XiaLab at University of Ottawa

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Post-graduate Studies in XiaLab

  • I have vacancies in my lab for both PhD and MSc students. Our graduate programs are right for you if you are 1) keenly interested in research and wish to become career researchers, and 2) willing to trade immediate financial gain for future financial security (Salary for a real job is almost always higher than graduate salary, but you often do get financial security once you become a career researcher).
  • Do some or all of the following tasks may help you identify if my lab is right for you. It will also convince me that you are keen to join my lab.
    1. Our lab specializes in computational molecular biology and evolution, and is keen to recruit students with training in molecular biology/microbiology/evolutionary biology, mathematics/statistics and computer programming.
    2. You should identify at least one of our publications that you find interesting, and write a critique of it.
    3. Tell me what you are good at, e.g., you are familiar with a particular group of interacting genes, a particular cluster of related organisms, a particular kind of disease, a particular set of phenotypic traits, a particular aspect of an evolutionary process, a particular strength in mathematics/statistics/computation, etc. I believe that if one is skilled in one area, then one could become skilled at other area when given the chance.
    4. Empower yourself by learning DAMBE (i.e., installing DAMBE and going through the tutorials). If you find DAMBE very useful and wish to have known it earlier, then our lab is for you, otherwise it likely is not.
    5. Show me how you can use your skills (including your skills in DAMBE) to answer a VERY specific biological question.
    6. If you email me with relevant attachments to prove that you have gone through these items above, you will have a very good chance of being accepted. Yes, you will be ranked among other applicants according to what I see (including your transcripts and reference letters from your current supervisor). Those ranked high are offered admission first.
  • Relevant information and useful links:
    • You will have a minimum graduate salary of $19,500/year which is made of research assistantship from my research grant and teaching assistantship from the department.
    • Canadians or permanent residents with a GPA > 8/10 typically will get a tuition waiver in addition to some scholarships on top of the annual salary. Those top-ranked ones will have a chance to compete for the prestigious NSERC graduate scholarship or OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarship).
    • Important for foreign students!!! Our university offers a limited number of international scholarships to reduce tuition for outstanding foreign students. If you speak French and choose the language of communication in French when submitting your application, then you have a good chance to get one, otherwise the chance is dismally low (unless you are super good). I generally do not accept international students who do not get such a tuition fee waiver because the salary would not be sufficient to cover both foreign student tuition and living expenses.
    • Formal application should be submitted at http://www.grad.uOttawa.ca/apply
  • Local info:
    1. Our Biology Department
    2. University of Ottawa
    3. Ottawa: the Canadian capital.
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