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2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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There doesn't seem to be a thread for this year's grads school admissions yet, so I'm creating this topic for everyone to communicate and discuss their chances as well as admissions results. I copied the template as the following from last year:

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:
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
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, SPS officer etc...)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

School - Department - Research Interest
School - Department - Research Interest
School - Department - Research Interest

  •  

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Hey, I thought I'd help get this going. I'd say at this point I'm most concerned about my lack of science courses outside of Biology. Specifically, I have not taken any math or physics as I took Calc in high school and never continued at the University level. I'm considering taking some post-bacc classes but not sure if its worth the tuition and may do some MOOCs instead...I appreciate any input you guys have.

Undergrad Institution: UNC Chapel Hill
Major(s): B.A Biology
GPA in Major: 3.65
Overall GPA: 3.52
Position in Class: No idea
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 157 (65th)
V: 160 (86th)
W: 4.5 (82nd)
B: No subject


Research Experience: 

-1 year undergrad research on campus in molecular biology lab housed in the school of Pharmacology, with poster presentation

-1 year undergrad research in Cancer biology lab on campus.

-Working full time as research tech since May in same lab. May be on a paper prior to application season.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List several semesters, that's about it.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Just strong upward trend in GPA, especially in science courses.

Applying to Where:

-UNC BBSP
-University of Colorado - Boulder MCDB

-University of Colorado - Denver BSP

-Colorado State University CMB

-MUSC BSP

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5 hours ago, drhamsandwich said:

I have not taken any math or physics as I took Calc in high school and never continued at the University level. I'm considering taking some post-bacc classes but not sure if its worth the tuition and may do some MOOCs instead...I appreciate any input you guys have.

I wouldn't be too worried about your lack of physics experience - while many universities require physics as part of their biology major, not all do, and not everyone even majors in biology anyway.  This shouldn't be too much of an issue unless any of your potential programs specifically require physics.  As for the math, I also took two years of AP Calc in high school and never took any further math besides stats in college, and that didn't prevent me from being accepted to programs.  If you're really worried, you could consider retaking the GRE to try to raise your Q score a bit, but I don't think taking more classes would be worth your time or money at this point.  Unless you're applying to computational programs, your high school Calc should be enough.

Good luck!

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Undergrad Institution: R1 State School, top 30
Major(s): Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BS)
Minor(s): Nutrition, Premedical 
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.8
Position in Class: Cum Laude, between top 10~25% of class
Type of Student: Domestic, Female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164 (94%)
V: 164 (87%)
W: 6 (99%)


Research Experience: 16 months of plant biochemistry research at undergrad institution. No publications, but presented data at lab meetings. 14 months (current) at immunology lab at reputable medical school. No publications yet. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Tuition Waver, Dean's List all semesters, Honors program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate research assistant, full time research assistant at new lab, martial arts instructor (teaching experience?)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: graduated in 3 years (had to leave 1st lab a year early), 4.0 in coursework Microbiology MS (ongoing), 4.0 in graduate nutrition program (cert)

Special Bonus Points: Worked 2 jobs during undergrad, currently taking graduate classes while working full time

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had to graduate early really suddenly, so it affected my first research position. I didn't get to publish my work or complete a thesis, although another undergrad picked up my project. I have a pretty awful sob story that I plan to condense and briefly mention in my SOP.

Can get 2 very strong LORs, not sure about the quality of the 3rd.

Applying to Where: Immunology and Microbiology PhD programs, kind of top heavy

UVirginia BIMS Immunology

UCSD BMS- Microbiome & Microbial Science

Brown University- Biomed Pathology

UPenn BGS- Immunology

The Scripps Research Institute- Microbiology/Immunology

Washington University in St. Louis DBBS- Immunology

Yale University BBS- Immunology/Microbiology

Baylor College of Medicine GSBS  - Immunology

Weill Cornell - IMP

Sanford Burnham- Biomedical Sciences

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Undergrad Institution: Boston University
Major(s): BA Neuroscience & Philosophy
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.91
Overall GPA: 3.75
Position in Class: Top 15%, but probably closer to top 8-10%
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164 (86th)
V: 160 (86th)
W: 6 (99th)


Research Experience:

2 years of research (would have been 3, but I graduated a year early) in an addiction genetics at BU in the pharmacology department (a neuroscience/pharm lab); will receive middle authorship on a paper planning to be submitted to Cell Systems. However, this paper is being submitted around August/September, and will likely still be under review throughout application season.

 

1 summer as a science intern at a pharmaceutical production plant.

 

1 year and ongoing (2 years by the time I leave for grad school) as a research technician/lab manager in an autoimmunity lab at a state institution from my home state. The lab is a startup lab, so I was the only employee at first and helped the PI put together the lab from the ground up. I will likely have publications from this stint (first author review, first author coauthor—unfortunately listed 2nd since I’m a tech and the other lab member is a postdoc), but these publications will not be submitted before application season. Will likely present a poster at AIC.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list every semester, magna cum laude graduate, Peter Bertocci Award for Philosophical excellence (this is a BU award given to 1 student a year and chosen by philosophy faculty), and Nu Rho Psi member


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for Introduction to Immunology class, writer/layout designer for a campus neuroscience magazine, coordinator for a BU annual event geared toward teaching the general public, children, and other college students about the brain.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of extra volunteer work teaching young children about science and socializing and raising funding for high school aged special needs kids. I’m considering getting a certificate in business analytics throughout the year before grad school, but that’s a big maybe.

Special Bonus Points: I took graduate level neuroscience classes at BU and got all A’s. One of these classes was a 700-level class with all 3rd year neuro grad students. My PI there was also pretty well known in genetics, but I’m not going into genetics so it’s likely a wash anyway. All 3 letters will likely be very strong, and I know all my recommenders quite well.


Applying to Where: all immunology programs with a focus of neuroimmunology

Mayo Graduate School – immunology or neurobiology of disease track

WUSTL – immunology

Baylor College of Medicine – immunology

Northwestern University – life sciences/immunology track

University of Chicago – immunology

University of Iowa – immunology

University of Minnesota – immunology

 

I may consider other schools after going to AIC and talking to faculty. They have a great lineup of speakers. I’m also still asking around and getting advice, so we’ll see come September.

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Undergrad Institution: large private university, top 100 in US
Major(s): BS Psychology and Neuroscience
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major:  psych: 3.3, neuro: 3.0
Overall GPA: 3.0
Position in Class: No idea
Type of Student: Domestic female

Graduate Institution:  medium size private school
Major(s): Neuroscience (had to leave MS program for personal reasons)
Overall GPA: 3.7

Graduate Institution: small private catholic school
Major(s): MS Clinical Psychology
Overall GPA: 4.0

GRE Scores (revised/old version): TERRIBLE. Applying to  mostly schools that no longer take GRE scores.


Research Experience:  1.5 years during undergrad for nearby medical university for a psychiatric neuroimaging lab researching children and adolescents with DiGeorge syndrome. 3+ years as full time research assistant for psychiatry research at a prestigious medical school and hospital. Currently one publication as first author, one submitted as first author, one being revised as first author, and another one in the works as first author (my bosses are awesome and as long as I do the bulk of the work preparing the manuscript and running the data analyses then I can be first author). Two poster presentations, one at the annual New England Psychological Association meeting, one at the annual Rehabilitation Psychology conference. Accepted for poster presentation for the Society of Neuroscience annual meeting in November. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Alpha phi pi national honor society, psi chi international honor society for psychology, dean's list two semesters in undergrad

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: this fall I will be an adjunct professor of psychology at my grad school alma mater 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: few certificates from Edx and Coursera for the R programming language

Special Bonus Points:  95% sure I will have excellent letters of rec

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: terrible inconsistent undergrad transcript, the fact that I left my first master's program even though I was doing well

Applying to Where:

I'm interesting in research pertaining to psychiatric disorders. This is just a tentative list of PhD programs as of now:

  1. UNC, neuro
  2. Watson School of Biological Sciences, neuro
  3. University of Wisconsin - Madison, neuro
  4. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, neuro
  5. Icahn School of Medicine, neuro
  6. Temple University, psychology
  7. UConn, neuro
  8. BU, psych
  9. The Scripps Research Institute 
  10. McGill University, behavioral neuroscience
  11. University of Alberta, psychiatry 

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 1:35 PM, DaddyBenzene said:

Undergrad Institution: R1 State School, top 30
Major(s): Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BS)
Minor(s): Nutrition, Premedical 
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.8
Position in Class: Cum Laude, between top 10~25% of class
Type of Student: Domestic, Female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164 (94%)
V: 164 (87%)
W: 6 (99%)


Research Experience: 16 months of plant biochemistry research at undergrad institution. No publications, but presented data at lab meetings. 14 months (current) at immunology lab at reputable medical school. No publications yet. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Tuition Waver, Dean's List all semesters, Honors program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate research assistant, full time research assistant at new lab, martial arts instructor (teaching experience?)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: graduated in 3 years (had to leave 1st lab a year early), 4.0 in coursework Microbiology MS (ongoing), 4.0 in graduate nutrition program (cert)

Special Bonus Points: Worked 2 jobs during undergrad, currently taking graduate classes while working full time

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had to graduate early really suddenly, so it affected my first research position. I didn't get to publish my work or complete a thesis, although another undergrad picked up my project. I have a pretty awful sob story that I plan to condense and briefly mention in my SOP.

Can get 2 very strong LORs, not sure about the quality of the 3rd.

Applying to Where: Immunology and Microbiology PhD programs, kind of top heavy

UVirginia BIMS Immunology

UCSD BMS- Microbiome & Microbial Science

Brown University- Biomed Pathology

UPenn BGS- Immunology

The Scripps Research Institute- Microbiology/Immunology

Washington University in St. Louis DBBS- Immunology

Yale University BBS- Immunology/Microbiology

Baylor College of Medicine GSBS  - Immunology

Weill Cornell - IMP

Sanford Burnham- Biomedical Sciences

I wouldn't worry about the fact that you had to graduate early, your application still seems impressive!

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Undergrad Institution: Top 100 liberal arts university
Major(s): Math and Biochemistry
Minor(s): Neuroscience
GPA in Major: 3.1
Overall GPA: 3.2
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164 (88th percentile)
V: 167 (98th percentile)
W: 6.0 (99th percentile)

Graduate Institution: Top 5 Public University
Degree: M.S. Applied Mathematics
GPA: 3.7
Position in Class: ?
Type of Student: Domestic Male

Research Experience: 3 academic years in neuroendocrinology and biophysics (one third-authorship in a small journal). 2 REU's. 1 2nd-authored poster at SfN.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several awards for travel, summer research grant, academic scholarship (half of tuition), and awards for tutoring/mentorship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3.5 years of research at a premier neuroscience research institution. 2-3 posters authored (2 large-authorship and 1 first-authored). 3 publications (all large-authorship) in eLife, eNeuro, Nature with three more in preparation (1 3rd-author, 1 large-authorship, 1 potential first-authorship MS thesis) but probably no more than 1 submitted by application time. Possibly one or two more I'll be included on. Also work as a mentor for underprivileged science students. Several years of serious programming (software development-ish level) in Python with some Matlab.

Special Bonus Points: Completed MS in Applied Math consisting of 36 credits (see above); very well-connected through my current institution 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Institution is very very well-known in neuroscience and pretty much universally-lauded (you could probably guess it).

Research Interests: Computational neuroscience especially dimensionality reductive approaches to large-scale datasets in mouse with calcium imaging and vision

Applying to Where (tentative in no particular ordering):

  • CMU/UPitt - PNC (NC & ML) - Doiron, Kuhlman, Yu, Chase, Batista 
  • UCL - Gatsby Unit - CortexLab (Harris and Carandini), Hausser, Mrsic-Flogel
  • UW - Neuroscience - Brunton, Shea-Brown, Fairhall, Gjorgjieva, Rao
  • Harvard - PiN - Cox, Harvey
  • Princeton - Neuroscience (QCN) - Berry, Bialek, Brody, Pillow, Tank, Witten
  • Columbia - Neurobiology and Behavior - Cunningham, Kriegskorte, Paninski
  • Stanford - MBC - Ganguli, Newsome, Yamins
  • UC Berkeley - Neuroscience - Adesnik, Sommer, Olshausen
  • UCSF - Neuroscience - Feinberg, Scanziani
  • Caltech - CNS - Meister, Siapas
  • UCSD - Comp. Neuro. - Callaway, Sejnowski, Voytek, Rangel, Azim
  • NYU - Neuroscience - Simoncelli, Rangan

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On 7/10/2018 at 5:44 PM, sydber said:

Undergrad Institution: Boston University
Major(s): BA Neuroscience & Philosophy
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.91
Overall GPA: 3.75
Position in Class: Top 15%, but probably closer to top 8-10%
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164 (86th)
V: 160 (86th)
W: 6 (99th)


Research Experience:

2 years of research (would have been 3, but I graduated a year early) in an addiction genetics at BU in the pharmacology department (a neuroscience/pharm lab); will receive middle authorship on a paper planning to be submitted to Cell Systems. However, this paper is being submitted around August/September, and will likely still be under review throughout application season.

 

1 summer as a science intern at a pharmaceutical production plant.

 

1 year and ongoing (2 years by the time I leave for grad school) as a research technician/lab manager in an autoimmunity lab at a state institution from my home state. The lab is a startup lab, so I was the only employee at first and helped the PI put together the lab from the ground up. I will likely have publications from this stint (first author review, first author coauthor—unfortunately listed 2nd since I’m a tech and the other lab member is a postdoc), but these publications will not be submitted before application season. Will likely present a poster at AIC.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list every semester, magna cum laude graduate, Peter Bertocci Award for Philosophical excellence (this is a BU award given to 1 student a year and chosen by philosophy faculty), and Nu Rho Psi member


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for Introduction to Immunology class, writer/layout designer for a campus neuroscience magazine, coordinator for a BU annual event geared toward teaching the general public, children, and other college students about the brain.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of extra volunteer work teaching young children about science and socializing and raising funding for high school aged special needs kids. I’m considering getting a certificate in business analytics throughout the year before grad school, but that’s a big maybe.

Special Bonus Points: I took graduate level neuroscience classes at BU and got all A’s. One of these classes was a 700-level class with all 3rd year neuro grad students. My PI there was also pretty well known in genetics, but I’m not going into genetics so it’s likely a wash anyway. All 3 letters will likely be very strong, and I know all my recommenders quite well.


Applying to Where: all immunology programs with a focus of neuroimmunology

Mayo Graduate School – immunology or neurobiology of disease track

WUSTL – immunology

Baylor College of Medicine – immunology

Northwestern University – life sciences/immunology track

University of Chicago – immunology

University of Iowa – immunology

University of Minnesota – immunology

 

I may consider other schools after going to AIC and talking to faculty. They have a great lineup of speakers. I’m also still asking around and getting advice, so we’ll see come September.

I think that, with a strong SOP and strong LORs, you're likely to get interviews at most of those schools.

It doesn't matter if the publications haven't been submitted or accepted at a journal yet - you can include them in your CV (as long as there's some sort of title) and just stick "manuscript in preparation" at the end of the citation. If you're presenting at a conference after the application deadlines, you can mention it in your SOP.

If you're interested in neuroimmunology, I would consider adding the University of Virginia BIMS program to your list - they have a center (the BIG center) dedicated to neuroimmunology research and a huge faculty for it.

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On 7/9/2018 at 1:35 PM, DaddyBenzene said:

Can get 2 very strong LORs, not sure about the quality of the 3rd.

I would be very careful about having a LOR you're not sure about. I know someone personally who requested her 3rd letter of recc from a professor she hadn't seen in 5 years but had a great relationship with when she was in his class - he told her he would write it but warned that his memory is going bad, she figured it was fine. It wasn't. Turned an easily amazing applicant into someone who barely got 2/15 interviews.

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On 7/12/2018 at 7:48 AM, cindyboop said:

I wouldn't worry about the fact that you had to graduate early, your application still seems impressive!

 

18 minutes ago, BabyScientist said:

I would be very careful about having a LOR you're not sure about. I know someone personally who requested her 3rd letter of recc from a professor she hadn't seen in 5 years but had a great relationship with when she was in his class - he told her he would write it but warned that his memory is going bad, she figured it was fine. It wasn't. Turned an easily amazing applicant into someone who barely got 2/15 interviews.

 

Hey guys, thanks for the advice. However, these worries are actually very related--- because I had to leave my undergraduate institution a year early, my old PI was unhappy about me not being about to complete my given project and was advising me to stay (but I couldn't), even going as as far as to call my decision foolish. She is the 3rd letter that I am thinking about, since we had a very good relationship and she saw my work ethic and ability to produce good data prior to that event. However, she is the type of person to hold grudges, although I'm worried that substantial experience in a lab without that PI's recommendation will come off as a red flag. She'll also possess a lot more clout than my other options, most of whom don't know me particularly well. Any advice?

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56 minutes ago, DaddyBenzene said:

 

 

Hey guys, thanks for the advice. However, these worries are actually very related--- because I had to leave my undergraduate institution a year early, my old PI was unhappy about me not being about to complete my given project and was advising me to stay (but I couldn't), even going as as far as to call my decision foolish. She is the 3rd letter that I am thinking about, since we had a very good relationship and she saw my work ethic and ability to produce good data prior to that event. However, she is the type of person to hold grudges, although I'm worried that substantial experience in a lab without that PI's recommendation will come off as a red flag. She'll also possess a lot more clout than my other options, most of whom don't know me particularly well. Any advice?

Do you have another person who knows you well who could write you an academic letter?  I would much rather have a strong academic letter than someone who will write a mediocre ,or possibly negative, letter.  You could open up communication with her and just ask if she is willing to write you a strong letter of reference for PhD admissions and hope she is honest if she says she's willing to write one for you.  Although I would see if there is an alternative person you can think of.

It might raise some eyebrows if you spent significant time in a lab and didn't ask that person for a letter, but if you have a solid alternative, it shouldn't matter as much.

Edited by StemCellFan

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Undergrad Institution: NYU Abu Dhabi (the UAE portal campus of NYU, we boast a 2% acceptance rate every year so it's quite competitive. Some science faculty members have labs in both NY and AD so the Bio research is quite strong and productive)
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Sociology, Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.92
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?) graduated with honors so top 10% probably
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) international female

Grad institution: University of Toronto (MSc)
Major: Computational Biology
GPA: 4.0/4.0

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 162
W: 5.5
B: didn't take

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

1 year at a start-up cancer research lab (freshman year), 1 poster, no pub (the PI later got fired so not much materialized from this)

3 years at a developmental bio lab, where I also did my honor thesis. Famous PI, very well known in his field. 1 poster at an international conference, 1 first author manuscript in preparation but this won't be submitted anytime soon because of some delay in follow-up experiments. 

1 year (2 by the time I graduate) at a computational bio lab for my MSc thesis. Also pretty well-known PI. 1 poster at a departmental event, 1 3rd author manuscript just submitted (aim for Cell Theory) and shooting for another 1 first author method paper by the time I graduate.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Full scholarship for my undergrad education

Multiple undergraduate research and travel grants for my thesis research

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (a prestigious entrance award for international PhD recruits to universities in Ontario. I was selected for the award but later turned it down because I realized I didn't want to pursue my PhD in Toronto)

A merit scholarship from the Faculty of Medicine at U of T

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) 

1 year of TA for a molecular bio lab course at my undergrad institution

Various volunteer positions in science festivals at New York, Abu Dhabi and Toronto

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: tutoring/mentoring experiences for younger students and demonstrated commitment to writing (I wrote for the school newspaper for a few years, served as a writing tutor and have published a few non-fiction pieces in various magazines). 

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) both my undergrad and MSc thesis mentors are well-known and know me well. 3rd letter will be from PI of a collaborating lab for my MSc project - I'm less close to him but he's also quite well-known and would probably write a good letter.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: this is my 2nd time applying to PhD programs in the US - the last time I applied, I was able to get into some good programs (Mt Sinai, NYU Sackler, BU PiBS, etc.) but decided to come to Canada mostly because of the messy U.S. political landscape.  However, due to some personal circumstances, I'll have to finish up my MSc in Canada and move back to the US for my PhD instead of doing my PhD in Canada as intended. 2 questions: 1. will this decision be viewed negatively by admissions committees? and 2. are there any disadvantages if I re-apply to the same schools I got into but didn't come the first time?

Applying to Where: mostly biomedical/biological science program in the NY/Boston area. I'm interested in using computational tools to find new biological insights, particularly in developmental biology, as well as developing computational methods for the analysis of large-scale biological data. I still want to maintain a pretty strong biological component in my research, hence applying to mostly BBS umbrella programs rather than computational bio-specific programs.

Yale BBS 

Harvard BBS

Gertsner Sloan Kettering

Weill Cornell/Tri-institutional Computational Biology

NYU Sackler

Mt Sinai

 

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Hey! I'm applying this cycle and would love any advice or recommendations on different or additional programs. I'm interested in elucidating genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that govern aspects of phenotypic expression through utilization of genomic and molecular techniques including genetic editing tools. I'm also interested in exploiting understanding of genetic and epigenetic function to produce desired phenotypic change. I've selected the particular programs because several PIs within the program has research that has significant overlap with my interests.

 

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 University in the US

Major: Biology

GPA in Major: 3.3

Overall GPA: 3.24

Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q: 165

V: 163

W: 5

 

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc…)  

2 years at an NCI cancer lab (drosophila) molecular genetics - 1 summer fellowship, 1 poster presentation

1 semester at cancer lab (in vitro)- designed and ran project, 1 poster presentation, 1 departmental presentation

REU at Mayo in Genetic Engineering lab- 1 poster presentation at genetic engineering conference

2 years at Genetic Engineering lab at Emory (most current)-1 poster presentation

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

honors list (many semesters)

Honor society membership

Research Scholar

Scholars program Exemplary Scholar

Scholars program full ride merit scholar

Keynote Speaker MLK Day of Service 

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc…)

Writer for online cancer resource (also develop educational programming for middle school kids for the site)

Educational programming developer for middle school kids in affiliation with a program run by PI at Mayo

Research Mentor for Bio Research course 

Middle School Teaching assistant-300 hours

Organized Satellite Event for Genome Writers Guild at Emory

 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Wrote a book on how to get into and afford college

Fluent in american sign language

 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Will have 4 strong letters of rec

Low GPA due to serious health problems two semesters and couldn’t withdraw because scholarship only valid for 8 consecutive semesters.

Emailed many PIs doing work I’m interested in and that overlaps well with my research experience at programs I’m applying to and many said to list them on the apps to get interviews with them and for the committee to reach out to them. Some also suggested to apply to an additional program that they had more pull in for admissions, and a few others said they were on the admissions committee and would keep me in mind. 

list on apps: PIs at all below programs

add program for more pull: UPenn biology

on admissions committee: Duke, Cornell, Yale, UAB, OSU

 

Applying to Where: (percent admitted)

Princeton-MolBio- Genetics and Genomics (???)

Upenn- Genetics and Epigenetics (25%) Biology (???)

Duke- Cell and mol bio (30%) 

Duke- Genetics (25%)

UT Austin- Cell and mol bio (22%)

Cornell- genetics, genomics, and development (34%)

Yale- Mol cell bio, genetics and development (34%)

University of Alabama Birmingham- genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics (???)

Ohio State- molgen (???) molecular, cell, and developmental bio (???)

University of Oregon-Biology (???)

UConn-EEB (???)

 

 

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Wow, it's finally time for me to put my own profile in one of these results forums. I'm erring on the side of providing too much information, so this is a bit long. My GPA/scores are not perfect, my school is not prestigious, and none of the faculty I have worked with are famous, so I don't know how I will stand with the top institutions/fellowships...

 

Undergrad Institution: Medium-size public R2, strong regional reputation in STEM.
Major(s): Chemical Engineering (emphasis in bioengineering) and Biology (emphasis in biotechnology)
Minor(s): Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.89
Position in Class: Top 5-10%
Type of Student: Domestic male, non-minority. Non-traditional student, first-generation college graduate.

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 167 (92nd %ile)
V: 165 (96th)
W: 5 (93rd)
B: will not take


Research Experience: 

I love research. Period.

**Summary: 13 projects in 8 labs (2 industrial, 7 academic) over four years. 12 poster presentations at conferences (9 of them national), 2 oral conference presentations, 2 in-house oral presentations in industry. 4 papers in preparation (2 first-author, 2 second-author). Hoping at least two will be accepted by December deadlines.** 

• 4 years at home institution (two biology labs, three engineering labs; bioprocess, cell culture, biochem, cancer bio, molecular bio)

• 1 summer REU in cancer biophysics

• 6-month R&D co-op internship at Fortune-500 biopharm company (bioprocess research)

• 6-month (extended) SULI research internship at a DOE national lab (biofuels research)

• 1 summer REU/Amgen Scholar doing CRISPR/Cas9 signaling studies at a Top-5 institution

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

• Goldwater Scholar

• Amgen Scholar

• Tau Beta Pi Engineering Scholar

• ISPE Goldenberg Scholar

• Honors Research Fellow

• Awarded grants and DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge and Engineering Prototyping Competition funding for my NGO (see below)

• A bunch of school/department merit scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

Founder and Director of 7-person NGO dedicated to researching, designing and implementing biodigester technology in Haiti. Have raised funds to finance numerous team trips to Haiti, and oversaw the construction of a pilot biodigester plant near my school. Cultivated partnerships with organizations in the US and Haiti. Conducted bench-scale work in a faculty lab to develop preliminary results for an EPA grant application. The team has received 3 school-wide awards as a result of efforts I spearheaded.

• 4 years of academic and industry research experience

• Peer tutor and mentor in engineering

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

• Co-Founder and Vice President of campus Engineers for Change club.

• Secretary of two other STEM-related clubs

• Member of AIChE, ISPE, and 3 honors societies (ODK, TBP, OXE)

• I have taken 15 online Coursera courses in Systems Biology, Statistics, and programming in Python and R.

• Completed and will defend my honors thesis


Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

• 4.0 GPA in seven graduate-level courses like Experimental Design and Advanced Cell Biology

• Have taken 20+ credits most semesters, with very challenging electives

• Very strong faculty connections at Berkeley, strong faculty connections at Caltech and Santa Barbara.

• Applying to NSF, DoD, DoE, Hertz, and Ford fellowships.

• Strong interviewer and SOP writer

• LORs will probably be the strongest part of my application. At least 5 PIs can write excellent letters (only sending 3 per school)

Applying to Where:

**I am mostly applying to chemical/biological engineering programs, but I am still seriously considering biology programs where there is particular research that interests me. Broad interests include cancer/systems/chemical biology and metabolic and protein engineering**

Biology programs:

MIT - Biology (Young Lab, et al.)

Harvard - Chemical Biology (Schreiber, Liau, Silver, et al.)

Rockefeller - Computational/Cancer/Immunology

Tri-Institutional Program in Chemical Biology

Engineering programs (will shorten this list over time):

MIT - Chemical Engineering, Biological Engineering (Love, Wittrup, Langer, and many others)

Stanford - Bioengineering (Barron, Cochran, et al.)

Berkeley - Chemical Engineering (Landry, Schaffer, Keasling)

Caltech - Chemical Engineering (Shapiro, Arnold, plus others outside the department)

GA Tech - Chemical Engineering (Champion and many others)

Princeton - Chemical Engineering (Avalos, Nelson)

UC Santa Barbara - Chemical Engineering (O'Malley and Muhkerjee)

Hopkins - Biomedical Engineering (too many to list)

UCSD - Bioengineering

Wisconsin (Shusta), Michigan, Minnesota (Azarin, Hu), UTAustin (Alper), Cornell (Varmus), and Northwestern, all for Chemical Engineering.

 

Please let me know what you think. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

 

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On 7/13/2018 at 9:34 AM, DaddyBenzene said:

 

 

Hey guys, thanks for the advice. However, these worries are actually very related--- because I had to leave my undergraduate institution a year early, my old PI was unhappy about me not being about to complete my given project and was advising me to stay (but I couldn't), even going as as far as to call my decision foolish. She is the 3rd letter that I am thinking about, since we had a very good relationship and she saw my work ethic and ability to produce good data prior to that event. However, she is the type of person to hold grudges, although I'm worried that substantial experience in a lab without that PI's recommendation will come off as a red flag. She'll also possess a lot more clout than my other options, most of whom don't know me particularly well. Any advice?

I would talk to her about it. If you had a good relationship beforehand, you should be able to openly discuss it with her. You may have to talk about why you had to leave and explain that it was better for you and you appreciated her advice back then anyway. But if she seems grudgey about it, don't use her letter. A bad letter from someone with clout is worse than a good letter from a scientific "nobody". You could also ask a postdoc you worked with for a letter if need be. Strong letters, no matter who they're from, will out shadow not having a letter from a substantial experience.

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wow this is terrifying but here goes, I've tried to include as much information I can about myself for context. I'm definitely very insecure about my app, as I am trying to go straight from undergrad, so would appreciate some insight!

Undergrad Institution: UCSD
Major(s): Molecular Biology
Minor(s): Business
GPA in Major: 3.63 (I know this is on the lower side, but its because I had average grades my first two years. All of my upper-division classes (not including chem, ochem, etc) have been A's)
Overall GPA: 3.72
Position in Class: Top 5-10%
Type of Student: Domestic Asian female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 159 (73rd)
V: 165 (96th)
W: 5 (93rd)
B: taking in Sept hopefully, but should I?


Research Experience: 

I've been working in one cellular signaling lab since I was a freshman (~3 years for 20 hrs/week, including 1 summer under a scholarship). Potentially 3rd author on a paper (it's about to go in for review) and 3 poster presentations (one for my division, the others at Harvard and Stanford). My lab kind of does everything, I have been extensively trained in CRISPR/Cas9, RNAi, some mouse work, tissue culture, protein stuff, the list goes on. I'm currently a summer research intern at a medium-size biotech doing synthetic bio and gene expression. In the past, I've presented at the EB conference twice as well under a different research group that does protein modeling (but this was wayy back a bit before undergrad).


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • Undergrad research scholarship (for 1 summer)
  • A leadership scholarship (from my university)
  • Placed 3rd in a biotechnology case consulting competition
  • Provost Honors multiple quarters
  • Finalist for an Academe Award through my university for championing freedom of speech
  • Helped the on-campus student philanthropy organization win the UC President's Award for Outstanding Student Leadership


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

• Currently working as a research intern at a mid-size biotech firm, I've planned my own project and am completing two other projects

• Will TA for a molecular biology class, also am teaching a high school course on genetics

• Editor-in-Chief of an interdisciplinary research journal and a Research Editor for a different biology-focused research journal

 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

• Co-Founder and External Affairs Coordinator of an NGO based in India that provides business opportunities and entrepreneurial skills to the transgender population (we have been recognized through the Clinton Global Initiative University)

• Student Manager and Accountant at the campus's food cooperative

• Member of BSSA, ISPE, the Library Advisory Council (totally random I know)

• I also was Finance Director for TEDxUCSD and a trustee for our philanthropy organization

• Will be pursuing a senior honors thesis


Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

• Applying to NSF, Hertz, and Ford fellowships (trying to avoid DoD for personal reasons)

• Strong interviewer and SOP writer

• Can guarantee 2 strong LORs from my university PI and internship supervisor, as well as a very excellent recommendation from the Professor I took a class and TA'd for. I am a little worried that my internship supervisor will not be taken seriously since he isn't in academia, but any other LOR I can get will be much weaker than his.


Applying to Where:

I'm still trying to figure out the exact programs I would like to apply to, but for now I'm looking at schools with a strong biotech environment or with funding through the Biotech Training Program with translational molecular biology research. I'm also interested in immunology (specifically autoimmunity as both of my parents and myself suffer from rather serious autoimmune diseases), and I have a liittle experience in the area through my lab but definitely not much. 

UCSD- BMS

UCSF- TETRAD

UC Berkeley- MCB

Stanford- Biosciences

Northwestern- LaBS

University of Washington- MCB

UC Davis- BMCDB

UNC Chapel Hill- BBSP

Stony Brook- MCB

Currently a toss-up between UMass Amherst and UMich, both of which have excellent faculty I want to work with.

 

Would greatly appreciate thoughts and suggestions, thanks!

Edited by caffeinatedstudies

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Hello,

Could anyone help me, I want to know if DAAD scholarship for graduates of all scientific disciplines is applicable to masters in Finance? if so I can not find in the application form finance in the subject group 😕 please help 

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Hi all!

This is my second time applying so here are my stats. The last time I applied was over three years ago. I waited this long to apply again because I wanted to make sure I was as competitive an applicant as possible.

Undergrad Institution: St John's University, New York
Major(s):Biology
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.03
Overall GPA: 3.32
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) female, domestic, minority

GRE Scores (revised/old version):  I will be taking the GRE again in August. These are my old scores
Q: 154
V:152
W:4.0
B:




Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time?

             I have a one semester graduate school research project in Molecular Biology. 

             Thesis research project for my Masters Degree in Molecular Biology

              One year working in a mental health research institute working on Alzheimer's research

               Three years in gastric cancer research at UCSD 

              One year working in digital medicine in HIV clinical research at UCSD

Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

Two first author publications, 1 midauthor publication . (Currently working on 2 other first author publications, should be in peer review by end of September).

 

Three poster presentations at major conferences.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
TA for one year during graduate school.

College professor for one semester at CC


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
Have a Master's in Molecular Biology (3.75 GPA) , female, minority
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Gerstner Sloan Kettering - Department - Cancer Biology
NYU Sackler- Department - Molecular Oncology
Columbia - Department - Cellular, Molecular & Biomedical

Weill Cornell- Biomedical Sciences

Albert Einstein- Biomedical

Icahn SOM- Cancer Biology

Rutger, Newark-Molecular  Biology, Genetics and Cancer

 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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On 7/22/2018 at 9:38 PM, Ivey0126 said:

Hi all!

This is my second time applying so here are my stats. The last time I applied was over three years ago. I waited this long to apply again because I wanted to make sure I was as competitive an applicant as possible.

Undergrad Institution: St John's University, New York
Major(s):Biology
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.03
Overall GPA: 3.32
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) female, domestic, minority

GRE Scores (revised/old version):  I will be taking the GRE again in August. These are my old scores
Q: 154
V:152
W:4.0
B:




Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time?

             I have a one semester graduate school research project in Molecular Biology. 

             Thesis research project for my Masters Degree in Molecular Biology

              One year working in a mental health research institute working on Alzheimer's research

               Three years in gastric cancer research at UCSD 

              One year working in digital medicine in HIV clinical research at UCSD

Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

Two first author publications, 1 midauthor publication . (Currently working on 2 other first author publications, should be in peer review by end of September).

 

Three poster presentations at major conferences.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
TA for one year during graduate school.

College professor for one semester at CC


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
Have a Master's in Molecular Biology (3.75 GPA) , female, minority
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Gerstner Sloan Kettering - Department - Cancer Biology
NYU Sackler- Department - Molecular Oncology
Columbia - Department - Cellular, Molecular & Biomedical

Weill Cornell- Biomedical Sciences

Albert Einstein- Biomedical

Icahn SOM- Cancer Biology

Rutger, Newark-Molecular  Biology, Genetics and Cancer

 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Is there any reason why you're only applying in NY? Maybe branch out a bit?

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The reason I'm applying to NY this is where my support system is. Currently I live in southern CA and have my husband and kids with me. NY is where our extended family is located which would help us while I am studying . This is the main reason to keeping so central to NY.

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Hey, So its my turn to apply this year and I suppose Im just wanting to get external input from the community. I had transferred from a small community college to a decent research university and have been doing wonderful I feel. However I want to make sure im level headed and not being too ambitious for what I have; Im hoping for a reality check in case im out of line…anyways here we go-

Undergrad Institution: Big Undergraduate Research University in Florida (Came from community College after two years)
Major(s): Cell & Molecular Biology
GPA in Major: 3.83
Overall GPA: 3.93
Position in Class: Top 7%

Type of Student: Domestic White

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 156


Research Experience: 

Neuro Research (My primary lab)

-(1 Year Now, 2 years by Graduation: Started immediately after transfer to the university): Focus on neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimers/Parkinson’s) with a focus on mechanism & preventative drug design. One poster presentation – Started writing my undergraduate research thesis on this material. We are expecting to publish early spring and I have been invited to present at a conference early January.

(Something of significance I believe is that when I joined this lab I worked directly with the PI in creating and testing a new preliminary study of interest; Today I am now running it mostly independently except for when my PI is either needed for approval or intervention.)

Cancer Research (Side Lab)

- (Spring 2018 Only): Designed and tested preliminary rounds looking at the dietary effects on cancer cells. (This lab was real offered as a one semester experience for a select 30 students).
 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)     

Honor/Academic Societies:

Phi Theta Kappa

Golden Key Society

Phi Kappa Phi

Chemistry Society

Office of Undergraduate Research

Universities Honor College

Awards (Really only one of significance):

Academia Excellence: Chemistry (Only one awarded per year)

Recognitions

Deans List every semester except last – got my first B


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

Tutored General Biology,  General Chemistry, and Calculus (Freshman & Sophmore year)

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

-My current PI is relatively big in the alpha syn world and with a few large publications, however he has not had too many in the past 4 years do to some of the large projects he has taken on.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

-Ive taken plenty of great upper level courses (4000 Level); Immunology, developmental biology, Molec bio of cell/gene. Finished all with A's. Will be taking Biochem and Exp. Genetics this fall. 

-I have for sure two very good recommenders. My current PI, and a well-recognized immunologist from Duke Im close with.

-I will also certainly mention that as I have gone through my undergrad I have consistently worked a retail Job for 20hr/week. It was just something that has provided to be only a minor hinderence, but I believe I have still managed quite a bit of success.


Applying to Where :

(1) Duke – Stem Cell/Developmental Bio

(2) Wisconsin State - Stem Cell

(3) Weill Cornell - Developmental Bio

(4) University of Utah – Regenerative Medicine/Stem Cell

(5) Yale – Developmental Bio

Each school calls it something different, but the focus is on regenerative medicines

Many of these schools have great funding and collaborative opportunities of my interest. I plan to add/remove a couple of these but before that I think I may want some input.  Are some of these schools far too ambitious for myself though? I mean looking at everyone elses so far I don’t seem to compare too well. I know my letters and a fantastic SOP can do wonders but I suppose I would like anyone’s opinion. Do I need to dial down or am I competitive as a undergrad who will be graduating spring of 2019?

Edited by LiamG

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14 hours ago, LiamG said:

Hey, So its my turn to apply this year and I suppose Im just wanting to get external input from the community. I had transferred from a small community college to a decent research university and have been doing wonderful I feel. However I want to make sure im level headed and not being too ambitious for what I have; Im hoping for a reality check in case im out of line…anyways here we go-

Undergrad Institution: Big Undergraduate Research University in Florida (Came from community College after two years)
Major(s): Cell & Molecular Biology
GPA in Major: 3.83
Overall GPA: 3.93
Position in Class: Top 7%

Type of Student: Domestic White

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 156


Research Experience: 

Neuro Research (My primary lab)

-(1 Year Now, 2 years by Graduation: Started immediately after transfer to the university): Focus on neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimers/Parkinson’s) with a focus on mechanism & preventative drug design. One poster presentation – Started writing my undergraduate research thesis on this material. We are expecting to publish early spring and I have been invited to present at a conference early January.

(Something of significance I believe is that when I joined this lab I worked directly with the PI in creating and testing a new preliminary study of interest; Today I am now running it mostly independently except for when my PI is either needed for approval or intervention.)

Cancer Research (Side Lab)

- (Spring 2018 Only): Designed and tested preliminary rounds looking at the dietary effects on cancer cells. (This lab was real offered as a one semester experience for a select 30 students).
 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)     

Honor/Academic Societies:

Phi Theta Kappa

Golden Key Society

Phi Kappa Phi

Chemistry Society

Office of Undergraduate Research

Universities Honor College

Awards (Really only one of significance):

Academia Excellence: Chemistry (Only one awarded per year)

Recognitions

Deans List every semester except last – got my first B


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

Tutored General Biology,  General Chemistry, and Calculus (Freshman & Sophmore year)

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

-My current PI is relatively big in the alpha syn world and with a few large publications, however he has not had too many in the past 4 years do to some of the large projects he has taken on.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

-Ive taken plenty of great upper level courses (4000 Level); Immunology, developmental biology, Molec bio of cell/gene. Finished all with A's. Will be taking Biochem and Exp. Genetics this fall. 

-I have for sure two very good recommenders. My current PI, and a well-recognized immunologist from Duke Im close with.

-I will also certainly mention that as I have gone through my undergrad I have consistently worked a retail Job for 20hr/week. It was just something that has provided to be only a minor hinderence, but I believe I have still managed quite a bit of success.


Applying to Where :

(1) Duke – Stem Cell/Developmental Bio

(2) Wisconsin State - Stem Cell

(3) Weill Cornell - Developmental Bio

(4) University of Utah – Regenerative Medicine/Stem Cell

(5) Yale – Developmental Bio

Each school calls it something different, but the focus is on regenerative medicines

Many of these schools have great funding and collaborative opportunities of my interest. I plan to add/remove a couple of these but before that I think I may want some input.  Are some of these schools far too ambitious for myself though? I mean looking at everyone elses so far I don’t seem to compare too well. I know my letters and a fantastic SOP can do wonders but I suppose I would like anyone’s opinion. Do I need to dial down or am I competitive as a undergrad who will be graduating spring of 2019?

So I think your information looks good, but I would consider adding a couple more schools in the mid-tier to your list if you can afford to (I know University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital has a dev bio program which I interviewed at and enjoyed it).  I would also make sure that your 3rd letter of rec writer is a strong one as well.  Are you applying to University of Wisconsin?  I'm going there for stem cell biology and feel free to ask me any questions. :)

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11 hours ago, StemCellFan said:

So I think your information looks good, but I would consider adding a couple more schools in the mid-tier to your list if you can afford to (I know University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital has a dev bio program which I interviewed at and enjoyed it).  I would also make sure that your 3rd letter of rec writer is a strong one as well.  Are you applying to University of Wisconsin?  I'm going there for stem cell biology and feel free to ask me any questions. :)

Sorry, I actually did mean to put the University of Wisconsin, not Wisconsin State - and yah I most certainly plan on removing yale from the list and supplement it with something more mid-tier like UC-Davis. Do you have any more personal recommendations for that area I should scout out a bit more in depth?- and also what can you tell me about your impression from University of Wisconsin?

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14 hours ago, LiamG said:

Sorry, I actually did mean to put the University of Wisconsin, not Wisconsin State - and yah I most certainly plan on removing yale from the list and supplement it with something more mid-tier like UC-Davis. Do you have any more personal recommendations for that area I should scout out a bit more in depth?- and also what can you tell me about your impression from University of Wisconsin?

If you're looking at the midwest specifically, I would also consider University of Michigan (PIBS program) and possibly University of Minnesota.  UMich is a really good school and closer to the top-tier, I think, but still worth it to apply to.  University of Notre Dame has stem cell biology researchers as well.  Cincinnati Children's Hospital I already mentioned.  If you're looking for more classical developmental biology/regeneration maybe look at University of Chicago, but you're looking at top-tier institutions again.

Other places with Stem Cell/Regenerative medicine I know of are Stanford, UCSF, UCLA (Broad Institute), Harvard, Yale, Duke.  I saw a recommendation for Boston University as a place for cell and regenerative medicine research but I didn't apply there because I wanted to stay in the midwest.  I know California got a huge funding boost a while back to do stem cell research, so I would peruse any of the UCs you might be interested in going to and see if they might fit your needs.  I would consider Davis, Irvine, and Santa Barbara as mid-tier choices.

As for University of Wisconsin, I chose it for both professional and personal reasons (I'm from Wisconsin originally).  I do think they have excellent institutions to do the work I want to do, everyone I met with was very passionate about both their work in stem cell biology and the translation/clinical implications of their research.  I was also impressed by the different techniques everyone was using.  They have training programs specifically for stem cell and regenerative medicine, including a fellowship students and postdocs can apply to, and I really liked their science outreach efforts.  They also recently built a medical research complex in the school of medicine and public health and the labs/building looked great.  On the other hand, Cincinnati probably had the best facilities for core services of any place I interviewed at though.

Edited by StemCellFan

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