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as the week comes to an end, i hope that you all are able to find peace, or some sort of distractor tasks to keep your anxieties at a minimum. i hope next week brings better news and i look forward to hearing more about where you all are going!

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just got accepted by the top choice from the waitlist!! plan to accept! don't lose hope guys!!!

I can’t help but reference the Yale drama from a couple of days ago..... This response strongly sounds like “THEY ARE MY OFFERS [!!!!!!]” lmao 😂  I personally (and basically every expert I w

Every grad student, post doc, and faculty member has told me not to make any decisions until I've gone on all my interviews/visit weekends and have full funding offers but strangers on the internet ta

Hard to say. I had one brand new PI talking about how excited they were to pilot a survey (i.e. be a few years before publications) whereas another brand new PI I interviewed with had already some established studies from her graduate program and was ready to rock and roll with publishing some of her ongoing research. What is the alternate PI doing (associate or full professor I'm assuming?)

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34 minutes ago, PsychApplicantFall2019 said:

How do other people feel about going to work with a brand new PI? I am deciding between different alternatives. 

I think that if you have a good connection with that PI and a good fit with their research interests, maybe go for it. The only thing is that obviously you don't have anything to go off of as far as grad students under them to vouch for them so that kind of can make it a hard decision.

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13 hours ago, PsychApplicantFall2019 said:

How do other people feel about going to work with a brand new PI? I am deciding between different alternatives. 

My current mentor, who is somewhere in the middle, tenured but still pretty young says new POIs can be good because they are motivated to publish and are up in the latest research. He cautioned me against POIs that have been around a very long time because he said sometimes they don’t keep up or aren’t interested in new things particularly when it comes to the data analysis side of the research. So, if the new person seems on top of things and is a good fit, I might give hem a shot, although I’d probably want someone who had at least had a year under their belt so that you’re not both figuring out how things work at the school at the same time. 

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20 hours ago, Fi19 said:

Both of my mentors who accepted me are young assistant professors and not on tenure tracks. Any advice on how to gauge if they have plans moving elsewhere in the near future?

Thanks!!!

This is important; I cannot offer advice on this as I have a very senior PI, but my recommendation is if you go to either of those schools you should identify a prospective back-up mentor immediately who is more senior and could help you in the event your junior non-TT PI leaves and you want to stay. 

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On 2/22/2019 at 4:01 PM, rainydaychai said:

Hey guys, so again I find myself in a tough situation and would love some thoughts and advice. I have now received one acceptance! :) However, there are now a LOT of pros and cons to consider. Most significantly, it's the only program I applied to that isn't funded, and tuition looks to be $18k a year. For me, that's not just "manageable with some extra RA hours," that's "going into debt" type money. Secondly, the research fit doesn't quite align as well as other programs (isn't bad though), and the program follows a generalist model, while I would much rather be in a POI's lab with a strong relationship with them from day one. However, it's not all bad! The program does have a formal forensic track, which is really important to me, and they do seem to have a prominent research presence at conferences etc. It's in a beautiful (albeit expensive) area that my SO could easily work in. From what I gained during the phone interview, there are opportunities to pay tuition off from teaching at community colleges nearby. 

With all this being said, and while the lure of being able to say, for sure, that I am starting my PhD this fall is strong, I can't help but worry that a year or two in the future I will be wistfully looking at other people in less generalist, funded programs while going further into debt myself.... thoughts? Anyone else in this situation?

I am in the same boat as you with the same program! Financial concerns are weighing in heavily for me. On top of loans for tuition, it seems like it is an area where it would be beneficial to have a car for commute. I have traveled by public transportation my entire life, so this is another piece of financial concern. In terms of research, I thought that I would be happy in a clinically focused program when I first started applying. This is no longer the case, thus, I am also concerned about lack of immediate mentorship from a faculty upon starting a program. 

I'm over the moon for getting accepted!!! But for now, I am holding onto this this one offer until I head back from all other schools I interviewed at. 

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Hi ya'll!

So, I could use some advice. I've narrowed my options down to two schools, but there's a lot of pros and cons for both programs and I'm having a hard time deciding.

School A: A state school, but well regarded. PI has tenure but is still young-ish, great track record of getting students to publish and go to post docs. Research is interesting, and would teach me a few new techniques (at least). Cons: It's a tiny town, with an army of undergrads in residence. Stipend is pretty low, but I've been nominated for a fellowship. My SO might have a hard time finding work there. LOTS of required courses (2.5 years worth).

 

School B: Private, more renowned school. In a big city, which is one of my favorite places. I would have to learn a LOT to keep up, but it's new skills and branches that I've been interested in learning for awhile (genomics).  Cons: Everyone has "warned" me that the PI is "intense" (their word). She definitely seems really driven, as she is up for tenure this year. I can tell she's not mean, per se, but it seems like she expects you to live your life in the lab and doesn't tolerate nonsense. No graduated students yet, due to some truly unfortunate cases where her animals died thanks to building maintenance and her lab had to be shut down. She has a 3rd year and two 1st years now, who all agree she is an excellent mentor but very, very tough. 

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2 hours ago, Phoenixphires said:

Hi ya'll!

So, I could use some advice. I've narrowed my options down to two schools, but there's a lot of pros and cons for both programs and I'm having a hard time deciding.

School A: A state school, but well regarded. PI has tenure but is still young-ish, great track record of getting students to publish and go to post docs. Research is interesting, and would teach me a few new techniques (at least). Cons: It's a tiny town, with an army of undergrads in residence. Stipend is pretty low, but I've been nominated for a fellowship. My SO might have a hard time finding work there. LOTS of required courses (2.5 years worth).

 

School B: Private, more renowned school. In a big city, which is one of my favorite places. I would have to learn a LOT to keep up, but it's new skills and branches that I've been interested in learning for awhile (genomics).  Cons: Everyone has "warned" me that the PI is "intense" (their word). She definitely seems really driven, as she is up for tenure this year. I can tell she's not mean, per se, but it seems like she expects you to live your life in the lab and doesn't tolerate nonsense. No graduated students yet, due to some truly unfortunate cases where her animals died thanks to building maintenance and her lab had to be shut down. She has a 3rd year and two 1st years now, who all agree she is an excellent mentor but very, very tough. 

I think it's up to you how you want your advisor to be. I would personally not enjoy working with School B since there is a chance the students at the school were soft on the PI by just saying intense. But you know yourself more than anyone else.

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16 hours ago, Clinapp2017 said:

This is important; I cannot offer advice on this as I have a very senior PI, but my recommendation is if you go to either of those schools you should identify a prospective back-up mentor immediately who is more senior and could help you in the event your junior non-TT PI leaves and you want to stay. 

Yes, I believe identifying a second POI is important in my case. Thank you!!

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On 2/24/2019 at 12:50 PM, Fi19 said:

Both of my mentors who accepted me are young assistant professors and not on tenure tracks. Any advice on how to gauge if they have plans moving elsewhere in the near future?

Thanks!!!

Do you mean they’re not yet tenured? Or they’re really not on the tenure track? I thought only TT professors could take on students?

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5 minutes ago, Psyhopeful said:

Do you mean they’re not yet tenured? Or they’re really not on the tenure track? I thought only TT professors could take on students?

I think they mean they’re just newer/younger (likely not yet tenured). I don’t think it’s the case that only TT professors can take students, particularly since tenure is less common now than it used to be, but could be mistaken. 

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29 minutes ago, Psyhopeful said:

Do you mean they’re not yet tenured? Or they’re really not on the tenure track? I thought only TT professors could take on students?

I had the same question. Usually the title "Assistant Professor" implies TT. If not, they would be a Lecturer or Instructor.

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18 hours ago, Phoenixphires said:

Hi ya'll!

So, I could use some advice. I've narrowed my options down to two schools, but there's a lot of pros and cons for both programs and I'm having a hard time deciding.

School A: A state school, but well regarded. PI has tenure but is still young-ish, great track record of getting students to publish and go to post docs. Research is interesting, and would teach me a few new techniques (at least). Cons: It's a tiny town, with an army of undergrads in residence. Stipend is pretty low, but I've been nominated for a fellowship. My SO might have a hard time finding work there. LOTS of required courses (2.5 years worth).

 

School B: Private, more renowned school. In a big city, which is one of my favorite places. I would have to learn a LOT to keep up, but it's new skills and branches that I've been interested in learning for awhile (genomics).  Cons: Everyone has "warned" me that the PI is "intense" (their word). She definitely seems really driven, as she is up for tenure this year. I can tell she's not mean, per se, but it seems like she expects you to live your life in the lab and doesn't tolerate nonsense. No graduated students yet, due to some truly unfortunate cases where her animals died thanks to building maintenance and her lab had to be shut down. She has a 3rd year and two 1st years now, who all agree she is an excellent mentor but very, very tough. 

I would be very nervous going into scenario B.  If other students are warning you, that's a red flag; I imagine they would tone down their warnings a bit so "intense" may be an understatement.  She also hasn't had any students graduate yet vs the other PI where you already know a lot of students go on to post docs.  To me it sounds like location might be what you are really struggling with.....living somewhere you don't like really stinks....but living somewhere you love but never get to enjoy because your PI expects you to work every second of the day might be worse! 

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On 2/22/2019 at 4:01 PM, rainydaychai said:

Hey guys, so again I find myself in a tough situation and would love some thoughts and advice. I have now received one acceptance! :) However, there are now a LOT of pros and cons to consider. Most significantly, it's the only program I applied to that isn't funded, and tuition looks to be $18k a year. For me, that's not just "manageable with some extra RA hours," that's "going into debt" type money. Secondly, the research fit doesn't quite align as well as other programs (isn't bad though), and the program follows a generalist model, while I would much rather be in a POI's lab with a strong relationship with them from day one. However, it's not all bad! The program does have a formal forensic track, which is really important to me, and they do seem to have a prominent research presence at conferences etc. It's in a beautiful (albeit expensive) area that my SO could easily work in. From what I gained during the phone interview, there are opportunities to pay tuition off from teaching at community colleges nearby. 

With all this being said, and while the lure of being able to say, for sure, that I am starting my PhD this fall is strong, I can't help but worry that a year or two in the future I will be wistfully looking at other people in less generalist, funded programs while going further into debt myself.... thoughts? Anyone else in this situation?

Congratulations, I'm so excited for you!

I can see how that is a tricky situation.  A friend of mine who is currently in the program there shared some information with me that I found very helpful as I was considering whether to apply to their forensic track (ultimately I did not apply) - I'll PM you. 

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3 minutes ago, Waitlistedbuthopeful said:

Congratulations, I'm so excited for you!

I can see how that is a tricky situation.  A friend of mine who is currently in the program there shared some information with me that I found very helpful as I was considering whether to apply to their forensic track (ultimately I did not apply) - I'll PM you. 

Do you mind PMing me too?? I'm also in a similar situation! Much appreciated :)

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2 hours ago, liznlex said:

I would be very nervous going into scenario B.  If other students are warning you, that's a red flag; I imagine they would tone down their warnings a bit so "intense" may be an understatement.  She also hasn't had any students graduate yet vs the other PI where you already know a lot of students go on to post docs.  To me it sounds like location might be what you are really struggling with.....living somewhere you don't like really stinks....but living somewhere you love but never get to enjoy because your PI expects you to work every second of the day might be worse! 

Thank you both! Excellent advice. I think you're totally right... I just had my heart set on that school, and it wasn't what I'd hoped. 

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3 hours ago, Psyhopeful said:

Do you mean they’re not yet tenured? Or they’re really not on the tenure track? I thought only TT professors could take on students?

Yes. Sorry, I meant they’re not yet tenured. And I think one of them is very close to be up for tenure. 

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36 minutes ago, Fi19 said:

Yes. Sorry, I meant they’re not yet tenured. And I think one of them is very close to be up for tenure. 

Okay, that’s very different than not being TT. I don’t think that’s bad thing. My current mentor says they can be good because they tend to be very motivated to publish, up on current methods, and potentially more open minded. Although I suppose they might also feel more stress at trying to reach tenure, but I think some of that probably depends on the environment of the department. My current school and department is very supportive and gives their untenured faculty first crack at funding when taking on new students so that they can get tenure.

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alright so I posted this in another thread and got no replies. Hoping someone here will have sagacious advice for me.

I'm lucky to have two great programs to choose from, but I feel like I could very easily fuck this up and regret it for the rest of my life. Here are the highlights:

Program 1 pros:  slightly better research fit, overall "fit" (whatever that is) felt best during visit weekend, PI is brand new faculty so super motivated to be productive & has a flexible mentoring style, other faculty in the same area are super warm and supportive, and have already expressed interest in collaborating, PI made another offer to an interviewee who I liked a lot, and we would be his only 2 students

Program 1 cons: lower stipend, extra course fees & health insurance are not fully subsidized, location not ideal, also...I accidentally found the PI's pinterest board of super hero erotica, so that's a thing I'll never un-see. 

 

Program 2 pros: highly ranked, high stipend & full health insurance coverage, experienced PI who is adored by current and former students (and friends with my undergrad mentors, which adds pressure), has a large grant project wrapping that would be mine to take over, great location

Program 2 cons: research fit slightly weaker than program 1, vibe during visit weekend was less than stellar for reasons I can't put my finger on

 

For some reason, I'm really leaning toward program 1, but I feel like on paper program 2 is the clear better choice. Do you think I'd be crazy to take a chance on the less prestigious school that is paying me less to work with a less experienced PI in a city I'm not drawn to? 

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16 minutes ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

alright so I posted this in another thread and got no replies. Hoping someone here will have sagacious advice for me.

I'm lucky to have two great programs to choose from, but I feel like I could very easily fuck this up and regret it for the rest of my life. Here are the highlights:

Program 1 pros:  slightly better research fit, overall "fit" (whatever that is) felt best during visit weekend, PI is brand new faculty so super motivated to be productive & has a flexible mentoring style, other faculty in the same area are super warm and supportive, and have already expressed interest in collaborating, PI made another offer to an interviewee who I liked a lot, and we would be his only 2 students

Program 1 cons: lower stipend, extra course fees & health insurance are not fully subsidized, location not ideal, also...I accidentally found the PI's pinterest board of super hero erotica, so that's a thing I'll never un-see. 

 

Program 2 pros: highly ranked, high stipend & full health insurance coverage, experienced PI who is adored by current and former students (and friends with my undergrad mentors, which adds pressure), has a large grant project wrapping that would be mine to take over, great location

Program 2 cons: research fit slightly weaker than program 1, vibe during visit weekend was less than stellar for reasons I can't put my finger on

 

For some reason, I'm really leaning toward program 1, but I feel like on paper program 2 is the clear better choice. Do you think I'd be crazy to take a chance on the less prestigious school that is paying me less to work with a less experienced PI in a city I'm not drawn to? 

No, you aren't crazy. When I started out this process, the interviews that I got for schools were ranked, in my mind, from which one is in the best city, most prestigious, and has a high stipend. I then discovered that that is a great way to hate your entire time at a school during your doctorate work if you don't have a good fit with the program compared to another one (one of my grad students I work with directly in my lab expressed this and later on so did other graduate students I met with at interviews). A lot of them decided to go to what would be considered a "less prestigious school" with a lower stipend (for example, the one I had ranked #1 is one of the best programs in the country and has an $18k/9mo. stipend that comes with both health and dental insurance) versus one that has a much better PI that I would absolutely love to work with that only has about a $9k/9mo. stipend with only discounted insurance. I would much rather be happier with what I am doing with my time than worry about the ranking or stipend I'd be getting because I would have to be doing this for 5-6 years of my life.

Edited by Keyz
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15 minutes ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

alright so I posted this in another thread and got no replies. Hoping someone here will have sagacious advice for me.

I'm lucky to have two great programs to choose from, but I feel like I could very easily fuck this up and regret it for the rest of my life. Here are the highlights:

Program 1 pros:  slightly better research fit, overall "fit" (whatever that is) felt best during visit weekend, PI is brand new faculty so super motivated to be productive & has a flexible mentoring style, other faculty in the same area are super warm and supportive, and have already expressed interest in collaborating, PI made another offer to an interviewee who I liked a lot, and we would be his only 2 students

Program 1 cons: lower stipend, extra course fees & health insurance are not fully subsidized, location not ideal, also...I accidentally found the PI's pinterest board of super hero erotica, so that's a thing I'll never un-see. 

 

Program 2 pros: highly ranked, high stipend & full health insurance coverage, experienced PI who is adored by current and former students (and friends with my undergrad mentors, which adds pressure), has a large grant project wrapping that would be mine to take over, great location

Program 2 cons: research fit slightly weaker than program 1, vibe during visit weekend was less than stellar for reasons I can't put my finger on

 

For some reason, I'm really leaning toward program 1, but I feel like on paper program 2 is the clear better choice. Do you think I'd be crazy to take a chance on the less prestigious school that is paying me less to work with a less experienced PI in a city I'm not drawn to? 

Tough one. Ask yourself who are you gonna love working with most for 5 years and which location? Will you have financial stress (you don't want that on top of ur PhD!)

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2 hours ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

alright so I posted this in another thread and got no replies. Hoping someone here will have sagacious advice for me.

I'm lucky to have two great programs to choose from, but I feel like I could very easily fuck this up and regret it for the rest of my life. Here are the highlights:

Program 1 pros:  slightly better research fit, overall "fit" (whatever that is) felt best during visit weekend, PI is brand new faculty so super motivated to be productive & has a flexible mentoring style, other faculty in the same area are super warm and supportive, and have already expressed interest in collaborating, PI made another offer to an interviewee who I liked a lot, and we would be his only 2 students

Program 1 cons: lower stipend, extra course fees & health insurance are not fully subsidized, location not ideal, also...I accidentally found the PI's pinterest board of super hero erotica, so that's a thing I'll never un-see. 

 

Program 2 pros: highly ranked, high stipend & full health insurance coverage, experienced PI who is adored by current and former students (and friends with my undergrad mentors, which adds pressure), has a large grant project wrapping that would be mine to take over, great location

Program 2 cons: research fit slightly weaker than program 1, vibe during visit weekend was less than stellar for reasons I can't put my finger on

 

For some reason, I'm really leaning toward program 1, but I feel like on paper program 2 is the clear better choice. Do you think I'd be crazy to take a chance on the less prestigious school that is paying me less to work with a less experienced PI in a city I'm not drawn to? 

I say always trust your gut, but also, take a moment to sit with it and try to figure out why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. See if you can put your finger on what was off about the vibe. Like, really examine that. You might find that it was something small or unrelated or that reminded you of something negative, or it could be a real issue that once you look at it, you know that you don’t want to spend five years with it. I think the fact that you found the super hero erotica and that’s not the place that is giving you bad vibes says a lot!

I am in a somewhat similar situation so far, but I have a kid, so I feel a bit like it’d be irresponsible of me to take the program with less money. I haven’t visited them yet though, so I won’t know for sure how I feel until then. I think if you’re in a position where you can handle taking less then don’t let that stop you. I personally choose to believe that in the end it’s the work that you do that matters most, not where you do it, so if you have the opportunity to do good work that you love, do it.

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2 hours ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

Program 1 cons: lower stipend, extra course fees & health insurance are not fully subsidized, location not ideal, also...I accidentally found the PI's pinterest board of super hero erotica, so that's a thing I'll never un-see.  

Everyone else has given you great advice so I don't have anything to add, but I just had to LOL at this. I've run into some bizarre interests of professors before but this takes the cake.

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