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About NeisserThanILook

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  1. PhD Fall 2018 Applicants

    Hi! After I received a rejection from one of my POIs this year, I emailed him to ask if he'd be willing to look over my application in the future and he said he'd be more than happy to. I also heard the same thing from another POI who did give me an offer, which I declined in lieu of a gap year position (although this was a pretty unique situation). Not sure how much that generalizes to other POIs, but I think most are more than willing to have someone reapply, especially if they were a good enough candidate to make it to interview the first time around! I'm also hoping to apply to work with one of the POIs I'll be working with during my gap year(s) and they didn't have a problem with it (some even thought it was preferable), but I made sure to be up front about it so they know my intentions beforehand. Individual POIs/programs have different opinions about taking their own students, but I think in general they just want to take on whomever they believe to be the best student regardless of their history with the POI/program!
  2. PhD Fall 2018 Applicants

    I think that this thread is intended for those applying this upcoming fall (2017) to then matriculate in the fall of 2018.
  3. PhD Fall 2018 Applicants

    Just as an FYI, there's a whole GRE thread elsewhere on grad cafe that has a lot of valuable information:
  4. How important is "fit," really? Any advice/input welcome.

    @psychIsLife Thanks for the kind words! Happy to help in any way I can. Yes, the latter. There was a PI who I really wanted to work with because of the great research fit but wasn't taking a student this year. So I decided to apply to a handful of programs anyway just to get familiar with the process and see where it went. After interviewing for a few of the programs, I decided to email that PI again to tell them about my situation and ask if they had an opening for an RAship (partly as a back up in case I didn't receive any offers, partly because I thought I may prefer that RAship over the grad programs). The PI told me that there was an opening, and we talked a bit over email and on the phone about the position and about my decision (after I had received my offers), and I ended up flying out there to meet with everyone and get a feel for the work I'd be doing before making my final decision. So I didn't really formally apply for the position, I just emailed the PI to state my interest and send along my CV, and the rest ended up falling into place!
  5. How important is "fit," really? Any advice/input welcome.

    I think you've gotten a lot of great advice so far, but I'll throw in my two cents! In my mind, there's nothing more important than fit when choosing a grad program. I applied this cycle straight out of undergrad and was really fortunate to receive offers from two really great clinical programs, and I felt a lot of pressure to accept one of them simply because it's what one is expected to do in that situation. I didn't feel that the fit was terrible with either of them, but it wasn't great either. I thought that the research fit with the PIs was only moderately good, and I didn't feel that I would get quite the high caliber neuropsych training that I was looking for. On the flip side, I had an offer for an RAship with a PI whose research interests are incredibly well-aligned with mine (the general "fit" was great too, in the overall sense of the word). In the end, I decided to turn down my grad offers and pursue the RAship. I felt such a genuine excitement and eagerness about the RAship that just wasn't there when I thought about the grad programs, and I think it's really important to go where you'll be motivated to perform well. As difficult as it was to turn down the offers (and it really was an agonizing decision process), I just didn't feel comfortable accepting an offer solely because there were offers to accept. Five years is a long time, and those five years are a really formative time in our development as researchers/clinicians, so I want to try to position myself to have the best grad experience that I can. I know it's definitely a risk, and maybe it will or won't lead to an offer from a program with a better fit in the future, but either way, if I can have this great research experience in the interim, I think that alone makes the decision worth it. With that said, I'm probably on the extreme end when it comes to the importance of fit (especially research fit). A lot of other people think that research fit isn't very important in grad school as long as the PI's work is broadly related to your interests, and that you shouldn't really be concerned with fit until you start looking for post-docs. I'm sure that there's some validity to that, so it's good to try to get as many different perspectives as possible (I probably sought advice from 30+ people before making my final decision). But in the end, despite what everyone else thinks, you just have to make this decision for you and try not to look back. Good luck!
  6. Fall 2017 Waitlist Thread

    Thanks for the reply. It definitely was difficult and took a lot of deliberation. I actually decided to take time off for an RAship at UCSD. There were a lot of factors that went into the decision, one being that I'm currently an undergrad at WashU and I wanted to have the opportunity to go to another institution and learn from new people. I'm also really excited about the research of the PIs I'll be working with. It's a bit of an unconventional path, but I think it's the best path for me!
  7. Fall 2017 Waitlist Thread

    Hi everyone! After an agonizing decision process, I've decided to decline my offer from WashU's clinical program. Posting this on here in the hopes that those on the waitlist will see this and not give up hope!
  8. Interview Questions

    @01848p or anyone else, any more advice specifically for RA positions and how those interviews differ from grad school interviews? I've only been through the latter, but I'm interviewing for an RA position soon and I'm not exactly sure to what extent it will be less formal and how the balance will differ between them vs. me asking most of the questions.
  9. Advice needed! Should I do a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology?

    I'm not currently enrolled in a clinical PhD program (or any PhD program for that matter), so take my advice with a grain of salt. I think that if you really think your interests are more practice-focused than research-focused and you don't think you'd be happy with a job in academia (or don't think you would be able to obtain one), then it definitely makes sense to consider pursuing a degree in clinical psych. In the end, the time you would spend getting that degree would be worth it for the years you would then be able to spend doing a job you really love. But at the same time, it's important that you realize just how much extra training will be required to obtain a clinical degree. I know there exist some clinical PhD programs respecialization programs that would allow some of the work you've done to transfer, thus reducing the amount of time needed to obtain the clinical degree (see link below). However, other programs may require you to start from the beginning, which means another 5+ years of grad school, 1 year for internship, and 2+ years of post-doc. And then there's often additional preparation needed to become board-certified and actually obtain a license to practice. So it really is quite a long haul, but may be worth it (especially if you can find a respecialization program) if clinical work is what you're really passionate about!
  10. When do schools update faculty accepting students?

    I concur with everyone else, and I'd also add that even if the faculty you're interested in working with do post on their website that they're interested in taking a student, it's still a good idea to contact them just to indicate your interest! I received advice during this past application cycle that this was a bad idea because the faculty may be annoyed by such an email, but after going through the process I've learned from both faculty and other applicants that just a simple email stating your interest can actually have a significant impact on the outcome of your application (although it's not absolutely necessary to receive an interview or admissions offer).
  11. VA research position

    Thank you both for your input! It's good to hear that you think it would be a good opportunity. I'm actually flying out to the lab I'm considering next week, and I'll be sure to inquire about opportunities for publications or presentations and more information on what kind of work I'll be doing (from both the PIs and current RA). @ThatResearchLady, it's good to hear that your position is exempt - I know at least one of the PIs I would work with is currently looking into it and determining what funding will be available to me. Sadly the proposed NIH budget cut is also making the funding situation a bit uncertain, but I'm really hoping it will work out!
  12. 2017 Ford Foundation Fellowship Applicants

    I have this fellowship on my radar for next year, but it seems that they're really interested in supporting those who are going on to teaching careers. Do you think it's difficult to get this fellowship as a clinical psychology student, even if our ultimate goal is to end up in academia?
  13. VA research position

    Hi everyone! At this point, I'm strongly considering taking time off to work as a research assistant at a VA, and I was hoping some of you may have insight into some questions I have. First of all, does anyone have any information on the hiring freeze and whether this applies to research assistants? I looked up a list of the exemptions and they had listed "psychology" and "psychology aid and technician" as exempted from the hiring freeze, but this is pretty vague. Second, for those of you who have worked at a VA or know someone who has, what was your/their experience like? Considering that I would plan on applying to clinical psych PhD programs within the next year or two, do you think that a VA RAship would be a beneficial experience? Thanks in advance for your help!
  14. Fall 2017 Clinical Psychology Applicants

    You should definitely not accept until you have a formal offer in writing! Maybe try checking the application portal? I know one of the programs I applied to posted the official letter on there rather then sending it via email. If not, I'd email the POI/DCT and inquire about a formal letter. But congrats on the offer!
  15. Fall 2017 Clinical Psychology Applicants

    Those are all great things to consider, thank you so much for your input! And congrats on your offer!