The Next Step in Your
Biomedical Sciences Career
C Gita Bosch, PhD, MBA
Academic & Educational Consulting
theacademicconsu...
Topics to be covered
 Preparing and planning for
graduate/professional school – the
undergraduate years
 Finding informa...
What is your right next step
 What do you want to do
 Why do you want to do this
 Where will you be in 10 years
 How d...
Career Education
 What/Where
 Academia
 K-12
 Undergraduate/graduate
 Research Institute
 Government
 NIH
 NASA
 ...
Getting to graduate school
 Directly from undergraduate
 Masters degree
 Postbac program
 PREP
 NIH
 Job (1+ years)
...
The Undergraduate Years
Year 1 Sum Year 2 Sum Year 3 Sum Year 4
Post-
Bac
Fall Fall Fall Aug
I I I Sep F
N N N Oct E
T T T...
The undergraduate years
 Introductory courses
 Basic science
courses
 English
 Reading
 Writing
 Advanced courses
 ...
Between sophomore & junior years
―Am I prepared and have a strong enough
academic record to apply to the programs that I a...
 Independent
research
 Prep courses and
standardized tests
 GRE
 MCAT
 Prepare application
materials
 Retake standar...
Research Opportunities-PhD & MD/PhD
 Hands-on research
 Cutting-edge projects
 Become intellectually immersed
 Gain pr...
Clinical Opportunities-MD/PhD & MD
 A look into the life of a physician
 Experience with interpersonal skills
 Networki...
The undergraduate years
Introductory Science Courses
Explore Programs: Advisors, Grad School Fairs, ABRCMS, etc.
Freshman ...
Topics to be covered
 Preparing and planning for graduate/professional
school – the undergraduate years
 Finding informa...
How/Where to find information
 Internet
 Network contacts
 Conferences
 Talk to faculty advisors
 Summer internships/...
SWOT Analysis
Schools Strengths Weaknesses Courses Other Test
Appl
Deadline
Appl
Sent Contacts
Outcome
of Contact Notes
On...
“…all great institutions are continually
changing---renovating, building,
recruiting, developing new programs
and collabor...
What to look for in a Program?
vs
What do you want to do?
B
theacademicconsultant.com
What is the goal of the program?
 Provide the training for you
 develop a knowledge base in a specific area
 develop sp...
What does the program look like
 Year one
 Core curriculum
 Life skills
 Laboratory rotations
 Year two
 Elective co...
Coursework
Rotations Qualifying Exam Dissertation Research Defense of Dissertation
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 …
Se...
Structure & Organization
 What is the structure/organization of the
programs
 Are there enough faculty in your area of
i...
The Facilities
 What do the facilities/laboratories look like
 Where is the campus located
 What is there to do when yo...
Topics to be covered
 Preparing and planning for graduate/professional
school – the undergraduate years
 Finding informa...
The Admissions File
 Application Form
 complete the entire application form, i.e., answer all questions
 Scores & GPA
...
Personal Statement
 Introduction of you
 Writing skills
 Commitment and motivation
 Inform and persuade
Who am I?
What...
What does the school want
to know? BE HONEST
 Your goals—degree, field, specialty
 Why are you pursuing this degree?
 W...
Inform and persuade
 Beginning
 Interesting & captivating = the hook
 Who are you?
 Why do you want to go to graduate ...
SKGSBS
Writing about your research
 Introduce the overall purpose of the
research
 Describe specifically what you worked...
Research paragraph
One of the goals of the laboratory is to ….
We studied ….. My project involved ….. The
resulting struct...
Read it
out loud
The Final Touch
 No errors!
 Grammar. Spelling. Language.
 Proofread!
 Punctuation: commas, colons, &...
Personal Statement
 Deliberate & thoughtful
 Clear & simple language
 Concise (trim the fat)
 Interesting & creative
...
Letters of Recommendation
 What is the purpose of the letters of
recommendation?
 How many should there be?
 Who should...
Letters of Recommendation
 Ask recommenders if they can write you a
strong letter of recommendation
 Give them a copy of...
The interview -- objectives
School
Be interviewed by
the faculty,
students and
administration
 They want to see
the appli...
The interview -- objectives
 Make a positive
and professional
first impression
 Learn about the
facilities
 Be
 Profes...
At the interview
 Dress professionally
 Clothing, shoes, jewelry, make-up
 Relax and be professional & social
 Introdu...
At the interview
 You are always ―on‖
 Be careful of bad behavior
 Emphasize your strengths and experiences
 Show enth...
What Schools look for
 Commitment
 Motivation
 Maturity
 Academic record/Coursework
 Aptitude for science/Critical th...
The Application Year
Jul/Aug
2012
Apr
2012
Mar
2012
Feb
2012
Jan
2012
Dec
2011
Nov
2011
Oct
2011
Sep
2011
Aug
2011
Select ...
Topics to be covered
 Preparing and planning for graduate/professional
school – the undergraduate years
 Finding informa...
What is Financial Aid?
Work
Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships
Graduate Student Assistantships
Grants
Non-Wor...
Cost
 Costs & FA are
different for
 PhD
 MD/PhD
 MD
 Sources of funding
are different for
 PhD
 MD/PhD
 MD
 Expen...
 Stipend (COL)
 Full Tuition
 Medical Insurance
 Travel Awards
 First Year Student Allowance
 Laptops/iPads
 Reloca...
 Institutional
 Central
 Departmental
 External
 National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 National Science Foundation (N...
 What if it is not enough for me to live on?
 Is renewal automatic each year?
 If not, what is the renewal process?
 A...
 Can you request special supplements,
such as monies to purchase a computer?
 When does the award start?
 Is the start ...
 The program offers you admission
 You accept or decline the offer
 Academic program/research strength/faculty
 Locati...
Data Analysis
Schools Strengths Weaknesses Courses Other Test
Appl
Deadline
Appl
Sent Contacts
Outcome
of Contact
Intervie...
We must not forget that when radium was
discovered no one knew that it would prove
useful in hospitals. The work was one o...
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Applying To Graduate School

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Preparing for and applying to graduate school in the biomedical sciences.

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Applying To Graduate School

  1. 1. The Next Step in Your Biomedical Sciences Career C Gita Bosch, PhD, MBA Academic & Educational Consulting theacademicconsultant.com
  2. 2. Topics to be covered  Preparing and planning for graduate/professional school – the undergraduate years  Finding information and selecting a school  The application and admissions process  Financing your education B theacademicconsultant.com
  3. 3. What is your right next step  What do you want to do  Why do you want to do this  Where will you be in 10 years  How do you think you will get there  Is this a realistic plan B theacademicconsultant.com
  4. 4. Career Education  What/Where  Academia  K-12  Undergraduate/graduate  Research Institute  Government  NIH  NASA  White House  Business  Biotech  Law  Journals (e.g., editors)  Industry  Pharmaceutical companies (big pharma)  Clinical Practice  How  PhD  MD/PhD  MD  MSc  PSM  Post-Bac  BA/BS B theacademicconsultant.com
  5. 5. Getting to graduate school  Directly from undergraduate  Masters degree  Postbac program  PREP  NIH  Job (1+ years)  Research technician B theacademicconsultant.com
  6. 6. The Undergraduate Years Year 1 Sum Year 2 Sum Year 3 Sum Year 4 Post- Bac Fall Fall Fall Aug I I I Sep F N N N Oct E T T T Nov L E E Early E Dec L Spring R Spring R Spring R Jan O N N N Feb W S S S Mar S H H Late H Apr H I I Spring I May I P P P Jun P B theacademicconsultant.com
  7. 7. The undergraduate years  Introductory courses  Basic science courses  English  Reading  Writing  Advanced courses  Research techniques  Non-science courses  ―Life-enriching‖  Arts & Humanities  Analytical skills  Communications skills B theacademicconsultant.com
  8. 8. Between sophomore & junior years ―Am I prepared and have a strong enough academic record to apply to the programs that I am interested in?‖ Yes: continue on your current trajectory No: why not? What are the barriers? Learning? Interest? Re-examine your educational/career goals v timing Asses and rethink B theacademicconsultant.com
  9. 9.  Independent research  Prep courses and standardized tests  GRE  MCAT  Prepare application materials  Retake standardized tests if needed  Summer programs The undergraduate years B theacademicconsultant.com
  10. 10. Research Opportunities-PhD & MD/PhD  Hands-on research  Cutting-edge projects  Become intellectually immersed  Gain problem-solving and critical analysis skills  Foster scientific confidence and maturity  A look into the life of a graduate student B theacademicconsultant.com
  11. 11. Clinical Opportunities-MD/PhD & MD  A look into the life of a physician  Experience with interpersonal skills  Networking opportunities  Interactions w/ healthcare providers  Learn more about a medical specialty B theacademicconsultant.com
  12. 12. The undergraduate years Introductory Science Courses Explore Programs: Advisors, Grad School Fairs, ABRCMS, etc. Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior PostBac Take the GRE/MCAT Apply Research Experiences Advanced Science Courses Interview www.aamc.org/phd B theacademicconsultant.com
  13. 13. Topics to be covered  Preparing and planning for graduate/professional school – the undergraduate years  Finding information and selecting a school  The application and admissions process  Financing your education B theacademicconsultant.com
  14. 14. How/Where to find information  Internet  Network contacts  Conferences  Talk to faculty advisors  Summer internships/fellowships B theacademicconsultant.com
  15. 15. SWOT Analysis Schools Strengths Weaknesses Courses Other Test Appl Deadline Appl Sent Contacts Outcome of Contact Notes One Research; teaching opp Location; culture Biochem Research GRE/ MCAT 12/15/12 12/14/12 school contacted me interview scheduled for 1/10/13 great school Two Location Research Biology ResearchMCAT 01/15/13 12/15/12 I contacted school needs rec letter letter rec'd; interviewed - not like environment Three Research; location no mentoring Sciences and Math ResearchGRE 12/30/12 11/24/12 I contacted school sch not interested Four Five Six Seven Requirements B theacademicconsultant.com
  16. 16. “…all great institutions are continually changing---renovating, building, recruiting, developing new programs and collaborations, and pursuing new ideas.”(Harold Varmus) What to look for in an Institution B theacademicconsultant.com
  17. 17. What to look for in a Program? vs What do you want to do? B theacademicconsultant.com
  18. 18. What is the goal of the program?  Provide the training for you  develop a knowledge base in a specific area  develop specific teaching & life skills  reach your goals as researcher and scholar Provide the opportunity for you to become a leader in your field B theacademicconsultant.com
  19. 19. What does the program look like  Year one  Core curriculum  Life skills  Laboratory rotations  Year two  Elective coursework  Year three & beyond  Research B theacademicconsultant.com
  20. 20. Coursework Rotations Qualifying Exam Dissertation Research Defense of Dissertation Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 … Select Mentor & Advisers Professional Development Presenting Your Research Milestones * * * * Funding Your Graduate Education PhD Graduate School www.aamc.org/phd
  21. 21. Structure & Organization  What is the structure/organization of the programs  Are there enough faculty in your area of interest  Is there academic help if you need it  Are there special programs for students B theacademicconsultant.com
  22. 22. The Facilities  What do the facilities/laboratories look like  Where is the campus located  What is there to do when you are not in class  Are there cultural/sports events in the area  Housing  Are there special amenities/services for students  Is it easy to get from place to place B theacademicconsultant.com
  23. 23. Topics to be covered  Preparing and planning for graduate/professional school – the undergraduate years  Finding information and selecting a school  The application and admissions process  Financing your education B theacademicconsultant.com
  24. 24. The Admissions File  Application Form  complete the entire application form, i.e., answer all questions  Scores & GPA  a strong academic record is essential  verify and have transcripts and test scores sent early  Personal Statement  Letters of Recommendation  Interview B theacademicconsultant.com
  25. 25. Personal Statement  Introduction of you  Writing skills  Commitment and motivation  Inform and persuade Who am I? What do I want to do? B theacademicconsultant.com
  26. 26. What does the school want to know? BE HONEST  Your goals—degree, field, specialty  Why are you pursuing this degree?  What events brought you to this point?  What makes you qualified to do this?  Why are you applying to this School?  How will they help you reach your goals? B theacademicconsultant.com
  27. 27. Inform and persuade  Beginning  Interesting & captivating = the hook  Who are you?  Why do you want to go to graduate school?  Middle  Substance = Research Statements  Experiences  Ending  Reader wants to meet you  Why this program B theacademicconsultant.com
  28. 28. SKGSBS Writing about your research  Introduce the overall purpose of the research  Describe specifically what you worked on and what you did  Describe how your work fitted into the overall objective of the main project, the field and human health B theacademicconsultant.com
  29. 29. Research paragraph One of the goals of the laboratory is to …. We studied ….. My project involved ….. The resulting structures were …. Because they ….. these structures could be used to ….. B theacademicconsultant.com
  30. 30. Read it out loud The Final Touch  No errors!  Grammar. Spelling. Language.  Proofread!  Punctuation: commas, colons, & semicolons  Apostrophes and hyphens  Subject-Verb agreement  Word usage Listen to it B theacademicconsultant.com
  31. 31. Personal Statement  Deliberate & thoughtful  Clear & simple language  Concise (trim the fat)  Interesting & creative  Style & tone  Vary the sentence forms  Seamless transitions between paragraphs  More is not necessarily better B theacademicconsultant.com ERROR- FREE ZONE
  32. 32. Letters of Recommendation  What is the purpose of the letters of recommendation?  How many should there be?  Who should write your letters?  To waive your right to access or not to waive your right to access? B theacademicconsultant.com
  33. 33. Letters of Recommendation  Ask recommenders if they can write you a strong letter of recommendation  Give them a copy of the personal statement; if possible, ask them to meet  Give them plenty of time to write a thoughtful substantive letter B theacademicconsultant.com
  34. 34. The interview -- objectives School Be interviewed by the faculty, students and administration  They want to see the application come to life You Interview the faculty, students and administration  Is this the right fit for you? B theacademicconsultant.com
  35. 35. The interview -- objectives  Make a positive and professional first impression  Learn about the facilities  Be  Professional  Prepared  Personable  Enthusiastic  Engaging/ interesting  Knowledgeable B theacademicconsultant.com
  36. 36. At the interview  Dress professionally  Clothing, shoes, jewelry, make-up  Relax and be professional & social  Introduce yourself (the handshake)  Sit up, smile and speak clearly; participate in the conversation; show confidence B theacademicconsultant.com Show them the person you presented in the application
  37. 37. At the interview  You are always ―on‖  Be careful of bad behavior  Emphasize your strengths and experiences  Show enthusiasm & commitment when you talk about your research  Show some interest in the interviewer’s research  It is OK to say ―I do not know‖ YOU SCHOOL B theacademicconsultant.com
  38. 38. What Schools look for  Commitment  Motivation  Maturity  Academic record/Coursework  Aptitude for science/Critical thinking  Research experiences  Extracurricular activities/Life experiences B theacademicconsultant.com
  39. 39. The Application Year Jul/Aug 2012 Apr 2012 Mar 2012 Feb 2012 Jan 2012 Dec 2011 Nov 2011 Oct 2011 Sep 2011 Aug 2011 Select schools Start application form Request letters Schedule/Take GREs Submit application form Request transcripts Check on documents Interviews/2nd visits Receive offers Decision 4/15 Matriculate! B theacademicconsultant.com
  40. 40. Topics to be covered  Preparing and planning for graduate/professional school – the undergraduate years  Finding information and selecting a school  The application and admissions process  Financing your education B theacademicconsultant.com
  41. 41. What is Financial Aid? Work Research Assistantships Teaching Assistantships Graduate Student Assistantships Grants Non-Work Fellowships Scholarships Grants Loans B theacademicconsultant.com
  42. 42. Cost  Costs & FA are different for  PhD  MD/PhD  MD  Sources of funding are different for  PhD  MD/PhD  MD  Expenses  Tuition & Fees  Living Expenses  Revenues  Fellowships, etc  Loans  Grants  Job B theacademicconsultant.com
  43. 43.  Stipend (COL)  Full Tuition  Medical Insurance  Travel Awards  First Year Student Allowance  Laptops/iPads  Relocation costs  Professional organization membership Fellowship Package PhD & MD/PhD B theacademicconsultant.com
  44. 44.  Institutional  Central  Departmental  External  National Institutes of Health (NIH)  National Science Foundation (NSF)  Ford Foundation  Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)  Professional Associations Funding sources for fellowships B theacademicconsultant.com
  45. 45.  What if it is not enough for me to live on?  Is renewal automatic each year?  If not, what is the renewal process?  Are there restrictions on the uses of the funds?  Does the fellowship provide health insurance? Travel? MAQ about fellowships B theacademicconsultant.com
  46. 46.  Can you request special supplements, such as monies to purchase a computer?  When does the award start?  Is the start date flexible?  Can the award period be extended? How?  What happens if I do not complete the Program?  Are there payback obligations? MAQ about fellowships B theacademicconsultant.com
  47. 47.  The program offers you admission  You accept or decline the offer  Academic program/research strength/faculty  Location  Financial support  Teaching opportunities  Research opportunities  Mentoring -- personal, professional, academic  Culture and environment of the School  Amenities Matriculation decision B theacademicconsultant.com
  48. 48. Data Analysis Schools Strengths Weaknesses Courses Other Test Appl Deadline Appl Sent Contacts Outcome of Contact Interview Notes One Research; teaching opp Location; culture Biochem Research GRE/ MCAT 12/15/12 12/14/12 school contacted me interview scheduled for 1/10/13 great school Two Location Research Biology ResearchMCAT 01/15/13 12/15/12 I contacted school needs rec letter letter rec'd; interviewed - not like environment Three Research; location no mentoring Sciences and Math ResearchGRE 12/30/12 11/24/12 I contacted school sch not interested Four Five Six Seven Requirements B theacademicconsultant.com
  49. 49. We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity. Marie Curie B theacademicconsultant.com

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