Underrated Bio
November 4, 2009 7:16 AM   Subscribe

What biomedical engineering labs are "underrated"?

I have a relative graduating from a Tier 1 public school with a bioengineering degree. High-powered research experience, although GPA is substellar. Tell me your favorite lab/University that's a diamond in the rough; cool ideas, maybe better funded than the rest of the department, but recruitment just hasn't quite caught up yet.

I'm in grad school in the sciences, so this is not a general interest question. I understand his background as slightly geared towards tissue/implantation of stuff, but you can expand that because it's absurd to feel constrained by UG research. US or fully funded only plz.

I'm aware of this askMe, but it's mostly not what I want.
posted by gensubuser to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I realize how undirected this is without a better specification of his interests, so assume he likes what you think is cool.
posted by gensubuser at 7:29 AM on November 4, 2009

UNC-CH is willing to overlook substellar GPA if everything else (particularly research experience) is awesome. When you apply to biomedical programs here you initially apply to "BBSP" which is an umbrella encompassing about 12 programs. More information here. This may be a good choice as you have somewhere around 200+ labs to choose from for your rotations, allowing you to pursue varied interests before settling down.

I wouldn't consider this school to be a diamond in the rough as much as an excellent research institution, but if his letters of rec will be outstanding and his GREs good then I'm pretty sure he can make a good case for himself here.
posted by sickinthehead at 8:23 AM on November 4, 2009

GPA is, generally, the 2nd least important thing in science grad school acceptance (above GRE). Recommendations are the 2nd most important -- ESPECIALLY where there is a connection to a faculty at one of the institutions. The #1 most important thing is that connection to a faculty member. Professors often fight for the students they want, so he should be emailing, calling, forging connections, talking about why he's cool, etc., NOW. He wants those faculty to think he's a rockstar before they see his application.

Not exactly an answer to your question, but he should know how much lower his chances are at getting in (which isn't to say it doesn't happen all the time) if he applies to schools without them already knowing who he is.
posted by brainmouse at 9:08 AM on November 4, 2009

I agree with brainmouse that knowing someone can bolster your chances, but I don't think it's necessary at all to get into a good school. Having the research experience and letters of rec to back it up is the most important facet of the application.

And GRE scores count for more than you think, particularly subject GRE. If your relative were able to rock the subject GRE (which may or may not be realistic, and isn't a deal break if not) it would completely obfuscate the GPA issues.
posted by sickinthehead at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2009

Response by poster: I learned from this question: 1) no-one likes to describe (their) department or even lab, apparently, as underrated. I should have tried asking for awesome labs, with strict blackouts on elite schools. 2) as is done all the time on askMe, don't complicate the question with details that aren't strictly relevant, just because you want to tell a story. I shouldn't have mentioned GPA.
posted by gensubuser at 5:16 PM on December 7, 2009

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