Prospective Student

Prospective Graduate Student:

We are currently seeking graduate students for Fall 2023 (or Summer 2023 or Spring 2024).

If you are interested in being admitted in the Biology Graduate Program and doing your thesis under my supervision, first review the application procedure and requirement on the Biology webpage (here for MS and here for PhD).

Then, it is important that you contact me to discuss your interest in doing research in my lab so that I can support your application through the official review process. When contacting me, you must provide me with the material that you will later submit to the university during your official application (see the university's websites linked above) so I can review it and evaluate the strength of your application. This material should include:

  • a CV,

  • transcripts of your past degree(s) (unofficial ones is fine for now),

  • three letters of references (if it is burdensome to ask your referees to send me the letters, you can wait until you proceed with the formal application...they will have to send the letter only once and it will have to be sent to the university, not me).

  • and a statement of purpose that explain why you are interested in doing the kind of research that we do in my lab. Good alignment of your interest with our topic of research is crucial. To unsure good alignment, review the research we do thoroughly. Read the description in the research tab of this web site and read a few publications (this one, this one and this one are good places to start). In your statement, describe how your interest align with the type of research we do. Do not use generic statements that you send to all universities or copy and paste parts of sentences from our material into your letter. Craft this carefully, for example, if you say you are interested in our lab because you want to study biochemistry, you are doing it wrong (we don't do biochemistry in my lab). Or if you say you want to do research in my lab because you are really interested in identifying the cellular and network mechanisms that dictate how signals are processed (italic portion is taken straight from our website), this is also the sign of a weak statement of interest.

  • Also, although GRE scores are no longer an absolute requirement, they provide strong support for your application. It is particularly important if you previous degrees are not from a USA institution because grades in your past university classes from foreign institutions can be tricky to evaluate given that each country have different scales and stringency of evaluation. If you haven't done the GRE yet, I strongly encourage you to do so before you contact me.

  • Most students from foreign institutions are also required to provide TOEFL scores (or equivalent, see here). If that applies to you, send me your score.

When you have gathered this material, send it to me in a email expressing your interest in pursuing a grad degree under my supervision (gary.marsat@mail.wvu.edu); I will review the material and let you know if we should meet virtually to discuss the possibilities (a sort of interview) or if I think your profile is not well suited for our lab and should be directed to another lab/program/institution. Applications to start in fall should be submitted by January so you should be contacting me ahead of this deadline (the summer or fall before that). All questions regarding administrative procedures, ect, should be directed to the department or the university, I only have answers regarding opportunities in my lab, our research, the dynamic in our lab and similar issues.

Note that only students with significant research experience in our research area (example a Masters in Neuroscience) are strong candidate for a PhD; students with less experience should apply to the MS program and they have the possibility to switch to the PhD program after the first year of grad school (that first year then counts towards their PhD). We can discuss this point during an interview.