Research posters and pubs from before college

Dec 25, 2019
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Hey friends,

So. Long story short, I worked in an undergrad lab when I was a senior in high school, and we presented our poster for it at a national conference. This was in May of 2017. Technically it was a couple months before I was in college, but can I still count it for my app purposes? I ask because I know people usually frown on pre-college activities being included on the app.
 

KnightDoc

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Hey friends,

So. Long story short, I worked in an undergrad lab when I was a senior in high school, and we presented our poster for it at a national conference. This was in May of 2017. Technically it was a couple months before I was in college, but can I still count it for my app purposes? I ask because I know people usually frown on pre-college activities being included on the app.
It's a poster from 4 years ago, before you were in UG. If you've done other things since then, you don't need it. If you haven't, you've got bigger problems than pre-UG activities being frowned upon.
 
Dec 25, 2019
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It's a poster from 4 years ago, before you were in UG. If you've done other things since then, you don't need it. If you haven't, you've got bigger problems than pre-UG activities being frowned upon.
I have two years research since then, just no pubs. Figured I could throw it in one of the extra activity slots, since I'm not gonna use all 15 most likely
 
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KnightDoc

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I have two years research since then, just no pubs. Figured I could throw it in one of the extra activity slots, since I'm not gonna use all 15 most likely
I don't think it will kill you, but the common wisdom is to only include pre-UG activities if they continued into UG (i.e., you stayed involved with the lab in UG). Try not to get too hung up on pubs. The adcoms say very few applicants, even at top schools, have pubs in places they actually care about. Research is important at top schools. Pubs, not so much, since they are really more determined by the productivity of the PI than on anything you are doing as a UG.

I'd actually ask a few of the experts (@gyngyn @LizzyM @Moko etc.) what they think, because, TBH, pointing out that you participated in a poster in HS, and haven't been involved in any pubs since, might actually be worse than not mentioning it at all (i.e., you haven't built on the great experience you had in HS). JMHO, I'm far from an expert here, since I didn't have any opportunities like that in HS.
 

LizzyM

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The is a "rule of thumb" rather than a hard & fast rule. Presenting at a national meeting as a HS senior is a good thing and a legit thing to put on your application if you have the space.

While it would be nice to take those skills to a college lab, it doesn't always result in publications given the slow pace of some research.

Would you fault any of the students from the HS in this news report if they were to put their published genomic sequences and their national meeting presentation on an AMCAS application? I wouldn't.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Posters and publications go with you wherever you go but they become less valuable if you peaked in HS and did nothing afterwards. My kid had publication for HS work but nothing for UG work at the time of the application, but he has strong research (and PI LOR) to show.
 
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Dec 29, 2019
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I am in a similar situation and had some stuff that got published the summer after I graduated high school, my health advisor said I should include it. It's just a citation too, net neutral at worst.
 
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