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About ewriad18

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  • Gender
  • Location
    South Africa
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Epidemiology/Global Health

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  1. I'm not sure if any of them are exactly "American friendly" per se, I think its honestly a case-by-case basis. I interviewed for one PhD at University of Oslo that dragged me through the process, called my references, then ended up choosing some Norwegian that already worked at the department. Same happened to me when I interviewed for an Epi PhD at University of Copenhagen. So after those two disappointments, I started emailing the professors listed in the contact info of the call and asked if they had someone in mind before I applied or wrote a proposal to them. Often, the professors were really honest. They either said they "knew someone at the department was applying" (aka they will probably get it) or they said "no, this is truly an open call and we look forward to receiving applications." To those ones I applied. I only was applying for fully funded PhDs (the ones that give you a salary and benefits outright, not ones that I would then need to secure my own funding), so I didn't contact any professors that were not listed on the announcement call (similar to a job posting). So I would honestly start by looking at the pages for doctoral positions available. IMHO it's much better to be attached to a project than to sort of be a lone wolf PhD sort of having to struggle to find your way. The shitty thing about most (all?) EU PhDs is that if you DO come in through an announced doctoral position, you often have many people applying for just one spot. It's not like the US where you come in as a cohort of a few people. It's more of a job - you get a computer, office space, health insurance, etc. Your salary also increases each year. For the position I applied for, I had to write a research proposal (about 5 pages), and had an interview with three professors. There were between 55-60 applicants for what turned into two spots (they couldn't choose between me and another girl. She came from a more academia/data science background and I had the field work/development work experience they wanted, so they chose us both, which is HIGHLY unusual as they had to secure extra funding to hire us both). I would definitely say look at schools in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark as they're the best paid (Sweden actually pays the worst and their starting salaries are around $40,000/year, Denmark starts around 45 and Norway around 50 - because it's least expensive to live in Sweden and most in Norway) and often offer great opportunities for collaboration. Since your tuition is paid, it's not uncommon to do research stays at other Scandinavian/European Universities since you have right of free movement. A lot of schools (take University of Bergen, for example) have mini-Universities every summer to allow other PhD students to come and take courses on specific topics - it's great because there is no tuition, you just need a letter from your PI saying you can go there for the course. Also look at University of Utrecht in NL and Wageningen, they have a lot of public health/nutrition courses. I've never found much in Germany that pays more than like 800/month. I was looking mostly at Scandinavia and the Netherlands. I was interviewed for one in Marseille, but their pay is on par with US (about 1200 Euro/month with max of 1600 with teaching). Anyway, I know this is long but hopefully it helps you. Use FindaPhD.com to your advantage, and Euraxess and search for entry research jobs (where funded PhDs are found). These were my starting points along with specific school websites. Let me know if you have more questions!
  2. Hi all, I recently was accepted to the University of Gothenburg in Sweden for a joint PhD project between there and UCLA Fielding School. I HIGHLY encourage you all if you are unsuccessful or do not get the stipend you want to consider European/Scandinavian schools. Although the process is a bit different, I'm going to Gothenburg with all tuition and fees paid and $40,000/yr salary. In most Scandinavian schools PhD students are considered more of junior researchers/junior faculty rather than students, so you get a lot more benefits and opportunities for growth, research abroad, etc. Just a thought. Best of luck to everyone else! Just wish I had found out about this before I submitted all my GRE scores for about $300 But I guess it's better to spend there than on submitting 10 applications....... If you have any questions feel free to message me, happy to help as much as I can as this process was really long (I had been applying and interviewing pretty consistently since May before I found one but feel it was pretty worth it in the end). Cheers and best of luck!
  3. Hi, I am not so sure about BU, but as a GW Global Health MPH alum, I really enjoyed it and can't say enough positive things about it. I think one of the most important things to consider with grad schools, especially global health, is the wealth of opportunities for students while they are completing their degree and after. GW offers a lot of internships and fellowships with really prestigious international organizations.. I got fully funded scholarship to do my practicum at the World Food Programme in Rome. I don't know of TOO Many other schools that have links like this (and more, fellow students did practicums with a wide range of NGOs/UNs/US governments all over the world). Many someone else wants to weigh in and maybe i'm too late in posting my answer, but I say GW for sure. In DC alone you have access to so much!
  4. If you haven't taken the GRE yet, I strongly recommend the Kaplan books. I reviewed the books cover to cover both times I studied for the GRE (for masters in 2010 and now PhD this year) and was extremely pleased with my scores both times. Let me know if you have any questions. You seem super nervous so feel free to PM me - as someone who has been through the agonizing masters application process before, I'm happy to help any way I can
  5. Hey there, probably still has a pretty decent shot. When I applied to my MPH I sort of regret not applying to better programs as I saw a lot of my friends with lower stats and less experience get into much better programs than me. When I applied to my MPH I was right out of undergrad with a 3.2 GPA, GRE was different back then but equated to 65% verbal, 75% quant, like 50% writing or something like that. I got into Tulane, GW, and South Florida and was rejected from Emory (who basically required 2 years of international work experience to apply for their program). Also, tell her not to just focus on big name, ivy schools. My friend ended up at Harvard for her MSPH and didn't find a job for a year afterwards, I went to much less ranked GW and had internships and full time jobs that set me up amazingly for a fellowship with CDC after graduation. It's not all about name - it's about what you DO with your education that matter. I think her international experience will stand out a lot, especially if it's health related. Tell her not to worry, but also look into applying to one or two lesser ranked schools/non ivys just in case anything goes wrong!
  6. I'm sure you'll be fine! I wish these applications deadlines would pass so we can know where we are headed next year!
  7. Honestly, I haven't been hearing much back from people I've contacted. I've identified a few (usually 2) in each application that I feel would be good matches, but identifying and getting them to contact you back are a completely different thing. There are a few schools I've ended up taking off my original list (Emory and Rutgers, for exactly the reason you mentioned), but from people I've talked to (like my mentor right now), they've encouraged me to apply to a lot of programs for exactly that reason: you never know who will accept you, and you never know where the funding is, so apply everywhere there could be a good fit. This is just what I'm doing - I know it's not for everyone, but I am genuinely interested in all the schools I am applying to so I figure, why not?
  8. I don't know.. I mention a research topic and what I'd want to do, and even a slight bit of methodology behind it, but the whole bit is less than a paragraph. I feel like they just want to see that you've identified something you'd like to study. Just my thoughts though, not sure if anyone else has an idea.
  9. Are any of you finding it hard to complete the Personal History Statement required for some schools? I'm just finding it difficult to differentiate it from my Statement of Purpose and Objectives.
  10. A bunch of the schools I've looked into say they won't even start looking at the applications until after the deadline. So I think you're fine no matter when you apply! It takes the stress off doing them early, but I wouldn't freak out too much and rush just to get them in a month early.
  11. Would help if you were a bit more specific about stuff but I mean your scores are awesome so I feel like that's a good start! Did you not get in last time around? Or just not into a good program?
  12. RE: typos in SOPs - get your computer to read your SOP to you. I caught like, 10 typos in mine (example: moment instead of momentum, addition instead of addiction) that way that I didn't catch after reading the bloody thing 100 times.
  13. Wow! I think you're super impressive with all you've done outside the classroom. I think your non-traditional background makes you super competitive. I think the GRE will hurt less than your not having a Masters - schools like Harvard and Columbia explicitly say on their websites that a masters is not required but "highly preferred." Still, I think with your background it seems like you have a good shot? I have no idea what people were like last year who got into these programs. Does anyone have the link to the thread last year? Best of luck!
  14. Hey there, Sorry I'm just seeing it now. I'm having real bad sticker shock too at how much it costs to send GRE scores, transcripts, and applications. Typically there are application fees even for schools that use their own application system. Berkeley has also joined SOPHAS this year. It's definitely worth it just to do SOPHAS if you want those schools. In some ways it's even easier as your recommenders just have to send a letter to one place that serves as many schools as you designate, rather than having them write several and send to all different schools. I'm also applying to PhD in epi this year and have a mix of SOPHAS and non-SOPHAS... which SUCKS. Anyway, good luck! Feel free to chat me if you have any more questions!
  15. Hi everyone, Just trying to see what you all think of my profile and whatnot. My GPA isn't great from undergrad or masters, but you tell me what you think. I'm applying to 11 programs with the hope that someone will accept me! I haven't submitted my applications as I was waiting to hear back from professors but think I may submit in the next week or so anyway. Undergrad Institution: Rutgers Major(s): Public HealthGPA in Major: 3.7Overall GPA: 3.128 Type of Student: female late 20s Postgrad: MPH from GW in Global Health - 3.4 GPA GRE Scores:Q: 159 (73%)V: 156 (73%)W: 4.5 (82%) Research Experience: ' Almost 3 years with CDC in southern Africa (that's where I am now), as a co-investigator on a well-known HIV study 2 years in clinical research (HIV care in children/adults) at a hospital in DC A few months as a field interviewer on a behavioral HIV research study 1 year undergrad research assistant at an AIDS program Awards/Honors/Recognitions: CDC global health fellowship Scholarship from GW to do practicum work abroad A few different undergrad scholarships First-author on a peer-reviewed paper (based on my master's thesis) Girl Scout Gold Award (like eagle scout but for girls) Pertinent Activities or Jobs: All the above research jobs were paid (except the undergrad RA), Masters practicum with UN agency abroad doing trend analysis/end of year reporting Was an Emergency Medical Technician in college for 3 years Peer educator/HIV test counselor in college Volunteered in Central America with a small NGO for a summer and two weeks throughout the school year Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presented at 3 conferences on different research (Ryan White programs, LGBTQ language, HIV in children) Started a student group in grad school that provides medical leadership to Haiti Special Bonus Points: Two of my LORs come from CDC epidemiologists (not sure if this counts as special bonus points as neither are directors or that "well-known" scientifically but they're both supervisors with tons of epi/global health experience) Applying to Where: UW (global health metrics), Rutgers (Epi), Tulane (epi), oregon (epi), UC Berkeley (epi), Columbia (epi), UCLA (epi), Harvard (pop health sciences - global health and population), GW (epi), Hopkins (International health - global epi), and probably Emory (epi)
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