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About smallaxe

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    PhD Anthro

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  1. Agreed with above - the emphasis is on the personal statement. GRE scores are more of the graduate school's requirement, and even then for a good candidate - especially one from a disadvantaged background - they can argue the case. My quant score was lower than yours and didn't meet the minimum for one of the programs I applied to, and I still got in. Focus on making your statement clear, compelling, and emphasizing fit within the department.
  2. The SSHRC application is all online now?! This is incredible.
  3. Got my letter in NYC today. Waitlisted with a score of 10.7 from committee 3.
  4. Direct applicant as well, got my letter in NYC today. Forwarded to the national competition! It says a maximum of 236 applications our 521 could be forwarded. Here's to another two months of waiting! 🍻
  5. I asked a friend who won CGS Doctoral last year - he applied directly to SSHRC during the second year of his MA.
  6. @Adelaide9216 Until you're enrolled in your PhD program, you submit your application directly to SSHRC.
  7. Congrats on completing your first year! I did a preliminary trip during my master's and it strongly shaped my fieldwork plans (I also had no background in anthropology!). I spoke with a local I knew from years earlier who was connected to my topic. He directed me to the best field site and said he knew some people I could talk to and interview. I lived next door to him during my fieldwork and he introduced me to the person I worked with throughout. I also visited the local archives while I was there and did some informal interviews at similar sites. It was in having those informal chats that I realized that my topic elicited tension and skepticism from interlocutors, so I was able to prepare for that. If I were in your shoes, my first priority would be to learn the language. Enroll in a language course or look for a tutor who can help you learn the language that will allow you to communicate with people. That will also help you meet people. Since you already have friends, you're ahead of most people! Ask them about who might be the best people to talk to about your research. Then go talk to those people about how you can get involved, ask if they'll introduce you to others, and so on. Do some interviews, network, make connections, let people get to know you so that the next time you visit you're a familiar face. Pilot projects are about finding out whether your research is feasible, which assumptions you've made work and which don't, and getting a preliminary idea of people's thoughts and experiences related to your project. You may discover that what you expected was all wrong. You may change your field site altogether. You may find that people have no interest in talking about what you want to talk about. It will help you make adjustments to your research proposal and defend what you've put in it. I also read Being Ethnographic by Raymond Madden before I did my fieldwork. That was helpful!
  8. I think you'll see in most of the 'Am I competitive?' threads that the best anyone can do is a guess. My (very discipline-specific) experience is that once you meet the requirements for grades and test scores, the deciding factor is your statement of purpose and interview. What's important is how well your research interests align with the department and university, as well as having something that sets you apart from everyone else. I've had give-or-take five gap years (some spent travelling Morocco, actually!) - mostly irrelevant to my intended subject of study - and passable GRE scores. The time "off", I believe, worked to my advantage because some programs in my discipline prefer applicants who have "real-world" experience or something to fall back on career-wise. Generally, people who have been working or doing something other than studying have a strong sense of purpose when they apply to a PhD. They don't just apply out of inertia. In the end, your time spent learning German doesn't need to be discussed in your application if it isn't relevant to your proposed research. I didn't mention my time off in my SOP and it was only noticeable on my CV. Use the space of your SOP to talk about your research, how it fits with the strengths of the department, and why you want to study that topic at that university. That's what makes your application competitive in the social sciences: being able to demonstrate original thought, creativity, curiosity, and a commitment to understanding particular issues over the long-term or towards a certain end-goal.
  9. I'm curious what your response was... It's one thing to ask why you're studying a particular topic, but to ask it that way seems pretty reductionist. Although there is some truth to the idea that people's research interests are about them (ha!), it doesn't have to be connected to a person's racial identity. As for the article, I can't say I've felt any pressure to do that. I didn't fill out the diversity statements for any of my applications and talked about my intellectual interest in the subject in my SOP. Also, not being American and living abroad for several years means I haven't felt a heavy weight of racial tension and marginalization that was palpable in my campus visits. I think that will be a big adjustment moving forward.
  10. Yes! I sent off a couple last week and just thanked the faculty I had met and spoken to in separate emails. All were such great fits for my research and professional interests that it was a difficult decision. I think they know -- and probably remember their own experiences! -- and understand our positions. Phew!
  11. I was in the exact same situation. I don't have much to add to @timetobegin 's comment - all of it factored into my decision making. It was an appealing prospect to be a supervisor's first PhD student for all of the reasons timetobegin mentioned and I happened to get along well with that POI. However, the reason I chose the other program was because of the faculty as a whole. Professors - new and established - can leave at any time. They can fall ill, shift priorities, take extended leave, and so on. At one of schools I visited, a couple students chose the program for one particularly well-known professor they chose as their supervisor. They liked the supervisor but their experience in the department wasn't as positive; that professor is now mostly retired and they still have a couple years left. The advice I was given in several instances was not to commit to a program on the basis of one person's work. At the school I chose, I could see myself forming two or three different committees and being supervised by three different professors, depending on how my research interests developed. Despite having an extremely positive feeling about the department with the young POI, I knew that I would have been limited when it came to forming a committee. I asked both professors about their mentorship style, mutual expectations, and future plans. I told the new professor that I was concerned about being their first student and asked about the challenges they foresaw. I asked the established professor about the kind of student who excels under their supervision and had the opportunity to speak to their current students, who had nothing but good things to say. Keep in mind that university departments are invested in portraying a certain image to recruit PhD students -- just ask the tough questions and listen to the answers.
  12. If you look under this heading, you will see at which points you become ineligible for SSHRC Doctoral and CGS.
  13. This is probably the most comprehensive list of questions that you can use and build on!
  14. Except worse: they had to wait for snail mail!
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