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Where should I apply.. Help!


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I plan on applying to Biochemical and Molecular Biology programs in the next cycle (Fall 2016) and I really have no clue where to apply. My undergraduate institution is a fairly respectable, top 40, research university with a strong Biochemistry program. I am a double Major in Biochemistry and Evolutionary Biology with a 3.5 GPA, but I have a 4.0 for the entirety of junior year, during which I took exclusively difficult STEM classes and maintained a loaded schedule. I can also attribute my earlier and less than optimal grades to personal family strife that occurred during my first year and half in College.

I have wet bench experience from even before I attended College, working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories doing research with the Postdoc of a prestigious PI and working as a paid Technician with a PI from whom I can get a very strong letter of recommendation, and with whom I worked the summer of Freshman year. I have a summer of research experience at UC Berkley preforming evolutionary biology research characterizing a new species of flying lizard, during which I taught my self a fair deal of statistics and the computer programming language R. Then Junior year I worked for with a PI at my University who is very well respected in his field and from whom I can get a very strong letter of recommendation. This summer I will be working at Cambridge University with a very, very famous PI (as in knighted for his research famous), who I also hope to get a decent letter from. Fortunately I'll have many opportunities to chat with him outside of the lab due to family friends who know him reasonably well I hear, so may know me on a more personal level, outside of the Laboratory environment. I intend to do fairly well on the GRE and will have the entirety of the summer to prepare for it. I don't have any publications but It's possible I will have a first author publication with my current PI at my University if a project I came up with comes to fruition. It is also possible I will be able to publish a paper from my summer research. 


Any thought on where to apply? I think that the letter of recommendation from the PI in Cambridge will be very helpful, because as I previously stated, he is extremely well known. I was thinking of programs like:


University of Wisconsin

University of Washington

University of San Diego

University of British Columbia 


But is it reasonable to apply to programs like?




Cal Tech 

UC Berkley

Would I have a shot at these programs with my research pedigree and good LORs? I should also mention that my father is quite an influential PI in a related field and can provided very good advice on writing a strong Personal Statement. Any and all advice is appreciated, I really need some guidance!

Edited by CleClimber
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