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2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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1 minute ago, StemCellFan said:

Rotations are done either in the first year or semester of a program (this differs a lot by program) and last for a few weeks.  You contact a PI after you are admitted into a program to set up a rotation if he/she are accepting students.  My impression is that they are mandatory for the programs that do them, and the number of rotations you do differ from program to program.  Some do 2, some do up to 4.  The institution I'm working at now does 4 rotations over the course of the first year, 9 weeks each, and there is option for a 5th if none of those work out.  If you can't find a lab after that, then you are basically removed from the program.  I would look at student handbooks on the websites of the programs, or any other information that lets you know how their systems work.

For the last question... I will tell you what the institution I'm working at does for their umbrella biomedical sciences program.  For interviews, there are 4 faculty members.  One member is on the admissions committee, one is on the recruiting committee, and the other two are individuals whose research you are interested in.  The program director will send an email before the interview weekend asking which faculty you would be interested in potentially working with.

Oh ok. I'll look them up then and see how many professors I should start looking at for each school. Since I'll be explicitly stating some professors in my SOP who's research interest me, I hope they would put them on the committee. Especially since I'm changing majors, I'm not super knowledgeable about all the fields of the major i'm going into, so if they brought people who's research focus was outside of mine, I'd be screwed. 

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46 minutes ago, samman1994 said:

I don't exactly know how rotations work. Are they mandatory? How many labs do you have to rotate around? Also, I don't know how the interview process works. Is it based on who is on the grad committee during that time (i.e. it could literally be anyone in the biochem/chem program)? 

 

If a program is rotation-based, they are mandatory. My program has 3 12-week rotations. In terms of interviews, my program had 3 interviewers that you picked ahead of time, don't know if any of them had to be on the adcom. A lot of the time, you don't get who you pick. This is variable per school in terms of number and length.

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35 minutes ago, samman1994 said:

Oh ok. I'll look them up then and see how many professors I should start looking at for each school. Since I'll be explicitly stating some professors in my SOP who's research interest me, I hope they would put them on the committee. Especially since I'm changing majors, I'm not super knowledgeable about all the fields of the major i'm going into, so if they brought people who's research focus was outside of mine, I'd be screwed. 

They don't put people on the commitee for certain applicants, that is picked ahead of time. Also, schools will typically send you a form after you get selected for an interview, or you email them, about your picks. Some will tell you to send a list of like 10 people, literally. So, this goes back to not choosing a school where three people are doing the work you want. I made that mistake, and it was very difficult to pick interviewers. 

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1 hour ago, Bioenchilada said:

They don't put people on the commitee for certain applicants, that is picked ahead of time. Also, schools will typically send you a form after you get selected for an interview, or you email them, about your picks. Some will tell you to send a list of like 10 people, literally. So, this goes back to not choosing a school where three people are doing the work you want. I made that mistake, and it was very difficult to pick interviewers. 

Damn 10 people? I don't think some of the departments (sub-departments) I'm applying to have 10 people. But thanks for letting me know, now I have plenty of time to look them up and prepare. 

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7 hours ago, samman1994 said:

I don't exactly know how rotations work. Are they mandatory? How many labs do you have to rotate around? Also, I don't know how the interview process works. Is it based on who is on the grad committee during that time (i.e. it could literally be anyone in the biochem/chem program)? 

 

My school requires three; you have the option of a fourth (and even a fifth, but I feel like 5 is bordering ridiculous) if something doesn't work out in the first three. And I can definitely attest to having more than three people you're interested in. My program ended up with a larger class than usual and most of us have a sub-interest in neuropharmacology, so getting everyone situated into a rotation was a challenge. Additionally, some professors have a hard rule that they will only take one rotation student at a time. 

As for interviews, it varies per school. Most seemed to request a list of faculty that you'd be interested in meeting with. However, the list is a guideline and not a rule. I had one interview where I didn't interview with a single person I had asked for (weirdly, that interview weekend was a lot less stressful). Generally, you get your list ahead of your interview so you can prepare, but that isn't always hard and fast either. At one of my interviews, a professor got sick and the people scheduled to meet with him got shuffled around last minute. I wouldn't count on getting a week's preparation; two of my interviews gave us the list the night before. Some programs make sure you interview with at least one admissions committee member. It really depends on the school and you probably won't find out 100% how it works until you get the interview invite. 

 

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Hello, all! So I am at a loss regarding the feasibility of getting into the schools I've selected. Help me? Just so y'all know, I'm interested in applied/translational molecular research and I don't wish to go into academia or teach after grad school.

Undergrad Institution: Loyola Chicago
Major(s): Molecular Biology
Minor(s): Statistics
GPA in Major: 3.999
Overall GPA:  3.959
Position in Class: unsure
Type of Student: Domestic, female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 162 (82%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
B: not taking

Research Experience:

2 years of undergraduate research in a microbial physiology lab... very little funding and not prestigious at all but my PI thinks highly of me and writes great letters. Spent the second year setting up a new approach to a project my PI had been trying to start for years. No publications here (this PI publishes once every 3 or 4 years). One poster presentation at university undergraduate symposium.

- 10 week summer research at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. 3rd author on a publication (PLOS One) from that. Also presented this research as a poster at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society's annual meeting.

- Currently doing 1 year NIH postbac in a cardiovascular lab, but using molecular biology techniques (DNA manipulation and cloning, CRISPR).


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester, member of Phi Beta Kappa

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Microbiology tutor for one semester, cell bio tutor one semester

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Experience with SAS and R statistical coding/analysis, working on learning Python (would call myself proficient at this point)

Special Bonus Points: Just a small town girl, working in a man's world. I'm from New Hampshire, I'm not sure how many of my fellow NH denizens typically apply to these programs but I've been told before that it's stood out as odd and helped draw the eye.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

99.9% sure that this doesn't matter for graduate program apps (and probably won't go into the app) but I have a bit of a story: nearly failed high school (ended up graduating in like 15th percentile), worked as a nanny in Germany for a year, 1 year of community college, 3 years of 4-year institute undergrad, now in 1 year postbac at NIH.

Applying to Where:

List is not finalized (won't apply to absolutely everything on here) and still on the look-out for recommendations!

University of Wisconsin - Madison -- 1) Cellular and Molecular Biology , 2) Cellular and Molecular Pathology

University of Washington - Seattle -- 1) Molecular Medicine Program , 2) Molecular and Cellular Biology

Baylor College of Medicine -- 1) Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine , 2) Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences

Albert Einstein College of Medicine -- Biomedical Sciences

MIT -- Biological Engineering -- interested in the genetic engineering and the people working on creating a coding language for cells

University of Minnesota -- 1) Molecular, Cellular, and Structural Biology , 2) Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Genetics

Columbia Medical Center -- Integrate Umbrella Program (interested in stem cell, genetic engineering research)

Boston University -- Umbrella Program -- interested in their Center for Regenerative Medicine

Mayo Clinic -- Biomedical Sciences -- interested in the virology and gene therapy track, in particular

Thanks!!

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Hey everyone, 

This is my first time applying to a PhD program, and I am terrified. I attended my undergrad school and I goofed off during my sophomore year, but I picked things  up somewhat after that. I went on to apply and get accepted to the bs/ms program in my school where I achieved a 3.8 masters GPA with a thesis track. I am almost done with my thesis, but am pushing back a defense date until after I get accepted /rejected from schools. My PI is the director of a large program at the institution and is also involved in a partnership with memorial sloan Kettering. I am extremely interested in immunology, mainly the thymus. Further I want to get into either a thymus lab or a immunotherapy lab. Any suggestions are welcomed! 

Undergrad Institution: City college of New York (public university strong STEM program
Major(s): biology
Minor(s): chem
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.4
Position in Class: (no clue) 
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version): (from diagnostics) 
Q:158-162
V:160-163
W:
B:


Research Experience: Three years of research in my college in immunology. No papers yet but anticipating sending out 2 by end of the year as middle authors. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: My poster was chosen to be placed in the walkway of my school. My work was presented at an AAI (American association of immunologists) conference as an oral presentation, however I did not give the talk

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Taught undergrad Chem I&II

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Have a 3.8 masters GPA, however I did my masters in the same school as my undergrad through a BS/MS program

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

GSK-immunotherapy (dream) 
Columbia
NYU

Rockefeller

Cornell

Not really finalized 

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Edited by Mfhoque

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Hello! I’m unsure of whether I’m reaching too high on my list of immunology programs I’ll be applying too. This list is still tentative and will be chopped down but I put them in order of my level of interest. Also does anyone have any thoughts on going to Britain to earn a PhD. Thanks!  

Undergrad Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Biochemistry
GPA in Major: 3.71
Overall GPA: 3.77
Position in Class: No idea
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 167 (92nd percentile)
V: 163 (93rd percentile)
W: 5.0 (93rd percentile)

Research Experience: 

-  2 years at my school in pharmacy lab at school, research related to immunology. No publications but my work was presented in an academic conference by my PI. I have presented my work at a poster presentation at a class undergraduate symposium.

- REU program at University of Minnesota. Research in pharmacology, and will be published as 3rd author of 6 total for a paper about to be submitted for review. Presented work at undergraduate poster symposium

- Internship at large pharmaceutical company, research was combination of biochemistry and pharmacology.  

- One semester as research assistant for agriculture research in Madison

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean’s list two semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Science and mathematics tutor for students in middle school for two semesters. Ran small charitable club for 1.5 years.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

My LoR’s will come from the PI’s at the first three labs that appear under research experience. I'm also currently researching in my lab about 20 hours weekly due to finishing almost all of my required courses.

Applying to Where: (Immunology Programs)

Cornell (Weill
Medicine)

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program (2 years at NIH, 2 years at Oxford/Cambridge)

Columbia

Rockefeller

Johns Hopkins

UPenn

NYU

UT-Southwestern Medical Center

University of Minnesota

Britain? --> Cambridge/Oxford/University College London/Imperial London

 

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I may be a strange applicant but here I`m. I`m an IMG and MD, and because of that I hardly have the sense of which field fits my interest and which schools are in my range. So I will really appreciate your help. I want PhD because i want to increase my chances of getting an internal medicine/genetics or pathology residency in the future. I also enjoy research so I want to spend some of my career in this field. I have been planning to apply molecular biology thinking it will help pathology residency, but as I said, I`m open to suggestions from experts of these fields. I`m also expecting a baby and don`t want to work for long hours and weekends (will PhD take my life away just like residency?).

 

Undergrad Institution: International Medical Graduate
Major(s): MD
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 2.4 (my GPA is low because it doesn`t matter in any type of application in my country, so I didn`t do my best)
Overall GPA: 2.4
Position in Class: Struggling :) 
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): I have not taken yet but my Q will probably be above 140-150, my V is awful. Writing is above average.
Q:
V:
W:
B:


TOEFL Total: probably over 100

Research Experience: 1.5 years research experience at school. 6months of research experience in an American lab (internal medicine).

4publications in peer reviewed journals, 2 first name. But very low IFs.

2 oral presentations in important congresses, 4 oral presentations more in local hospitals. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I worked for 2.5 years as an MD.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: I want to be close to NJ NY area since my brother is living there. I also want to get some stipend to make living.

The ones below are for molecular biology, but I may apply to other areas of the same schools if they are not way above my level (( I think they are :( ))

Albert Einstein

Carnegie Melon

NYU

SUNY Health Brooklyn

... any suggestions? I need a safe school.

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I'd love to get some input on my choices/chances, as someone who has no publications (do wish I hopped onto research earlier as an underg). My application feels a bit bland in comparison with other profiles I've seen on here. I also noticed that most applicants on here do not apply with industry experience so I've no real reference on how relevant it is. To be specific, my industry experience is analytical/R&D. Maybe someone who entered with similar experience can give a comment on this aspect?

Undergrad Institution: University of California
Major(s): Microbiology
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.57
Overall GPA: 3.43
Position in Class: Slightly above average (3.1)
Type of Student: Domestic male

My freshman year gpa was below average in freshman year, but I raised it afterwards (took some time).
GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 5 (93%)
B: N/A

Research Experience: 
1 year undergraduate research assistantship in molecular and cell biology lab characterizing HIV. No conferences/publications

1 year post-graduate industry research position at a biotechnology start-up.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's Honor List - 4 quarters
Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Tutor - Organic Chemistry

MA internship at large public hospital (was a pre-med student)

Volunteered at hospital in high school (same thing)

Dance club - Treasurer
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 

I will be frank here and say that I wasn't on the best of terms with my PI, so I did not receive a recommendation from him.

1. Work supervisor from current occupation

2. Professor of Microbiology - Lectured a class and supervised lab class

3. Professor of Immunology - Lectured immunology class


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Mostly micro-/MCB programs at these schools, w/ emphasis on micro-

Vanderbilt

Tufts

Washington St. Louis

Univ. Alabama - Birmingham

UCB

Emory

Univ. Maryland, Baltimore
 

Edited by Bio-warrior
being more specific with gpa

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I'm applying to computational neuroscience programs, would love some feedback on my chances. I don't have any direct research experience in the field, (I've been working on some related industry stuff for two years). The research problems I'm interested in aren't the traditional domain of CS programs, so I'm trying to see if it's possible for me to make a move.

Undergrad Institution: Top 5 Computer Science School
Major(s): Computer Science
Overall GPA: 3.41 (Took over 20+ hrs/semester + grad classes)
Position in Class: Tough to know
Type of Student: Domestic Latino Male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 169
V: 170
W: 5.0

Research Experience: See job experience - nothing directly related to computational neuroscience

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I was employee of the month for my 100-person division once.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

I've been working as a software engineer at a Silicon Valley startup for the past two years. In that time, I've been promoted twice, (as fast as possible), and was a founding engineer on a team. I work a lot with AI, and our team focuses on an applied psychological research problem (we have relationships with prominent academic psychologists). I want to explore research questions related to the intersection of AI and neuroscience. My rec letters are extremely enthusiastic , 1 from a former manager, 1 from the head of a research division in the company, and 1 from a professor I work with in industry (different field).


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Latino, relatively high-profile work (written about in NYT)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

I took a grad computational biology class in college and got an A. I guess that means I have a little bit of track record in demonstrating interest on the biology side, which I hear is the limiting factor for computational people getting into the field. I've also read a couple of computational neuroscience textbooks in my free time.

Applying to Where:

Probably applying to:

Stanford

Berkeley

UCSD

Caltech

NYU

Columbia

Might apply to:

MIT (? looks like they don't take GRE into account which might sink my chances)

Harvard (?)

UT-Austin (?)

safer schools (?)

Edited by OwlTree

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Undergrad Institution: Top 30, R1 public university
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.5
Position in Class:  
Type of Student: Hispanic

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 157 (70th)
V: 159 (83th)
W: 4 (60th)
B: Didn't take

Really can't take this again, cause these scores were like 10 points higher then anything I got on my practice tests XD 

TOEFL Total: (if applicable, otherwise delete this)

Research Experience: 

3 years of research at my home institution in a biomedical sciences lab

1 summer research program at mount sinai

1 summer research fellowship at rockefeller university

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Goldwater scholars - honorable mention

Departmental scholarship

Stipend money from my two summer internships

 


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

University-paid chemistry tutor (2 years)

General Biology I - TA (1 year) 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I have LORs from 3 different universities (from my univ., sinai, and rockefeller) 

Special Bonus Points: Minority Status 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Applying to pharmacology, molecular medicine, or drug therapeutic programs (or whatever umbrella way I can do these)

Mount Sinai

Harvard

Yale

Rockefeller

Michigan State

Duke

Emory 

Mayo Clinic

George Washington University
 

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