What types of research do T20 schools (UChicago or Northwestern) like?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
Not open for further replies.


New Member
Dec 22, 2023
Reaction score
I am currently applying to the NIH's postbac program, and because my undergrad research experience is very dry lab, health disparities oriented, I haven't had much luck. I'm looking more towards applying to health disparities institution, so very epidemiological-based research, but I was wondering if doing this through this program would still give me a shot at entry to UChicago or Northwestern. Or do they like basic science research?

How can I get into basic science research without any experience in it?

Members don't see this ad.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
They like research that YOU liked and were productive in. Preferably related to science/medicine/health in some way, but definitely does not have to be basic science—can be clinical, epidemiological, etc. As long as you had a genuine reason to pursue it, showed dedication and the ability to problem-solve, and generated something tangible that you’re proud of (eg posters, manuscripts, theses, etc) THAT is what they want. Then be able to talk about it enthusiastically and intelligently in your app and interviews. Coming from a T5 student with insight into our admissions process.

Research is also only a piece of the puzzle. For many, it’s a box to check. Check it well, but don’t bank on it being the reason you have a shot at any school, let alone a T20. Even people with PhD-level research don’t have success as applicants.
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users
Not open for further replies.