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2015 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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eteshoe, at least turn down SOME of those acceptances.  It's not polite to hold onto so many when others might want in.

YES!! Got my first official offer today! Happens to be from the same school that rejected me two years ago.   

congratulations to all that were accepted.  I only sent in 3 applications this year, it was sort of last minute, and received 2 interviews.  Unfortunately I did not receive an offer.  I have pretty decent academic record, especially my last 2 years, have been 2nd or third author on three pubs, and I have lab experience.  Though to be honest I am well removed from lab activities.  I am currently project coordinator at a CRO, preparing  gen tox reports for regulatory agencies and Sponsors.  Going back to the lab is not really an option.  After my interviews, for neuroscience programs, I realized that I really want this.  I was disappointed that I didn't get accepted, that being said I do plan on applying next year.  My question is "what can I do to improve my chance for acceptance next year?"

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congratulations to all that were accepted. I only sent in 3 applications this year, it was sort of last minute, and received 2 interviews. Unfortunately I did not receive an offer. I have pretty decent academic record, especially my last 2 years, have been 2nd or third author on three pubs, and I have lab experience. Though to be honest I am well removed from lab activities. I am currently project coordinator at a CRO, preparing gen tox reports for regulatory agencies and Sponsors. Going back to the lab is not really an option. After my interviews, for neuroscience programs, I realized that I really want this. I was disappointed that I didn't get accepted, that being said I do plan on applying next year. My question is "what can I do to improve my chance for acceptance next year?"

I really think getting some kind of bench work would help you the most. You can also ask the admisson committees what they think would help improve your application for next year. Best of luck!

Edited by Tuanis
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congratulations to all that were accepted.  I only sent in 3 applications this year, it was sort of last minute, and received 2 interviews.  Unfortunately I did not receive an offer.  I have pretty decent academic record, especially my last 2 years, have been 2nd or third author on three pubs, and I have lab experience.  Though to be honest I am well removed from lab activities.  I am currently project coordinator at a CRO, preparing  gen tox reports for regulatory agencies and Sponsors.  Going back to the lab is not really an option.  After my interviews, for neuroscience programs, I realized that I really want this.  I was disappointed that I didn't get accepted, that being said I do plan on applying next year.  My question is "what can I do to improve my chance for acceptance next year?"

Getting two interviews is a good sign, so I'd say probably send out more applications next year as it is somewhat of a numbers game. I don't really know how focused you were, but the program is going to want to know that there are faculty who are searching for a graduate student that you want to work with. So, let's say you want to work on how toxic compounds travel through the brain, but the two faculty members who do that have had bad luck with grants, you're not likely to get accepted. Whereas, if you are interested in ion channel regulation and they have six faculty who do that and are graduating two students from those labs you're probably desirable.

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if you're in a very niche field consider looking at UChicago (i might be biased lol). Cliff Ragsdale does a lot of evolutionary development in squid and comparative development of the neocortex in birds/mice/turtles etc (if thats what youre into) but he does some cool stuff that might interest you. you can find plenty of evo-devo bio programs everywhere that have your niche interests. i know its still an up and coming field, but there are tons of labs that can cater to your interests. but also be flexible. if you're too set in stone with what you want to study they might not think you are a good fit.

 

good luck! i'm rooting for you!  :D

Cliff Ragsdale also knows anything and everything about all topics neuroscience! So smart! And who doesn't want to play with octopuses? :)

Edited by PeterPanComplex
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Cliff Ragsdale also knows anything and everything about all topics neuroscience! So smart! And who doesn't want to play with octopuses? :)

 

on the interview day he was so much fun! he ran to his lab with a petri dish and brought a baby octopus back to show me! cool shtuff

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Anyone else super disappointed over not winning the NSF? I really thought I had a shot based on positive responses from grad programs.

 

I am a little disappointed, but the expectations are pretty high. I'm trying again next year and can hopefully build from their feedback

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Hey everyone,

 

I am not a regular participant of this forum but I just want to say that it has helped me a lot, from the application days to the interviews. There was a time this year when I was so frustrated when I had not gotten any interview calls and everyone was regularly posting something on Gradcafe results. This forum helped me stay positive throughout the process. Thanks to y'all for your regular support and motivation. Now, I am in the process of choosing the school I want to attend and it is indeed a very difficult decision. I have narrowed it down to 3 schools based on the PIs of my interest and my visits to these schools. But how do I decide between the three? What was the main criteria that y'all used to finalize your acceptance to one school?

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Hey everyone,

 

I am not a regular participant of this forum but I just want to say that it has helped me a lot, from the application days to the interviews. There was a time this year when I was so frustrated when I had not gotten any interview calls and everyone was regularly posting something on Gradcafe results. This forum helped me stay positive throughout the process. Thanks to y'all for your regular support and motivation. Now, I am in the process of choosing the school I want to attend and it is indeed a very difficult decision. I have narrowed it down to 3 schools based on the PIs of my interest and my visits to these schools. But how do I decide between the three? What was the main criteria that y'all used to finalize your acceptance to one school?

    Do each of the 3 schools have multiple PI's that you can work with? Have you emailed the PI's to see if they can take students next year? Do you want to live in  a large city/small city? Do you want to be part of a large program/small program? How is the funding at the 3 schools? Can you live comfortably in each of the 3 cities based on the stipend?

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    Do each of the 3 schools have multiple PI's that you can work with? Have you emailed the PI's to see if they can take students next year? Do you want to live in  a large city/small city? Do you want to be part of a large program/small program? How is the funding at the 3 schools? Can you live comfortably in each of the 3 cities based on the stipend?

 

Thank you for your reply. These were some of the criteria that I used to narrow down to three schools. I met with multiple PIs of my interest in all three schools and they are accepting students for the upcoming year. The funding in each of the schools is quite good for the city/town they are in. The programs are very similar to each other and based on my visit, I found the places very compatible for me as a prospective grad student. And I do not want to decide on the school, based on US News rankings.

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Thank you for your reply. These were some of the criteria that I used to narrow down to three schools. I met with multiple PIs of my interest in all three schools and they are accepting students for the upcoming year. The funding in each of the schools is quite good for the city/town they are in. The programs are very similar to each other and based on my visit, I found the places very compatible for me as a prospective grad student. And I do not want to decide on the school, based on US News rankings.

Have you looked at where graduates of each program go when they leave the university?

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I finally made my choice! Thanks to everyone in this forum for sharing your experiences and advice. 

 

You have some great options Wolfpack! I talked to a bunch of students and faculty at the Universities I was seriously considering... Most important for me was faculty of interest and their availability. I also heavily considered the lifestyle of the grad students (how stressed they seemed, did they seem to hang out outside of classes, what type of living arrangements were they able to afford), graduate student placement (I want to go into academia, so the number of students that went onto good postdocs was important to me), and funding. I think in the end, it really comes down to a gut feeling. I was lucky enough to be awarded the NSF which gave me a lot of freedom in terms of funding, but I still decided to go with the school I was leaning towards before I found out.

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Hi Everyone!

I've definitely been in and out of here a lot, especially after being called out by a friend for being obsessed with the forum.

Anyhow, April 15th is approach really quick and I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to email about a program I've been wait-listed for. I went in last Tuesday for an "open house" where I learned I was wait-listed. Is 1-week too soon to email?

 

Thanks again for everyone's advice thus far!

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Anyone else super disappointed over not winning the NSF? I really thought I had a shot based on positive responses from grad programs.

Yeah, that fellowship would have been really nice. The program I'm entering is very well funded though so I'm happy with an "honorable mention" though. Did you read your reviews? I got "excellent" in from all three reviewers for "intellectual merit", and one each of "excellent", "very good", and just "good" for broader impacts. I wonder what the general breakdown is for those who got the fellowship versus honorable mention versus neither.

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Hi Everyone!

I've definitely been in and out of here a lot, especially after being called out by a friend for being obsessed with the forum.

Anyhow, April 15th is approach really quick and I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to email about a program I've been wait-listed for. I went in last Tuesday for an "open house" where I learned I was wait-listed. Is 1-week too soon to email?

 

Thanks again for everyone's advice thus far!

 

At this point, you need to know. I wouldn't write specifically hounding them for a decision, but it might be worthwhile to touch base with them to express interest or thanks or something. If they can't give you any information, you should proceed with the decision-making as if it's a rejection. You can always cross that bridge if the waitlist comes through. 

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At this point, you need to know. I wouldn't write specifically hounding them for a decision, but it might be worthwhile to touch base with them to express interest or thanks or something. If they can't give you any information, you should proceed with the decision-making as if it's a rejection. You can always cross that bridge if the waitlist comes through. 

 

Thanks a bunch!! I know the deadline is approaching soon, so I just needed a second opinion! Just making sure I don't seem too eager.

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I finally made my choice! Thanks to everyone in this forum for sharing your experiences and advice. 

 

You have some great options Wolfpack! I talked to a bunch of students and faculty at the Universities I was seriously considering... Most important for me was faculty of interest and their availability. I also heavily considered the lifestyle of the grad students (how stressed they seemed, did they seem to hang out outside of classes, what type of living arrangements were they able to afford), graduate student placement (I want to go into academia, so the number of students that went onto good postdocs was important to me), and funding. I think in the end, it really comes down to a gut feeling. I was lucky enough to be awarded the NSF which gave me a lot of freedom in terms of funding, but I still decided to go with the school I was leaning towards before I found out.

Happy for you, GABA!!! Congrats on the GRFP, too!

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I'm leaning heavily towards one of my options... But I'm also so anxious about making this choice, and it's hard to imagine saying "No" to the fellowship offer and opportunities of the other... Really have no idea how to choose.

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Thank you for your reply. These were some of the criteria that I used to narrow down to three schools. I met with multiple PIs of my interest in all three schools and they are accepting students for the upcoming year. The funding in each of the schools is quite good for the city/town they are in. The programs are very similar to each other and based on my visit, I found the places very compatible for me as a prospective grad student. And I do not want to decide on the school, based on US News rankings

I guess you have to go with your gut at this point. If all 3 of the schools have the PI's/Funding/environment that you want you can't go wrong with any of them. Did you like one of the campuses more than the other? Is one school closer to family (don't know if that's important for you)?

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