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2022 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admissions Results


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I saw that someone created the 2021 neuroscience admissions topic around this same time last year, so I figured it's never to early to start preparing for the 2022 cycle. Hope we can help each other throughout this process, and best of luck to everyone!

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  • 5 months later...

Undergrad Institution: Drake University

Major(s): Doctors in Pharmacy (PharmD), Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, Minor in Biology, Concentration in Diabetes

Overall GPA: 3.88

Major GPA: Around 3.95

Type of Student: Domestic, white male

GRE Scores: Not taken (assume average?)

Research Experience: 

- 3 months in a virology lab at Loyola University (full-time, volunteer). Investigated polyamines and their influence on cellular and viral processes.

- 14 months in a pharmacology lab at Drake University (part-time, volunteer). Investigated drugs and their influence on diabetic kidney disease.

- 4 months in a pharmacology lab at Drake University (part-time, volunteer). Investigated anti-viral drugs against herpes virus. I am hesitant on including this experience—did not do as much in this lab.

- Should this be included? 6 months writing a literature review for a pharmaceutical company on several plants and their associated disease. 5 months writing a literature review on ionic liquids for a chemistry professor.

No Publications

Other Relevant Experience: 

- 2 years worked as a science writer. Wrote about type 1 diabetes research for a blog.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's or President's list for all semesters except for one semester.

Other Info: 

- I will have been in school for 6 years to receive my corresponding degrees.

- Coursework might be considered rigorous? Took several semesters with more than 18 credits (one with 20.5). Finished almost all of my chemistry coursework by the end of my sophomore year. 

Applying to Where:

Rockefeller, Columbia, UCLA, UCSF, USCD, north Carolina chapel hill, U Penn, U Michigan, CNUP, MIT

 

If you have any comments or feedback about profile my please let me know, I would really appreciate it. 

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Undergrad Institution: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research

Major(s): BS-MS in Biology and Physics(Minor)

Overall GPA: 7.52/10 ~ 3.5/4.0

Major GPA: ??

Type of Student: International, South Asian male

GRE Scores: Won't take

TOEFL 112

Research Experience: 

- 4 months in an animal behavior lab at my university

- 5 months at University of Wurzburg(Behavioral Ecology)

- 2 months at a circadian neurobiology lab at my university

- 3 months at University of Glasgow(Behvioral Ecology)

------PANDEMIC HIT-------

- 4 months in a Bio-Sensor lab at my university

- Master thesis in cognition at my university 

Publciations

1 published in ICB, 1 in review at Nature Eco Evo, 2 in prep. 

Conferences

1 abstract presentation at an international conference in Spain.

Other Relevant Experience: 

??

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Receiving the most competitive and highest paying undergraduate scholarship in the country(selection rate 0.5%)

Dean's list for 1 semester. 

Other Info: 

- Most experience has been in behavioral ecology but got interested in the neural substrates of behavior after I scored an internship in the same which was later canned due to covid.

Applying to Where:

NYU, WashU in St. Louis, UWashington, UIUC, Northwestern 

 

I would say I definitely have a not so suitable background for neuroscience, but I'm familiar with the techniques from my lab courses and am quite interested in the subject, so I'll shoot my shot with these five schools and apply to EEB departments in the others. Would love to hear any comments on my profile.

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Hi, 

I'm glad I was able to find this for Neuroscience 2022 Grad application cycle. I'm new to this and I'm really excited to embark on the journey that is grad school applications. A little about me, I graduated last year at the peak of the pandemic from NYU with a BS in Neural Science. I have research experience in multiple labs and have an interest in Behavioral research, understanding changes in brain circuits and molecular pathways. I'm pretty nervous about applying and would love feedback, advice and honestly whatever's out there to get us all where we need to be. Thanks 😊

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Undergrad Institution: Boston University

Major(s): Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Math, with honors in Bio

Overall GPA: 3.76

Major GPA: Bio around 3.9 Math around 3.3 (flunked hard in sophmore year when taking grad level math classes with orgo and cellbio... hopefully they'd ignore this)

Type of Student: Asian male

GRE Scores: won't take

Research Experience: 

- 2 years undergrad researcher in a neurotherapeutics lab at BU (histology, animal behavior, network analysis)

- 1.5 year as a biostats tech in an immology/genomics lab in a Harvard affiliated hospital (high through sequencing)

- Coauthor on five or six papers on Q1 journals; one first/second author paper in preparation

Other Relevant Experience: 

- hired as an outside consultant for more network analysis

- coding + server managing experience 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's List + a scholarship + honors thesis (?) 

Applying to Where:

Lottery: MIT, Stanford, Harvard, CIT, UCSF, Princeton

Stand a chance: CMU Bio/CNBC, UCSD, Brown, Duke

Safety but would gladly go: UW, WUSTL

LoRs: 2 from past PIs and 1 from adviser. My PIs are very respected/well-known in their fields. 

I would really appreciate any comments on my school list! I am having a hard time positioning myself. I made the tentative list based on the admission percentages. I am interested in applying ML in brain signal processing. 

Edited by YourNeighborBob
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On 8/1/2021 at 7:13 PM, YourNeighborBob said:

Undergrad Institution: Boston University

Major(s): Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Math, with honors in Bio

Overall GPA: 3.76

Major GPA: Bio around 3.9 Math around 3.3 (flunked hard in sophmore year when taking grad level math classes with orgo and cellbio... hopefully they'd ignore this)

Type of Student: Asian male

GRE Scores: won't take

Research Experience: 

- 2 years undergrad researcher in a neurotherapeutics lab at BU (histology, animal behavior, network analysis)

- 1.5 year as a biostats tech in an immology/genomics lab in a Harvard affiliated hospital (high through sequencing)

- Coauthor on five or six papers on Q1 journals; one first/second author paper in preparation

Other Relevant Experience: 

- hired as an outside consultant for more network analysis

- coding + server managing experience 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's List + a scholarship + honors thesis (?) 

Applying to Where:

Lottery: MIT, Stanford, Harvard, CIT, UCSF, Princeton

Stand a chance: CMU Bio/CNBC, UCSD, Brown, Duke

Safety but would gladly go: UW, WUSTL

LoRs: 2 from past PIs and 1 from adviser. My PIs are very respected/well-known in their fields. 

I would really appreciate any comments on my school list! I am having a hard time positioning myself. I made the tentative list based on the admission percentages. I am interested in applying ML in brain signal processing. 

I think you should reorient your rankings a bit. UW is very hard to get into imo harder than Brown or CMU Bio unless by CMU Bio you mean PNC (they have a separate Bio and now Neuro program [led by Barbara Shinn-Cunningham formerly at BU]). You might want to also consider UChicago if you're interested in ML and neuroscience: they are making strong in-roads into this with their new sys/comp neuro building/program led by Brent Doiron. If you're interested in ML and Neuro I'd put a place like Columbia in there too. There are also programs like USC that really specialize in ML and neuroengineering that you might be interested in. UC Davis I can say will have a new faculty member (still not public) that you will be *very* interested in working with. Davis also hired like an insane number of new neuro faculty (like 10) and with new faculty comes lots of spots for grad students. Also, UO has a small computational unit and Tim Gardner is there now who co-founded Neuralink who you might know (he used to be at BU). I'm also a bit surprised that NYU is not on your list given your background in network analysis what with Buszaki and Xiaojing Wang among others.

I think your list is slightly top-heavy but not unreasonable depending on the quality of your LoR. Do everything you can to get that manuscript to at least bioRxiv before you submit your apps! Tons of applicants say "first-author manuscript in prep" but that's really meaningless; show committees that you have an actual paper and aren't still "collecting data".

As a final piece of advice, don't focus on admissions rates *at all*. These are all extremely competitive programs and so you should just think about fit and making the case to these schools that you're the perfect grad student for their program specifically. You're in the category of solid student with great research experience and grades but to stand out, you'll need to really make it clear you've thought deeply about their program and how you fit into it. I guarantee your app will get eyeballs so you just need to show them the magic.

Edited by ManifoldsAreMadeUp
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Thank you for the recs! I really appreciate it. I'm surpried that UW is harder than Brown/CMU. I saw on Petersons that UW Neurobiology has an acceptance rate of 30%. Maybe that's not accurate then... 

Didn't know that Tim Gardner is now at UO. I talked to Tim Otchy who's in the Gardner lab when I was at BU. He was super supportive and their lab seemed to have a great vibe all around. I might apply to UO just for him. I saw that you were admitted to UO with fellowship. Did you end up accepting the offer?

 

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1 hour ago, ManifoldsAreMadeUp said:

I think you should reorient your rankings a bit. UW is very hard to get into imo harder than Brown or CMU Bio unless by CMU Bio you mean PNC (they have a separate Bio and now Neuro program [led by Barbara Shinn-Cunningham formerly at BU]). You might want to also consider UChicago if you're interested in ML and neuroscience: they are making strong in-roads into this with their new sys/comp neuro building/program led by Brent Doiron. If you're interested in ML and Neuro I'd put a place like Columbia in there too. There are also programs like USC that really specialize in ML and neuroengineering that you might be interested in. UO has a small computational unit and Tim Gardner is there now who co-founded Neuralink who you might know (he used to be at BU). I'm also a bit surprised that NYU is not on your list given your background in network analysis what with Buszaki and Xiaojing Wang among others.

I think your list is slightly top-heavy but not unreasonable depending on the quality of your LoR. Do everything you can to get that manuscript to at least bioRxiv before you submit your apps! Tons of applicants say "first-author manuscript in prep" but that's really meaningless; show committees that you have an actual paper and aren't still "collecting data".

Thank you for the recs! I really appreciate it. I'm surpried that UW is harder than Brown/CMU. I saw on Petersons that UW Neurobiology has an acceptance rate of 30%. Maybe that's not accurate then... 

Didn't know that Tim Gardner is now at UO. I talked to Tim Otchy who's in the Gardner lab when I was at BU. He was super supportive and their lab seemed to have a great vibe all around. I might apply to UO just for him. I saw that you were admitted to UO with fellowship. Did you end up accepting the offer?

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10 hours ago, YourNeighborBob said:

Thank you for the recs! I really appreciate it. I'm surpried that UW is harder than Brown/CMU. I saw on Petersons that UW Neurobiology has an acceptance rate of 30%. Maybe that's not accurate then... 

Didn't know that Tim Gardner is now at UO. I talked to Tim Otchy who's in the Gardner lab when I was at BU. He was super supportive and their lab seemed to have a great vibe all around. I might apply to UO just for him. I saw that you were admitted to UO with fellowship. Did you end up accepting the offer?

Yeah I would not trust any guidebook. The info is outdated probably if not outright incorrect. UW's admissions rate is probably below 5% (that's just a guess) but I actually went there so I'd like to think I have some idea of its competitiveness. It's more competitive than the program I'm currently in (I got in here but not UW) I think and my current program's admissions rate was around 3% or less. UW's program is in the top-10 for the U.S. and my current one was top-20 at the time.

I didn't end up accepting the offer because in the end I realized I would've done better in a major city than a town but I had a great time there so it was a difficult decision. They have a beautiful new science campus funded by Phil Knight that's focused on translational work. 

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16 hours ago, YourNeighborBob said:

Thank you for the recs! I really appreciate it. I'm surpried that UW is harder than Brown/CMU. I saw on Petersons that UW Neurobiology has an acceptance rate of 30%. Maybe that's not accurate then... 

I should also mention that CMU has a ton of different programs. They used to have bio which contained their neuro but that has now split off into its own Program in Systems Neuroscience (PSN). There is also a joint institute with Pitt called CNBC (Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition) which hosts its own PhD program called the Program in Neural Computation (PNC). Pitt itself also has its own neuroscience program as well (CNUP) which is also very good. It's confusing I know!

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22 hours ago, ManifoldsAreMadeUp said:

Yeah I would not trust any guidebook. The info is outdated probably if not outright incorrect. UW's admissions rate is probably below 5% (that's just a guess) but I actually went there so I'd like to think I have some idea of its competitiveness. It's more competitive than the program I'm currently in (I got in here but not UW) I think and my current program's admissions rate was around 3% or less. UW's program is in the top-10 for the U.S. and my current one was top-20 at the time.

I didn't end up accepting the offer because in the end I realized I would've done better in a major city than a town but I had a great time there so it was a difficult decision. They have a beautiful new science campus funded by Phil Knight that's focused on translational work. 

ooof that is very intimidating... UW had my priority because of its location and science, and that I thought it wasn't as competitive. Thanks for the heads-up.

Yes, I have heard of CNBC. I like how the program positions itself. Since the application is concurrent to CMU app, I think I'd apply to both. Thanks again for the rec and advise!

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7 hours ago, YourNeighborBob said:

ooof that is very intimidating... UW had my priority because of its location and science, and that I thought it wasn't as competitive. Thanks for the heads-up.

Yes, I have heard of CNBC. I like how the program positions itself. Since the application is concurrent to CMU app, I think I'd apply to both. Thanks again for the rec and advise!

Don't worry about the competitiveness because you yourself are a competitive applicant. If it's a good fit and you like the work there, then apply.

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Hey all, went through this whole process last year and am a first year in a Neuroscience PhD program.  If I can recommend anything, don't go by previous year statistics/try to "chance yourselves," or even think too much about professor email responses.  At the end of the day, I got accepted to programs that I thought would reject me, and rejected from programs that I thought I had a good shot at getting into.  A lot of it is down to research fit and pure chance.  Wishing all of you the best of luck!!!!!!!

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On 8/1/2021 at 7:13 PM, YourNeighborBob said:

Undergrad Institution: Boston University

Major(s): Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Math, with honors in Bio

Overall GPA: 3.76

Major GPA: Bio around 3.9 Math around 3.3 (flunked hard in sophmore year when taking grad level math classes with orgo and cellbio... hopefully they'd ignore this)

Type of Student: Asian male

GRE Scores: won't take

Research Experience: 

- 2 years undergrad researcher in a neurotherapeutics lab at BU (histology, animal behavior, network analysis)

- 1.5 year as a biostats tech in an immology/genomics lab in a Harvard affiliated hospital (high through sequencing)

- Coauthor on five or six papers on Q1 journals; one first/second author paper in preparation

Other Relevant Experience: 

- hired as an outside consultant for more network analysis

- coding + server managing experience 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's List + a scholarship + honors thesis (?) 

Applying to Where:

Lottery: MIT, Stanford, Harvard, CIT, UCSF, Princeton

Stand a chance: CMU Bio/CNBC, UCSD, Brown, Duke

Safety but would gladly go: UW, WUSTL

LoRs: 2 from past PIs and 1 from adviser. My PIs are very respected/well-known in their fields. 

I would really appreciate any comments on my school list! I am having a hard time positioning myself. I made the tentative list based on the admission percentages. I am interested in applying ML in brain signal processing. 

I would say there are no safeties for grad school. Yes, UW is very competitive, but so are all the other schools. And UCSD is also more competitive than you'd think. It's not about the school it's the specific department. I'd swap UCSD and Princeton on your lists if anything. That being said, assuming you have decent letters of rec and write a good SOP, you stand a good chance at any of the schools you listed (if you're international though, your odds go down a lot) 

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On 7/28/2021 at 11:19 AM, AliChi said:

Hi, 

I'm glad I was able to find this for Neuroscience 2022 Grad application cycle. I'm new to this and I'm really excited to embark on the journey that is grad school applications. A little about me, I graduated last year at the peak of the pandemic from NYU with a BS in Neural Science. I have research experience in multiple labs and have an interest in Behavioral research, understanding changes in brain circuits and molecular pathways. I'm pretty nervous about applying and would love feedback, advice and honestly whatever's out there to get us all where we need to be. Thanks 😊

Post your stats! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Undergrad Institution: University of the Pacific 

Major(s):  Bachelors in Music concentration Music Education; Master of Science Psychology

Overall GPA: Bachelors: 2.99; Masters: 3.77

Major GPA: 3.77

Type of Student: Domestic, white female

GRE Scores: Not taken 

Research Experience: 

- 6 months in Pediatric Psychiatry lab at Stanford assisting with MRI piloting and writing MRI pre processing pipelines

- 2.7 years in Neuromuscular lab also at Stanford working on both industry sponsored clinical drug trials (Clinical Research Coordinator) then promoted to Imaging and Data Researcher and responsible for all data analysis of clinical measures and assessments as well as lead MRI operator. I've helped create MRI protocols for both head (focus on DTI) as well as full body (currently developing this for diffusion as well). Wrote and maintain all MRI analysis from pre-processing through data analysis. 

One publication accepted, 4 currently under revision with journals and 2 in process but hoping to have submitted prior to applying this season (2 of which I am 1st author on)

Other Info: 

- I am the first member of my family to go to college and come from a super small farming community (interesting info?)

- Coding experience in: Python, R, Matlab, Bash, C++, Java. Very comfortable in Python, R, Matlab and Bash but have done coursework in the other two so figured they were good to at least list?

Applying to Where:

Stanford, UCSF, UCSD, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, University College London  

I'm very worried that my dream schools are all too highly rated for my profile as I know they are extremely difficult to get into. If there are any recommendations of other institutions that have strong imaging (diffusion MRI being my focus) I would love to hear suggestions!

If you have any comments or feedback about profile my please let me know, I would really appreciate it as I feel kind of lost navigating this application process. 

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Hi, everyone! I am new here! I am a master's student from China and preparing to apply molecular neuroscience phd program.

I am a little anxious as I knew little about the situation of phd applications in the US. I would really appreciate if someone could help me identify what tiers of schools I should apply.

My stats are as below:

Educational history: M.D. from a medical college in China (GPA 3.42/minor in Psychiatry with 17.5 credits); Master of Psychiatry from a top in my country (SJTU, QS 47, GPA 3.27)

IELTS: 7

GRE Scores: Not taken 

Type of Student: Asian male

Research experience: 

Undergraduate: 6-month in cognitive neuroscience(EEG\scale\SPSS\...): about autism, anxiety, alcohol abuse

Master: 2.5 years experience in molecular and circuit neuroscience; 2 main projects related to cognition impairment; 4 joints projects related to microglia function/ neuromodulation/cognition

Publication:

1. a clinical study on anxiety (a Chinese journal)

2. a review (submitted to Brain)

3. Co-author at Neuron

Other Experience: Teaching Assistant(4-month)/ Intern doctor(1 year)/ several volunteer experience/ student union(3 years)

Awards: a published popular science article won the annual 2nd prize of a society/ 8 scholarships(from 25% to 3%)

 

I decided to apply phd program instead of attending resident training because I really love neuroscience research, especially the mechanism of cognition. I understand my CV is not competitive, so I really hope to get your suggestions or comments! Thanks😀

 

Edited by medlrf
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  • 3 weeks later...

Howdy everyone! 

Hope you're doing well and ready to kill your applications. :) 

SNAAP is a program that was initiated last year by graduate student and post-doc volunteers in the Stanford neuroscience community. For the 2021-22 cycle, we are pairing prospective neuroscience PhD students with 1 on 1 mentors (as best we can, number of mentors might be a limiting factor) to work on application material review, interview prep, expectation setting, and general tips and tricks. We also intend (later on) to run ask-me-anything style panels and host office hours for drop-in help and mock interviews (these were very well received last year). Find out more and sign up by visiting us on Twitter @Stanford_AAP and navigating to our website.

The goal of SNAAP, broadly, is to provide support in navigating the application process to those who may have little or no support otherwise. We have many more prospective mentees than mentors so far this year, so please assess your need. ❤️

All information shared with SNAAP mentors will be kept confidential. Participation in SNAAP is not a requirement for admission to any Stanford program. Participation in SNAAP will not guarantee admission to any Stanford program. It's not required that Stanford is your top choice or that you're even applying to Stanford to participate in this program. All advice given by SNAAP mentors are opinions informed by our experiences, but there's no one "correct way" to approach the application process.

 

- SNAAP Team 🌲🧠

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