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Finding a good graduate program

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Generally, the choice of place depends on your interest. Some places are strong in some disciplines but not so strong in others. So, you have to do your own research.
But there are also institutions which offer very good graduate training in almost every field of the life sciences. These also tend to be generally very highly respected, and therefore quite competitive - if you apply to these it is worth having a backup option. 

In the US, such places would be

  • on the West Coast, the University of California system (UC Berkeley, UCSF, UCSD, UC Santa Cruz), Stanford University, and the University of Washington in Seattle;
  • in the Boston area, Harvard, MIT, and Boston University;
  • in the New York area, Rockefeller, Columbia, Princeton, and Yale universities;
  • in the Washington, DC area, the National Institutes of Health.

In the UK, London (Imperial and UCL), Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester, and (more for Biochemistry) Aberdeen and Dundee.

In Germany, Munich (both universities), Heidelberg, and Goettingen.

Other places of excellence which are more limited in their scope (but if your subject is among them, they are just as good or better):

In the US:

  • the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory (Genetics);
  • the Janelia Farm research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Neuroscience);

In Germany:

  • any Max Planck Institute (or Max Planck Research School);
  • the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

Graduate programs that Jacobs students have been accepted into:

(These programs require applications to a central program office.)

In Germany:

following, I'll mention a few good graduate programs that either have taken BCCB/MCCB students in the past, or that I feel are very suitable. To find out more about them, look at the web pages (I do not provide all direct links because they often change) and ask our BCCB alumni who study there (or have studied there). How do you find such alumni? Ask in the LinkedIn group (new in 2016), and/or ask your professors. 

Of course, many more graduate programs exist. 

Germany

  • VBIO, the union of biological societies, has a database of all life science Master programs in Germany. The search is in Germany only, but it contains all the English-language programs too. 
  • the Max Planck International Research Schools (IMPRS), which are cooperations between Max Planck Institutes and Universities, for example
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory PhD program
  • In the framework of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences:
    • International Max Planck Research School for Neurobiology, GoettingenGöttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, GoettingenGöttingen
  • the Neurobiology Program of the Charité, Berlin

In Europe other than Germany:

  • Graduate the European Molecular Biology laboratory (EMBL) PhD program
  • the life sciences graduate schools in Munich (both universities)
  • the life sciences graduate schools in Heidelberg

Europe outside Germany

United Kingdom

  • London (Imperial and UCL)
  • Graduate Student Programme at the Cancer Resarch UK London Research Institute
  • Vienna Biocenter PhD programme in Molecular Life Sciences
  • Edinburgh University Neurobiology Graduate ProgramOxford
  • Cambridge
  • Manchester
  • Aberdeen and Dundee (more for Biochemistry)
  • Edinburgh University 
    • Neurobiology Graduate Programme
  • Warwick University Postgraduate Medical School
  • Edinburgh University
  • Leeds University
  • Liverpool University
  • University of Barcelona
  • Life Science Zurich Graduate School

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United States

  • on the West Coast, the University of California system (UC Berkeley, UCSF, UCSD, UC Santa Cruz), Stanford University, and the University of Washington in Seattle;
  • in the Boston area, Harvard, MIT, and Boston University;
  • in the New York area, Rockefeller, Columbia, Princeton, and Yale universities;
  • in the Washington, DC area, 
    • the National Institutes of Health.
    • the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory (Genetics)
    • the Janelia Farm research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Neuroscience).
    • Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine
  • Wake Forest University, Program in Molecular Medicine
  • Washington University
  • University of Utah
  • Notre Dame University
  • New York University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Pittsburgh

Elsewhere:

  • University of Calgary

Other universities where BCCB students have been accepted for graduate studies after applying to individual research group leaders:

  • Oxford University
  • Oxford University, Wellcome Trust Graduate Program
  • Cambridge University, Wellcome Trust Graduate Program
  • Cambridge, Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology
  • Bath University
  • University of California, San Diego

Other interesting graduate programs that are worth looking at:

Germany:

Europe:

  • Two-Year Master Programs in Biomedicine, Bioentrepreneurship, or Public Health at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

US:

  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - Watson School of Biological Sciences
  • Brandeis University Graduate Program in Biochemistry

UK:

  • University of London School of Pharmacy

These lists are not nearly complete. Use the Life Sciences Alumni Space to find out where other Life Sciences Alumni are. Mostly there are no links given here but you can easily find these institutions on Google. Report any broken links to me!


 

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© Sebastian Springer, 2005-717.