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2019 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results


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Just got a call with an offer for the Brown Neuroscience PhD! With my gpa from undergrad being 3.27 (3.07 in major), i really wasn't too hopeful for this round of applications- But I'm ecstatic! 

Ugh I need to stop refreshing my email... my heart jumps every time i get a notification. stupid stores need to stop emailing me I DONT CARE ABOUT THE SALE YOU'RE HAVING I JUST WANNA GET INTO GRAD SCH

Ahahahah I'm accepted by Harvard PiN :)))))) So happy

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On 1/8/2019 at 11:26 AM, nexttosomewhatnormal said:

Also, what are the benefits of doing a post-bac program like these versus getting a job in a lab (hopefully doing neuro research)? Does one look better to admissions committees than the other? 

I got a lab job after undergrad, and I've worked at the NIH with IRTA post-baccs. It seems to me that they're really the same thing.

It probably depends what kind of lab job you get, but I was an RA and my lab really had me focusing on research and my own projects. Got a bunch of publications, first authorship in the works, 2 conference posters, went to a ton of talks. My PI knew I wanted to go to grad school and guided my time in her lab toward it.

As far as postbacc programs, if they're just research, no classes, they're pretty much a poorly paid RAship. I think some have perks like free GRE classes and the likes, though. The IRTA program isn't actually much more selective than applying for a job - PIs essentially get a list of applicants and pick out the people they like (I've been told it's literally an "add to cart" situation).

As far as how admissions committees see them, they're no different. The admissions committees are interested in the work you did and what you accomplished, not what your job title or program title was. Figure out what you want for you. Working at the NIH has its own perks (name recognition, PI networking, resources), and a job/RA/tech position could mean get a foot in a school you're interested in attending, or not having to move from where you live now, and probably getting paid more.

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4 hours ago, nexttosomewhatnormal said:

 

I feel similarly about UPenn! As much as I want to believe that there's hope, it's definitely dwindling... Also, from the email I got a while back from Albert Einstein, they made it seem as if they'd be sending out invites gradually in batches, not all at once. I think they do their review over time, though I could be completely wrong! 

yea i got my interview from einstein yesterday, they're definitely nearing the end of their "cycles" though cuz i got invited to an interview 2/27-3/1 and theres not a ton of acceptable weekends after that for other interviews. and yes, agreed about penn. like i know i got rejected but it'd be nice to get some confirmation.

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Hi everyone! I'm currently a senior in undergrad, applying to computational neuro programs. I haven't heard back from any of my schools (not super surprised seeing as I've not published/only have a year of real comp neuro experience). I'm thinking of the best way to advance my application in the next couple of years, and am considering staying at my current lab as a RA. Does anyone have any advice as to whether it's best to stay on as an RA at your current school or try finding a position somewhere else? Also, how do you even go about finding RA positions at other schools? Do you just email professors who interest you? Any tips at all regarding RA positions/general computational neuro would be so appreciated! Best of luck to you all :)

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4 hours ago, neuron9708 said:

Hi everyone! I'm currently a senior in undergrad, applying to computational neuro programs. I haven't heard back from any of my schools (not super surprised seeing as I've not published/only have a year of real comp neuro experience). I'm thinking of the best way to advance my application in the next couple of years, and am considering staying at my current lab as a RA. Does anyone have any advice as to whether it's best to stay on as an RA at your current school or try finding a position somewhere else? Also, how do you even go about finding RA positions at other schools? Do you just email professors who interest you? Any tips at all regarding RA positions/general computational neuro would be so appreciated! Best of luck to you all :)

It's really up to you. If you like the work in your current lab, have a good relationship with everyone, and are getting opportunities to do your own projects and get on papers, stay in it. If you want to go elsewhere, you can either look for posted positions or just email people you're interested in working with. Make sure to make it clear you want to go to grad school and are hoping to get opportunities to publish etc. 

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On 1/4/2019 at 11:03 AM, neuronerd95 said:

being international definitely doesn't help and it's also not something you can really change.

So they claim that they are looking for people with the capacity to do really great research so having good letters of recommendations from a top lab, publications, extensive research etc really helps. However, I learned this year that that alone will not get you into the top programs. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of programs do have GPA cutoffs and with a subpar GRE such as myself that's not great.

I think that the applicant most likely to get in already has top grades - if you look at the profiles on people at gradschool cafe I notice that almost everyone getting interviews has a 3.7-3.8 and great GREs. I thought that this wouldn't necessarily be the case, but it seems like it is. It's probably this and then a connection to a lab at the institution

Hey! I was just going through all the messages and read this. This is not true at all! I got interviews a top programs such as UMich, Columbia and Duke AND I am international (which makes it 100x harder). My GPA is 3.3 but it is from Pharmacy school, so that helps I guess. My GRE is okay but not amazing, around the 75th percentile. It is my first time applying. THERE. IS. HOPE.

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9 minutes ago, CancerBiology said:

Hey! I was just going through all the messages and read this. This is not true at all! I got interviews a top programs such as UMich, Columbia and Duke AND I am international (which makes it 100x harder). My GPA is 3.3 but it is from Pharmacy school, so that helps I guess. My GRE is okay but not amazing, around the 75th percentile. It is my first time applying. THERE. IS. HOPE.

It’s definitely not entirely true :) my gpa is equally low and I also got interviews from several of the top places.

however, I also know for a fact that there were gpa cutoffs at certain programs this year. If you didn’t make that mark then your application wasn’t sent forward for review. 

I only say this for future reference for people because I wish I had focused more on my gpa myself.

there’s definitely still hope for everyone though! :)

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3 minutes ago, neuronerd95 said:

It’s definitely not entirely true :) my gpa is equally low and I also got interviews from several of the top places.

however, I also know for a fact that there were gpa cutoffs at certain programs this year. If you didn’t make that mark then your application wasn’t sent forward for review. 

I only say this for future reference for people because I wish I had focused more on my gpa myself.

there’s definitely still hope for everyone though! :)

Are you international as well? Just sent you a DM!

Also, in my case, my GPA converted to the American GPA system does NOT do justice. That is why I put an official letter from my school stating that I was in the higher range of the class.

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54 minutes ago, CancerBiology said:

Are you international as well? Just sent you a DM!

Also, in my case, my GPA converted to the American GPA system does NOT do justice. That is why I put an official letter from my school stating that I was in the higher range of the class.

Wow I didn't even realize getting a  letter from the school was a possibility. Yeah conversions to American GPA really mess with my undergraduate GPA a lot, make me look like this terrible student. I do believe more and more adcoms are aware of the differences between grades and countries now though so hopefully that won't ding us too much. I also completed my last degree in the US so I have fresh grades to use for their comparison. Being international has had a huge negative impact on all of my applications. I literally have checked every box for graduate school so I guess its just how it goes..

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4 minutes ago, Raindrop said:

Wow I didn't even realize getting a  letter from the school was a possibility. Yeah conversions to American GPA really mess with my undergraduate GPA a lot, make me look like this terrible student. I do believe more and more adcoms are aware of the differences between grades and countries now though so hopefully that won't ding us too much. I also completed my last degree in the US so I have fresh grades to use for their comparison. Being international has had a huge negative impact on all of my applications. I literally have checked every box for graduate school so I guess its just how it goes..

Well I ordered my GPA conversion from WES, and when I saw how it did not do justice, I just thought about ways that I could demonstrate and make them understand that I was still a very good student. It got me some interviews so I guess it worked. Especially since I went to Pharmacy school and that is harder than just an undergrad! Being international hurts your applications a LOT, and it really is frustrating. But you have an interview so you're good! Best of luck with that one!

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1 minute ago, CancerBiology said:

Did you get the email today? I see that you have an interview for Stanford Biosciences! Congrats! That is amazing

No I got the informal one in December, its not with the Neuro or Cancer Bio home program though (I don't know that either of those programs have sent out emails to prospectives yet). But the program coordinator said we would get the official invite today, which I took to mean an official invite from the Biosciences umbrella since the interviews are all at the same time.

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24 minutes ago, neuroamf said:

Has anyone applied to Emory and if so, have you heard anything from them?

I applied to Emory and have heard nothing. Several people posted that they were offered interviews in late December though. Am definitely hoping to hear some sort of news ASAP either way. This waiting game is the worst.

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I've had my first Skype interview with City of Hope. The PI said he'll speak favourably of me on Admission committee so fingers crossed x

 

P.S. Will sending "thank you for interviewing me" letter be too much pr not? I've already thanked him during the call.

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What are people's experiences asking schools for advice about applying next year? I asked OHSU and they gave me a detailed and personalized response but UCSD (my dream school lol) said "we can't offer advice, there's too many applicants." Which is reasonable, but the contrast was funny.

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