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2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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Would anyone find it helpful to create a separate thread just for interviews? Looking back through previous years, I felt it would have been more helpful to have a thread dedicated to just interview n

After waiting and waiting, happy to say I got two acceptances today! Guess I'll be going to graduate school this year after all!

I've planned for alternate options. I have 3 separate contingency plans, lol. I applied to a PREP program, and I am working on my resume so I can get applications going for lab positions as soon as I

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11 hours ago, mcfc2018 said:

Am I required to include the other schools that I am applying to? Does it hurt my application if I have a lot/a little?

It shouldn't matter. They just want an idea of if they choose to accept you will you have way better options or is there a good chance you'd accept the offer.

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Hi all. I'm in a bit of a quandary- hoping you guys can help me out a bit! I'm essentially a bioinformatics/biotech person, with a keen interest to get into wildlife research. However I don't have any research experience whatsoever in this field. I'm looking at labs at the mid to lower tier that does wildlife research using more of computation/lab work and less of field work. 

Undergrad Institution: Reputed Engineering University in India

Major(s): Biotechnology
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major:  Not sure
Overall GPA: 3.32 after conversion
Position in Class: Not sure

Master's Institution: Reputed Public University in India
Major(s): Bioinformatics and Biotechnology
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: Not sure
Overall GPA: 3.32

Type of Student: International/Asian, Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 160
V:155
W: 4.5
B: Not taking

TOEFL Total: 115

Research Experience:

  • Undergraduate thesis in neurobiology from a reputed research institute in India (~3 months)
  • Master's research in host-pathogen network analysis at my post-grad institute (~5 months)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • Graduated with honours

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

  • 1 year industrial experience as a research associate in biological data curation and analytics at one of Asia's largest contract research organization

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

  • Had a lot of debating experience during my undergrad days and even managed the deb soc
  • Most faculty have a good opinion about me, therefore LORs shouldn't be a problem
  • Have no publications; just a poster presentation of my Master's research work 


Applying to Where: PhD in EEB

  • University of Florida
  • University of Texas, A&M
  • Penn State

I'm currently expanding the list, but I honestly have no clue about my prospects, if I'm aiming too high or low, etc. As you can see, I'm all over the place with my research focus, but that was mainly because I was trying to figure out what really fascinated me. Would really appreciate a few thoughts/comments on this. 

As an aside, how much is an industrial work experience valued while applying for an academic program?

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Hello guys, I got two very similar GRE scores: V157 Q170 AW3 and V156 Q170 AW3.5  I probably won't take it again although they are still not that good. Now I have trouble deciding which one to send to schools. Do you have a suggestion?

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Undergrad Institution: State flagship school, R1 research
Major(s): Biology, cell/molecular
Minor(s): Chemistry, music
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.993
Position in Class: Top 5% Magna Cum Laude
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores:
Q: 161
V: 164
W: 4.5
B: Not taking

Research Experience: 2 years in current cell biology lab, including 1 gap year full time as lab manager. 1 summer NIH internship program in immunology lab, 1 previous semester in undergraduate intro-to-research program in a biochem lab. 1 3rd author publication in submission process. Upcoming poster at ASCB meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 8 semesters on the Dean's list, 4 yrs full ride scholarship from university, Biology department scholarship, private undergraduate research fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 4 semesters cell biology TA, 1 semester biological diversity TA, organized undergrad journal club course for evolutionary health interest group

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of extracurricular music activities, but not very relevant

Special Bonus Points: female from extremely religious/conservative area; not much exposure to science before college

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Was premed until third bout of cancer this year and I realized all I want to do is bench science. Debating if/how this needs to show up in my personal statement. 

Applying to Where:
UW MCB and biology

UCSF Tetrad

Oregon IMB (maybe)

Michigan MCDB

Berkeley MCB

University of Rochester MCDB

Dartmouth MCB

Brown MCB

Yale BBS

 

What do you think? Probably need more safety schools and fewer top tier schools, I know. Looking for mid-tier schools with strong research in RNA and/or membrane trafficking. Suggestions?

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On 8/29/2018 at 4:34 PM, BabyScientist said:

That is a very long list of really high tier schools. If you can afford it, go for it. But it also is almost impossible that you have enough faculty of interest at each of those schools. 

You're totally right. Went through them and now am only applying to 5 schools that have faculty that align with my research interests. 

 

Thanks for the feedback!

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7 hours ago, Telepathy said:

Hello guys, I got two very similar GRE scores: V157 Q170 AW3 and V156 Q170 AW3.5  I probably won't take it again although they are still not that good. Now I have trouble deciding which one to send to schools. Do you have a suggestion?

I would go ahead and send the the second set of scores.  Percentile-wise, there isn't too huge of a difference between your two verbal scores, but your AW jumps from a 17% to a 41%.  AW is the score they care least about.  Either way, your verbal scores are still pretty decent and are above the 70th percentile.

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13 hours ago, parsnip06 said:

Undergrad Institution: State flagship school, R1 research
Major(s): Biology, cell/molecular
Minor(s): Chemistry, music
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.993
Position in Class: Top 5% Magna Cum Laude
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores:
Q: 161
V: 164
W: 4.5
B: Not taking

Research Experience: 2 years in current cell biology lab, including 1 gap year full time as lab manager. 1 summer NIH internship program in immunology lab, 1 previous semester in undergraduate intro-to-research program in a biochem lab. 1 3rd author publication in submission process. Upcoming poster at ASCB meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 8 semesters on the Dean's list, 4 yrs full ride scholarship from university, Biology department scholarship, private undergraduate research fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 4 semesters cell biology TA, 1 semester biological diversity TA, organized undergrad journal club course for evolutionary health interest group

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of extracurricular music activities, but not very relevant

Special Bonus Points: female from extremely religious/conservative area; not much exposure to science before college

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Was premed until third bout of cancer this year and I realized all I want to do is bench science. Debating if/how this needs to show up in my personal statement. 

Applying to Where:
UW MCB and biology

UCSF Tetrad

Oregon IMB (maybe)

Michigan MCDB

Berkeley MCB

University of Rochester MCDB

Dartmouth MCB

Brown MCB

Yale BBS

 

What do you think? Probably need more safety schools and fewer top tier schools, I know. Looking for mid-tier schools with strong research in RNA and/or membrane trafficking. Suggestions?

I think you have a very solid application. There's nothing that jumps out as could hold you back. As long as you have great letters of rec and a strong SOP, your list looks fine. As I say to everyone, though, make sure you're actually interested in at least 3 faculty at each school.

As far as school suggestions, I think Brandeis has great people doing membrane trafficking stuff.

I think your special bonus points and any other info comments could both be looked at as very interesting by admissions committees. If cancer is relevant to why you want to go into research, you should mention that in your SOP.

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11 hours ago, Anne09 said:

You're totally right. Went through them and now am only applying to 5 schools that have faculty that align with my research interests. 

 

Thanks for the feedback!

Also make sure those 5 aren't top tier schools. To have the best odds at admission, you should have a few top, more mid, and a few lower tier schools (I don't think "low tier/safety" really exists in grad school).

If you can't find any lower to mid tiers you'd be interested in attending, and you would be okay with not getting in this year and applying again next year, that's fine. But you should try to look into people doing stuff you're interested in at non Ivy/Ivy-level schools. 

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On 9/2/2018 at 12:40 AM, StemCellFan said:

I would go ahead and send the the second set of scores.  Percentile-wise, there isn't too huge of a difference between your two verbal scores, but your AW jumps from a 17% to a 41%.  AW is the score they care least about.  Either way, your verbal scores are still pretty decent and are above the 70th percentile.

I agree... Thanks so much!

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Hi everyone! I have my stats and all below. Members of my department are pushing to say I should apply to around 10 schools - is that the usual? It feels like a lot. I have a list of 10 below, but I feel like they're all really top-notch programs, so should I substitute in some safety schools? and what would good safety school options even be? Thank you!

 

Undergrad Institution: flagship state school, generally well-regarded research school
Major(s): Biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology and genetics
Minor(s): biochemistry, political science, applied music (piano), and writing
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.94
Position in Class: Probably top 10%
Type of Student: Domestic female, mixed race (Filipino + white)

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 163 (84%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 5 (93%)
B: Will not take


Research Experience: 

First lab was junior year and senior year of high school, started when I was 16. Osteogenesis focused lab and did a science fair project involving cell line work and examining morphological changes in response to some growth factors and UV radiation.

Worked in molecular plant biology lab for 1 year that generated Arabidopsis plants with variable plasmodesmata permeability. Not too much out of there really, projects didn't pan out and realized the work wasn't for me.

Will have 3 years in a developmental genetics lab with hardy amounts of cell and mouse work. 2nd author paper (I'm drafting the manuscript) before applications, possible co-first after. 6-7 poster presentations, as well as a solid undergraduate thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Goldwater honorable mention, full tuition scholarship based on research potential, two summer fellowships for my research (one statewide, one institutional), two other awards from biology department based on scholarship, research, and commitment to the spirit of science, undergraduate writing award, and a few other smaller institutional things

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

7 semesters of university peer tutor, president of an active political registered student organization, lots of volunteer experience with education access work, advocacy delegate with ASBMB 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Five graduate courses, expecting strong recommendations (I'm very close with many of the faculty in my department)

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

Also planning to apply for NSF - GFRP, Stanford Knight Hennessy, and Gates Cambridge

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Developmental Biology

University of Cambridge - Wellcome Trust Developmental Biology + PDN departmental application

UC San Francisco - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

UC Berkeley - Molecular and Cell Biology - Cell/developmental division

Harvard - BBS - Developmental community

Cornell - Genetics, Genomics, and Development

Duke - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

Yale - Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

UPenn - Cell and Molecular Biology - Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Program

UNC Chapel Hill - Molecular/Cellular and Developmental Biology

 

 

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1 hour ago, BATW said:

Hi everyone! I have my stats and all below. Members of my department are pushing to say I should apply to around 10 schools - is that the usual? It feels like a lot. I have a list of 10 below, but I feel like they're all really top-notch programs, so should I substitute in some safety schools? and what would good safety school options even be? Thank you!

 

Undergrad Institution: flagship state school, generally well-regarded research school
Major(s): Biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology and genetics
Minor(s): biochemistry, political science, applied music (piano), and writing
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.94
Position in Class: Probably top 10%
Type of Student: Domestic female, mixed race (Filipino + white)

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 163 (84%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 5 (93%)
B: Will not take


Research Experience: 

First lab was junior year and senior year of high school, started when I was 16. Osteogenesis focused lab and did a science fair project involving cell line work and examining morphological changes in response to some growth factors and UV radiation.

Worked in molecular plant biology lab for 1 year that generated Arabidopsis plants with variable plasmodesmata permeability. Not too much out of there really, projects didn't pan out and realized the work wasn't for me.

Will have 3 years in a developmental genetics lab with hardy amounts of cell and mouse work. 2nd author paper (I'm drafting the manuscript) before applications, possible co-first after. 6-7 poster presentations, as well as a solid undergraduate thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Goldwater honorable mention, full tuition scholarship based on research potential, two summer fellowships for my research (one statewide, one institutional), two other awards from biology department based on scholarship, research, and commitment to the spirit of science, undergraduate writing award, and a few other smaller institutional things

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

7 semesters of university peer tutor, president of an active political registered student organization, lots of volunteer experience with education access work, advocacy delegate with ASBMB 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Five graduate courses, expecting strong recommendations (I'm very close with many of the faculty in my department)

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

Also planning to apply for NSF - GFRP, Stanford Knight Hennessy, and Gates Cambridge

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Developmental Biology

University of Cambridge - Wellcome Trust Developmental Biology + PDN departmental application

UC San Francisco - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

UC Berkeley - Molecular and Cell Biology - Cell/developmental division

Harvard - BBS - Developmental community

Cornell - Genetics, Genomics, and Development

Duke - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

Yale - Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

UPenn - Cell and Molecular Biology - Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Program

UNC Chapel Hill - Molecular/Cellular and Developmental Biology

 

 

10 is pretty standard, but only apply to schools with faculty you really want to work with. You have a good application (depending on SOP and LORs), but you probably have 2 too many top tier programs. Make sure there are actually at least 3 faculty members at each school you'd be really excited to work with.

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16 hours ago, BabyScientist said:

10 is pretty standard, but only apply to schools with faculty you really want to work with. You have a good application (depending on SOP and LORs), but you probably have 2 too many top tier programs. Make sure there are actually at least 3 faculty members at each school you'd be really excited to work with.

Thank you! I'm starting to look into faculty for sure. Is it usual to reach out to the faculty at the schools? For Cambridge departmental applications you're required to have a faculty sponsor, but I get the impression that isn't the standard in US programs?

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5 hours ago, BATW said:

Thank you! I'm starting to look into faculty for sure. Is it usual to reach out to the faculty at the schools? For Cambridge departmental applications you're required to have a faculty sponsor, but I get the impression that isn't the standard in US programs?

That's not the standard in the US, but it's not unusual to at least contact faculty to express interest. 

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Undergrad Institution: R1 University, Ranked TOP5 in Microbiology, TOP30 overall
Major(s): B.S., Microbiology and B.S., Molecular Biology
Minor(s): na
GPA in Major: 3.74
Overall GPA: 3.80
Position in Class: Not sure
Type of Student: Permanent Resident, Asian male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 168(94th)
V: 153(61th)
W: 4.5(82nd)
B: not going to take


Research Experience: 
3 years of research* (by the time of graduation) as undergraduate researcher at a great and well-funded Microbiology lab in home institution.
2 summer research at the same lab with full-time employment. 
1 publication at work, projected to be submitted to Cell/Nature, potentially 2nd author. 
1 lab meeting.(not on CV)
    *: spend ~6 to 7hrs per day in lab on average, including weekends and holidays or breaks. Not sure if this info matters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 
    Dean’s List for all quarters, Annual Dean’s List for all 3 years so far.
    Tuition Exemption for the coming year.
    Department Honors
    Department Research Award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: na because I spend all the time in lab lol...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
    Some awards and honors I got from high school that are related to biomedical projects. Not hard-core research so not sure if I should put them on CV

Special Bonus Points: 
    The paper in process will be GREAT.
    My lab has a lot of interdisciplinary experiments so I have learned a wide range of skills
    Great, well-awarded PI who actually cares a lot about undergrads. The lab has a lot of papers in top journals and the frequency of publication is also good. 
    1 good LOR, 2 great LOR

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
    Received need-based grants from government and university to cover my tuition since Sophomore year; paying all of my financial expenses by myself through grants, student loan, or salary from summer. 


Applying to Where:

MIT - Microbiology
UC Berkeley - Microbiology
Cornell University- Microbiology
University of Michigan - Microbiology
University of Washington - MCB
UNC Chapel Hill - Microbiology
UW-Madison - Microbiology

Thinking: other High to mid tier Microbiology programs that I am not aware of; suggestions are welcome!

My interests are mainly molecular/bacterial pathogenesis and host-microbiome interactions. I am well aware that my list is sort of top-heavy, but most of the schools on the list are the ones that I really liked. If I get rejected by all of them I would probably go do some postbac and then re-apply again. Nonetheless, I am worried about my chances of being accepted by these programs. Any tips or advises will be appreciated. Thanks a lot!

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Undergrad Institution: R1 Institution 
Major(s):  Biology 
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.91
Position in Class: Top 5% 
Type of Student: Domestic minority female 

GRE Scores:
Q: 157 (65th, boo)
V: 165 (96th)
W: 4.5 (82nd) 

Research Experience: 
2 years at big pharma lab (1 year full time while in undergrad), concurrently 1 year at Harvard Medical School lab
2 year postbac at the NIH in microbiology 

(1) middle author pub in Nature 

(1) third-author pub in Nature Microbiology
2 posters at institutional research assistant presentations 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 
Dean's Scholarship


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 
Biochemistry tutor for 1 year 
Student Peer Advisor (advising students with critically low GPA within department) for 1 year 


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Kappa Kappa Psi, band for 4 years 

Special Bonus Points: 
2 grad courses (Immunology, Electron Microscopy) 

2 famous PIs 

Applying to Where:
I am applying for immunology programs but I have no idea what subfield yet... So far, infectious disease/inflammation tickles my fancy. 

I would love some suggestions please!!  My list is primarily Ivy Leagues, but I am really hoping to broaden my choices before applying.  I am specifically concerned about my GRE scores for getting into these places. 

Rockefeller
UPenn
Harvard BBS 
NYU Sackler 
BostonU PiBS
Brown
Columbia
UWashington 

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7 hours ago, biggielarges said:

 

Undergrad Institution: R1 Institution 
Major(s):  Biology 
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.91
Position in Class: Top 5% 
Type of Student: Domestic minority female 

GRE Scores:
Q: 157 (65th, boo)
V: 165 (96th)
W: 4.5 (82nd) 

Research Experience: 
2 years at big pharma lab (1 year full time while in undergrad), concurrently 1 year at Harvard Medical School lab
2 year postbac at the NIH in microbiology 

(1) middle author pub in Nature 

(1) third-author pub in Nature Microbiology
2 posters at institutional research assistant presentations 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 
Dean's Scholarship


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 
Biochemistry tutor for 1 year 
Student Peer Advisor (advising students with critically low GPA within department) for 1 year 


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Kappa Kappa Psi, band for 4 years 

Special Bonus Points: 
2 grad courses (Immunology, Electron Microscopy) 

2 famous PIs 

Applying to Where:
I am applying for immunology programs but I have no idea what subfield yet... So far, infectious disease/inflammation tickles my fancy. 

I would love some suggestions please!!  My list is primarily Ivy Leagues, but I am really hoping to broaden my choices before applying.  I am specifically concerned about my GRE scores for getting into these places. 

Rockefeller
UPenn
Harvard BBS 
NYU Sackler 
BostonU PiBS
Brown
Columbia
UWashington 

GRE scores are being weighted way less nowadays. Don't worry about them. Depending on your LORs and SOPs, your list looks fine

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Hello! Little late to this party but here is my profile! Any comments/suggestions are welcome. I am sifting through universities/faculty as I post this so that is why my current list is sparse. Best of luck to everyone!! ? 

 

Undergrad Institution: State University well-known for undergraduate student research (attended 2011 – 2016)

Current Institution: Went international to get a Master’s at a University ranked #3 in Asia (2016 - currently attending)
Undergrad Major(s): Neurobiology, MCB
Undergrad Minor(s): Biochemistry, Music Performance
Undergrad GPA in Major: 3.86 (Neuro)/ 3.511 (MCB)
Undergrad Overall GPA: 3.622 (Had a rough first semester, luckily my last 2 years are 4.0)
Current Major: Life Science

Current GPA: 3.767/4.000 (major GPA: 4.167/4.000)

Position in Class: Graduated cum laude, current position unknown
Type of Student: Domestic White & Asian Female, currently abroad


GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 5 (93%)
B: ---


Research Experience: 

1) Undergrad lab experience: started in Spring 2013

  • two labs where I stayed a year each, was looking into getting different types of neuroscience research experience. One was neuroanatomy/neuro-evolution the other was computational neuroscience
  • Most significant undergraduate lab: 2.5 years. Absolutely loved it, mainly dealt with neuron-glia networks and my PIs were just phenomenal!

2)    Masters lab experience: started in September 2016

  • Working on a “high risk high reward” project that is very creative... it is related to mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease

3)    Research output:

  • Undergrad:
    • One paper; authorship: 2nd / 8
    • SFN poster presentation 2015
    • Many University level poster presentations
  • Masters
    • SFN poster presentation 2017
    • Manuscript in preparation



Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

1)    During undergrad I managed to snag about ~10 research awards/poster winning stuff/travel grants and I was also recognized by my university for outstanding undergrad research ?

2)    Also have grade-based awards (ex deans list) from 2014 – 2016 for undergrad

3)    Current awards: I have a research and teaching studentship award as well as received a travel grant for 2017 SFN
 

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

1)    A lot of teaching experience: preceptor for 4 neuroscience classes during undergrad and presently a graduate TA for intro bio lab course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

1)    Very active in music, both during undergrad and Master’s

2)    Professional Development activities: very active in undergrad

  • Student club with longstanding leadership role
  • Nu Rho Psi:
    • active in undergrad chapter with leadership role
    • active in NRP at SFN
  • university research programs that provided funding and neuroscience training bootcamps

3)    Outreach activities: again…very busy in undergrad!

  • have some mentions in interviews (news articles/radio shows) about research and/or neuroscience outreach events
  • Summer counselor for a research camp for middle/high school students at a research center (this was between undergrad and masters)

4)    Will be attending SFN 2018 (no poster though) so I will definitely take the chance to network/visit posters of potential labs/meet with PIs of potential labs (hopefully)... etc.

 

Special Bonus Points: 

1)    I will have a Master’s degree! Yay! Obtained this because I was interested in gaining international research experience.

2)    My mentors at my undergrad institution and current PI can write me very strong LORs

3)    Active attendee to various academic workshops/conferences

4)    I have been fortunate to gain very diverse research experience from being active in labs starting from 2013!

5)    I have done a lot of networking and my past/current PIs are also well-known and well-connected. 

 

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

1)    Like I said, first semester of undergrad was rough…ended with a 2.0. Worked hard to turn it around but it still weighs down my cumulative GPA. Good news: I was in an upwards trend from there.

2)    I am worried about my GRE score…particularly my Quant is lower than I would like. I know that a student is more than a score and I have a decent amount of research experience but I’m still worried!

3)    I am currently abroad which makes me worry about whether schools would be willing to invite me for interviews…I’ll make it clear in my application that interviewing in-person is something I really want…but I’m scared it’ll be a turn-off.


Applying to Where:
Research interests: neuron-glia interactions, neuro-degeneration

But, my goal is to find a really great mentor... not as concerned what type of neuroscience it is... I find most things exciting! ?

 

(not final list)
UCSF - Neuroscience (Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience track)

Yale University - BBS (Neuroscience)

Rockefeller University - Bioscience (would like to work with Neuroscience labs)

Stanford University - Bioscience (Neuroscience IDP)

Harvard University - Neuroscience

Edited by yash13177
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On 8/30/2018 at 5:36 AM, Renalee said:

Also considering: Scripps San Diego and Weill Cornell. I think I'd like to cut down my list down to 5 schools to actually apply to though.

 

I'd love if someone could give me feedback on my profile!

Hi! Fellow applicant here! 

I think your profile looks great! Your research experience is solid and if your other publications go through it would be even better for you.

The only concern schools may have is your GRE score, your quant may be a bit low. If you have made up your mind about not re-taking it I suggest you spend your efforts on contacting faculty at the institutions you're interested in. If you can establish a relationship with them I think they can help you when you apply. Also make sure you have a very good SoP and really strong LORs.

Best of luck!

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On 9/14/2018 at 1:18 PM, ProfessionalPipettor said:

I'm a first year PhD student in a microbiology/immunology department. Some great Microbiology programs in the united states that you might consider are UNC Chappel Hill, Scripps, Baylor College of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, UPenn, UMich, Tulane, University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) is a great microbiology school for tropical/emerging microbiology. Harvard is a top school for Virology. 

-posted from another thread

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RIP this thread seems kind of dead but I'm just gonna post because I just had some questions for you guys about "safeties;" my philosophy is that especially for grad school I shouldn't be wasting time and money going to a school that I don't really want to go to but my PI has scared me about safety schools so I'm sort of freaking out LOL I'm also trying to figure out if I want to send my GRE scores because so many schools don't really require it anymore.

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League 
Major(s): Biology (physiology) 
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.55
Overall GPA: 3.73
Position in Class: no idea 
Type of Student: Female 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 165
V: 162
W: 4.5
B: ?? 

Research Experience: 
Research in cell/molecular biology at my school - 2.5 years (including 1 summer) - 1 publication pending review (but as a second author) 
Joined a new lab because my PI from the lab above left for an industry job haha 
Research internship at the same institute for 2 years in a row - different labs each year (one was a high profile lab while the other was much smaller)
-I should be high up on the publication from the first summer's internship because I started the project, and I was put onto a close-to-publication project this past summer 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2nd place in a bio-related hackathon, Dean's list for 4 out of 6 semesters 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: biochemistry TA 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :P here's the kicker LOL I've got nothing 

Special Bonus Points: female, famous recommender, another just was hired at a prominent biotech company in the field

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 
1. Outreach chair of a club starting senior year
2. Former vice president of another club (outreach) - had to step down because it was a 1-year position 

3. Section leader in a musical ensemble 

Applying to Where: I'm generally interested aging and cancer biology 

Harvard
Stanford 
JHU 
UCSD 
UCSF 
UC Berkeley 
WashU

Rockefeller

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I think you have a good philosophy and I think that shouldn't apply anywhere you do not see yourself going.  If you have one school on the list because it's a safety school but you would not be happy there or would never go there, I would not apply.  I would take a year or two off and (re)apply to the schools you actually would be interested in going to.

That said, you have a tough list of schools there, and your scores are good and your research experience is decent.  Do you have any presentations?  Will you have 3 solid LoRs?  I think the application season might be rough--but apply anyway.  If you don't get in this season, take a year or two off, work in a research lab, and reapply.

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5 hours ago, StemCellFan said:

I think you have a good philosophy and I think that shouldn't apply anywhere you do not see yourself going.  If you have one school on the list because it's a safety school but you would not be happy there or would never go there, I would not apply.  I would take a year or two off and (re)apply to the schools you actually would be interested in going to.

That said, you have a tough list of schools there, and your scores are good and your research experience is decent.  Do you have any presentations?  Will you have 3 solid LoRs?  I think the application season might be rough--but apply anyway.  If you don't get in this season, take a year or two off, work in a research lab, and reapply.

Agreed on this generally, except that I know some people are just really set on starting next year. If you just really want/need to get into grad school, nothing wrong with applying to some schools you might not have otherwise considered. I ended up loving my initial least favorite schools and hating my initial tops. You get a different view after interviews. One of my "safeties" ended up being the main contender to the program I ended up choosing because at interviews I learned that they had some of the biggest names in a specialized subfield I was interested in, even though they didn't generally have as good a reputation as some other schools I got into.

Moral of the story: focus on schools with faculty doing stuff you're interested in, not well known schools. Don't Google schools and check their faculty lists, Google people and check where they are. Ultimately the research you do is most important (not that institutions reputations don't matter, but if you can be successful in a lab matters more). 

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