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Biomedical Science PhD Applicants (Fall 2021)


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15 hours ago, ggthot said:

Not to sound like this person, but I just wrapped up my first virtual interview/recruitment event and I am beyond exhausted. I have six more coming up and many of them are back to back, and I’m starting to wonder if I can actually do it all.

How have people been combating screen fatigue? Does anyone have any advice? This was much more doable than the academic year, not sure why this is so much more taxing...

I feel you. I definitely tried to take breaks and walk around when possible. Like during student/interviewee only time, I would politely excuse myself for a stretch or bathroom break

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I got accepted to NYU Vilcek!!!! It was the only school that gave me an interview and literally all other schools rejected me but I don't care anymore because I am getting my PhD!!!!

Does anyone know how competitive interviews will be this year? I've received 10 invites so far, but decided to decline three offers because I'm still waiting to hear back from a few other program

Hi guys, I hope you don't mind if I rant a bit. I guess this entire cycle has just been really hard. I received my waitlist from BU (where I currently work, got my undergrad and masters degree from AN

44 minutes ago, Needanswers1 said:

I feel you. I definitely tried to take breaks and walk around when possible. Like during student/interviewee only time, I would politely excuse myself for a stretch or bathroom break

Agreed, and try to stay away from screens (like your phone or tv) during those breaks/downtime!

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21 hours ago, ggthot said:

Not to sound like this person, but I just wrapped up my first virtual interview/recruitment event and I am beyond exhausted. I have six more coming up and many of them are back to back, and I’m starting to wonder if I can actually do it all.

How have people been combating screen fatigue? Does anyone have any advice? This was much more doable than the academic year, not sure why this is so much more taxing...

Would you mind to share your experience while interviewing with faculties? Was that tough? How much preparation is needed? Because in my coming interview weekend, I have been scheduled with four faculties one-on-one session. Pretty stressed about it as zoom fatigue is something we really can't deny..

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1 hour ago, FTJ27 said:

Would you mind to share your experience while interviewing with faculties? Was that tough? How much preparation is needed? Because in my coming interview weekend, I have been scheduled with four faculties one-on-one session. Pretty stressed about it as zoom fatigue is something we really can't deny..

The interviews themselves were much less stressful than I anticipated. I really only got two questions every time: 1) Describe the research project you’re working on right now and 2) What are your career goals/why a PhD? (Several also asked which other schools I was interviewing at, and I decided honesty was the best policy and didn’t dwell on it.) Then they often shared their group’s research with me, and a few even had slides to show (think of good probing questions to ask while they summarize it).

Be prepared to explain your project without the jargon (likely your interviewer is close to but not *in* your exact niche, you know?). I found it helpful to practice a ~1 minute elevator pitch about my work to my roommate, who is also into molecular biology but on the plant side (not microbes like mine is). And you should have a good idea of your career goals by now, so you’ll only need to explain that in a sentence or two if they ask.

I wouldn’t be too stressed about them, but it is definitely fatiguing—it’s hard to be “on” for several 30+ minute interviews versus a normal Zoom class where you’re more passively paying attention. But these are really just conversations with scientists that are genuinely curious about the science you’re interested in!

Hope this was helpful!!

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5 minutes ago, ggthot said:

The interviews themselves were much less stressful than I anticipated. I really only got two questions every time: 1) Describe the research project you’re working on right now and 2) What are your career goals/why a PhD? (Several also asked which other schools I was interviewing at, and I decided honesty was the best policy and didn’t dwell on it.) Then they often shared their group’s research with me, and a few even had slides to show (think of good probing questions to ask while they summarize it).

Be prepared to explain your project without the jargon (likely your interviewer is close to but not *in* your exact niche, you know?). I found it helpful to practice a ~1 minute elevator pitch about my work to my roommate, who is also into molecular biology but on the plant side (not microbes like mine is). And you should have a good idea of your career goals by now, so you’ll only need to explain that in a sentence or two if they ask.

I wouldn’t be too stressed about them, but it is definitely fatiguing—it’s hard to be “on” for several 30+ minute interviews versus a normal Zoom class where you’re more passively paying attention. But these are really just conversations with scientists that are genuinely curious about the science you’re interested in!

Hope this was helpful!!

That is really helpful information! Thanks a lot!!

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10 hours ago, neurokenzie said:

Me too, Baylor and UTSW are ghosting me still. Both are saying everything's under review

Baylor had their first interview weekend this past Thursday and Friday and have another one in the next few weeks if that helps. UTSW sent out bulk rejections yesterday so if you haven't heard yet might be a good sign!

Do you know if MD Anderson is done sending all interview invites? I haven't heard back anything. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, ggthot said:

The interviews themselves were much less stressful than I anticipated. I really only got two questions every time: 1) Describe the research project you’re working on right now and 2) What are your career goals/why a PhD? (Several also asked which other schools I was interviewing at, and I decided honesty was the best policy and didn’t dwell on it.) Then they often shared their group’s research with me, and a few even had slides to show (think of good probing questions to ask while they summarize it).

Be prepared to explain your project without the jargon (likely your interviewer is close to but not *in* your exact niche, you know?). I found it helpful to practice a ~1 minute elevator pitch about my work to my roommate, who is also into molecular biology but on the plant side (not microbes like mine is). And you should have a good idea of your career goals by now, so you’ll only need to explain that in a sentence or two if they ask.

I wouldn’t be too stressed about them, but it is definitely fatiguing—it’s hard to be “on” for several 30+ minute interviews versus a normal Zoom class where you’re more passively paying attention. But these are really just conversations with scientists that are genuinely curious about the science you’re interested in!

Hope this was helpful!!

Any idea if UCLA-IMMP is still sending out invites or are they done?

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1 hour ago, ggthot said:

The interviews themselves were much less stressful than I anticipated. I really only got two questions every time: 1) Describe the research project you’re working on right now and 2) What are your career goals/why a PhD? (Several also asked which other schools I was interviewing at, and I decided honesty was the best policy and didn’t dwell on it.) Then they often shared their group’s research with me, and a few even had slides to show (think of good probing questions to ask while they summarize it).

Be prepared to explain your project without the jargon (likely your interviewer is close to but not *in* your exact niche, you know?). I found it helpful to practice a ~1 minute elevator pitch about my work to my roommate, who is also into molecular biology but on the plant side (not microbes like mine is). And you should have a good idea of your career goals by now, so you’ll only need to explain that in a sentence or two if they ask.

I wouldn’t be too stressed about them, but it is definitely fatiguing—it’s hard to be “on” for several 30+ minute interviews versus a normal Zoom class where you’re more passively paying attention. But these are really just conversations with scientists that are genuinely curious about the science you’re interested in!

Hope this was helpful!!

Hello, I noticed that you have an interview for UCLA IMMP! If you don't mind, when did you receive the invite? And do you know if they only have one round of interviews?

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Just now, T suppressors said:

Any idea if UCLA-IMMP is still sending out invites or are they done?

The program director did mention they’re having a second interview period in February! Decisions likely won’t be out until after that recruitment event. Fingers crossed for you!!

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Just now, jakeperalta said:

Hello, I noticed that you have an interview for UCLA IMMP! If you don't mind, when did you receive the invite? And do you know if they only have one round of interviews?

I got my invite in mid-December (submitted all my applications in mid-November FWIW). The IMMP home area director told us there is going to be a second interview weekend sometime in February—fingers crossed for you!!

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2 minutes ago, T suppressors said:

Baylor had their first interview weekend this past Thursday and Friday and have another one in the next few weeks if that helps. UTSW sent out bulk rejections yesterday so if you haven't heard yet might be a good sign!

Do you know if MD Anderson is done sending all interview invites? I haven't heard back anything. Thanks!

I got an email from MD Anderson with an interview invitation yesterday and it said that if I can't make the interview date in the email then they can accommodate me for another one. So, I believe they're still sending invites. 

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On 1/23/2021 at 7:14 AM, virushunter said:

Waitlisted for interview for the PiBS program at Boston University, but not holding my breath

Hey! How did you find out you are in the waitlist of BU? 

I also applied and heard nothing back from BU.

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7 minutes ago, jill1997 said:

Hey! How did you find out you are in the waitlist of BU? 

I also applied and heard nothing back from BU.

I received this:

We have received an exceptionally large number of outstanding applications this year and as such are forced to make the hard decision of who to invite for an interview. We have now made most of our selections for our first round of interviews.  Unfortunately, your application was not chosen for an interview.  However, we are keeping your application active. This indicates that your candidacy is still of interest to us and we are keeping it on hold for the time being. In the meantime, please feel free to update us on your progress in your application to PhD programs other than BU.  

To be clear, your application is on hold and has not been rejected, but it has not been chosen for an interview. In the event we that have available student slots in our class after our initial interview and acceptance process, we may contact you to set up an interview.

Sincerely,

C. James McKnight

Chair, Program in Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee

 

So essentially I view it as a waitlist for interview, but like I said before, I’m not holding my breath. According to previous years on the results search they often do this.

I will say though I was a bit surprised that I didn’t get an interview at BU due to my research interests and previous research experience being so compatible with so many faculty there, but I thankfully have interviews at other awesome places.

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2 minutes ago, virushunter said:

I received this:

We have received an exceptionally large number of outstanding applications this year and as such are forced to make the hard decision of who to invite for an interview. We have now made most of our selections for our first round of interviews.  Unfortunately, your application was not chosen for an interview.  However, we are keeping your application active. This indicates that your candidacy is still of interest to us and we are keeping it on hold for the time being. In the meantime, please feel free to update us on your progress in your application to PhD programs other than BU.  

To be clear, your application is on hold and has not been rejected, but it has not been chosen for an interview. In the event we that have available student slots in our class after our initial interview and acceptance process, we may contact you to set up an interview.

Sincerely,

C. James McKnight

Chair, Program in Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee

 

So essentially I view it as a waitlist for interview, but like I said before, I’m not holding my breath. According to previous years on the results search they often do this.

I will say though I was a bit surprised that I didn’t get an interview at BU due to my research interests and previous research experience being so compatible with so many faculty there, but I thankfully have interviews at other awesome places.

Got it! Thank you and Good luck with your other interview! 🤞

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13 hours ago, FTJ27 said:

Would you mind to share your experience while interviewing with faculties? Was that tough? How much preparation is needed? Because in my coming interview weekend, I have been scheduled with four faculties one-on-one session. Pretty stressed about it as zoom fatigue is something we really can't deny..

I know you didn't ask me but be prepared to describe your current or most recent research over and over. I described mine so much I was an expert at it by interview #6 a week ago.

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15 hours ago, PhDBound123 said:

Anyone know when Northwestern DGP will start sending out acceptance? Based on previous years, they start to send out the Saturday after the interview weekend. 

I was also wondering, I interviewed with them during their session last week (Jan 14/15), but haven’t heard anything.

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13 hours ago, ggthot said:

The interviews themselves were much less stressful than I anticipated. I really only got two questions every time: 1) Describe the research project you’re working on right now and 2) What are your career goals/why a PhD? (Several also asked which other schools I was interviewing at, and I decided honesty was the best policy and didn’t dwell on it.) Then they often shared their group’s research with me, and a few even had slides to show (think of good probing questions to ask while they summarize it).

Be prepared to explain your project without the jargon (likely your interviewer is close to but not *in* your exact niche, you know?). I found it helpful to practice a ~1 minute elevator pitch about my work to my roommate, who is also into molecular biology but on the plant side (not microbes like mine is). And you should have a good idea of your career goals by now, so you’ll only need to explain that in a sentence or two if they ask.

I wouldn’t be too stressed about them, but it is definitely fatiguing—it’s hard to be “on” for several 30+ minute interviews versus a normal Zoom class where you’re more passively paying attention. But these are really just conversations with scientists that are genuinely curious about the science you’re interested in!

Hope this was helpful!!

I will also chime in to say that it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared! I had a couple interviewers ask me about my strengths and weaknesses and one who asked me if when I first started in research there was anything about lab/research that surprised me. so I would definitely recommend thinking about the common “behavioral” type interview questions and potential answers. Not all interviewers will ask these but it’s definitely a possibility (and like I said better to be over prepared!)

 

additionally, 30 mins might sound like a long time but actually it goes by very quickly! Especially if you ask the faculty about their research, because they love to talk about their science 😆

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Has anyone heard literally anything from U Wisconsin Madison MDTP? I submitted my app 29th Nov and have heard nothing -- my portal still says my app will be reviewed. In previous cycles, they've been super early in sending invites and rejections and this year is so off I'm confused!

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13 hours ago, T suppressors said:

Baylor had their first interview weekend this past Thursday and Friday and have another one in the next few weeks if that helps. UTSW sent out bulk rejections yesterday so if you haven't heard yet might be a good sign!

Do you know if MD Anderson is done sending all interview invites? I haven't heard back anything. Thanks!

Thank you! I'm not positive if they're done or not, but I do know their interview days are Jan 15, Jan 29, Feb 12, and Feb 26. I do know for a fact that the interview dates (while flexible, they're all super nice people!) are reflective of competitiveness. I interviewed on the 15th and was accepted less than a week later with the dean's scholarship, and we were told in the interview that "you're in the first session, congrats" type of thing. So no clue if they're still sending invites, but I do know that the earlier the date, the better.

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1 hour ago, neurokenzie said:

Thank you! I'm not positive if they're done or not, but I do know their interview days are Jan 15, Jan 29, Feb 12, and Feb 26. I do know for a fact that the interview dates (while flexible, they're all super nice people!) are reflective of competitiveness. I interviewed on the 15th and was accepted less than a week later with the dean's scholarship, and we were told in the interview that "you're in the first session, congrats" type of thing. So no clue if they're still sending invites, but I do know that the earlier the date, the better.

This made me super nevous lol....  I think I will be in the Feb 26 one ..

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50 minutes ago, PhDBound123 said:

Same here. Hopefully soon.

Did they have another interview date on Jan 21/22? If so, they might wait to get interview feedback on that group as well and send offers to some from the combined group and wait until the final interview date to decide on the remaining.

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4 hours ago, helpert said:

I was also wondering, I interviewed with them during their session last week (Jan 14/15), but haven’t heard anything.

Did they have another interview date on Jan 21/22? If so, they might wait to get interview feedback on that group as well and send offers to some from the combined group and wait until the final interview date to decide on the remaining.

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