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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/14/2017 in all areas

  1. 5 points

    How to get through grad school

    This strategy helped me survive a 20 hour a week GA ship; working 16 hours a week; full-time grad classes, and an additional part-time teaching job while I was a commuter from 90-120 minutes away from the school. So, not in SLP, this may help a bit. 1. Write out your self-care needs. It may feel weird to have this prioritized as number 1, but that’s the only way to stay healthy enough and focus long enough to make it through grad school. What are things you need to feel energized and healthy? Do you need interaction, sleep, working out, etc.? Make a plan that includes all the necessary items to keep you healthy. Mine included: No less than 6 hours of sleep for any more than 2 days a week. I just don't function well and would crash for about 12 hours the following day. Snacks. Lots of little snacks and nibbles throughout the day a 'home' to come back to. I was willing to travel 90-120 minutes one way if I came home to my cuddle-y cats and loving boyfriend These times were untouchable until right before finals. Then, I was sown together solely by caffeine and luckily had a boyfriend who shoved under my face to remind me I had to eat. He was also nice enough to wait to watch any of our shows until finals ended. 2. Worker smarter, not harder. Consider what you can bundle. When you can choose research articles, choose smarter. Have articles that really cross over into multiple subjects. Overlap projects, roles, whatever you can. My plan looked similar to this: My GA-ship and internships allowed me to research class articles and read during downtimes (such as if a client skipped out on me). That would give me maybe an additional 6 hours in a week I would take notes at work of experiences, anecdotes, stories that reflected course material and discuss those notes in class discussion time Most of my research papers had overlaying articles from other coursework. I wouldn’t copy the papers, but I would use one article to inform about 6 different papers, and back up those professional observations. I started taking public transit more so I could read, watch class videos and write papers during the trips. Writing client notes immediately after every session. I ended all sessions 10-15 minutes before the next one to carve out the notes quickly. They were more accurate and make me less overwhelmed at the end of the day. I still usually have 30 minutes after everything was done at the internships to go back and fill in any gaps, or add any observations I thought of as the day progressed. One I wish I had, but couldn’t make work: more study groups and group notes. I’ve heard of people taking notes via google docs (in a group document), and that sounds like a fantastic idea to me. 3. Have a plan realize you won't keep that plan, but it was a nice idea. No, this isn't hyperbole. I know a ton of people who said they had a 'schedule' but they never kept to it. It included blocks of time to study, work-out, you name it. The only benefit of writing out the plan was seeing if I legitimately had enough time in the day, or if I had to just to step 4. 4. Be realistic. If you legitimately cannot keep your schedule as it is, something’s got to give. That might mean dropping hours somewhere, dropping to part-time classes, etc. This is when you schedule with an academic advisor to discuss how and where you should refocus your energy. I hope this helped, at least some what!
  2. 4 points
  3. 4 points

    Schools and Controversies

    Don't do that. If you've taken the time to look up the grievances against Manning, then you've seen that she uses feminine pronouns. But, I understand your point and I tend to think in the same way. It makes a difference if it's an institutional issue or if it's a smaller division of the university.
  4. 3 points

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    It's sad funny just how many of these your post hits.
  5. 3 points
    You might want to educate yourself about respecting women, yes. Why is it surprising that women want to be treated as human beings that have value beyond their reproductive organs?
  6. 3 points

    Need help making sense of correspondence

    Everyone so far has been dancing around the ideological question here, too. With the rise of subaltern studies, post-colonial studies, etc., in history of the past six hundred years or so, it is no longer considered complete to study only the conquerers, only the imperialists, only the invaders, and to speak and work with only their language(s). There are, of course, exceptions: when the less powerful groups' language(s) are dead, especially if they don't have much of a textual tradition; if the less powerful groups' members have all become fluent in the hegemonic language (think many indigenous groups in the US, if you want to study their history e.g. 1945 to present); and sometimes if you're dealing with an extensively multi-lingual group. Some suffrance is also granted to accessibility—because fewer universities offer Nahuatl than Mandarin, more Nahua-specialist graduate students enter with poor Nahuatl than China-specialists with poor Mandarin. None of those apply to your field. Take this: That's not a defense—rather, it throws up an extravaganza of red flags about your research project itself. Thirty years ago, when your professors were getting their PhDs, maybe just studying French colonial officials' reports was considered enough to get the full story. I don't doubt that the language expectations were less intense! Academics' standards for "the full story" have, however, improved. I'm not saying you can't do a cutting-edge, rigorous, award-winning research project on North Africa whose body of primary evidence is written 90% in French. (Although it sounds like access to recent Arabic historiography is still an issue.) When—not really "if"—your research takes you to Arabic-language sources, however, you must be able to handle discovering complexity in them. To respond to your most recent post, like, okay, I think we can be flexible about "excellent" word choice, if that's what's throwing you. Maybe you don't need "excellent" Arabic. Maybe "really good" is sufficient. At this point in academia, though, it seems clear that most places, "just okay" is no longer enough. Maybe it was five years ago, when the older graduate students were applying! It does sound like there's been a broader expectations shift, however. Like @telkanuru said, you may find an exception and find admission to a PhD program in MENA history. You are still likely to have difficulties later, though, whether in completing the dissertation (quickly?) or in competing for jobs—and it's one of those situations that it sounds like the department you originally emailed is responding to. This would make a master's a wise plan, or one of those all-Arabic all-the-time summer courses; if my friends who take Arabic have given me much indication, at all but the most intensive places, two years of Arabic is about equivalent to one, or not quite one, year of French. I'm guesstimating, but it sounded like four years (or equivalent) was about where people got good enough to start a PhD. It may not sound right, but it's quite true that the PhD doesn't leave enough time for language study to count on your abilities improving dramatically.
  7. 3 points
    Thank you both for your thoughtful advice. I really appreciated your fresh perspective. No one else is spoken to presented suggestions quite so well. If anyone is curious about how it turned out, I am pleased to share. I did ask my advisor about the situation, and she too voiced a concern that the coordinating professor for the teaching position might be offended if I asked to quit in the Spring for a research position. My advisor especially noted that as a coauthor I needed to be extra careful in handling this. However, she instructed me to speak with the coordinating professor immediately and be upfront in assuring said professor that if it inconvenienced or upset her that I would absolutely turn down the research position with no questions asked. I was extremely nervous walking into that conversation, but turned out my worries were not warranted. The coordinating professor did find the request odd and told me that typically this is a year commitment and she would hold me to it. However, the circumstances just so happen to be that the 5 positions teaching positions that we currently have for the fall are not all needed for the Spring. In fact, the department only need 4. Despite only needing 4, the department was trying to make 5 positions for the Spring just to ensure no one loses funding. Therefore, the coordinating professor was happy to release from the teaching position into the research position. It actually worked better for everyone involved. I am aware that I lucked out in this case this situation could have gone badly. However, I also wish I'd been more secure and less worried about having the conversation with her. The coordinating professor and I are very close, and I honestly don't think she would have held it over my head for simply asking had it not been possible.
  8. 3 points

    HGSE 2018

    Hello, everyone! I am a devout gradcafe lurker, who has finally decided to apply to HGSE! I have attended two HGSE Diversity Recruitment evengs, and have talked to dozens of HGSE alumni, and I would like to share with you some of the info that I have collected over the years: - H is not "a perfect place but it is a special place" - Mohan Boodram, Assoc.Dean of Enrollment & Student Services - "H doesn't have outliners here. H has a home for everyone" - M. Boodram - Goal of HGSE Admissions office: fit is paramount. We want to make sure that you are at the right place - "Warmth of the community and authenticity of the people" -- Julia Deland -"Power of peer learning experience" -- Julia Deland - HGSE professors are easily accessible to students even before you enroll into their class. They want to make sure that their classes fit your interests -You can cross register at MIT & Tufts - Statement of purpose is VERY different from personal essay. Statement of Purpose is about your professional achievements & what you have done with your life & why you want to go to HGSE, and NOT about intimate/personal story - Go through 460 pages of HGSE course offerings to decide on which to take. It will blow your mind. - Your A.W. score is very important as most of the HGSE courses are writing intensive. - Get in touch with a student ambassador from your program. They give info on things that can't be found anywhere online. - Explore what you can do during J-Term (if you are planning on taking it). - Explore things that are unique to HGSE (J term, class with Sesame Street producers, class with Project Zero creators, for example). - Start your essay ASAP because most of the programs require lengthy, detailed answers. Essay for PSP, for example, is up to 1500 words. - Attend webinars. You get answers to questions you haven't even thought about it. - Sign up for HGSE Twitter and Facebook accounts to be updated on what the school is doing. - Message the alumni of the program you are applying to. They are super helpful. - There is actually no cut off GRE score or GPA.
  9. 2 points

    Clinical vs. Counseling Psychology

    I'm in my last year of a counseling psych program (on internship), and my experience has been that the counseling psych students' research interests are (broadly) more focused on career and multicultural/social justice issues. By comparison, the clinical psych students I've taken classes with tend to be much more focused on psychopathology (as kita mentioned) and neuropsych. That being said, both concentrations are required to take neuropsych and a subset of other core classes. With regard to internship, counseling psych students have traditionally skewed more toward university counseling center settings, but there are so many individual difference factors that come into play when deciding between applying to clinical or counseling, such as pursuing a research mentor who shares similar interests. More info on match stats between clinical and counseling students can be found here: http://www.appic.org/Match/MatchStatistics/ApplicantSurvey2016Part2.aspx. As schizometric mentioned, both clinical and counseling psych lead to the same licensure as a state-licensed clinical psychologist.
  10. 2 points

    To outline or not

    In.... what context?
  11. 2 points

    Prepping for the 2018 cycle!

    Hey @rhlabbasinejad ! Welcome to the dark side (aka anth, haha). Before any of us can really answer your main question, what are your specific research interests within anth? What do you want to study, where do you want to study (research location, not school), and how do you want to study it? Since goodness of fit is super important in an application, answering these questions may help us narrow down programs at which you would be happy. Now, as for the two questions you have listed. Other than a lack of classes, I know nothing of your background. Everyone has a chance to get into a PhD program, but there are a lot of factors to consider. What can you leverage that would make you a good anth applicant? Have you tried to attend conferences, done any research outside of school, spent time exploring what anth has to offer outside of the two classes you took? Furthermore, is your research topic connected to your previous studies in Mechanical Engineering or can you leverage that degree towards your future studies? I don't know much about mechanical engineering, so this example may not connect, but I did a project where we partnered with Nissan to explore how people interact with parking and how that might change with the adoption of autonomous vehicles. Most anth programs will state that they consider your SoP (aka where you show goodness of fit) the most important factor in an application with GRE and GPA seen as less important and usually used to create a basic cut-off more than anything else. Given your different background, I have no idea how your GPA will factor in, but GRE scores should have the same weight. As far as funded MA, that's tricky. There are many MA programs in the US that do not state they are funded (and quite a few that do), but they actually provide employment opportunities that can cover or reduce tuition. For instance, I did not attend a funded MA, but I became a TA and had my tuition waived (plus a monthly stipend) the last year of my program. In the first year of my program, I worked as an RA and had a federal grant reduce my tuition. It may be safer to go Canada first (don't mean to pry and no need to answer, but I am a bit curious about what kind of family issues make all of Canada not an option), but, as an ignorant citizen of the US, I know very little about Canadian programs.
  12. 2 points

    GRE question

    I wouldn't take the GRE again; a few points on the Q is unlikely to make a big difference in your results.
  13. 2 points

    Finding Graduate Placements

    Going to UCLA to do a PhD in Chinese History is definitely not going to be the thing that prevents you from getting a job. (Also, FYI, funding at UCLA is a lot better than it was even 10 years ago, so you'll be much better supported than a fair number of the PhD students who finished in the past decade, which is a big help, though as the example of the CalTech asst prof shows, the claim about no students of your prospective advisor getting jobs in the past 10 years is not true. BTW, said CalTech asst prof did really well in the job market, even aside from the job she ended up taking).
  14. 2 points

    Need help making sense of correspondence

    The difficulty, then, is when does your Arabic need to be really good by? I don't doubt your estimate of how fast you'll reach that level. Instead, the difficulty I foresee is that if your Arabic becomes really good by comps, it's awfully challenging to catch up to someone who's been able to spend all of those summers doing research in Arabic. I don't want to tell you "go away and spend three more years learning Arabic before you'll be competitive for programs in this field." My suspicion is that "three" is not the correct number in that sentence. However, I do think your Arabic is going to knock you out of the running in at least a good chunk of any PhD programs to which you might apply this cycle. If you really want to go to a program this year so you're going to apply anyway, that is your prerogative.
  15. 2 points
    What about those entering the top 5? The ones you're going to have to fight for jobs with on the other end?
  16. 2 points
    What was the standard for admission in previous cycles may not be the standard in subsequent cycles. More generally, I think that discounting the guidance that one receives from a professor and holding on to views developed from the outside is not a best practice.
  17. 2 points

    A New Sophomore Seeks Advice!

    Yeah, most European (including UK) jobs don't make it to PhilJobs, and the same is true for most other regions of the world. Even a lot of Canadian jobs don't hit PhilJobs. But most of those markets are pretty terribly over-saturated. I applied for jobs in more than a dozen countries on my last job run, and I'm not at all exceptional in doing so. A lot of Americans confine themselves to American jobs (and a lot of Britons and Euros to Euro jobs), but the number of people who don't isn't insignificant. It's like the difference between 600 applicants and 50-100; that's a big numerical difference, true, but in the end it doesn't do much to actually improve your chances.
  18. 2 points
    @serenade Writing dissertation proposals is different for everyone, unfortunately. I came in with a MA and that dissertation topic (coming out from my MA thesis) and knew pretty much what I wanted to write. For me, as a born-researcher, working on my dissertation proposal was far much more fun and easier than prepping for the comps. I barely stressed out. I will say that prepping for the comps definitely changed the way I wanted to entered in various conversations. If this is your first go at writing a proposal and haven't thought much about your dissertation since you started it will be challenging. My guess is that if you are able to demonstrate in clear ways your work contributes to the extant scholarship, particularly if the sources are relatively new or a different methodology that hadn't really be considered, you will likely be fine. Having prepped for the comps should have given you a clear sense of what is considered a clear, nuanced approach to the historical problem at hand, not a simplified one as undergraduate papers tend to do. The information coming out of your adviser's meeting sounds terrific. Yes, 2-3 times should be just fine. Remember, none of these professors expected to have to make time for your this semester so you will have to work with what they have on their plate. My professors certainly didn't and prioritized our meetings only when they knew for sure they had the energy and time for the discussions. You will soon find the last meeting for each to be like, "why are we here again? We've talked about everything, as it seems." The professors will use these meetings to measure your level of improvement, particularly if you are the type who feels more comfortable one-on-one than in a group (as I was). My adviser also said the same about not using writtens during the next round of oral; you will just have to be ready for whatever. That said, demonstrate your increased comfort level, ability to teach a survey course, and understanding of history and historiography during your meetings this semester and the committee will likely put more weight on your improvement as much as what actually happens on that day. As for questions, you might actually want to look back at old AP European history exam questions and see how you can answer them with a mix of historical facts and scholarly arguments. I remember how embarrassed I was when my adviser, also embarrassed, told me that a number of questions I was asked were based on undergraduate survey course final exams.... #facepalm
  19. 2 points
    Current student at one of the schools you listed. Your GRE scores are fine, and wouldn't be something I would worry about (mine was aa 4.5 in writing as well and both my V and Q were lower than yours––much lower). Other than that, your undergraduate trajectory actually reflects my own. Same GPA, same RA experience, I didn't co--author though but I was credited in a study I worked on. I speak three languages and english also wasn't my first language either (I was born and raised here too!) Anyway, I think that you shouldn't worry about the GRE stuff, like at all. Like, I mean, stop thinking about it completely. Start focusing on your statement of purpose, your personal statement (for Berkeley, and Columbia now accepts little "diversity" snippets), your writing sample and your CV! The one piece of advice I would give you (actually one isn't enough LOL) is write a statement of purpose that let's your voice shine; so we get to know you. I tried to hide too much of myself in my statement. Be honest about what draws you to your fields of interest and how sociology can help you build a set of questions around it (and how, not just why, you're the person that will make a significant contribution to those fields; whether it's because of your personal experiences or because of the research questions you've already begun asking in your thesis, or because in the process of reviewing a piece of literature a series of questions emerged and so as a result you've begun learning about a particular set of computational tools you'd like to pursue under Professor X to help you answer those questions etc.) Undergraduate applicants also have a habit of summarizing their coursework––don't do that. Rather, focus on how a set of sociological fields have guided you to your study on X and actually talk about that study (what did you do; how did you do it; what were your findings; how does your thesis reflect a change in what others have thought about/said about what you've studied, etc.). You can also point to how your RA helped guide you through your questions or methods, etc. From there, point to what you'll be pursuing in graduate school (following the method of how you explained your work thus far). The trick here is to think about how your past work left you with new, unanswered questions or methodology you'd like to pursue. Maybe you were looking at white and black students but didn't look at asian students and now want to do a comparative to see if this would produce a change to your observations and/or theory. When you're done you move into why this program; mainly who you want to work with, etc. BUT don't forget about geography––actually, that's really important. Why NYC? Why the Bay Area? To answer that talk about how your research makes sense in the context of the social world the university is in/around. That's fine if you want to conduct fieldwork abroad or thousands of miles outside of campus; you'll most likely be supported at any of these programs. That said, you'll still have years of coursework before you do that and so these programs wanna make sure you'll make the most of your time in the area you're in (for instance, if you're studying the relationship between economic relations and knowledge production through the social life of tech startups, the Bay Area or New York might make the most sense for you... but don't just assume they know this. Tell 'em.) What else... oh, reach out to one or two professors you align with and one or two graduate students (ideally 3rd or 4th+ years). More than half of the people I met during admissions day had made contact with either a professor or a graduate student (or both). Try aiming for tenured junior faculty opposed to senior faculty (although the latter can't hurt either). I'll leave you with this. I didn't get in my first or go my second time. But that's okay too, actually. I'm still the youngest in my cohort and, frankly, it was the right move. You'd be surprised how much your interests change once you actually leave academia. All of a sudden, you realize, you have many more interesting questions you'd like to ask and it's those questions that will make you stand out if the first time doesn't work out. Good luck and lemme know if you have any questions!
  20. 2 points

    Choosing PhD Topic

    While long-term thinking is good, you should also consider the likelihood of reaching your most immediate goal, which is acceptance to a fully-funded PhD program in the United States. Not to be a total party pooper, but what you've written thus far does not inspire confidence that you understand what is required to gain acceptance to these highly selective programs. First, PhD programs -- at least in the U.S. context, with which I am more familiar -- do not take students and train them from scratch. That is, if you don't already have training in statistics and mathematical modeling, it is difficult to imagine a program accepting you to pursue #2. Likewise for #1 if you have no significant research experience using or engaging with ethnographic theories and methods. If I were you, I would choose the research agenda for which you are already most likely to be successful in the short-to-medium range term. Second, rather than thinking about just a bounded research topic, it might also behoove you to think about disciplinary constraints and training. That is, PhD programs also seek to mold you into a disciplinarian -- i.e. a political scientist, anthropologist, sociologist, historian, etc. To be accepted into a PhD program, you must be able to explain your project in the language and norms of the discipline that you enter. I encourage you to stay away from "Big History" and "cliodynamics" in your SOP, as these are still decidedly outside of mainstream academia. Topic #1 seems to be most immediately legible IMO, though you should also think more specifically about the population you want to specialize in (i.e. what area of the world?). For Topic #2, you might want to look through the literature on world systems theory or browse the leadership of the Political Economy of the World-System section of the American Sociological Association, as those scholars might be more sympathetic to a project such as yours.
  21. 1 point
    So, is it possible for you to discreetly look into switching advisors/topics? Advisors can have a huge influence on your life, and not getting along with them can be very hard. I personally think that having good compatibility with your advisor is a *lot* more important than the particular project you're working on (as long as you're not totally bored with it). I'd opt for the seemingly less interesting topic with the great advisor over the awesome topic with meh advisor any day of the week. So I think the question is whether there is someone in your program who you get along with who could be that advisor for you. Since it sounds like you had a good undergrad experience, hopefully you have some idea of what works for you, and now you also have some idea as to what doesn't. Maybe that means just meeting with people or showing up at their lab meetings to see how they interact with students. If that option could exist, it could be worth looking into. If not, another option is perhaps Mastering out of your current program and applying for another PhD program, hopefully this time with a lot more emphasis on finding an advisor that's a good fit for you. That would prolong your time to stability, but would keep options open and it might be a way to get yourself out of the bad place you're in now. Either way, I think you need to change something, because staying in an unhappy situation for years is just not healthy.
  22. 1 point

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    The truth is the terms male/female could refer to any animal. Although I don't find it offensive, I do prefer to be called by a human term. Simply saying female instead of woman/women infers a lower order animal, that has been used in the past to relegate women to lower positions of power. It becomes a bullying tactic some men use in grad school towards women. I call my undergrad students men and women, because they are adults, albeit young ones.
  23. 1 point

    Schools and Controversies

    So, I'm sure you guys saw that Harvard took back their fellowship offer to Chelsea Manning. One commentator I was listening to said that we should all stop supporting Harvard, stop applying. They said that Harvard was effectively controlled by the government, because they listened to the criticism of the CIA. It got me thinking. Are there any schools you won't apply to because of something controversial they've done? Is it right to blame an entire institution? For example, with Charlottesville, are any of you not considering the University of Virginia because of the Neo-Nazi demonstrations? Or, have any of you decided not to apply to Penn State because of the years that the school spent covering up for Jerry Sandusky?
  24. 1 point

    Fall 2018 Canadian Application Prep

    Yes, they do. http://www.ryerson.ca/psychology/programs/graduate/how-to-apply/ http://www.ryerson.ca/psychology/programs/graduate/how-to-apply/gre-scores/
  25. 1 point

    How to get through grad school

    Depends on the snacks. If you plan out snacks to be stuff like fruit, veggies, nuts, etc., that's usually healthier for you thank a lot of packed lunches and follows the 'grazing' suggestion while managing cravings better. If having a jar of nuts or dried fruit stopped me from stopping at a burger king on the road, I was much better off!
  26. 1 point

    Rangel Fellowship 2018

    My Personal Statement is now at 598 meaning my reccommendations (Both of them!) are the only thing left to complete. I'm dying here. Luckily one of them works in my office and we're close so I can complain to her face but the professor will take some emailing. He's notorious for being last minute which made me nervous to ask him in the first place but he really is the perfect guy for the job assuming he pulls it together.
  27. 1 point

    Rangel Fellowship 2018

    Also: I got a Poli-Sci graduate who worked in copy editing to read my statement and we cut it down to 619! Yay! I'm very verbose (if you hadn't noticed) so this is huge lol. I'm trying to get those last 19 words out now, then I'll be done. ...until my reccommenders get their acts together anyway.....
  28. 1 point
    gnossienne n.3

    Medieval Applicants (2018)

    Last year @loganondorf started a topic for medieval applicants in the Literature forum, which was a great little group for those of us who applied last year, regardless of discipline. I thought I'd poach it for the History forum this year! So: if you're a medievalist, what are your areas of interest? What are your languages and how do you like to practice? Where are you thinking of applying? What are you up to at the moment? I'm on my second application round, after successes with MA programs in the UK that unfortunately did not come with sufficient funding. I work on later medieval science and technology, with a focus on cross-cultural intellectual exchange. I'll be applying to MA and PhD programs (working on finalizing the list) and working on Latin and German in my free time! In addition to those, I have pretty reasonable working proficiency in French, which I learned in high school and college. I graduated a few years ago, so I've been living and working in NYC for the time being. Looking forward to hearing from you!
  29. 1 point

    Whether I should apply or not

    From your posts, it seems that you are overlooking a lot of important factors when it comes to graduate school and individual programs. The structure of the program ACTUALLY matters, so i would look into those ASAP. Also, you can't actually be neutral when writing your SOPs. There must be something about the school that you care about that is not simply the fact that there's professors that do the work you want to do. If you say that during the interview, they'll know you don't actually care about the school and you'll likely be rejected. Across all my interviews, the most common question for me was "Why do you want to come here?". It is also worthy to point out that, though it shouldn't be a main factor in your decision making, name brand matters, especially in academia. Top schools tend to not only have more resources, but they also have a wider network of connections that'll most likely help you land a job--- so take that into consideration. PS: Scripps level of prestige is comparable to Harvard's, and the competition there will also be intense. Thus, if you question your ability to get into Harvard, that applies to Scripps as well.
  30. 1 point
    Rotations are done either in the first year or semester of a program (this differs a lot by program) and last for a few weeks. You contact a PI after you are admitted into a program to set up a rotation if he/she are accepting students. My impression is that they are mandatory for the programs that do them, and the number of rotations you do differ from program to program. Some do 2, some do up to 4. The institution I'm working at now does 4 rotations over the course of the first year, 9 weeks each, and there is option for a 5th if none of those work out. If you can't find a lab after that, then you are basically removed from the program. I would look at student handbooks on the websites of the programs, or any other information that lets you know how their systems work. For the last question... I will tell you what the institution I'm working at does for their umbrella biomedical sciences program. For interviews, there are 4 faculty members. One member is on the admissions committee, one is on the recruiting committee, and the other two are individuals whose research you are interested in. The program director will send an email before the interview weekend asking which faculty you would be interested in potentially working with.
  31. 1 point
    This depends on a lot of things. Here are two data points. During my 2 year MSc in Canada, I presented at three conferences. The first was May of the first year. The second was the beginning of my 2nd year. The last was in May of my second year (I did two full years for the MSc, defended in August of 2nd year). During my 5 year PhD at a US school, number of presentations which I travelled for: First year: 1 conference presentation Second year: 2 conference presentations Third year: 3 conference presentations, plus a couple at small meetings/conferences hosted at my school Fourth year: 3 conference presentations, plus a couple at small meetings/conferences hosted at my school Fifth year: 2 conferences where I travelled, 1 conference that was in the same city, and 9 presentations at different schools** **It's common in my field for finishing grad students to set up talk tours where they visit places they might want to do postdocs. This is partly because many students apply for national fellowships in postdocs where you apply to a general fund for money (e.g. as you might apply to SSHRC for grad studies) so it's helpful to visit or get "invited" to these places and write up research proposals. I say "invited" because it's very easy to get an official invite if your advisor is paying for you to travel there (usually this means the school just has to cover local costs for you). But there were a couple in there that were actual unsolicited invitations. The conferences I attended were usually the annual meeting for one of the national society for my field each year and then one or two focus conferences that are smaller (60-300 people) specifically focussed on the topic. My advisor and I talked at the beginning of each year on what conferences I should try to go to. Typically, my advisor had money for me to go to 1 overseas conference per year and 2 North American meetings. I also had external funding from Canada (NSERC) for my first 3 years and a NASA fellowship in my last 2 years that also provided $3000/year of research funds in addition to reducing my advisor's cost to pay my stipend, so it was easier to find money for me to travel. Finally, I was at a department that encouraged their students to travel and present research and represent our program. Starting in our 3rd year, we also present at the weekly department seminars once per year and there are many student presentation opportunities on campus to develop and hone our skills. We also often present in group meetings etc, so we get a ton of practice talking about our research. I also volunteer a lot of time to give presentations to local schools or other non-profits in the area.
  32. 1 point

    Grad School Bullies

    they don't have to be. I think the best networking is when you can combine the two.
  33. 1 point

    Test in 3 days. I KNOW I'm going to bomb.

    Just looking at your profile and everything you have to offer, I don't think your GRE score will prevent you from getting into at least the latter three of the five schools you mentioned in your post. However, if you want to use the funds, I think upping your verbal score a couple of points and getting your quant score to the 50th percentile will be valuable. Also, less than a 4 on the writing section would be a bit worrisome to me for a PhD candidate. If you look up the various formulas for writing the GRE essays, a 4.5 or better is easily achievable. I scored a 5 on writing simply by using a common five-paragraph essay format (intro, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion), taking mostly a stance of disagreement on the issue essay with one or two counterarguments interspersed, and then just crazily debunking the argument in the argument essay to the point of attacking the prompt, haha. I went back and checked for any grammar/spelling errors and made sure not to repeat any words more than a couple times. That should definitely get you where you want to be writing wise. I wish I could offer more tips for the other sections, but our scores are closely mirrored (higher quant, lower verbal for me). Hope this helps!
  34. 1 point
    You're not suggesting people go on the internet to get the great void to affirm whatever course of action they've decided on, are you? That's just crazy.
  35. 1 point
    Looks like Boise state university submitted letter of intent/ Does anyone know when the program will be opening? @Nefelibata I am not going to conference this year, but I went last year. Most people were wearing business casual!
  36. 1 point

    Move back & work or apply to grad school?

    Exactly. Get creative. Its alright to panic, sometimes panic is a good wake up call that we need to change things up. But don't let it freeze you. Use that energy to moving towards your goals
  37. 1 point
    It is weird how often members of this BB ask for advice from strangers after getting guidance from professors.
  38. 1 point

    How to email a lab you want to join

    To me, if I got it cold from a student, that second paragraph reads very abrasively. It comes across less as interest, and more as questioning the validity of the work and asking them to justify what they're doing and why. Especially leading into your third paragraph, where you basically assume they'll respond. Nowhere in your message do you mention anything like "I'm sure you're busy", or "if you have time, I was curious"- things that take the tone from entitled to polite. But now we're also getting back to the "why are you doing this" question. What are you hoping to gain from it? Introducing yourself through email doesn't help much with admissions in chemistry, and if you set the wrong tone it has the potential to hurt. You don't want to get lumped in with the large number of people that send what are basically form letters to a bunch of different faculty that everyone treats as spam.
  39. 1 point

    Did you enjoy grad school?

    I'm thoroughly enjoying grad school, but that's because I'm a non-traditional older student. The motivation and dedication I have now didn't exist when I was an undergrad or even during my first master's program a long time ago. My interest is at such a high level that I'm applying to PhD programs for next year. Did you recently graduate from college? If so, maybe it's academic burnout. If not, I assume you must have had some interest in grad school if you applied. What reasons are causing anxiety at the start of the semester? Is one of them imposter syndrome? Flip your thinking around to a glass half full. Think that you're incredibly fortunate to be in grad school, as a part of a very small select group vis-à-vis the general population. Motivate yourself by interacting positively with your classmates; you will learn from them as they will learn from you. Get involve in other aspects of the school you're attending. Every college/university has tons of activities for you to participate. If you're working full-time and don't have much free time, then get yourself in a study or project group, or start one yourself. There are academic support services in every program, so avail yourself of that. There are other ways to get out of a rut, but this is a start. Good luck!
  40. 1 point
    This PPT presentation might be helpful: https://grad.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/career-resources/DiversityStatement_Presentation.pdf Rather than "specific forms of diversity that academia wants," it might be more useful to think of the reality of diversity within universities and how you will attend to challenges that diversity inevitably raises. Even if you do not have a demonstrated commitment to underprivileged communities, you will be (and likely have been) teaching, collaborating, and interacting with groups and individuals who come from enormously different backgrounds. Universities essentially want to ensure that you will not be a liability as a co-worker and educator, and that you have at least put some thought into pondering the very real challenges of teaching and researching across diversity. They want to make sure that you are aware that you will be teaching students and working with individuals who come from different backgrounds, and that a one-size-fits-all model is not always the most effective. The diversity statement is also a way to show that you are capable of considering alternative perspectives and can show some level of sensitivity, tact, and empathy. What has equipped you to effectively communicate with individuals who are different than you, and what are some strategies to build connections across difference? How would you pedagogically approach a classroom with students who come from different linguistic, national, class, and racial backgrounds, and what steps might you take to ensure that everyone benefits from the diversity of experiences in the room? What is your approach to mentoring students who might not be as familiar with North American academic norms (e.g. first generation students, international students, etc)? These are questions that I think everyone applying to academic jobs should at least consider.
  41. 1 point

    NSF GRFP 2017-18

    Trying to do anything for this fellowship (or honestly, any grant) without sounding cheesy is.... really difficult. Embrace the cheese!
  42. 1 point
    First off, this is absolutely wonderful of you and I know that I (and I'm sure many other students) really appreciate the offer, especially as application season gets underway. Onto the question - I'm finishing up my MFA in Music Composition at The California Institute of the Arts this year, and through that have gained some experience in both the dance and theater fields as well. I'm planning on applying to Doctoral Programs in Performance Studies and doing research in dance and music (particularly the resurgence of burlesque in modernity) - I was wondering if it would make more sense to apply just to a PhD program since I'll already have a Master's, or if I should apply to an MA/PhD since my Master's will not be in the exact same area? I figure it'll be somewhat different case by case, but I'd love to get your perspective on it! Thanks again!
  43. 1 point

    Starting PhD...in 30s?

    I did exactly this, started my PhD in my mid-30s as a single childless woman in a cohort where most other students are about a decade younger. What helped me the most was going in knowing that my cohort or even my department wouldn't meet all of my social needs. I do sometimes socialize with my cohort because they are nice people and can actually be fun, but after spending so many hours with them each week I really don't desire to hang with them all the time outside of that. I figured being at a large public university I'd be able to connect with grad students in other departments that might be older, so I gave that a whirl. Unfortunately most of the people I came across were still either much younger or just living a completely different life being married with kids. I then chose to take my social life completely off campus and am happy I did. I signed up for every things to do in this city list I could find, picked up all the free local papers, volunteered, and joined meetup groups to force myself to attend a few things each week whether I felt like it or not. I did things I knew I like, tried things I'd never heard of, and gave things I previously felt hohum about another shot. I wouldn't say I have close friends yet and that's ok. But I do have people that when I see them out I can hang with them and it isn't weird or we can and do text each other to exchange invites. The best part is most of the people I've met are not in school so I'm not constantly sucked into school stuff. After having been in the working world I definitely appreciate the variety in my social life and don't want to feel like I can't ever get a break from school. I also head out of town during school breaks to visit family and friends I haven't seen awhile because there is nothing like being surrounded by people who know you well. As for dating, this too I've taken completely off campus because I just don't want that kind of drama in what I consider my workplace. Depending on the type of person (LGBT, other race/ethnicity, specific religion, etc) you wish to date there may be limited choices based on the region of the world your program is in. Also if you wish to date someone your age or older they may have assumptions about grad students that make dating harder such as you must have bad finances, you'll struggle to get a job when you graduate, your degree will take 10 years, you lack direction or something is wrong with you if you're this old and doing this, you don't have time to date, etc. I personally just mention the general industry I'm in until it seems like I may want to get to know a guy better, then he can have more specific details. Otherwise its just like dating when you work full time. Sometimes its fun and other times it really sucks lol.
  44. 1 point

    When and how to contact POIs

    It can be really hard to sort through those posts because there are SO many responses in a thread. I think it's nice to have a thread about this all together for future applicants. Anyways, when I reached out to POIs, I erred on the side of professionalism. That means says "dear" at the start, as awkward as that feels. Here's a sort of template to go by: "Dear So and So, I am a (enter here: graduate of, undergrad/graduate student at, etc.) studying (enter major/specialization) and I am considering applying to doctoral programs this fall. My interest(s) is(are) XYZ, and after much research, I am interested in working with you if you are able to accept new graduate students in the fall of 2018. My research... (talk about your research interests, past research, research style, etc.) I have read (enter name of book/article/publication by POI) and it sparked my interest in blah blah blah. I found your argument about X especially intriguing. I am interested in a similar topic, and believe my research could benefit from your guidance. *enter anything else you want to say or any questions you have. it is good to ask at least one question, like 'how many graduate students do you usually advise at time?' or 'how many dissertations have you overseen?' or anything specific about his or her advising style* Thank you for for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely yours (or all the best, or something similar), (your full name)" Hope that helps! I wrote like that to all POIs and got a response from every single one, from state schools to Harvard.
  45. 1 point
    Actually, I would counter to say that's not always the case. Where you POST DOC is most important for doing well in academia. You need to be productive and publish lots to be successful, but you should focus on getting a good education to be a good postdoc. My PI is not yet well known as I am his first student, though I think he will be in a few more years. However, I'm getting a killer education, and it's going to help me kick ass and get a good post doc, hopefully in a big name lab. Once there, the goal will be to put my skills to the test and do as much of the best science that I can. @ITISRED, if your programs do rotations, you should pick a school that has several PIs you're interested in. Not just one.
  46. 1 point

    Grad School Bullies

    Thanks to everyone who replied to this post! I've definitely taken a long look at my program and decided that it's only a small part of my life. I'm not going to change who I am just because of a bunch of sour grapes. I love my grad program and the opportunities it has given me. And I just officially finished my first year ( I had summer classes, gross haha), and I am definitely ready for the second year to begin!
  47. 1 point

    Grad School Bullies

    I definitely see your point of view, victorydance. I always try to keep in mind my own reactions and demeanor when I'm interacting with them. I try to be as polite as possible. Maybe sometimes always offering help when they ask questions about classwork gives them an impression that I'm a know-it-all? I hope not. I just like to help people, honestly lol. I've taken been trying to take the advice of a close friend of mine and keeping the conversations I have with the members of my cohort free of academics, when possible. Sometimes, I do take things way too personally and it's something I've been working on, both in my professional and private life. Cheers to your advice! I appreciate it!
  48. 1 point
    Though my POI have mentioned some of the things they liked in my application, I find it difficult to conduct a post-mortem on my season. For privacy's sake, I'm hesitant to specify the programs I applied to, but I was accepted at three of the five schools I applied to (and every program I applied to was in the top 15, regardless of what ranking you use). I'm inclined to think that this fortune is the result of sheer dumb luck or the inane superstitious things I did to get me through February (I started seeing signs in the crossword puzzles I did to relax). But here are the things I think helped my case: 1) I started the process by skimming every essay I wrote for my history classes in college. I took some time off after college, so this helped remind me of who I am as a historian and my academic trajectory. I know that being able to articulate the evolution of my academic interests (both within history and without) was key to one of my acceptances. For those of us with manifold and divergent interests, knowing who you are and being able to tie this interests together to construct an image of yourself as a complex and dynamic scholar is very important. I suspect one of my rejections was in part a result of waffling about where I fell temporally. (I also used this as a chance to reflect on my potential as a scholar. With one eye on my grades, undergrad institution, and GRE score, I asked myself honestly how competitive I would be. I guessed that I'd pass the first raw numbers cut, and took my chance applying to only top programs.) Furthermore, returning to your own essays allows you to systematically create a list of scholars you want to work with. 2) To create my initial list of programs, I went back through all of the important readings I did in college, compiling names from footnotes. I thought about whose work was important in my field, who was everyone talking about/citing. I looked at journals in my field. All of this legwork was helpful when contextualizing my own work in the field as it stand right now. Especially for people with only a BA, like me, you have less of an opportunity to think about trends in history and historiography so you have to do that legwork on your own. With those 25-30 names I found out what schools they worked at. I also looked at various rankings and added those schools for good measure. Most importantly, I talked to my advisors, one of whom was a relatively recent graduate in my exact area of interest. Their suggestions ultimately proved the most useful. After eliminating schools without graduate programs and schools in Europe, my list was about 20-25 school long. 3) I don't think I really understood fit until I started anticipating rejections and acceptances. The schools I was most nervous/excited about were not necessarily the schools with the highest ranked program or biggest name, but schools were there were a plethora of people working on projects I found very interesting. I made the mistake of not underestimating how narrow fit can be, especially in a well-established subfield. The way I see it is that there are four types of fit: temporal (do you study the same time period?), geographic (are you focused on the same country/region?), type of history (social, cultural, political, military, religious, intellectual, etc), and their individual interests/perspective (the topics they find interesting and they way they think about those topics). You need to find a POI who fits at least three of these forms of fit. There also have to be two or more POI at that school who satisfy at least two other categories of fit each (including the missing category from the primary POI). Determining fit is the hardest part of this process and the area where we're most in the dark. I poured over professors' webpages, I skimmed multiple articles and introductions to their books (if not the entire book), and I looked at the classes they teach. Sometimes a professor's interests develop or are not explored in their published work. I ended up only applying to places where I thought professors there in my field were asking similar questions to those I want to ask and where there were 2+ professors I was eager to work with. My two rejections were schools that were a good fit on paper (with two of the biggest names in my field), but my POIs there only satisfied 2-2.5 forms of fit. The programs I got accepted to were the schools I was most excited about. 4) I'm a procrastinator so I didn't get nearly as much feedback on my essays as I would have liked to. I've come up with probably about 10 different ways to write my SOP over the past four years, all of which perfectly encapsulated my intellectual interests and trajectory at that time and which I forgot when it came time to write my essay. Thus, I was quite blocked with trying to write my SOP. All of the perfectly crafted sentences I wrote in my head while walking to class had vanished. Consequently, I wrote and wrote. Most of it was crap. I wrote whole essays that never made it into anything I submitted. (Plan ahead for this!) But all of that intellectual work was key to getting my brain in the place where it needed to be to write my SOP. Every iteration of my SOP started with an image of me engaging in historical inquiry. It felt forced and hokey, but I guess it worked. I jumped straight into the action and maintained a sustained focus on the types of questions I ask, how I read sources, and the research I've done in the past. When I mentioned my post-collegiate work, I folded it into an intellectual narrative. I let me CV and GPA speak for themselves and used the SOP as an opportunity to let them peak inside my head and see what ideas and questions get me excited. FWIW, one of my POI commented that my application stood out for it's excitement, curiosity, and energy. I struggled to be specific and concrete in earlier iterations of my SOP. Actually, I thought I was plenty specific, but my professors told me to suggest possible avenues for exploring the ideas and questions that interested me. I hinted at possible projects and ways I would research those projects. (I had one interview and in that interview I was asked what sources I might use. I didn't talk about my future project at length in my SOP, but I had given it a lot of thought. I knew what kind of debates it would speak to and what my basic game plan would be for approaching it. Of course, all of this will shift and mature as I learn more, but I did the best I could based on where I was.) 5) I got really obsessive and strategic when tailoring my SOP to fit each school. I googled the f*ck out of this website, the chronicle's forums, and the rest of the internet to glean any insight into how programs make their decisions. I don't know if any of it helped, but it calmed my nerves. I did my best to figure out who was on the admissions committees at each school, and when I couldn't really figure that out, I wrote my SOP in a way that would appeal to as many professors as possible while still maintaining my focus in my field. In the end, my SOP had to convince me that I should definitely go to that school. If you can't convince yourself it's a perfect fit, how will you be able to convince the professors who read it? 6) In terms of writing POIs and other forms of contact, I didn't do it for every school but I did it for every school I was accepted to (but not all my POIs). I stressed over these emails and sent them later than I should have (October, November, and in some cases December), but they didn't really help me either way, I think. Everyone I spoke to was super encouraging, but they hadn't seen my credentials at that point and their encouragement shouldn't be taken as a sign that you're a viable candidate or that you should even apply. I got some useful info about fellowship funding from one school, but otherwise, I don't think these emails made a difference either way. That said, one the professors writing me a recommendation knows two of the professors at one of the schools where I was accepted and another professor at a second school were I was accepted well. He's not a big name (yet), but he's a wonderful guy and I think those connections did benefit my application. Applicants can't do anything about this, but academia is a small community and I'm convinced that these networks make an impact in this process. Nevertheless, I also got into a school where I had no connections. 7) If you have an interview, reread your application and the work you've done that influences your thinking. Otherwise, DO NOT REREAD YOUR SOP. I forgot a period at the end of a paragraph amongst the various errors I made (including mistaking the location of one of my programs). Somehow, I still got in but rereading my SOP added greatly to my stress level. YMMV. Here's some of the insight I've gotten from professors at specific programs during this process: 1) USE PRIMARY SOURCES IN YOUR WRITING SAMPLE. This really should just be a baseline, but apparently, not all applicants do it. 2) Taking time off from school is a good thing, especially if you can use it to reflect thoughtfully on why you want to go back to school. 3) Princeton's PhD is very quick and they are looking for applicants who can "hit the ground running." Ultimately, you do all you can do but a lot of the results come down to chance. This process requires you to both be obsessive in your research and learn to let go. Remember that neither acceptances nor rejections are referendum on your value as a human being. And most importantly, get some lucky shampoo. Just my two cents.
  49. 1 point
    Hmm, a customer service rep down-voting complaints about their service, and then saying that feedback is important to them. Along with a lot of really recently created accounts that do nothing but advertise for that service......
  50. 1 point

    Vanier CGS 2012 Competition

    Well they aren't there when we log into ResearchNet so I wouldn't trust ResearchNet's assertion very much haha....