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2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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Hi All,

I'm starting to get prepared to apply this coming year, and just wanted some advice from those who just finished turning in their applications.

Do you have any tips or pointers for writing your essays? I know that for some you have to explain your research experiences, but other than that I don't really know where to start. Should it be like a story, how I got from one to position to another which helped lead me to want to apply to their school while also proving that I knew what I was doing? Or is just more to showcase my skills and showing that I had an understanding of the research. 

Also, what should the POS focus on, if in other essays I further explain my work experiences?

Thanks in advance!

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Has anyone that interviewed in NYU Sackler for Genes, Cells and Organisms has received any acceptance yet? 

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2 hours ago, CancerBiology said:

Also, did they tell you the exact dates or 'mid' February? I am worried that if I end up getting off the waitlist (oh God I hope so!) I won't be able to attend anyway since I have Duke and Columbia on Feb 10-17 (do not have any interviews on the week of Feb 18-24th though).

They didn't say what the weekends were, they just mentioned that some people from the first interview session may get waitlisted until they bring in the second group of people. I'm not sure if they do this for all programs, but it seems like they do for PBSB, Pharma, BCMB, IMP, and Neuro. Hope this helps!

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18 hours ago, CancerBiology said:

How did the interview go? My interview weekend starts this Thursday and I am so nervous! (First interview weekend)

I LOVED it. It was my first interview as well but tbh I am ready to commit after this weekend (if they let me in lol). Everyone was so friendly and awesome. Great science too. Which PIBS program are you a part of?

You're going to have a ton of fun. Best of luck. :)

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29 minutes ago, KillKras said:

I LOVED it. It was my first interview as well but tbh I am ready to commit after this weekend (if they let me in lol). Everyone was so friendly and awesome. Great science too. Which PIBS program are you a part of?

You're going to have a ton of fun. Best of luck. :)

I am so glad to hear this! I have been working here (I'm at BSRB) for over a year and I absolutely love the place and the science, it really is an awesome place to be for grad school! I applied to MCP :) I know my PI was doing interviews so maybe you even interviewed with him!! haha 

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5 straight rejections. 1 unofficial rejection. I feel like giving up. I don't want to spread negativity out here. I am writing my heart out. 

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Hi guys, did anybody apply for Translational biology, medicine and health at Virginia Tech and heard from them?  ?

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9 hours ago, Ayub2306 said:

5 straight rejections. 1 unofficial rejection. I feel like giving up. I don't want to spread negativity out here. I am writing my heart out. 

Were the rejections mostly from reach schools/schools with less funding for international applicants? Do you have more matches/safeties that you haven't heard from? Some programs had late application deadlines, so it also makes sense for them to send interviews later than the others. If you really think it's not going to end up well this cycle, it might be worth looking into other options (biotech jobs, spring enrollment programs).

Not that I'm any more experienced with any of it, but if you want more detailed feedback on your app materials or have specific questions, feel free to DM me. And I hope you always remember that a rejection is not a rejection of your person; it's just the negation of a proposed match between what a program wants at a particular time and the words and numbers they choose to see you through.

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Hey, did anyone heard back from Purdue(Biological Sciences), Vanderbilt(IGP), University of Massachusetts(GBS), Tulan(GBS), IUB(Biology), UNL(Biological Sciences), UIC(GEMS)?

I sent email to them but just got general "still reviewing and a decision has not yet been made", I start to worry about them.

Edited by Yirannnn

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2 hours ago, Yirannnn said:

Hey, did anyone heard back from Purdue(Biological Sciences), Vanderbilt(IGP), University of Massachusetts(GBS), Tulan(GBS), IUB(Biology), UNL(Biological Sciences), UIC(GEMS)?

I sent email to them but just got general "still reviewing and a decision has not yet been made", I start to worry about them.

Hey there, if by UMass GBS you mean UMass Medical School, I received an invite on December 11th, 2018 and an offer last Thursday following their first interview weekend. 

Edited by lamivudine

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23 minutes ago, lamivudine said:

Hey there, if by UMass GBS you mean UMass Medical School, I received an invite on December 11th, 2018 and an offer last Thursday following their first interview weekend. 

Congratulation! Seems like they have several interview weekends, finger crossed:(

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7 minutes ago, Yirannnn said:

Congratulation! Seems like they have several interview weekends, finger crossed:(

They do! I was given a choice between two weekends and I chose the previous one. 

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On 1/28/2019 at 11:09 AM, StemCells4Lyfe said:

Hi All,

I'm starting to get prepared to apply this coming year, and just wanted some advice from those who just finished turning in their applications.

Do you have any tips or pointers for writing your essays? I know that for some you have to explain your research experiences, but other than that I don't really know where to start. Should it be like a story, how I got from one to position to another which helped lead me to want to apply to their school while also proving that I knew what I was doing? Or is just more to showcase my skills and showing that I had an understanding of the research. 

Also, what should the POS focus on, if in other essays I further explain my work experiences?

Thanks in advance!

Hey,

Finished mine last year, figured id chime in. 

A general set of rules that application committees are looking for

What sets me apart from other applicants? How did I learn about this field? Why am I interested in this field? What experiences have stimulated and reinforced my interest? Are there any gaps or discrepancies in my academic record? What skills or personal characteristics do I possess that would enhance my chances for success in this field? Have I overcome relevant obstacles in my life? What are my career aspirations? Why this school & program?

 

the NIH has some great resources on applying to grad school through their postbac program that are available online, highly recommend you take a look

https://www.google.com/search?ei=N_JQXNblK4qT8APPvrCoDA&q=nih+postbac+personal+statement&oq=nih+postbac+personal+statement&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i299l3j33i160.4174.8228..8899...0.0..0.105.2044.33j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j35i39j0j0i20i263j0i67j0i22i30j33i22i29i30j33i22i10i29i30j33i10.gXIEo1Hk2lU

Best of luck,

 

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4 hours ago, Yirannnn said:

Hey, did anyone heard back from Purdue(Biological Sciences), Vanderbilt(IGP), University of Massachusetts(GBS), Tulan(GBS), IUB(Biology), UNL(Biological Sciences), UIC(GEMS)?

I sent email to them but just got general "still reviewing and a decision has not yet been made", I start to worry about them.

Vanderbilt contacted me for an interview on Dec 19th I believe. All other interviewees I know for vandy were contacted around the same time then as well. 

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1 hour ago, cidmeister said:

Vanderbilt contacted me for an interview on Dec 19th I believe. All other interviewees I know for vandy were contacted around the same time then as well. 

Thanks for letting me know, would you mind telling me the interview weekend scheduled?

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1 minute ago, Yirannnn said:

Thanks for letting me know, would you mind telling me the interview weekend scheduled?

No problem! I'm sorry you haven't heard. I do know they had a lot of applications, its difficult to pick candidates for ~75 spots in the end for the entire program. Last year they fielded over 1200 apps and this year I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to 1400. I'm scheduled to visit Feb 14-15 but I know there were two other weekends, both the following weekends after mine. 

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6 minutes ago, cidmeister said:

No problem! I'm sorry you haven't heard. I do know they had a lot of applications, its difficult to pick candidates for ~75 spots in the end for the entire program. Last year they fielded over 1200 apps and this year I wouldn't be surprised if it was close to 1400. I'm scheduled to visit Feb 14-15 but I know there were two other weekends, both the following weekends after mine. 

That's very kind of you, well they said they are still reviewing applications, I am not 100% hopeless now.

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On 1/28/2019 at 11:09 AM, StemCells4Lyfe said:

I'm starting to get prepared to apply this coming year, and just wanted some advice from those who just finished turning in their applications.

Do you have any tips or pointers for writing your essays? I know that for some you have to explain your research experiences, but other than that I don't really know where to start. Should it be like a story, how I got from one to position to another which helped lead me to want to apply to their school while also proving that I knew what I was doing? Or is just more to showcase my skills and showing that I had an understanding of the research. 

Also, what should the POS focus on, if in other essays I further explain my work experiences?

I don't think there's any right formula other than you MUST explain your research experience and research goals (show you are at least thinking of the future). This shouldn't be super detailed but show that you clearly understand WHY and WHAT you were doing. Why did it matter in the end run? Things that will also help: knowledge of faculty (mention 1-2 potential advisors) and how the specific program will help your goals (what can the school do for you? - shows you cared enough to look up their specific program/faculty). I found writing Rockefeller's application helped me write the rest of my Personal Statements. They asked two general research questions, which I then I used as my main body of my Personal Statement. You can make a general outline with few points that you want to convey in your statement. The flow of the statement should come naturally. Just imagine what faculty wants to see, the next generation of fantastic biomedical scientist! Be that visionary! I think the biggest things people don't utilize is Professors and Faculty they already know, ask them to review and critique (I didn't follow my own advice haha since I did mine pretty last minute), most serve in some form at admission or have served at some point.

Take it what you will but these main points got me Cornell, Rockefeller, and Harvard BBS interviews (among others, but I was fairly selective). Research experience cannot be understated. I know for a fact top schools are now not even looking at apps that don't have a certain amount of research experience. The # of apps they've been receiving is absurd and they literally don't have the time to consider them all of them.

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13 hours ago, DRMF said:

Were the rejections mostly from reach schools/schools with less funding for international applicants? Do you have more matches/safeties that you haven't heard from? Some programs had late application deadlines, so it also makes sense for them to send interviews later than the others. If you really think it's not going to end up well this cycle, it might be worth looking into other options (biotech jobs, spring enrollment programs).

Not that I'm any more experienced with any of it, but if you want more detailed feedback on your app materials or have specific questions, feel free to DM me. And I hope you always remember that a rejection is not a rejection of your person; it's just the negation of a proposed match between what a program wants at a particular time and the words and numbers they choose to see you through.

No, they had funding for international applicants. I have already dropped a year out for this. I still have 5 more Univs to hear. Both my safety and dream universities are not in this list. All the other 5 have said that they still have Feb but not later than this. Anyways thank you!

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On 1/28/2019 at 4:09 PM, StemCells4Lyfe said:

Hi All,

I'm starting to get prepared to apply this coming year, and just wanted some advice from those who just finished turning in their applications.

Do you have any tips or pointers for writing your essays? I know that for some you have to explain your research experiences, but other than that I don't really know where to start. Should it be like a story, how I got from one to position to another which helped lead me to want to apply to their school while also proving that I knew what I was doing? Or is just more to showcase my skills and showing that I had an understanding of the research. 

Also, what should the POS focus on, if in other essays I further explain my work experiences?

Thanks in advance!

Be concise and clear--somebody's only looking at this essay for a minute. Always include: what your interests are and why, what makes you qualified, and what you want to get out of a PhD program. Something I did to save time on 8+ essays was tailor my opening and closing to the school, but keep the body (research experience, interests, skills, motivations) the same. Try to nail it in 500 words, longer doesn't mean better. How specific you are about your plans for study is gonna depend on the you and program, but you should definitely follow tm_s's advice and mention faculty members whose labs interest you. Even if those people aren't taking students, it demonstrates that you know enough about the program to make an informed candidate and that your interests do actually fit.

Remember: the goal is to score an interview! The interview is where you can be charming or interesting and share more about your background--but you have to look good enough on paper for them to want to know more.

Edited by palyndrone

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Rejected by Purdue Biological Sciences today , we are getting into February and I still have  7 or 8 schools pending, hopeless, the suspense is killing me.:(

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Is there any sites you all used for rating/selectivity stats based on program? I'm trying to generate a list of where I'd like to apply and narrow it down with a good mix of reaches/dream schools, mid-tier and "safety" (even though I guess safety schools isn't really a thing for grad school). I've only seen a couple schools release the data based on program.

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12 minutes ago, StemCells4Lyfe said:

Is there any sites you all used for rating/selectivity stats based on program? I'm trying to generate a list of where I'd like to apply and narrow it down with a good mix of reaches/dream schools, mid-tier and "safety" (even though I guess safety schools isn't really a thing for grad school). I've only seen a couple schools release the data based on program.

I second this lol

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35 minutes ago, StemCells4Lyfe said:

Is there any sites you all used for rating/selectivity stats based on program? I'm trying to generate a list of where I'd like to apply and narrow it down with a good mix of reaches/dream schools, mid-tier and "safety" (even though I guess safety schools isn't really a thing for grad school). I've only seen a couple schools release the data based on program.

I would say look for admissions statistics on the program website, as that will have information published by the school and therefor the most accurate. All four schools for biomedical sciences I applied to published statistics for admissions, as I would assume any major university would do. I could see much smaller niche schools not publishing data. 

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