Where Should I Apply To Graduate School For Bioinformatics?
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11.1 years ago
Daniel E Cook ▴ 250

Hi,

I would like to pursue a career in bioinformatics but as it is an emerging field I'm having a tough time getting information on where to apply and what to look for. I'm a bit overwhelmed.

I have a B.S. in biology. I don't have much computer science coursework but I am a quick learner on the computer and I have taught myself quite a bit of programming. Additionally, I have experience in a lab working with STATA, and working with GWAS data.

Do I need more experience? Where should I go from here.

Thank you in advance for your advice! -E

education training • 5.5k views
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Do you have a particular country you are interested in applying to? or a particular part of bioinformatics you are interested in? My best advice is to find some PI's that work in that field and check out where they are.

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I would suggest to find some top universities and read the website of their bioinformatics (or computational biology) department/program. This will help you decide what questions you might want to pursuit and what specific techniques you are interested in. Bioinformatics is a broad field and different programs can have different focuses such as comparative genomics, mathematical modeling and biochemical engineering. Once you narrow down your specific interest your searching will become much simpler. (If you find yourself reading the same sentence after 0.5 hr you should skip that professor:) )

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11.1 years ago
ALchEmiXt ★ 1.9k

You also might want to consider part-time or a distance learning education while your work. The University of Manchester has full time education but also distance learning courses or degrees up to MSc.

Did mine at Manchester (from Holland) part-time next to my full job and I enjoyed it. There were students from everywhere (Africa, Canada, Japan, UK, NL, you name it) and the international contacts I gained are still useful!

You can determine to some degree the pace. It is entailerd to suit people coming from different backgrounds (either IT or biology usually).

Here's a link to start with: Manchester Distance Learning Bioinformatics/Computational biology

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@AlcEmitXt, is it free scholarship

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No its not free. Buts its good. Neither are the better bioinformatics.org courses free AFAIK.

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No its not free. But its good. Neither free are the better bioinformatics.org courses AFAIK

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@ALchEmiXT: I'm looking into pursuing an application to the Manchester program as well. How was it? Was your background in CS or Biology? I am a Biochemist, but have since switched careers to Information Technology due to my CS background, and am trying to figure out which track I should pursue.

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@maranas They have different traqcks for different backgrounds. It is good detailed on their post-graduate MSc program website. You can also only take separate modules. I also came from molecular biology with high affinity for IT. Good luck! You'll enjoy it.

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10.6 years ago

I recommend the CIHR/MSFHR Bioinformatics Training Program in Vancouver, Canada. See my longer answer in this related question.

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11.1 years ago
Ying W ★ 4.2k

If your school has bioinformaticians, I would suggest you first talk to them. Then decide if you want to focus on more biology (bioinformatics) or math/computer science (computational biology) and if you are thinking of going for masters or PhD.

I have heard from a couple of professors say that they view bioinformatics as a tool similar to learning how to use a complex microscope while computational biology would be the study of optics to make microscopes thus there are fewer bioinformatics phd programs but many biostatistics and computational biology ones.

If you have no clue where to start and daunted by the thought of reading many papers here is a list of schools in the US

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11.0 years ago
Leszek 4.2k

I did MRes in Computational Biology @ University of York. I strongly recommend this course, as it's joined between three Departments: Biology, Chemistry and Computer Sciences. There is only 10 students every year selected from various backgrounds. The course is very comprehensive with strong emphasis on practical side. You will do 3 research projects during the course.

It's quite difficult to get the place there, though...

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11.1 years ago

Some universities offer programs that you can find via searches for bioinformatics graduate program

Others offer similar training under more esoteric names such as integrative biosciences graduate programs that often have bioinformatics options or subspecializations.

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