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Posts posted by lewin

  1. On 11/29/2019 at 1:52 PM, springxsummer said:

    I would imagine that the content of the letters matters much more than the formatting.

    This. Nobody will care about the formatting unless there were instructions specific to that school which were disregarded or the formatting is used to be weaselly, e.g., mess with font/margins to squeeze in more words.

    And length is not formatting. Length matters.




  2. On 8/27/2019 at 8:29 PM, PsycUndergrad said:

    SSHRC and CGS-M are the same thing. You apply for a CGS-M funded by SSHRC so it’s just one application.

    Or, OP, if you're in clinical psychology and studying mental health outcomes you might apply for the CIHR CGS-M.

  3. My suggestion is don't mention it. I'd say it falls under one of the kisses of death mentioned in the Appleby article. They specifically say mental health but I don't see why that advice wouldn't generalize to other chronic illnesses, especially the last bit of this quote: "The discussion of a personal mental health problem is likely to decrease an applicant’s chances of acceptance into a program. Examples of this particular [kiss of death] in a personal statement included comments such as “showing evidence of untreated mental illness,” “emotional instability,” and seeking graduate training “to better understand one’s own problems or problems in one’s family.” More specifically, one respondent stated that a KOD may occur “when students highlight how they were drawn to graduate study because of significant personal problems or trauma. Graduate school is an academic/career path, not a personal treatment or intervention for problems."

    A second reason is that the person statement is a misnomer. Personal narrative about how you got interested in or passionate about the topic is fluff; the space is better served talking about your concrete experiences and future research contributions - see Brown (2004).

    A third reason is that, unfortunately, chronic illness still carries stigma with some people. They might read it and think, "This candidate isn't going to be as productive or will need a leave of absence before they're done."  That's unfortunate and shouldn't be the case but is what it is.

  4. On 7/28/2019 at 12:34 AM, Psygeek said:

    I would recommend broadening your 'search' for PI's unless you have very strong reasons to expect that they will pick you out of the pool because you know them or soemthing

    ...particularly in this case because David Funder is one of or the most preeminent personality psychologists today. He'll get a lot of applicants. Another search method would be to look up his coauthors or former students.

  5. Personal opinion: #1 unless #4 has a PhD.

    For #2, two months is not enough time to write a strong letter.

    For #3, Data entry and prepping questionnaires is important work but doesn't demonstrate research aptitude or independence, which makes me lean towards #1 instead. Also in terms of status, a postdoc is the same as a VAP in the sense that neither are tenure track.

  6. On 7/30/2019 at 1:41 PM, springxsummer said:

    That being said, in general clinical psychology is aimed at more severe problems, such as working with people in hospitals or who are in a residential treatment program. Counselling psychology might be more things like career counselling, mild to moderate mental health issues, or relationship problems. However, there is so much diversity within the field that it's hard to fit the two into neat little boxes. 

    I would second this. And also add for OP that, within counselling, there are programs found in both psychology and education departments. Sometimes, the latter are seen as less rigorous (which is probably code for less research oriented). So if your eventual plan is a PhD it might be better to stay in a psych department (or in whichever area you eventually want to complete a PhD).

  7. Then it doesn't seem strange to me. e.g., an email that says something like, "I enjoyed the study we ran on X and am interested in getting more writing and maybe publication experience> What do you think? Would it be possible to write it up for a journal?"

    The context for my original question was: Students who are in the lab collecting data but had no role in the study conceptualization or design probably wouldn't be involved in the writing an publishing. There are also studies that aren't publishable on their own or form parts of a larger research program. In that case your previous supervisor might want to, respectively, collect more data or write the paper themself (because they have the long term perspective/investment/ownership of the project). 

  8. On 6/28/2019 at 10:54 PM, higaisha said:

     I think when it comes to faculty moving, students can be offered the choice to move with their advisor or not--I don't think they have to reapply. 

    This would strongly depend on what the faculty member negotiated when accepting the position. To put it bluntly, it depends on whether they wanted to expend negotiating capital on it. They might have prioritized taking current students, or negotiating for lab resources, or even for salary. Without being a fly on the wall of the prof's office it's impossible to know, but OP, being an unknown at this point, might not have been a priority.

    OP, I don't think it's unprofessional to ask if there's any chance you could come along as long as it's done tactfully and with understanding that it might not be within her power. She might not have even considered that you prioritize advisor over program.


  9. Did you help collect data that are potentially publishable? e.g., an honours thesis or study project? Because advisors are unlikely to just hand you a dataset to analyze or a paper to write remotely unless you had some independent role in collecting those data.

  10. You're in the field so probably have a better perspective than I do, but my understanding is that school psychology is primarily a professionally oriented degree where you learn how to conduct and report assessments related to disabilities and development. ASD is a clinical disorder and clinical programs are much more research-oriented, so I do agree you'll probably have better luck searching there.

  11. On 4/13/2019 at 11:35 AM, higaisha said:

    3) Canada isn't all that research focused compared to the states for a lot of reasons. I think because there's less people, PIs really have to fight for external funding which can be unpredictable. There's a lot of possibility for students to be externally funded because schools are public and the govn sets aside a lot for funding for graduate students, but the pool dwindles as you get more senior in your career. It isn't really the case here that PIs will have like, multiple ongoing grants from NIMH. That is rare in clinical psych here, so doing research as your only gig is a bit challenging here. So generally low funds and not many TT posts takes the incentive out of focusing on pumping out research-focused graduates, so programs will generally focus on having more well-rounded scientist-practioner types. 

    I don't believe this is correct and it varies dramatically by your funding committee. Funding rates for NIMH and NIH are 18-20% and for CIHR are 15-20%--so pretty comparable. It's true to say that everybody has to fight for external funding, so you'll find more in common between UBC and an American R1 than between UBC and, say, Brock or Lethbridge (or an American PUI). If you can get into SSHRC instead, recent competitions have had success rates of 30-50%. The current Liberal government has allocated massive funding increases, in contrast to Trump, who wants to cut science funding

  12. On 3/6/2019 at 11:24 PM, laural201 said:

    This professor got 2 interesting ongoing projects. One project is about 1 millions for 5 years. However, he only involved one students from his lab....The current students also told me that this professor does not have funding to give students.

    To address this point specifically, grants have different levels of involvement. If this professor is a "co-investigator" or "collaborator" (various terms are used) but not the "Applicant" or "Principal Investigator" then he may contribute to the project but not hold the purse strings, i.e,. not be the lead. If he is the principal investigator then it's hard to speculate without knowing more about the project. e.g., maybe it's fMRI which costs $500/hour to run.  I'm not disputing there's no money trickling down, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he's sitting on a huge pile of money and not sharing, like Scrooge McDuck.


  13. I did this. In our program people finished in 5-6 years total. My experience was that you were treated like a PhD student from day one, i.e., the MA admission was so that you could apply for MA-level tricouncil awards in your first year and in practice they considered you a PhD student from day 1.  My impression from other programs was that they had more "hoops" to jump through for the MA, e.g., thesis proposal, defence, writeup. But that structure might be good for some people where you can have a defined accomplishment after 1-2 years, instead of a longer period of time with fewer benchmarks.

  14. It's not just about the degree but which department you're studying in. Departments of education and psychology often have very different philosophies about epistemology and methodology. You'll get different training. If you want to do a PhD in psychology, whether it's counselling or clinical, do your masters in a psychology department.

  15. 42 minutes ago, Desperate Clinical said:

    I echo these thoughts but I will warn you that in all of the times I have requested feedback, I have never gotten a response... so that is indeed likely, especially in Clinical psych.

    I can think of a few reasons why profs might be reluctant to provide feedback. 

    (a) lots of requests, very little time. May be harsh to say, but it's not the POI's job to mentor or coach applicants.

    (b) sometimes the request is really an attempt at appealing the decision under the guise of asking for feedback. Replying is inviting an argument.

    (c) sometimes people actually aren't receptive to candid feedback and respond rudely.

    (d) the weakness might be something the candidate can't easily improve over a year like "your GPA is bad" or "you said something offensive in an email, and even if you don't do that next year we won't change our mind."

    (e) profs are people too. The reason might be something they feel awkward telling you or that is hard to phrase. For example, being interpersonally awkward at the interviews, or you were good but not great. May also overlap with (d), e.g., "Get smarter" or "have a better personality" isn't terribly actionable and nobody wants to be a dream crusher.

    (f) maybe your references weren't glowing and it would breach confidentiality to tell you that.

    Some of these reasons overlap with more general reasons why employers don't like to provide feedback to rejected job candidates.



  16. 1& 2. If you're really concerned, there are sometimes ways of conveying this in your application or by your letter-writers. "In Winter, 20XX, I had a serious medical issue that has since been resolved [or 'family emergency that required a significant time commitments - insert vague but accurate and understandable phrase] and it affected my performance that term. As you can see, I had higher performance both before and after that term."  

    3. Publications never hurt but if you're applying to school or applied programs (which are often not research-based) then it's less important. A publication is a research qualification and if you're not going into research...... For you the research experience is probably more useful to (a) gain some skills and (b) obtain strong letters.

    4. Age won't be a problem. (Coincidentally, I was 25 when I started grad school.)   A potentially larger issue is that references can go stale and memories fade... I would talk to your letter-writers before you leave and keep in touch. It's hard to write a letter from someone you knew four years ago when it comes out of the blue.



  17. On 1/18/2019 at 5:03 PM, 21ny14 said:

    I personally want to become TT so I can start my own lab and research topics I care about. But I'm not sure if there are alternate, non-TT paths to accomplish my goal that I haven't heard of yet.

    There are careers where you can do psychological research without working at a university. For example, I know psychologists who work for the military and research topics like team building, leadership, and entry/exit transitions. Here's one who studies judgment and decision making in the context of intelligence predictions. I know people who work at marketing firms doing market or public opinion research, and others who work at tech companies doing user experience research. All of those people are PhD experimental psychologists by training. But those careers are all slightly different than what you said, which is "your own lab and research topics". That independence is hard to come by outside of academia. 

    And even in academia, absolute freedom to choose your research topics is a misconception. There are constraints because you need to pursue questions that produce fruitful results and are of interest to your peers (i.e., publishable, fundable, will count towards tenure). But that's another topic altogether....


    On 1/18/2019 at 5:03 PM, 21ny14 said:

    If your answer is to pursue a PhD in psychology to actually 'teach,' please explain why you need a PhD (vs any other degree) to do so.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but you seem to be setting up a dichotomy between research and teaching. Almost all TT professors also teach, so it's perfectly reasonable to say that one wants a PhD to both research and teach.

    Unless you mean a teaching-focused or teaching-exclusive position? For these jobs, a PhD is still a good idea because there are so many PhDs in the hiring pool for postgraduate jobs that any other degree is rarely competitive. Why hire an MA when you have PhDs applying? (Some fields excepted where a PhD isn't the terminal degree.)


  18. On 12/5/2018 at 9:38 PM, catsAndML4Days said:

     I'd still ping that professor every 3 days and just politely check in to see how they're doing. 

    Don't do this. Politely emailing every three days is an oxymoron; it's not polite to badger someone who's doing you a favour. One reminder two work days before it's due is fine.


    On 12/5/2018 at 9:29 PM, JoyJoy said:

    If my applications are completed on the day it dues (Dec. 15th), would it be an disadvantage?

    No. Believe me, you won't be the only candidate whose letters are coming in on the last day.

  19. I'm elaborating because I don't think my previous phrasing captured my meaning. 

    I meant that in response to this:

    On 9/6/2018 at 4:08 PM, B1369 said:

    The application requirements for universities that I have checked so far do not mention anything about a writing sample

    ...if they don't ask for a writing sample, it's not necessary. They'll judge your writing ability from the personal statement. In my experience, asking for a separate writing sample was uncommon. If they want one, and since you don't have a thesis, use a paper that was particularly well-written.


  20. On 7/19/2018 at 4:29 PM, brainlass said:

    (Be sure to drop a line referencing some specific aspect of their work, to demonstrate that you didn't just copy/paste one mass email to a hundred people)

    ...and don't copy/paste from their website, which is more common than people would think.

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