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Found 14 results

  1. Hiya, I am applying for microbiology/virology PhD programmes in the fall. Most applications require a minimum of 3 referees and a maximum of 5. I am on an integrated masters programme in the UK. I was wondering what the split between professors who have taught me (one to one teaching, so know me very well) and research supervisors? At the time of the application in Dec, I will have been about a month in into my masters year research project (start first week of Nov, Covid delayed everything). Should I ask my lab PI who is supervising my masters to write me a LoR despite the fact that he would have known me for a max of 1 month? Any advice would be appreciated!!
  2. With interview season coming up and decision season to follow, one of the more important questions many of us face is which lab we would like to join. Just as the title says, I'm curious what catches your eye as you scroll through dozens and dozens of faculty research statements! Below, I have listed (in no particular order) a few of the things I really pay attention to in a prospective research lab. After all, I (hopefully!) will be spending about five years in whichever lab I choose. Unique model organism - I have a soft spot for the labs that conduct research in organisms besides rodents and humans. Fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, unique mammals -- bring 'em on! Evidence of funding - If a lab displays active grant support, there's a higher chance I may receive a research assistantship in that lab. Having at least the option to choose whether or not to TA would be nice. Also, collaboration between labs is super rad so bonus points if the grant was awarded to a couple co-PIs. Interesting work - Obvious, but important. Recent publications should be interesting to me. Evidence of work/life balance - Finally, it's hard to overstate how much I appreciate seeing photos of community activities on a lab website. Outdoorsy stuff, a meal together, a silly photo or two. Anything that convinces me I will have a reprieve from the work of my PhD, at least once in a while. ? What do you all look for? ^^
  3. Hi Everyone, Thank you in advance for all of your help! I am really perplexed as to what lab I should join. I have two very distinct labs that I am interested in joining and both have fatal faults which makes me very unsure of my decision. I am leaning towards either joining Lab 1 alone or Lab 1 and 2 as a comentorship however they are not buddies (nor are they enemies) and have very different personalities so, while they are currently collaborating on a project, there is no telling what a comentorship would be like. I am considering a comentorship because Lab 1 is so young I have no idea if he will get good publications or be a good mentor and I believe he is overwhelming himself by taking on 3 grad students all at once. Additionally, Lab 2, while adding credibility, writing expertise, and a focus on my favorite cell type, also allows me to do some awesome research techniques which are uniquely their own and rarely shared. Plus the both of the labs' research very nicely compliments each other and adds a burgeoning part of the field to each lab's repertoire (and mine o.o). I have yet to talk to either lab about comentorship as I want to solidify my decision before I do. Thank you for all of your help! Lab 1: a very young PI who is likely taking on way too many grad students this year, including one I don't particularly enjoy as a colleague, but whose overall lab and research is a better fit. Personality = reserved Pros Tons of funding, niche area that's very unique but "hot" right now, plays to my experience more Great lab environment Very open to following your research ideas More bioinformatics (something I want to learn) Cons Very young PI--would be his first grad student and he has no last author publications. Already busy and hands off, kind of isolated from the community Will likely be taking THREE GRAD STUDENTS all at the same time (with no previous mentoring experience) -- I don't think I would like one of them as a colleague for the next 5 years He asked one of the students to join (the one I don't enjoy working with) without asking anyone in lab about them -- if they have their own funding then it seems lab environment is sacrificed--could this happen again? Maybe a bit too clinical in its focus Lab 2: a PI of 10+ years who has an established publishing record (important to me!) but also way too much on his plate (large-ish lab, 2 companies, etc.) and VERY hands off/not very collaborative. Overall still a pretty dang good research fit and a good lab environment but you only meet every other month or so. Personality = Talkative/Get it done type of person Pros Funding, high tech and more unique techniques, more basic biology than Lab 1 Good lab environment--very social I would be the only new grad student More well known, will be easier to publish better/get fellowships/get a high postdoc Work focuses on a type of cell type that I am more interested in and Lab 1 doesn't work in at all. Cons Primarily wants to follow his ideas, not yours Not very collaborative, if at all (doesn't seem to be working with almost any labs) Extremely hands off OLDEST lab equipment I've ever seen I know neither the individual labs nor the comentorship are ideal but please let me know any thoughts or questions you may have! I have been talking and thinking about this for almost a month now and can use all the help I can get.
  4. ML_93

    Required Courses

    I'm an Ontario student going into my 3rd year in hopes of getting in a masters program in molecular biology or food science. This semester I am taking a biochemistry course. With this course there is also a complementary lab course offered that is not required in my program, however, most other programs in my department need to take it. I am unsure if I should take this course as it may be looked for during admissions, although if I didn't need to take it I could use this additional time to volunteer in one of my professor's lab to gain experience. I have looked into the admissions of these programs in my area and the minimum requirement is having a BSc along with the required average and letters of recommendation so It seems like not taking this course wouldn't affect me. Although, even if this course is not required for my Bsc, I feel as if not taking this course will heavily hurt my chances. Should I take this Biochemistry lab or use the time to build my research experience?
  5. srmi

    Rotation dilemma

    So I emailed a professor I was interested in doing a rotation with, and his response was yes. However, he also mentioned that he will be retiring soon and thus will not be able to take me in as a student in his lab. I'm pretty bummed because I was hoping that he'd become my PI someday, but I guess I should have asked before accepting to this school :/ Anyways, I wanted to rotate in labs that I will potentially be able to stay in, since there are only three rotations in my program. But then again I feel rude replying to him, "ok never mind, I'll look for somewhere else to rotate in". Is it common for ppl to rotate in a lab knowing that they won't be able to stay/return? Should I look for other labs to do rotations in?
  6. so the situation is that I'm in an immunology lab right now, so far I've only contributed around 20 hours, I'm a 4th year undergrad doing a double major in biology and psychology but all that they've had me to do is empty out biozardous trash cans that contain blood samples and potentially sharp objects as well... it takes me 2 hours to empty out everyone's trash cans and obviously i feel like i'm worth a piece of trash right now not to mention I've had to wipe down and clean their equipment and inventory I've never really had research experience in biology before why all this grunt work though? i know... persistence, persistence... but they should have me start on simple experimental things, no? this is making me feel that biology is not what I want to pursue in grad school, if volunteering is gonna be like this ALL the time... not to mention, i'm starting to lean towards psychology, because as a psychology research assistant, I've never had to empty out trash cans so far, I've had 2 work-study positions for psychology but all I can get for biology is volunteering role where I'm the trashman is this normal to be suffering so much? not to mention, I'm extremely misophobic to the point of extreme OCD, so having to dispose of biozardous waste every time I'm in the lab sickens me I get they are just testing me to see how resilient I am, but it feels like a subtle form of self-degradation and humiliation
  7. Hi all! If you know motivated research assistants who might be interested in a full-time lab manager position at the University of Michigan (to start in summer), please forward them this link: http://careers.umich.edu/job_detail/137845/research_technician_associate I've worked with Arnold and Josh for two years as lab manager and have absolutely LOVED it, so if applicants have any specific questions about the position, they are most definitely welcome to email me at yuchingg@umich.edu.
  8. Hi, Context: accepted to two MS degree programs in Biomedical Engineering, waiting on a few more decisions. Questions: One of the programs is asking for a decision by March 13th, giving me two weeks from notification to accept or decline. Is this common? What is the general process for finding a lab in which I would work on my master's thesis? Does this come before or after I accept an offer? I feel like it would make sense to accept an offer based on knowing where I would be conducting research. Is it possible that the labs I'm interested in to fill their research assistantship spots by the time I accept my offer, thus resulting in me attending a school without an opportunity to conduct research I'm interested in? Should I begin contacting faculty I'm interested in working with before or after I accept the offer? Should I contact multiple professors? (I've listed 2 or 3 faculty I'm interested in working with in my application/SoP). I guess overall, how limited is the information available to me prior to accepting an offer of admission regarding funding, research, etc? Hopefully these questions belong in this subforum. Thanks, any input is appreciated.
  9. Hello everyone! I am looking at going for my Master's Degree in a field relating to Microbiology and Genetics, and wanted to know more about rotations. Should I expect most Masters programs to have rotations, or is that more of a PhD program specification? In addition, if a university has several very different labs that I am interested in, how should I go about narrowing down the research I will actually enjoy doing for the next few years (beyond just having an interest in the subject)? It's a bit difficult because I am not exactly sure what specific field I want to go into, as I think Microbiology and Genetics is probably rather broad. Thanks so so much to you all!
  10. I'm about 16 months into my PhD program. At my university (which is mid-tier but rising), you spend the first year knocking most of your required classes out of the way and join a lab during the summer after the first year (so about 10 months in). So for the last 6 months or so I've been in my PI's lab doing work, but I often have the opposite problem I see some PhD students mentioning... my problem is that I don't do enough work. It's not that there is work for me to do and I ignore it, there just isn't much for me to do. The PI gives me tasks and they either don't take very long or are so over my head that there's no chance I could do them without him being there, and he often only physically shows up 1 or 2 days a week because he's busy with other things. I am wondering what other people's experiences are in terms of hours. I know every lab and field is different, we're in the chemistry department, but it's a computational lab, so the work is all on the computer, I find it hard to get meaningful answers about this because what we do is so different from the rest of the chem department. The only other computational chem grad student I know is the other guy in my lab who has been there a year longer than me, but is in the same stage of the program (i.e. he hasn't started having committee meetings yet, etc) who always seems to have something to do, but I get the impression that what he's doing is learning stuff for himself and it's not really related to the lab. Since it's on the computer, the PI often works remotely and is slow to answer emails sometimes. When he comes in, sometimes I mention this to him but he doesn't seem particularly concerned. He's a nice guy and he seems happy to help with stuff when he's there, but he's a young guy, a new prof and I'm essentially tied for being his first graduate student, so he doesn't seem to have a lot of experience managing people. I'm too new to the lab to be independent/come up with stuff to do for the lab's research myself, and the prof doesn't give me much to do so I often only spend 3-4 hours a day actually doing anything, then I just go home and relax or half-heartedly skim some random publication related to the lab or read up on coding tutorials that I think will be useful later etc. At first I greatly enjoyed the lack of pressure (this is partly what drew me to computational chem in the first place... no getting up at 7 AM to prepare samples and do a bunch of chemical rundowns like when I did some short lab rotations in some more traditional labs that I was thinking about joining) but it's been a couple of months and I am getting worried that I'm going to be really behind when the department comes inspecting, or that I'll generally fall behind in some important way, such as publications (I don't have any, but the prof says that in computational chemistry, often you don't publish results formally in a journal and instead share a program or code so our field tends to have a low paper count). I can't say I've done NOTHING, because occaisonally there are weeks when I have a lot to do, but "a lot to do" for me means I spend 30-35 hours working instead of 15-20 (not counting TAing, which I spend 5-6 hours a week on). 30-35 still seems quite light compared to what I hear other chem students say they do, but on the other hand, they spend a lot of time doing more traditional chem labwork that is necessary to actually do research, whereas what we do is on the computers so we don't have that. Since it's such a different type of field, I'm not sure what's normal. I would post this in the chemistry forum, but that seems to be all people asking about admissions, so I doubt I'd get any meaningful replies there. Thanks for reading. Edit: I thought I should mention that I am not currently in any classes. My only real responsibility besides labwork during this semester is TAing freshman chem lab, which is 3 hours per week with an accompanying 1.5-2.5 hours of grading. There are no office hours
  11. Hello fellow students. So I have a question that will sound painfully naive. I just started graduate school this semester. I am in a Msc Biology program. I was informed this week that we have a meet and greet tomorrow. It will serve as an opportunity for the professors to give a quick over view of their research. The head of our department told us all to be prepared to say something about our research interests. I am unsure of what to say, my main interests are cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like ALS. Is this enough to tell the faculty? I don't expect anyone to have an exact idea of what they would like to do. But I also do not want to seem like I am completely uninformed. Thanks for your opinions.
  12. I'll be starting a PhD program in biochemistry in a few weeks and I have to meet with the program advisor soon to set up my rotations. I pretty much have my top 6-7 labs picked out, but I'm wondering what's best: do I rotate with my favorite (top choice) lab first or last? Is there an advantage to either? We get to rotate through three labs before deciding, so obviously I will keep my options open out of the three. So, should I rotate with my top choice lab first or last? Thanks in advance!
  13. so I've received the offer from one of my dream department (not from grad school yet.) My advisor suggested me to attend the weekly lab meeting, and some other labmates started to ask me questions about their work. (since I've done similar things before) My biggest issue is that I feel a lot of pressure: if I don't meet their expectations about my ability to do things reflected in my application, will my offer be influenced? Also I feel it's too early for them to involve me in the lab. (still half a year away! And I have to do my own heavy coursework too.) They also asked me if I received the offer yet. I haven't because it's only March. Any suggestions about these?
  14. So I'm only a Junior UG but I'm starting my research on grad schools and I realize that finding a program with faculty in your area of research is important. (Oh I want to apply to a neuroscience program) My question is how do you settle on an area of research? I know I'm interested in the cognitive/systems side of neuroscience but too many of the areas (vision, learning, attention) interest me. How did you narrow your focus while still in UG?
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