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Question for people getting interviews!


WhatLikeItsHard
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5 minutes ago, EileanDonan said:

To those who have been invited/accepted - do you believe that relevant clinical experience or relevant research experience holds more sway over the other? (i.e. if you had to pick).

I'm applying to Canadian Masters/PhD Programs in Clinical Psych. It seems that professors don't expect undergrads to have much research experience beyond an Honour's Thesis. I've been doing research since two months into my undergrad, and have dabbled as an RA in the following fields of psychology: personality, social, health, and clinical (addictions). I've done 6+ conferences/am published. Profs have personally expressed to me the breadth of my research experience is impressive for someone in their 4th year. So perhaps my social psychology RA experience isn't related to my field of interest (addictions), however, it is still research experience.

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11 minutes ago, EileanDonan said:

To those who have been invited/accepted - do you believe that relevant clinical experience or relevant research experience holds more sway over the other? (i.e. if you had to pick).

This definitely depends on whether you are applying to PhD or PsyD (at least in the US). I currently have 4 interviews for PhD programs and 0 clinical experience but a year-and-a-half of research experience and an honors thesis in all in the same/similar field as the POIs I applied to work with. I've heard from anyone I talk to that if you have to choose between gaining research or clinical experience, always choose research experience. My guess is this is because it is easier and expected that program's have to train people to become clinicians, but it is much more difficult to train someone to conduct quality research in such a short time period. 

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I might have a slightly unique answer to this, because I had a not so great (54th %ile) quant GRE (much better verbal) and okay/moderately good GPA, but have still gotten 5/6 interviews, and 5/5 of the schools I actually could see myself at.

For me, it was a matter of Skyping with 11 individuals before even writing my applications, and not sending in any duplicate SOPs. I firmly believe that I would've had much lower quality applications had I applied to any more programs than I did. I felt like I formed some solid relationships with faculty that inspired how I tailored my essays to each school, and as a result, it's easy for me to demonstrate genuine interest in programs.

I also wrote an NSF GRFP, which not only gave me a topic I could talk about, but also the potential of being a self-funded student.

Other than that, my name appears in a list of authors on a paper, I went to a good undergrad, and I've been working in a great lab with some lovely, well-liked and well-connected co-workers. I think, the more times you're able let your love of the subject shine through, the better your shot is. If they can see it on your face in a skype call, and then again in your writing, you're in if you can convince them that you can Do The Thing.

Edited by neuroinformagical
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