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Clinical Psychology Mentor Selection -> The topic or the Skills?


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Hello!

I wanted to hear opinions on what is most important when selecting labs / mentors to apply to since it is such a huge decision in the application process. Is it most important that you match the mentors topics of interest or the methods they use to do their research? Of course having both are ideal! Sometimes, however, there just aren't a lot of people doing exactly what you want to do. So is it more important to connect with a mentor that can teach you the skills you want to learn even if their topic isn't a perfect match or is it more important to find a mentor within the topic you are interested in to build the broader knowledge / foundation and look for other opportunities to build knowledge in the specific skills you want to use to research that topic? Should my applications be a mix of both? Or am I completely off and there is no reason I shouldn't be able to find 10+ potential mentors in the topic and skills I'm looking for that are all accepting students the specific year I intend to apply? 

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I would do a mix of both. I would think topic interest for direct mentor and maybe a secondary faculty in the department who may be more skilled with the methods may be a good option as well, since you can always seek secondary mentorship. I think the area of interest matching the primary faculty may be more important for PhD application than just lab RA. 

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