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ClayR

2019 Computational Biology/Bioinformatics/Systems Biology Admissions Results

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4 hours ago, Evo1ved_Entr0py said:

Got rejected today -- generic "check your status online" sort of deal. Best of luck to you :)

Thanks for sharing! I still haven’t heard anything, but I see now that there are two rejections on the results page . . . 

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Is anyone going to be at 1) the Weill Cornell CBM interview weekend starting next Sunday or 2) the NYU Department of Biology interview February 27-1? If so, PM me because I'll be there the day before each of them starts and it would be great to meet and hang out with my fellow nervous wrecks before game time!

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Got admitted to CMU CPCB. Is anyone going to attend the open house too?

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On 1/22/2019 at 9:40 PM, ClayR said:

Insider Scoop: CMU-Pitt Comp Bio has made final selections for interview invites. While CMU has sent some or all of their invites already, Pitt should start sending theirs today. Best of luck to you all haha

Hey @ClayR, so I was initially sent an invitation for a skype interview (international applicant here) from Pitt for CPCB. The interview went really well (it was with the founder of the program surprisingly, who I had also mentioned in my SOP). Soon after that (literally hours later) I received another email from the Pitt coordinator stating that two other profs (who I had also mentioned in my SOP) would be interested in contacting me for a skype interview (each). I have already scheduled one of them this week. I was wondering if being "skype interviewed" by multiple profs is just a standard part of the application process and/or if there's something I can take back from this? Do you have any idea? CPCB is my first choice so I'm really excited (and kinda nervous) about all this! Thanks! I've had prior skype interviews for the CBB program in USC and generic rejections from pretty much everywhere else.

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On 2/6/2019 at 6:39 AM, bloops said:

Hey @ClayR, so I was initially sent an invitation for a skype interview (international applicant here) from Pitt for CPCB. The interview went really well (it was with the founder of the program surprisingly, who I had also mentioned in my SOP). Soon after that (literally hours later) I received another email from the Pitt coordinator stating that two other profs (who I had also mentioned in my SOP) would be interested in contacting me for a skype interview (each). I have already scheduled one of them this week. I was wondering if being "skype interviewed" by multiple profs is just a standard part of the application process and/or if there's something I can take back from this? Do you have any idea? CPCB is my first choice so I'm really excited (and kinda nervous) about all this! Thanks! I've had prior skype interviews for the CBB program in USC and generic rejections from pretty much everywhere else.

As far as I know, the program only conducts in-person interviews for students within North America. So, if you are outside NA, I would take it as a good sign. However, if you are from NA, I really can’t say with certainty, but I’d be inclined to say it’s not a good sign, as all in-person interview offers have been proffered to my knowledge. 

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For those who haven't heard back from Princeton QCB, I just called the director and he said they finished sending out invitations and they don't have any waitlist : ( 

Also I will appreciate any update on the CMB at Brown!

Edited by Laura Lin

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9 hours ago, Laura Lin said:

For those who haven't heard back from Princeton QCB, I just called the director and he said they finished sending out invitations and they don't have any waitlist : ( 

Also I will appreciate any update on the CMB at Brown!

I’m also looking to get some info on brown! I saw on the results section that one person was accepted? I haven’t seen anything about interviews yet so I’m a bit confused. 

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Looks like the Duke CBB rejections have started rolling in! *Prepares for the inevitable* 

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Hey guys, kind of a niche question but if you have any insights please reply!

I'm a junior thinking of applying to graduate schools in fall 2019. I have 5 years of summer experiences in various laboratories (all 10 week programs) and a lengthier stay in a lab at my current institution. While I've been accepted to some competitive summer programs and worked in some high profile labs, I have no publications and probably won't by the time I apply. Should I be worried about this/try to find a masters or postgrad environment where to continue doing research to aim for a publication, or shoot my shot in this coming fall?

Otherwise, I envision my rec letters from the labs I've worked in are pretty solid, and I have a ~3.7 from an Ivy with a double major in Bio/Stats.

The second question I had is regarding the program I'm looking for--after years of wet lab experience I'm thinking of a possibly switching out and aiming for a more computationally focused/systems biology PhD. Is admission to any more quantitative bio programs not feasible for me seeing that I have no real experience in a computational bio lab? Any suggestions and comments are very appreciated!

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4 hours ago, mat10d said:

Hey guys, kind of a niche question but if you have any insights please reply!

I'm a junior thinking of applying to graduate schools in fall 2019. I have 5 years of summer experiences in various laboratories (all 10 week programs) and a lengthier stay in a lab at my current institution. While I've been accepted to some competitive summer programs and worked in some high profile labs, I have no publications and probably won't by the time I apply. Should I be worried about this/try to find a masters or postgrad environment where to continue doing research to aim for a publication, or shoot my shot in this coming fall?

Otherwise, I envision my rec letters from the labs I've worked in are pretty solid, and I have a ~3.7 from an Ivy with a double major in Bio/Stats.

The second question I had is regarding the program I'm looking for--after years of wet lab experience I'm thinking of a possibly switching out and aiming for a more computationally focused/systems biology PhD. Is admission to any more quantitative bio programs not feasible for me seeing that I have no real experience in a computational bio lab? Any suggestions and comments are very appreciated!

I got accepted into a dry-lab program with 90% wet lab experience (10% dry lab). With a stats degree, I don't think you'll have any issues as long as you do well on the Q section of the GRE. It can help to take a few bioinformatics classes (machine learning, etc.) if they're offered at your school and at least have a bit of programming experience, whether it's informal, lab work, or a class. I actually consider having a wet-lab background a plus depending on what lab you work in because there are many dry/wet lab combos.

As for publications, the value of that is dependent on the program. Plenty of people get into top programs with solid research experience and no publications, which sounds like the case for you. Just apply to many programs to hedge your bets because even most top students won't get into everything.

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On 2/19/2019 at 12:51 PM, mat10d said:

Hey guys, kind of a niche question but if you have any insights please reply!

I'm a junior thinking of applying to graduate schools in fall 2019. I have 5 years of summer experiences in various laboratories (all 10 week programs) and a lengthier stay in a lab at my current institution. While I've been accepted to some competitive summer programs and worked in some high profile labs, I have no publications and probably won't by the time I apply. Should I be worried about this/try to find a masters or postgrad environment where to continue doing research to aim for a publication, or shoot my shot in this coming fall?

Otherwise, I envision my rec letters from the labs I've worked in are pretty solid, and I have a ~3.7 from an Ivy with a double major in Bio/Stats.

The second question I had is regarding the program I'm looking for--after years of wet lab experience I'm thinking of a possibly switching out and aiming for a more computationally focused/systems biology PhD. Is admission to any more quantitative bio programs not feasible for me seeing that I have no real experience in a computational bio lab? Any suggestions and comments are very appreciated!

I can confirm that I got into top programmes without any publications, but very solid rec letters (and generally stats similar to yours). In my experience, if the professors know and respect your rec letter writers, they care about that a lot more than publications, because they understand that it's hard for undergrads to have publications (especially in 10 weeks, and by your senior fall). In fact, they take into consideration if you took time off and hold you to a higher standard. In terms of which programs to apply to, I'd recommend applying to a mix of quantitative programs and umbrella programs (e.g. Harvard's BBS program). These programs give you the same opportunities to take computational classes/ do computational work, but may be easier for you to get into.

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On 2/19/2019 at 11:21 PM, mat10d said:

I'm a junior thinking of applying to graduate schools in fall 2019. I have 5 years of summer experiences in various laboratories (all 10 week programs) and a lengthier stay in a lab at my current institution. While I've been accepted to some competitive summer programs and worked in some high profile labs, I have no publications and probably won't by the time I apply. Should I be worried about this/try to find a masters or postgrad environment where to continue doing research to aim for a publication, or shoot my shot in this coming fall?

I don't think publications are necessary when applying directly from an undergrad (it's obviously good to have them though). I applied without any publications this fall and got into 3 of the 8 places I had applied to (that too being an international student which makes the competition even worse!). I think most adcoms take into consideration the time / resources you've had at your disposal to pursue your research interests and I think you should definitely consider applying. The most important factor, in my personal opinion, is to have a sense of direction in the research experiences that you pursue and to identify the  relevant programs where you'd really fit in. Best of luck! 

 

Secondly, I hope everyone's season has been going great! Good luck to those who are yet to hear back from their programs! I was wondering if anyone here attended Duke CBB's open house / interview week (if they had one).  I'm having to decide which program to enroll in and it would really help to get to know anyone's personal experience / opinion of the program as a result of direct interactions with the faculty / students there! Thanks a lot!

Edited by bloops

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Adding my experience here for international applicants who are shit scared like I was around three months back. International applicant from a reputed institute, at least in India. My SOP focused on Computational Structural Biology, although I am flexible. I lean towards computational modelling of bio systems in general.

Here's my list:

  • Bio@Purdue: Got an offer last week
  • BSB@SUNY-SB: Interviewed. Waiting
  • BMMB@Penn State: Waitlisted.
  • UW: rejected
  • QCB@BCM: rejected
  • CBB@USC: rejected
  • CBB@Duke: rejected
  • Bio and Neuro @MSSM: rejected

Plus I have been offered a position in a German lab. Found the ad on Euraxess. I love the project and the supervisor seems great, so I may take this one. If you are an international applicant waiting on US uni results, I suggest you work on backup plans by applying to other places like me.

Stats:

  • CGP: 8.0/10.0 (somehow doesn't seem to matter much unless you are applying to some top-tier uni)
  • Bioinformatics and molecular modelling background; Interdisciplinary coursework - mostly in bio, chem, and math, in that order
  • Languages: Python, C++, MATLAB, Shell Scripting
  • Experience with parallel processing on HPC
  • No publications (...yet. Working on one, but MY GOD this is tough)
  • Only two research experiences: the second one is what I am pursuing my masters on right now;
  • Current guide writes well and most probably gave me a solid reco, courtesy of good work (I hope) and 2+ years of familiarity with my work
  • GRE: 324/340 (V:161; Q:163)
  • TOEFL iBT: 115/120 (W:30; R:30: L:28; S:27)   (If you are working on this right now, watch a ton of Hollywood and BBC stuff. Work towards understanding everything without subtitles)
  • Multiple extra curricular activities (this is important; otherwise work on showing a good personality during the interview; show what activities have contributed to building the personality). I have been coordinator for some or the other dept. for multiple events in college and otherwise.
Edited by notFBI
added details

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14 hours ago, notFBI said:

Adding my experience here for international applicants who are shit scared like I was around three months back. International applicant from a reputed institute, at least in India. My SOP focused on Computational Structural Biology, although I am flexible. I lean towards computational modelling of bio systems in general.

Here's my list:

  • Bio@Purdue: Got an offer last week
  • BSB@SUNY-SB: Interviewed. Waiting
  • BMMB@Penn State: Waitlisted.
  • UW: rejected
  • QCB@BCM: rejected
  • CBB@USC: rejected
  • CBB@Duke: rejected
  • Bio and Neuro @MSSM: rejected

Plus I have been offered a position in a German lab. Found the ad on Euraxess. I love the project and the supervisor seems great, so I may take this one. If you are an international applicant waiting on US uni results, I suggest you work on backup plans by applying to other places like me.

Stats:

  • CGP: 8.0/10.0 (somehow doesn't seem to matter much unless you are applying to some top-tier uni)
  • Bioinformatics and molecular modelling background; Interdisciplinary coursework - mostly in bio, chem, and math, in that order
  • Languages: Python, C++, MATLAB, Shell Scripting
  • Experience with parallel processing on HPC
  • No publications (...yet. Working on one, but MY GOD this is tough)
  • Only two research experiences: the second one is what I am pursuing my masters on right now;
  • Current guide writes well and most probably gave me a solid reco, courtesy of good work (I hope) and 2+ years of familiarity with my work
  • GRE: 324/340 (V:161; Q:163)
  • TOEFL iBT: 115/120 (W:30; R:30: L:28; S:27)   (If you are working on this right now, watch a ton of Hollywood and BBC stuff. Work towards understanding everything without subtitles)
  • Multiple extra curricular activities (this is important; otherwise work on showing a good personality during the interview; show what activities have contributed to building the personality). I have been coordinator for some or the other dept. for multiple events in college and otherwise.

Wow, your profile is so similar to mine! Congratulations! Also, completely agree on working on a backup plan. International applicants' competition can get quite crazy!

Edited by bloops

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Anyone applied MS Biomedical Informatics at Harvard (deadline is 15 March)?

Also, would be great to hear your opinion on my chances for the above program.

Briefly,

International UG cGPA ~2.8, major GPA ~3.5 with "A" in Bioinformatics class (not a major of Biostat/Informatics)

Front co-author in 3-4 high impact factor pubs (1st author in AACR conference Abstract), 3 year wet lab, internship, awards, a few more pubs on the way with one/few as 1st author.

Thank you. Good luck everybody!

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