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RunnerGrad

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Everything posted by RunnerGrad

  1. There are numerous books out there about academic writing, surviving the PhD process, etc. I’ve read through the Amazon reviews of a number of them, but I thought I would ask here if anyone has found any particular books useful? I’m not talking about discipline-specific books, but more general guides, such as How to Write a Lot by Paul Silva. I’m in the Health Sciences if that makes a difference (non-wet lab work) and both my future advisor and myself think I’ll be doing mixed methods research. Thanks!
  2. RunnerGrad

    Useful books to read before starting PhD?

    Thanks for all the recommendations so far! I will need to check and see which ones I can borrow from the library (municipal or university) and which I want to purchase to have on hand. I have my basic research proposal formulated (I needed to do so in order to apply for scholarships such as OGS) but it definitely needs to be refined (and will be over the summer, as my advisor wants me to apply for CIHR funding this fall). And I still have one paper from my master’s that I should really edit in order to submit it to journals.
  3. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    Hello fellow Canadian applicants! I was just accepted to the second PhD program that I had applied to at Queen’s University. Now I have a tough decision to make: which program? I’ve made a list of pros and cons, but both programs are still pretty much tied. Needless to say, I need to sleep on this and think some more. But it’s a wonderful problem to have! I hope all of you waiting to hear back will have good news soon!
  4. Is there anyone else who will be attending Queen’s University in Kingston this coming Fall? I’ve been accepted to the PhD program in Aging and Health and have accepted my offer. I’m very excited to begin my studies this fall, having been working as an allied health professional since completing my master’s in 2016. I’m currently living in Kingston, so it won’t be a huge change for me. I definitely enjoy living here!
  5. RunnerGrad

    First-generation student (or not)?

    I couldn’t be more different from my parents, but I am adopted. My parents finished high school, and that was it. I was the first person in my family to attend university and to pursue graduate studies. It means there’s a lot of things I didn’t know about, especially during my undergrad. It also means my parents really never understood me, as I’ve always been a “good student” and driven to excel academically (perhaps because I am adopted, I felt I had to “prove” myself). Compared to many of my peers (who had parents who were professionals who had degrees or advanced degrees) I’ve definitely felt at a disadvantage. There are lots of things I had to figure out myself, and some that I never really figured out until it was much too late for it to make a difference. Somehow I’ve managed to do well in my studies and I’ve been accepted to a PhD program. My family may not understand why this is important to me, or the value of my education, but others (such as my spouse) totally make up for it. My spouse is so incredibly supportive. I would not have been able to make it this far without him.
  6. RunnerGrad

    How long does it take to run a background check?

    Background checks can vary enormously in time. I obtained my most recent one in 15 minutes! Previous ones, for a higher level of security clearance (when I was applying for jobs with the RCMP in Canada) took months.
  7. So excited to be accepted into a PhD program at Queen’s University!  It’s been my dream to obtain a PhD, and now I’m one step closer!

    1. fuzzylogician

      fuzzylogician

      Yay! Congrats! 

  8. RunnerGrad

    MPH Canada 2018

    For those of you worried about the lack of thesis at UofT MPH: I was just accepted to a PhD program with my MPH from UofT. I did complete an optional research practicum during my MPH, and chose research-oriented electives. Had completed an undergraduate thesis and done research via an NSERC USRA. Only two publications (neither first author), but otherwise very strong dossier (4.0/4.0 for both undergrad and MPH).
  9. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    Just received an offer of admission to one of my programs of interest at Queen’s University! The formal letter from the school of graduate studies to come sometime in the next two weeks. I’m so absolutely delighted and excited!
  10. RunnerGrad

    MPH Canada 2018

    Even at UofT MPH, where it is a course-based program, you have the option of completing a research practicum and/or a research-based independent study course. In my stream (Nutrition and Dietetics), I did a research practicum, and some of my class mates did a research-based independent study whereas one of them did both the research practicum and a research-based independent study course. I also chose my electives to have a research focus (i.e. nutritional epi, statistics for nursing research despite not being a nurse). I’ve currently been unofficially accepted to a PhD program, pending funding. So it is certainly possible to be accepted to PhD programs without completing a formal thesis. Sometimes you have extra hoops to jump through (i.e. you have to show “extensive” research experience, or you have to have so many publications, etc.) but it is certainly possible. At least in my stream (Nutrition and Dietetics) I know many individuals from past cohorts who went on to complete PhD studies in health, public health, nutrition, dietetics, or related fields, even though they lacked a thesis.
  11. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    I’ve finally had some contact with my POI! We had a lovely chat, and the POI will be happy to be my PhD supervisor if there is funding available from the department (as they guarantee all PhD students minimum funding). My POI thinks I’ll be competitive for external scholarships as well, so if I’m accepted, I’ll be applying for CIHR funding and CFDR funding. I’m trying not to get too excited, because it’s not a firm acceptance, and it is contingent on funding being available, but it is progress!
  12. RunnerGrad

    MPH Canada 2018

    I was accepted to Guelph’s MAN program, UofT’s MPH in nutrition and dietetics, and a stand-alone dietetic internship. Ultimately I chose UofT’s MPH. Anyone with questions about UofT’s program, please feel free to message me. I’ve worked in community nutrition and primary care since graduating from UofT, and it was the best choice for me at the time. I’m happy to answer questions about the MPH at UofT, or about Guelph (I have two degrees from Guelph).
  13. RunnerGrad

    MPH Canada 2018

    Both are great universities. It really depends where your interests in public health lie, and which school offers more opportunities for you to pursue those interests, whether through practica or courses.
  14. RunnerGrad

    MPH Canada 2018

    Personally, I think it is best to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Applicants haven’t been rejected yet, since only the first wave of acceptances have been sent out, but, as a UofT MPH grad, I think it is best to consider yourself on a wait list right now if you haven’t received an acceptance. Putting your life on hold because you haven’t yet been accepted or rejected is not a good idea. Planning for the future, in case you are rejected, is the best approach. I’m still waiting on a decision from Queen’s re: two PhD programs. If I assumed I would be accepted, I wouldn’t be doing anything right now to improve my application or to ensure that I remain licensed as a registered dietitian. As I don’t have an answer yet, I am proceeding as if I were rejected (even though I haven’t been), and securing myself employment in my field so that I can maintain my registration. I think it’s good advice to start planning for the future, in case an acceptance doesn’t come through. If people later receive an acceptance, that’s awesome! But I think it is very important to have back-up plans. I was fortunate to receive admission to UofT’s MPH on the first day of acceptances, but I already had three other back-up plans prepared (including an acceptance to an MSc program) in case the MPH didn’t happen. I think that’s prudent planning. YMMV of course. I like to plan and to have back-up plans so that I’m not left in limbo. Others may prefer to wait and see what happens before making alternate plans.
  15. RunnerGrad

    MPH Canada 2018

    The people I knew in Health Promotion at UofT who had to take a stats course took this one from Guelph (offered online): https://courses.opened.uoguelph.ca/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=18978 I believe Athabasca also offers an online stats course. You can also check and see if any local universities offer a summer course in stats. You can also check out the Canadian Virtual University: http://www.cvu-uvc.ca/courses.php?page=subject&language=English If any of you have questions about UofT, feel free to ask. I graduated from the Nutrition & Dietetics stream, but took several classes with the other streams (including Intro to Public Health and CHAM I & II).
  16. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    Come on Queen’s - give me an admission offer for a birthday present!
  17. I’m in my 40s and I still don’t feel like an adult! I don’t have children, and can’t imagine having them, because it’s hard enough looking after myself and our cats sometimes (I am married). So I agree with the others that for many people you never really feel like an adult, and that’s okay!
  18. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    I see you applied to Guelph. I have two degrees from Guelph. Love the university and love the city. My husband and I would have been happy to stay in Guelph forever, but the army had other plans! I hope you hear back soon!
  19. RunnerGrad

    Should international students change their names in class?

    Wow, @TakeruK, you’ve certainly had some incredibly disrespectful experiences! It’s awful that people actually behave that way. I’m currently working as a health professional, and where I work, we have a lot of clients who are new Canadians. Quite a number of them have names that can be challenging for anglophones or francophones to pronounce. When I call them for their appointment, I always make a point of asking them how to correctly pronounce their name. Sometimes my mouth just can’t get it right (subtle differences in pronounciation that my ear just can’t pick up), but I’m not intending to offend - I just can’t “hear” the correct pronounciation. Most clients understand; after all, they may have problems with some English or French words!
  20. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    Oh, how I really wish Queen’s would release their decisions. I’ve just been offered a job that would be absolutely perfect for me, but I would much rather do a PhD. However, if I don’t get into a PhD program, working is what I want/need to do! Do I accept the job just to potentially leave in August (I would feel horrible doing so)? Do I bug Queen’s to ask when they might release decisions? Argh! I’m delighted to be offered the job (the interview felt horrible, so I actually thought I didn’t have a chance), but the PhD is my priority!
  21. RunnerGrad

    Quickly acquiring foreign languages for research?

    How adept are you at learning new languages? It took me one year of intensive language instruction (8-4 every day in a classroom, learning German, plus homework in the evenings) to reach ILR level 3. Note that’s a full year of doing nothing else - it was my job to attend language school. Other students at the language school, who were expected to be able to work competently in the foreign language, had similar training (one year). Those learning more difficult languages (i.e. Korean, Arabic), had a minimum of two years of full-time (8-4 plus homework) language instruction.
  22. RunnerGrad

    McGill vs. Edinburgh vs. Toronto??? HELP

    Toronto is a very expensive city to live in. Have you looked at what you would have to pay for rent and living expenses? I did my master’s at UofT (not in English, though), and lived outside the city as we couldn’t afford (and didn’t want) to live in Toronto. So I had a long commute and wasn’t able to be involved in a lot of university activities, due to my schedule being dictated by the GO train. Toronto does have an excellent reputation in the U.S. (although I’m not in English, so can’t comment on that).
  23. RunnerGrad

    Fall 2018 CANADIAN universities

    I hear you. I’m trying to be patient, since one program I applied to only had applications close a month ago, and the other doesn’t close until this Friday! So even though I don’t expect to hear back yet, it’s hard to resist checking the application portals, where “application complete” is still front and centre! I did receive notice of a job that I’m qualified for, so I’ll be distracting myself by completing my application materials for that! With snow currently on the ground, I really hope spring arrives soon!
  24. RunnerGrad

    Should international students change their names in class?

    Realize that no matter how hard they try, some native English speakers won’t be able to correctly pronounce a non-English name. My maiden name is French Canadian, and the vast majority of anglophones mispronounce it. As for me, despite years of intensive German immersion, I still can’t hear the difference between a “u” and a “u umlaut” in German. My ear and brain simply hear the same sound for those distinct German sounds. On the other hand, when we lived in Germany, the majority of Germans could not pronounce my husband’s name, which features a sound that does not exist in the German language. So I think it is important to be kind and realize that people are usually trying their best to pronounce a name correctly. They may just not be able to actually hear, or to pronounce, the correct sounds. Despite living for many years in Germany, the “u” and “u umlaut” in German still sound exactly the same to me. Intellectually I know they are different sounds, but I just don’t hear (and can’t pronounce) the difference! I don’t have problems with the other umlaut vowels, however; it is unique to “u.”
  25. RunnerGrad

    Any married grad students here?

    When I did my master’s degree, two of us were already married (in a class of 14), and one other student married between first and second year. I don’t think I would have been able to make it through my program without my husband’s support, although it was stressful when he was deployed to the Middle East during my second year! I’m also limited geographically in terms of the PhD programs I was able to apply to, as my husband’s income is significantly higher than mine at this time (and my current contract ends soon).
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