who could ask you literally anything. The goal of these exams is to confirm that PhD students are broadly trained in biology, despite specializing in a particular field and to ensure that they are truly qualified to do research. I get it, but I also think I’ve managed to demonstrate these things in other ways. I’ve done a lot of coursework because Master’s students are required to have a certain number in addition to research, which is not a requirement for PhD students. I’ve taught science courses at my university and another university prior to entering the program, I’ve passed the written portion, and I’ve managed to get an NSF grant. All my members say to me that they know I’m prepared, that I know the answers, but they still insist on me going through this ordeal to continue. I am exhausted, humiliated, and frustrated to say the least. So, has anyone else had these experiences? Were you offered any sort of alternative way to prove you’re competent? Or am I really going to have to just accept that this shortcoming is going to alter my life plans despite being very capable in every other requirement? Am I really just not good enough? Is this really the best way for the Deptartment of Academics to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff or is my career as a biologist being held hostage behind faculty traditions passed on as normal?
  14. Hi, I am a chemical engineering and biology undergraduate student planning to graduate in 2019. I want to pursue a doctoral degree in some area of cancer biology/drug discovery. I love research that allows me to employ quantitative principles to model the biological system perturbations that arise in disease states, and I would also like to investigate the effects of small molecules and biologics on those systems. Many programs exist in chemical engineering, bioengineering, biology, etc., to pursue such a route, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to make a career out of this work. At this point, I have completed both a six-month industry co-op internship and a 3-month REU. I have the option to do another six-month co-op, or go to school during that semester and do another summer REU (plenty of juicy and highly specialized graduate electives I can potentially take during that additional semester, such as medicinal or quantum chemistry, statistics with R, Python programming, and bioinformatics, to name a few). Any advice? For the summer research, I am particularly interested in the Amgen Scholars Program, if I can get in. It seems to be exactly what I am looking for. If I did an industrial internship it would probably be in drug discovery, if I could get one, or another bioprocess engineering position. Any other suggestions are welcome as well. Stats below: Undergrad Institution: mid-tier, large public university Major(s): Chemical Engineering (emphasis in Bioengineering) and Biology (emphasis in Biotechnology) Minor(s): Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering (mostly used graduate courses to complete these) GPA in Majors: 3.96 Overall GPA: 3.7 (due to poor initial showing in college 15 years ago; returned to school in 2013 and GPA is 3.9 over last 4 years) Position in Class: top 5% of current institution Type of Student: Domestic white male, non-traditional, first-gen college student, below poverty line GRE Scores (revised/old version): (estimates based on practice exam) Q: 164 V: 168 W: 5.0 B: Not going to take Research Experience: 4 overlapping years, spread across 4 faculty labs. Mix of bio/chemical engineering and chemical biology. REU in cancer bioengineering/modeling -> led to a national conference presentation and first author publication. 1 year pharmaceutical powder process modeling/simulation for NIH-funded project 1 year honors fellowship, mammalian cell culture engineering/analysis. -> led to symposium presentation 3 years cell/bioengineering in nano and tissue culture lab. -> 2 presentations and 2 publications, one first author review, one second author experimental paper in high IF journal 1 semester in chemical biology, included computational modeling -> led to national conference presentation Yearlong Honors Research and Thesis forthcoming during senior year (another REU leading to a publication would really go nicely here) Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Scholar, Honors College, several university scholarships, Dean's List, Honor Societies: Tau Beta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Omega Chi Epsilon Pertinent Activities or Jobs I founded and am director of an NGO that designs, validates, and builds medium-scale (500L-2500L) sustainable biodigesters in developing nations. My organization has won various local innovation and engineering awards and raised large sums from various sources. 4 Grants total. Currently in an iterative experimental design/evaluation process at a farm near my campus, and looking to apply for EPA P3 funding in the next fiscal year. 6-month Engineering R&D internship at Pfizer Vice President and Secretary of two engineering student chapters on campus ChemE Car Design Team for AIChE Student Chapter Summer Internship Designing Fuel Handling Devices Peer Tutor in chemical engineering and biology Peer Mentor My jobs have been mostly research-based in faculty labs, aside from some professional tutoring, web design, retail, and manual labor work. Special Bonus Points: Glowing LOR's, but not from particularly renown faculty I have earned three online verified Coursera specializations (around 5-6 courses each): Statistics with R, Systems Biology and Biotechnology, and Python Programming (Did this mostly for personal enrichment, is there any value in mentioning this on applications?) I will have taken between 14 and 16 graduate courses before I graduate, in math, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, and biology, with a 4.0 across the board so far I am a strong in-person interviewer Applying to Where: (my interests are based mostly on faculty fit; I have already researched which U's allow you to apply to multiple departments) MIT (chemical engineering, bioengineering, biology) Harvard (chemical biology, systems biology, bioengineering) Stanford (Either ChemEng or chemical and systems biology) Berkeley (chemical engineering) Caltech (chemical engineering) Georgia Tech (chemical and biomedical engineering) UCSD (bioengineering) UCSF (CCB) Tri-Institutional Program in Chemical Biology Rockefeller Princeton (chemical engineering) UW-Madison (chemical engineering) UMinnesota (chemical engineering) UTAustin (chemical engineering) Delaware (chemical engineering)
  15. Okay, never thought I'd be lucky enough to be in a position to choose between these three universities (Masters of Research), but here I am. All these programs are extremely similar in structure and have faculty members I'd be interested in doing research with. I really can't seem to choose a program. Can anyone offer any insight? I'd really appreciate it!
  16. Ecology/Biology Post Baccalaureate

    My goal is to earn a PhD in Marine Ecology but I don't have very much background in it or any research experience. I graduated from the Naval Academy 2 years ago with a BS in General Science (Biology/Ecology were not offered majors). Does anyone have any advice/know of any programs that could get me more research experience in biology/ecology to make me more competitive? Thanks!
  17. UK Universities for Biology Research

    I'm stuck deciding between UCL, KCL and Imperial for a research program (Masters of Research) in Biology (specifically biochemistry/biophysics). I've looked at the current projects/faculty research at each university and find all of them interesting. I can't really decide which program I should go with. Can anyone with a biology background offer insight on any of these universities? I'd really appreciate it!
  18. Choosing between a Bio PhD program at Northeastern and a BME PhD program at RPI. Both fully funded with professors of interest, but I'm torn between what might be a more reputable school (RPI) further out of the way and further out of my comfort zone (coming from Boston College) and a school with more connections (NEU) but a less reputable program. I hope to specialize in regenerative medicine and eventually go into industry working in R & D or a biotech startup. My gut tells me NEU, but I also realize I'm heavily biased toward the familiarity of Boston. Freaking out a bit sonce decision time is only days away! Any thoughts?
  19. The FINAL Decision

    Choosing between a Bio PhD program at Northeastern and a BME PhD program at RPI. Both fully funded with professors of interest, but I'm torn between what might be a more reputable school (RPI) further out of the way and further out of my comfort zone (coming from Boston College) and a school with more connections (NEU) but a less reputable program. I hope to specialize in regenerative medicine and eventually go into industry working in R & D or a biotech startup. My gut tells me NEU, but I also realize I'm heavily biased toward the familiarity of Boston. Freaking out a bit sonce decision time is only days away! Any thoughts?
  20. I thought I'd share this!The Wildlife Science and Advanced Wildlife Science summer programs are two fantastic opportunities for high school students who are interested in Wildlife, Wildlife rehabilitation & conservation, ecology and veterinary medicine. They take place at a college in the middle of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and participants get the chance to work at a Wildlife rehabilitation center, work with educational ambassador animals including red-tail hawks, owls, snakes, and an opossum, do field research with actual college professors, go behind the scenes at major Wildlife and environmental facilities including Grandfather Mountain, and more!They DO offer pick-up and drop-off and local airports for out-of-state students. I hope this helps someone!
  21. I'm currently planning to apply to graduate school this year, and I've realized that I am kind of lost about what kind of program I should apply to. If I wanted to eventually end up doing longevity research, what would be a good graduate program to enter? Should I go for a degree in Human Genetics? Biomed? Is one field easier to get into than the other, if I know my application won't be as competitive compared to others? Also, is a PhD necessary for biology-related fields? Is it okay to do a masters first to get a "taste" of the field, so to speak, before seeing if I want to commit to a PhD or maybe even try to apply for medical school?
  22. Anyone in any of the biology/biomedical graduate programs at these universities or with any insight about these institutes? I am an international so it's hard to know how these schools are viewed in the US. Rankings-wise they all seem to be mid-tier, with decent reputations. Any other insights on biotech industry and living standards in the surrounding areas would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance.
  23. Hi, I applied to and got selected for the 1 year MS Bioengineering program at Stanford. Currently I'm weighing it against another MS offer from ETH Zurich (2 years, research based), and a PhD offer from Duke (Computational Bio.) The selling point for Stanford is the university's reputation and the prospect of moving into a job rather than a 5 year PhD commitment. Could anybody share some light about the reputation of the particular program, and how it's viewed in the industry? I'm basically skeptical about landing in a good place with a not-so great program, especially since it's just a 1 year thing. Since its not funded at all, I'd also want to keep that in mind.
  24. Am I the only one who hasn't heard back from Brown (MCB)???? I was interviewed the first weekend and it's been a month since their second interview weekend. So I'm kinda just waiting around to make a decision. I got a offer at Washington State and they seem to be pushing hard for an answer but I don't want to accept without hearing back. Anyone else in the same boat?
  25. Stuck choosing between my top 3 picks UCSF, UPenn, and Johns Hopkins for a PhD in Cellular/Molecular/Developmental Biology (varies by school/program). From what I've seen, heard, and read, all three schools have amazing programs, I think my decision will more likely come down to quality of life in those three places. My research interests are super broad so I'm not particularly worried about labs, I'm sure I will find PIs and labs at each program that I will love to work with. San Francisco - I'm from the Bay Area, so family is nearby, easiest move and probably safest of the three cities. BUT expensive af and I don't get the experience of moving to a new place. Philadelphia - Had great interviews with faculty members there, but didn't think the grad students I met were as outgoing or fun. Cheaper than SF for sure, but more expensive than Baltimore. Safer than Baltimore, but still more crime than SF. Baltimore - I really loved the city and students that I met here. In terms of cost-of-living, in Baltimore you get the most for what you pay. However, everyone keeps warning me about the crime rate in the city. Any advice is welcome, especially from current students at any of these schools or students who considered these places.