Jump to content

Who out there is applying this fall?


Recommended Posts

I'll start, I'm applying for a mix of biophysics and computational/quantitative bio programs in the fall. My research interest is in computational approaches to studying protein dynamics and drug design.

I have a list of 8 schools that I will definitely apply to and have a few more that id still like to go to but not as much as the top 8 so still deciding if I should apply to those. I took the GRE before my masters but will be retaking in June and have been studying since January. I also plan on taking the biochem GRE in September. I haven't asked for LORs but have some great relationships with professors and know who I will ask.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My goodness, I feel like it was yesterday when I applied for undergrad!

 

I am planning to apply to 2 programs for one school (same POI; see signature). I might also apply to University of Delaware for their Behavioral Neuroscience program. It depends if the POI has funding for me (which reminds me, I should e-mail her regarding that now that the 2014 application season is over...). Honestly, I've done my research and e-mailed potential advisors--those are the only two schools that I would be happy with. I don't want to apply to a grad school for the sake of going to grad school. I want to apply to a grad school because I really want to go to that grad school. If I don't get accepted, there's always next year. It's not going to sprout legs and run away.

My research interest is epigenetic approaches to caged stereotypies.

 

I have not asked my professors for LORs, though I'm sure they know I will ask them for one. I have pretty close relationships with them.

 

I plan to take the GRE during the summer (August, most likely. I haven't actually registered). I've been doing a little studying here and there, but the bulk of my studying will probably be the next couple of months.

 

This summer, I am a research volunteer/intern in my U of T POI's lab. I am also editing my SOPs for grad school, editing my research proposal for grants/fellowships, and starting to fill out those grant/fellowship applications.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the "I feel like it was yesterday when I applied for undergrad" comment 110%. 

 

I've taken the GRE (general only, I am not touching the subject tests with a 10-foot pole). Surprisingly, all 3 of the professors/scientists I was thinking about talking to offered to write a LOR without my even broaching the subject.  As for schools, I have a tentative list with the names of PIs, but I'm so busy right now that a finalized list will be a long ways off.

 

My preparation plans this summer involve a month in Europe to clear my head and come back refreshed and ready to research.  When I come back, I'll researching at the lab I've been at the last two summers at FDA/NIH and looking at schools in my free time. With regard to the SOP, I have a working draft of it, but obviously it's nowhere near finalized, so I'll continue working on that over the summer as well.

Edited by blinchik
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be applying  to a mix of Computational and Systems biology programs. I have a list of about 10 potential PhD programs and 1 masters program that I'll be applying to. I am still considering a few others.

 

I have 2 LORs from PIs in my lab. One is the director of our institute and the other is a tenured professor and my direct supervisor. My 3rd letter will likely come from another PI in our dept. On the GRE front, I've been studying for the general and looking into the subject tests (really don't want to take). Haven't touched an SOP yet. 

 

Been out of school 2 years and I've spent that time working full time in a genomics group. So this summer will be spent grant writing and hopefully getting a manuscript published. I'm also working on a grad certificate in Bioinformatics that will be finished next spring. 

Edited by ballwera
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be applying to a mix of Computational and Systems biology programs.

What is your research interest? I am in a bioinformatics MS now and applying for biophyics/comp bio phd programs. My interests are structural though, not genomics related.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your research interest? I am in a bioinformatics MS now and applying for biophyics/comp bio phd programs. My interests are structural though, not genomics related.

Too many interests to list, but I'd have to say the biggest are functional genomics and systems biology. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not sure. I contacted POIs already and have a good idea of who I want to work with. It might save application fees/time if you contact potential PIs to see if they will take in grad students next fall

Edited by Dedi
Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually just asked my PI this yesterday and he said that it's a waste of time in his opinion. He said that it's time consuming and probably won't hurt or help. He recommended contacting if you get an interview/campus visit since then they will take more interest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

With regard to contacting potential POIs, I receive variable responses depending on whom I ask - it's very frustrating to not receive clear cut advice one way or another.  Like bsharpe269 said, it may be entirely fruitless, but at the same time I want to make sure that the POI is open to taking on a graduate student, if possible. This is quite a confusing process.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the program does not offer rotations, ie you go straight into a particular lab, I highly recommend developing a relationship with a potential PI a couple of months before applications are due. I swear that is one of the main reasons why I got accepted to UMich and rejected from U Oregon and Brown. I developed a great relationship with my co-advisors at UM (husband and wife) and they were really stoked about having me come there. At Brown, I tried to develop a relationship and was encouraged to apply. After I applied I tried to email two potential PI's more but they wouldn't email me for some reason. Totally wasted money applying there. Had a similar situation at U Oregon where the people would not email me back. Obviously this is just my story and may not be true or necessary at all schools that you apply to all schools that you apply to, but it doesn't hurt. Developing a relationship at U Mich helped me significantly because they were able to tell adcom that they accepted me into their lab and wanted me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the program does not offer rotations, ie you go straight into a particular lab, I highly recommend developing a relationship with a potential PI a couple of months before applications are due. I swear that is one of the main reasons why I got accepted to UMich and rejected from U Oregon and Brown. I developed a great relationship with my co-advisors at UM (husband and wife) and they were really stoked about having me come there. At Brown, I tried to develop a relationship and was encouraged to apply. After I applied I tried to email two potential PI's more but they wouldn't email me for some reason. Totally wasted money applying there. Had a similar situation at U Oregon where the people would not email me back. Obviously this is just my story and may not be true or necessary at all schools that you apply to all schools that you apply to, but it doesn't hurt. Developing a relationship at U Mich helped me significantly because they were able to tell adcom that they accepted me into their lab and wanted me.

 

That makes me feel a lot better, actually. I've been developing a collaborative relationship with a POI for about...6 months now? I don't endorse most things I do, but I think contacting POIs early was probably one of my better decisions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just like to quickly throw in my 2 cents. As others have mentioned above, if your program is very small or does not have rotations, I think getting in touch with PIs ahead of time is very important. 

 

If you're applying to much larger programs/umbrella programs and/or programs with rotations, it's certainly not necessary (unless that person is on the admissions committee...in which case it could theoretically be useful). As an anecdote: I didn't contact any PIs ahead of time and my season turned out just fine!

 

Also, regardless of what the program looks like, if there are only one or two professors that you are interested in at a particular school, you should absolutely get in touch and see if they will be accepting students around the time you will arrive. 

 

Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about WashU or the other programs in my sig. Best of luck with your application seasons! :D

Edited by glow_gene
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to start my MsC Biology at McMaster University (Ontario). As a potential supervisor at University of Toronto's Pharmacology Program said, "Given that you're from a liberal arts university, it's good to gather research experience through the Masters program before focusing on Pharmacology." With that in mind, I'm going to be working with a bacterial gene called Rpos, which is encoded to help bacteria cope with environmental stresses. The lab will employ bioinformatics to study gene variations in E. coli in water samples at the Niagara Region. I'm already hoping to add a clinical aspect to all this somehow, and I've already read a few papers to get some idea to that end! I know a lot of PCR and bacterial culturing will be in store as I start my Masters.

 

In a broader sense, being involved with research in the medical sciences is really cool. As for specifics, I'm not too sure yet. I have pharmacology and toxicology, biomedical sciences, and general medical sciences at my sights.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the program does not offer rotations, ie you go straight into a particular lab, I highly recommend developing a relationship with a potential PI a couple of months before applications are due. I swear that is one of the main reasons why I got accepted to UMich and rejected from U Oregon and Brown. I developed a great relationship with my co-advisors at UM (husband and wife) and they were really stoked about having me come there. At Brown, I tried to develop a relationship and was encouraged to apply. After I applied I tried to email two potential PI's more but they wouldn't email me for some reason. Totally wasted money applying there. Had a similar situation at U Oregon where the people would not email me back. Obviously this is just my story and may not be true or necessary at all schools that you apply to all schools that you apply to, but it doesn't hurt. Developing a relationship at U Mich helped me significantly because they were able to tell adcom that they accepted me into their lab and wanted me.

 

I completely agree with this! I think contacting potential PIs bumped me up from being an average candidate to a stand-out candidate. I was accepted to all the universities that I had made contact with professors prior to applying, even schools that were definitely long-shots for me. The game plan should not just be to email professors. I established contact with PIs through email, and then set up meetings in person whenever possible (for example, if the universities were near my college or hometown). For universities that were not close by, I made sure to have a phone conversation at the very least. Of course I cannot say with absolute certainty that meeting with professors is what got me in to graduate school, and there are always candidates that are so stellar they don't need to do this, but I don't think it could ever hurt! Contacting professors shows responsibility and enthusiasm.

Edited by Souzou
Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone want to create the official topic for Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results for biology? It was up really early last year, so...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just like to quickly throw in my 2 cents. As others have mentioned above, if your program is very small or does not have rotations, I think getting in touch with PIs ahead of time is very important. 

 

If you're applying to much larger programs/umbrella programs and/or programs with rotations, it's certainly not necessary (unless that person is on the admissions committee...in which case it could theoretically be useful). As an anecdote: I didn't contact any PIs ahead of time and my season turned out just fine!

 

Also, regardless of what the program looks like, if there are only one or two professors that you are interested in at a particular school, you should absolutely get in touch and see if they will be accepting students around the time you will arrive. 

 

Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about WashU or the other programs in my sig. Best of luck with your application seasons! :D

 

To add to this, I didn't contact any potential PIs until interviews. I got interviews at 4/6 schools, and the two rejects were major reaches for me, anyway (anecdote: don't put the wrong school name in your application to WashU. That = reject for me :P). Once I got to the school I ultimately decided to attend, I found that there was a new PI doing some really cool things (outside of what I thought my interest area would be), so I ended up not even rotating with 2 of the POIs I'd picked out. 

 

So I think you should do as you wish, though it might be wise to be sure you're going to apply to that school before you contact the POI.

 

I saw a mention of the subject GREs. Most schools "recommend" them, but few require them. Only take it if you're switching fields or you've got some grade discrepancies/lots of time off from school. I didn't take it, and I was told it didn't hurt my chances at schools. Most students in my new program didn't take the subject GRE. My point is, you may not need (or want) to fork over the cash for that extra exam, just the general exam. :)

 

Just like what Glow said, feel free to message me questions. I applied to:

UWash Immunology (rejected me)

WashU DBBS (rejected me; obviously Glow will be the WashU expert)

Baylor College of Medicine CMB (Now called IMBS)

UCSD Biomedical Sciences

University of Florida IDP in Biomedical Sciences

University of Utah

 

Applications seem scarier than they really are; you'll be fine. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

It's about to be our turn to apply... The thought makes me nervous!

For those applying in the fall, have you started asking for LORs, taken the GRE, finalized your list of school? What are your plans this preparation plans summer?

 

I'll be applying also. I haven't decided yet which program type I want to aim for - I may mix it up from one school to the next. I have RA experience in molecular (working on virus-cell interaction, hep C virus), but also have RA experience in neurobiology (working on dopaminergic neurons in the olfactory system, using rat animal model - brain slice and cell culture). I really enjoy neuro, but also really like the viral research using molecular techniques - even though bacterial cultures (for protein expression, expression plasmids, etc) aren't as exciting as animals.

 

So basically I have started a spreadsheet to organize all of the potential schools, and then taken note of both neuro and MCB programs/tracks/concentrations within each respective school. While I will apply to only one these concentrations per school, I may apply to some neuro and some MCB. If I get an MCB acceptance at one school, and a neuro acceptance at another, I will just have to choose. Who knows, maybe I'll make up my mind beforehand and then just focus on one type of program.

 

Regardless, I am excited and looking forward to the process!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone! I'm applying to Environmental Toxicology PhD programs this fall during my senior year of undergrad. So I'll be going straight from a B.S. to a PhD - the process is intimidating (especially because at least 90% of the people I know who's in a PhD program took time off after undergrad) but I'm looking forward to the application process, regardless.

 

I have a spreadsheet of the schools' names/program name/deadlines/required docs/address to mail it to/GRE&GPA if they listed them/faculty I am interested in.

 

I have research experience in entomology/ecology/toxicology. I am interested in researching the fate and dissipation of pesticides, as well as effects of pesticides on fish and invertebrates. I'm also interested in integrated pest management, so I may tailor my application and phrasing of my interests to fit certain programs.

 

I am taking the GRE in July, so I've been focusing a lot on studying for that every day, as well as looking up grad school info. One thing I'm curious about is when to contact faculty. The answers I get from people are all so different! 

 

Probably after the GRE I'll start working on my SOP & other components of my application for real.

 

Also, I will ask for letters of rec this fall once I have my list of programs & what the instructions are for them all finalized!

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I'm curious about is when to contact faculty. The answers I get from people are all so different! 

 

 

In my opinion there isn't a wrong time to contact professors. I would start now. Sure, some may tell you it's too early.. but I feel most will be receptive, or at least send you a kind response to point you in the right direction. I don't see anything wrong with starting now, so long as you approach it with a soft hand.. meaning, brief introductory emails first, then you can elaborate and go into more detail in future emails.. don't scare them away by being too intense. Other than that, I think you should be fine to start making faculty contacts.. I started last week.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion there isn't a wrong time to contact professors. I would start now. Sure, some may tell you it's too early.. but I feel most will be receptive, or at least send you a kind response to point you in the right direction. I don't see anything wrong with starting now, so long as you approach it with a soft hand.. meaning, brief introductory emails first, then you can elaborate and go into more detail in future emails.. don't scare them away by being too intense. Other than that, I think you should be fine to start making faculty contacts.. I started last week.

I would agree. One professor I contacted was very receptive and helped me write better emails to send out to other professors. Again, I don't endorse most things I do (I sent out my first emails to professors in sophomore/second year). However, don't be afraid to establish a professional relationship with other professors, within and outside of your university.

 I know it's easier said than done at some schools, where some people never see a professor during their whole undergraduate career...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

It's about to be our turn to apply... The thought makes me nervous!

For those applying in the fall, have you started asking for LORs, taken the GRE, finalized your list of school? What are your plans this preparation plans summer?

My LOR writers will be the same as last year's.  I have already contacted them and they are just waiting on the word Go.  I'll be retaking the GRE at the end of August, or perhaps early September.  Haven't selected a date yet but plenty of slots still open...

 

My school list is pretty much the same as last year's but not finalized.  

 

My plan this time is to save money so I can apply to all of the schools on my list. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are all making me feel so unprepared! I took my GRE and subject GRE (biochemistry) already, but I have just started looking at PI's and schools that I would be interested in. 

 

Just wondering, who here is applying for a Master's and who is looking for a PhD? I have a BS in Biochem, and I'd like to go straight into a PhD program. Is that a realistic goal?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.