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Thread: Need help with graduate studies asap!!! (Microbiology)

  1. #1 Need help with graduate studies asap!!! (Microbiology) 
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    Hi there, as you can see from the title, I really need help with choosing a graduate school and professor to work with. A little bit about myself, I'm doing my 4th year undergrad at the University of Manitoba in Microbiology. Im interested in pursuing research in antibiotic resistance or virology, but an so overwhelmed by searching for grad schools and professors to work with. I also have a good GPA 4.10 and am applying for scholarships. I have a couple questions:

    1. Where should I start to look in order to find a grad school and good prof? My mentor tells me to look for someone who is an expert in the desired field or a research group that has expertise in that field. Also he said to apply to "high tier" schools if possible like Scripps, Harvard, Oxford etc.

    - Also related to this is how do you know if a professor is good? I know you can look at their publications, but that doesn't tell you a whole lot.
    - Again related to the first question is how do you tell if a school has a good microbiology program? And how do you tell if the researchers there are "leaders" or "experts" in the field? I tried googling to find out some of the leaders in the field of virology and antibiotic resistance but it doesnt tell me anything.

    2. What qualities is a professor looking for when you contact them via email?
    - My mentor tells me they look to see if you have any scholarships, your GPA, and also your research experience. What else should I keep in mind?

    3. Can anyone point me out to some universities with good grad programs in microbiology? Just as a starting point.

    Thanks


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  3. #2  
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    1. Prof is the most important deciding factor. School reputation, not so much. I would suggest you to look for someone who is in their 40s, have a nice and consistent publication history in the last five years. Young prof may give you more assistance and seem more energetic but you never know if they can help you publish good papers, whereas most of the old profs don't really give a shit about publication. Also it's always nice if the department has a rotation program because you want to make sure not only you like the prof but also you like the person who is going to train you.

    2. Prof look at your GPA and research experience. But you have to apply to the department first if you are shooting for ivies.

    3. the ARWU world university ranking is a good place to start. However I would just go through the papers from the last few years from high-ranked journals like nature or science. You don't even need to read them, just read the title and the authors.


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  4. #3 Re: Need help with graduate studies asap!!! (Microbiology) 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ho
    Im interested in pursuing research in antibiotic resistance or virology,


    3. Can anyone point me out to some universities with good grad programs in microbiology? Just as a starting point.

    Thanks
    Look for universities that are affiliated with hospitals as they will be more concerned with microbes as they relate to health issues. Such as University of Toronto.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    The Lady Davis Institute, affiliated with McGill University in Montreal, does infectious disease research. They also have a decent microbiology graduate department.

    In Canada, your top choices would be UBC, UAlberta, UoT, and McGill.

    Edit: Those universities also tend to monopolize grants in Canada for biomedical research. UdM is pretty good too, but a functional knowledge of French would be required.
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    - Leonard Cohen
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