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Chemistry Profile Thoughts


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Just wanted to know whether my profile is reasonable to apply to places like Penn, Princeton, Yale, and Cambridge (those are places with my interests). I'll probably only apply to four places since I'm already at a decent university (usually ranked around the same as upper-end US public universities like UW-Madison).

Undergraduate Details

First class honours (88)

WAM/GPA: US equivalent of ~3.5, around 3.9 for chemistry.

One semester on exchange to UW-Madison (but I got rekt in classes, around 3.2 GPA lol).

Currently a grad student at my undergrad institution on around five scholarships (total around $40k/year + $10k for research expenses - too bad this can't transfer to the US =/) (two full-time research years in my current group - honours year is one, this year is my second) working on a project that was predominantly my own idea in photoredox catalysis.

Obviously, from the funding I have here, I'm only considering places that have research that I think is more or less perfect fit.

Other research: One summer at another university doing environmental science, one semester in physics education research, one semester in organic solar cells research, one semester in drug discovery (malaria)

So yeah, 2 full-time years, around 1.5 years of not full-time research. From this, have a decent grasp on HPLC, NMR (did lots of quantitative NMR), GC-FID

From research, I would have two letters from supervisors - my current supervisor has sent a bunch of students to places like Cambridge before and has said I'm more than capable, so I guess that should be a strong letter. Another from the postdoc I was assigned and is now a Lecturer (equiv. to Assistant Professor) which I expect is strong. Last one is probably from a professor that has a close relationship with my current group (ie we have the same group meetings and share all our resources etc).

My personal statement is tailored towards Princeton (mainly Doyle and MacMillan groups) - my current work is photoredox catalysis which was based on an idea I have in my current lab but my university is really not tailored towards catalysis work (hence applying to Princeton).


V: 152 (56%) (obvious weakness here)

Q: 169 (96%)

W: 4.5 (82%)

C: 880 (94%)


Also, I'd like to know how high I can aim for and still have a reasonable shot. Obviously, acceptance rates are <10% but I don't want to be throwing my money around lol



Edited by someth1ngAus
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