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2019 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results

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28 minutes ago, MJB100 said:

^^^ Also, about not receiving a confirmation from SurveyMonkey on the Weill Cornell Neuroscience response card: When I go back to the invitation email and click on the link for the response card, I end up at a SurveyMonkey page that says I have already taken the survey. I am hoping that is a good sign that Weill Cornell actually received my response. (Although that doesn't stop me from worrying that I accidentally clicked on the wrong response in the survey! Should have taken a screenshot of each page. Oh well!) 

 

I didn’t even think about trying the link again (facepalm), but all is well because I just heard back from Veronica Bohorquez (program coordinator), and she confirmed that they had my response. Thanks for your help!

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17 minutes ago, humancoffeebean said:

I didn’t even think about trying the link again (facepalm), but all is well because I just heard back from Veronica Bohorquez (program coordinator), and she confirmed that they had my response. Thanks for your help!

Now I’m anxious because I remember filling it out, but it will let me take it again. I had been worried that there was no confirmation. 

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33 minutes ago, Ptow said:

Now I’m anxious because I remember filling it out, but it will let me take it again. I had been worried that there was no confirmation. 

I thought I was the only one worried about not getting any confirmation from SurveyMonkey! It is a weird system. 

I would think you could email Weill Cornell now and just explain your concern. You would at least be getting back to them on the deadline day. And/or you could try taking the survey again and see if you are able to submit it. (Also, do what I wish I had done, which is to take a screenshot of each page! I just assumed I would get a copy of what I had submitted.)

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They would have emailed you today if they hadn't gotten your confirmation. Source: I filled in the survey last night and got an email from Veronica today reminding me to fill in my application. I'm guessing there was just some sort of processing delay, but if you didn't get anything from her, you're good.

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4 hours ago, neuranxiety said:

Does anyone have information about Columbia and NYU? (I see some results but wondering if they are done sending invites)

 

 

Update: Columbia is done

did someone call to find out that columbia is done? this is confirmed?

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Emily2715 said:

did someone call to find out that columbia is done? this is confirmed?

 

I emailed the admissions to ask about Neurobiology PhD - they said all invites were sent over the holidays and if we didn't hear back then our application isn't under consideration anymore.

Edited by neuranxiety

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Does anyone know how standard it is to get a Skype interview before an actual interview? Just got an email at Texas A&M and was wondering if I should be excited as I am closer to an interview in person or if this is standard for all applicants. 

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Happy 2019!

Received an email for Tufts University Neuro (not neuro at JAX) for a possible interview on March 1. Someone in the results said that they were done sending out invites... looks like they're not! Stay positive everyone! 

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5 hours ago, neurogen said:

Does anyone know how standard it is to get a Skype interview before an actual interview? Just got an email at Texas A&M and was wondering if I should be excited as I am closer to an interview in person or if this is standard for all applicants. 

Happened to me at Chapel Hill's PhD in Pharm Sci. They called it a pre interview. It is essentially a filtering process. On a Monday we had pre interview via Skype. Friday they called me with interview offer.

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6 hours ago, neurogen said:

Does anyone know how standard it is to get a Skype interview before an actual interview? Just got an email at Texas A&M and was wondering if I should be excited as I am closer to an interview in person or if this is standard for all applicants. 

I had a similar set up for Caltech. It's likely a prescreening - I'm not sure what percentage of people tend to move forward after, if I had to guess I'd probably guess somewhere from 50-75% of prescreened applicants get invited for on-campus interviews. Its a good sign they asked this from you! It means they have taken an interest in your application and you made it through the initial rounds of review.

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Does anyone have advice (or an email template tbh) for contacting programs to see if all interview invites are out? Would reaching out hurt your chances as an applicant? I don’t think I can handle waiting 3 months for rejections again lol 

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Posted (edited)

I saw some posts here/on the results saying Duke Neuro was done. Which program is that for? I know CNAP is done from a PI there, but what about the others?

Edited by round2_

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1 hour ago, neko98 said:

Does anyone have advice (or an email template tbh) for contacting programs to see if all interview invites are out? Would reaching out hurt your chances as an applicant? I don’t think I can handle waiting 3 months for rejections again lol 

I would just call. Dont have to give a name.

 

"Hello! I'm an applicant to this year's program, and I'd just like to know when we could expect notification of interview invites." 

 

If they're done, they'll say they are. Sometimes on schools' sites in the FAQ, they'll say around the dates you are no longer being considered if you haven't heard anything. Dont need a name to get the info, so you won't have to feel like a pest.

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8 hours ago, aspiringscientist said:

I had a similar set up for Caltech. It's likely a prescreening - I'm not sure what percentage of people tend to move forward after, if I had to guess I'd probably guess somewhere from 50-75% of prescreened applicants get invited for on-campus interviews. Its a good sign they asked this from you! It means they have taken an interest in your application and you made it through the initial rounds of review.

Thanks! They said it would be about 15 minutes, so I guess I'm just trying to figure out what could possibly occur in that time frame. Maybe just trying to make sure I'm not a serial killer?  

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47 minutes ago, neurogen said:

Thanks! They said it would be about 15 minutes, so I guess I'm just trying to figure out what could possibly occur in that time frame. Maybe just trying to make sure I'm not a serial killer?  

Ask you about previous research, motivations, career aspirations, why us...see how you articulate

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On 1/4/2019 at 12:20 PM, Raindrop said:

I didn't apply to any schools that required the GRE

Am I missing something? BCS at MIT does require the general GRE exam

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3 hours ago, neurogen said:

Thanks! They said it would be about 15 minutes, so I guess I'm just trying to figure out what could possibly occur in that time frame. Maybe just trying to make sure I'm not a serial killer?  

The one I had for Caltech was 15 minutes too. They started with "tell us about your research experience" and then asked a few follow up questions. Then what I want to get out of grad school, why I chose to apply to them. And then left 5 minutes for questions from me. Its not a lot of time but it let's them gauge your ability to communicate and your enthusiasm! So yes they probably want to know your not a serial killer, but maybe also that you can communicate ideas well, are enthusiastic about science and their program, and that the research experiences you described on your application is true.

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Posted (edited)

In preparation for interviews, I'm trying to map out roughly what I want to say for a few of the common interview questions. Any feedback/suggestions would be much appreciated! Feel free to share your answers as well.

 

**Introduce yourself/tell me a bit about yourself.**

Currently I'm a postbac research fellow at the NIH. I earned my B.S. from [University] double majoring in Neuroscience and Molecular Genetics. I'm. interested in basic and translational research related to neurodegenerative diseases.

 

**Tell me about your previous research experience.**

My Honors Thesis project was a genome-wide association study of axon guidance using a fruit fly model. I screened several hundred fly strains and identified any with naturally-occurring defects in axon guidance. Then I used their sequenced genomes to find variants in 16 genes that were associated with these defects. During the later part of my undergrad, my interests began to shift from basic to biomedical research. I wanted to get some experience in biomedical research and see what it was really like. I took a short break from my thesis research to do a summer research internship in Switzerland, where I studied how seizures can alter blood-brain barrier function in Alzheimer's disease mice. I also approached a postdoc at [University] about writing a review together about Alzheimer's. We actually end up writing three reviews together, which focused on the roles that amyloid-beta plays in the innate immune system. The internship and papers really deepened my interest in biomedical research, especially related to neurodegenerative diseases.

 

After I graduated, I decided to further explore biomedical research by joining the NIH. My institute is called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which basically combines assay development and high-throughput screening to move discoveries from bench to bedside. My main project involves developing a new high-throughput assay to [redacted--not yet published\]. I programmed our robotic liquid handler to perform all the assay steps, and then analyzed the samples using mass spec. I'm also working on another project related to [disease\], where I'm using CRISPR to attach a nano-luciferase tag to the [redacted\] gene in some patient-derived cell lines. This will allow us to look for compounds that inhibit mutant [redacted\] levels.

 

*[Note: Should I say this in chronological order or reverse chronological? Is this too much info or not enough? Do I mention PI names?]*

 

**What are your research interests for graduate school?**

I'm interested in researching the molecular mechanisms for neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's is the condition I'm the most experienced with, but I'm also open to exploring others like Huntington's or ALS. Ideally I would like to also be involved with translational research to bring some of these discoveries closer to the clinic.

 

**Why do you want to go to graduate school?**

My dream is to one day run my own lab and spend my career in scientific research. In order to achieve that level of scientific leadership, a PhD is the next logical step. I'm looking forward to becoming a more independent scientist and enhancing my research skills.

 

**Why do you want to join this program specifically?**

[Using one school as an example here.] I really like how strong this program is in translational neuroscience. There are a lot of resources here to help researchers translate their discoveries into possible treatments. I also like that it's an umbrella program so I'd have access to a wide variety of different labs and have more options for interdisciplinary research. The clinical certification program for grad students is also really cool and definitely something I would be interested in pursuing.

 

**What are your strengths and weaknesses?**  

I have a good amount of experience with thinking independently and managing my own experiments. I was given a lot of autonomy in my thesis lab, and I had to do a lot of self-teaching and figuring out how to solve problems by myself. Currently at the NIH we function similarly to graduate students, as we're in charge of designing and running our own experiments as well as analyzing data. Another strength is that I know how to program in Python and R, and I'm learning Bash. I think this skill could be very useful in my future research. As far as a weakness, I sometimes can take criticism from my PI too personally. I've gotten better about this by communicating very clearly with my PI and also just getting more used to criticism, and it's something I'd like to continue improving during grad school.

Edited by maya123z

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Sorry to be nosy/annoying but the person who was emailed a rejection from Dartmouth PBS (psychology and brain science) did they email you or did you reach out to them? I haven't gotten an interview email or a rejection email...I feel weird being in limbo

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:40 PM, wrongpathos said:

Am I missing something? BCS at MIT does require the general GRE exam

Hey. Just saw this, yes you are correct. I forgot about that one, it was definitely a major reach app so I had already forgotten about its requirements.

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4 hours ago, vallaboop said:

Sorry to be nosy/annoying but the person who was emailed a rejection from Dartmouth PBS (psychology and brain science) did they email you or did you reach out to them? I haven't gotten an interview email or a rejection email...I feel weird being in limbo

Hey! So I emailed them asking if they have sent out all of their invites; they said yes. The PI would have contacted you much earlier. 

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Dream school rejected me. 

4 rejections and one invitation. 6 more to go but I think all of them already sent their invites. I'm bracing for the worst at this point. One more top choice left.

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Saw a couple posts stating columbia was over...but I received an invitation to interview for the neurobiology and behavior program today via email!  Applied for the molecular track.  Just goes to show it's not over until you get the actual rejection e-mail!

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Those who received MIT invites, when was your deadline to accept? Trying to gauge when a second round might be sent out.

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