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MiddleOfSomeCalibrations

American applying to a Canadian school? (University of British Columbia)

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Hi everyone!

I am an American who will be applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs this fall (seeking fall 2020 admission). I've made a list of schools/POIs that I'm interested in and ranked them into six tiers based on personal preference. One of my top choices is a professor at University of British Columbia (Vancouver). I mentioned him to my current supervisors (I am a post-bac RA in the Psychiatry department at a medical school). One of them did not like this idea. He said "don't go to Canada", "the culture is different...they train less independent researchers", and "there are fewer opportunities in Canada". (Note: although he works in the Psychiatry department, he is not a psychologist or psychiatrist and has a PhD in a biology-related field instead.) The other one (who *does* have a PhD in Clinical Psychology) didn't say much except for expressing concerns about "licensing issues". I told her that based on my investigation into that matter, it seems that the APA and CPA have an agreement where they agree that they have equivalent standards, so licensing should not be an issue in most places, except for a few places (i.e., Florida, VA hospitals) that require the school be recognized by the US Department of Education.

Personally, I love the idea of moving to Canada permanently! I would love to live in a country that has universal healthcare and embraces diversity. Do you all have any input on this? Does my nay-saying supervisor have a point? Are there any special considerations I haven't thought about?

Thanks in advance!

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Perspectives from a Canadian who's applying to Canada and the states

1) There are less opportunities, simply because there is less people compared to the states. There's still lots of demand for clinical psychologists

2) For licensure, most schools will prepare you for that province/state's licensure, with some states' requirements overlapping. Its not too different from the states. I think its best for you to keep the requirements of where you want to practice in mind as you complete your degree. There's equivalency between APA/CPA, but each country does prefer there own students for internship esp in light of current politics (hopefully will change). 

3) Canada isn't all that research focused compared to the states for a lot of reasons. I think because there's less people, PIs really have to fight for external funding which can be unpredictable. There's a lot of possibility for students to be externally funded because schools are public and the govn sets aside a lot for funding for graduate students, but the pool dwindles as you get more senior in your career. It isn't really the case here that PIs will have like, multiple ongoing grants from NIMH. That is rare in clinical psych here, so doing research as your only gig is a bit challenging here. So generally low funds and not many TT posts takes the incentive out of focusing on pumping out research-focused graduates, so programs will generally focus on having more well-rounded scientist-practioner types. 

4) UBC has a focus on training researchers, so regardless of the country-wide culture, their graduates have gone onto research careers and are an excellent choice if you like research (seems the clinical training is great too but didn't interview there).

Not an expert on any of these, would love to learn more from people who did their training in the 'opposite' country. I love Canada, but I want to go to the US for the super research-y schools.

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I would like to add (as a Canadian who applied to Canadian schools this year but met a lot of students from the states at my open houses) that you should look into funding! Canada has 3 funding bodies for research: NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR and you can apply to any of them depending on the type of research...however, I thought I heard that as an international student you are unable to apply for the master's award (17,500 CAD$) but I could be wrong!!

I would just suggest looking into funding opportunities/tuition as it may be more expensive but I am not sure how it compares to the US! All the best!

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3 hours ago, NorthernBlondie said:

I would like to add (as a Canadian who applied to Canadian schools this year but met a lot of students from the states at my open houses) that you should look into funding! Canada has 3 funding bodies for research: NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR and you can apply to any of them depending on the type of research...however, I thought I heard that as an international student you are unable to apply for the master's award (17,500 CAD$) but I could be wrong!!

I would just suggest looking into funding opportunities/tuition as it may be more expensive but I am not sure how it compares to the US! All the best!

Thats also a big deal, some programs don't accept internationals because they'd likely have to fund them themselves for at least a portion of their graduate schooling. This is also the case at the doctoral level for federal funding, but some provincial awards are open to internationals. External funding seems like more of a cherry on the cake rather than a necessity in the US, because some schools do have endowments or more money set aside to guarantee funding, and stuff like NSF is pretty rare (from what I've seen). It seems to be easier to be an international in a phd program in the states than in canada, but I could be wrong. 

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:35 AM, higaisha said:

3) Canada isn't all that research focused compared to the states for a lot of reasons. I think because there's less people, PIs really have to fight for external funding which can be unpredictable. There's a lot of possibility for students to be externally funded because schools are public and the govn sets aside a lot for funding for graduate students, but the pool dwindles as you get more senior in your career. It isn't really the case here that PIs will have like, multiple ongoing grants from NIMH. That is rare in clinical psych here, so doing research as your only gig is a bit challenging here. So generally low funds and not many TT posts takes the incentive out of focusing on pumping out research-focused graduates, so programs will generally focus on having more well-rounded scientist-practioner types. 

I don't believe this is correct and it varies dramatically by your funding committee. Funding rates for NIMH and NIH are 18-20% and for CIHR are 15-20%--so pretty comparable. It's true to say that everybody has to fight for external funding, so you'll find more in common between UBC and an American R1 than between UBC and, say, Brock or Lethbridge (or an American PUI). If you can get into SSHRC instead, recent competitions have had success rates of 30-50%. The current Liberal government has allocated massive funding increases, in contrast to Trump, who wants to cut science funding

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3 hours ago, lewin said:

I don't believe this is correct and it varies dramatically by your funding committee. Funding rates for NIMH and NIH are 18-20% and for CIHR are 15-20%--so pretty comparable. It's true to say that everybody has to fight for external funding, so you'll find more in common between UBC and an American R1 than between UBC and, say, Brock or Lethbridge (or an American PUI). If you can get into SSHRC instead, recent competitions have had success rates of 30-50%. The current Liberal government has allocated massive funding increases, in contrast to Trump, who wants to cut science funding

Qualitatively, I think NIMH is a bit more formulaic, especially with their RDoC initiative, which gives investigators a general idea of what to lay out. From what I've seen in clinical psych, a certain 'group' of researchers in the states, mainly people who are involved in translational work may be more likely to hold the bulk of the research $$$. Not sure if thats the case for CIHR, because it seems pretty spread out across institutions. Would love to learn more!

Ehhh, the pendulum of funding swings with politics, recent elections in both countries means nothing is certain and recent policies might get cut in transitions.

 

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