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GlobalHealthPhD2020

PhD Applicants: Fall 2020

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, NotaBene said:

So... is anyone else worrying that COVID-19 is going to screw up visits? I'm super worried that the school I am due to visit Friday (which will help me finaloze my decision) is going to shut down by then. Anyone else in this boat?

I received an email from UNC's Admissions Office this morning, stating that their March 27th Admitted Student's Day will occur virtually. I followed up with the HPM department to ask if the department-specific programming that was also scheduled for that day will also be virtual, but I haven't received a reply yet. I am disappointed since I haven't visited the school yet and as you mentioned in another post was also hoping to do a gut check, but I definitely understand the need to take these precautions. 

Edited by HSRPhD_2020

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Is there anyone who have heard from University of Iowa for the Epidemiology PhD program after an Interview or George Washington University?

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Hi all,

I'm wondering if people are making acceptance decisions based on school rankings or the prof you want to work with. I'm wondering if anyone is interested in discussing the tradeoffs for getting faculty- or scientist-track positions.

Thanks in advance

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School rankings are pretty arbitrary. They are even less valuable for a PhD, which is highly specialized. The quality and prestige of the program will depend on what specific research niche you are in. The best school for studying HIV in the global south may well not be a great place to study nutritional assistance programs, for example. It really depends on what you want to study, and who is actually doing that work, and where. 

I would think about the following, long before looking at rankings:

  • funding offered
  • faculty research match
  • whether your advisor is someone you can work well with, and whether they will be a good advocate for you
  • whether there are other potential collaborators affiliated with the program
  • where their graduates end up after they complete the program
  • whether you could be happy living there for 4-6 years

If your options are tied after considering all of this, then sure, go to the conventionally more prestigious university.

12 minutes ago, HSRPHD said:

Hi all,

I'm wondering if people are making acceptance decisions based on school rankings or the prof you want to work with. I'm wondering if anyone is interested in discussing the tradeoffs for getting faculty- or scientist-track positions.

Thanks in advance

 

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How is everyone dealing with cancellations of the on-site visits? I have narrowed my decision down to two schools and was really hoping to use my interactions with other accepted students as a guide in my final decision. 

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3 hours ago, Ep1phd said:

How is everyone dealing with cancellations of the on-site visits? I have narrowed my decision down to two schools and was really hoping to use my interactions with other accepted students as a guide in my final decision. 

The program director reached out to schedule a virtual admitted students session but I agree it's disappointing and I had also wanted to use this to guide my final decision. 

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Does anyone know when the now *virtual* admitted students days are for JHSPH and Columbia Epidemiology? 

 

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, PublicHealth2020grad said:

The program director reached out to schedule a virtual admitted students session but I agree it's disappointing and I had also wanted to use this to guide my final decision. 

Yeah these virtual student days aren’t a great substitute.

I went back to the drawing board last night and took another look at “research fit” for the two schools I’m considering. I think this is where I’m going to place my emphasis now that I can’t really use student interactions as a guide. At the end of the day, I feel that I’m more likely than not to find *someone* I can develop a close friendship with at either university. So for me, ensuring that I have multiple avenues to conduct the research I’m interested in is enough to shape my final decision. E.g., if there are only one or two professors at institution X that are doing the research I’m interested in vs five at institution Y, I’ll lean toward institution Y ( all else being equal). If I don’t get along with a particular advisor I can more easily move on to another without giving up my primary research interest. 
 

PS I found this podcast from two former PhD students at UNC to be super helpful:  http://hellophd.com/2018/02/087-how-do-i-choose-a-phd-program/

Discussion begins around the 19:30 mark.

 

Edited by Ep1phd

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On 3/11/2020 at 12:53 PM, health_pol_2020 said:

Hi all! Anyone receive full funding from GW's program in Health Policy or any department?

I have no idea how their funding works. I received an acceptance letter which says that they are unable to offer any formal fellowship, but there's are other sources of scholarship and RAship. 

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2 hours ago, ms26 said:

Does anyone know when the now *virtual* admitted students days are for JHSPH and Columbia Epidemiology? 

 

Thanks!

For JHU, I think there is one this tomorrow (Friday, March 13th)

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5 hours ago, Se7en said:

I have no idea how their funding works. I received an acceptance letter which says that they are unable to offer any formal fellowship, but there's are other sources of scholarship and RAship. 

Can I ask you about which department did you apply to for a PhD?

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13 hours ago, Annaseo said:

Can I ask you about which department did you apply to for a PhD?

Sure. I applied to health policy

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Posted (edited)
On 3/11/2020 at 4:12 PM, FurtureDrPH said:

Anyone hear from UMD health Policy and Management PhD? If so, how soon after you applied?

I heard back from HSR back in early February. I applied in December. 

Edited by PHPHD2020

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Hi all,

I've heard back about funding from the two programs I've been accepted into - UW and Pitt. I have GSRA positions that run from fall to spring. Both GSRA positions are actually for data collection I'd be doing for my thesis so I know that I'm in a less common situation. I'm a bit surprised to not receive funding for the summer so I'm wondering if this is common? It also didn't mention the duration that I'd be covered for. To me, that doesn't seem like "full funding" but perhaps that refers to tuition remission, stipend and health insurance? Is that right? I'm also an international student so I don't have a clear sense of what typical funding packages include in the US. I guess my thought was that it would guarantee tuition, stipend and insurance for 4-5 year. Based on this forum, it seems like it depends on the school.

Thanks & stay safe!

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13 hours ago, PHPHD2020 said:

I heard back from HSR back in early February. I applied in December. 

Thank you! From your experience, does it take roughly two months? What was your process if you don’t mind me asking. I applied in February. 
 

Did anyone hear from VCU?

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Hey All! Hope everyone is safe and healthy during these...weird times. 

 

Has anybody NOT heard back from the Columbia Sociomedical Sciences PhD? I see a bunch of rejections, some acceptances, and some referrals to the MPH decisions have been released—but I've heard nothing and there is no update to my portal page. 

 

For anybody In this same boat -- I'm guessing we're on some unannounced wait list? What do ya'll think?

 

Any input appreciated!

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Off topic question guys. Since we are all public health professionals here 😊. How would you (have you) forecast coronavirus spread locally? And what kind of analysis would you conduct? 

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8 hours ago, FurtureDrPH said:

Thank you! From your experience, does it take roughly two months? What was your process if you don’t mind me asking. I applied in February. 
 

Did anyone hear from VCU?

Got accepted to the SBS program at VCU on 03/06. They also informed me of my funding package in the acceptance letter.

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On 3/18/2020 at 2:44 PM, HSRPHD said:

Hi all,

I've heard back about funding from the two programs I've been accepted into - UW and Pitt. I have GSRA positions that run from fall to spring. Both GSRA positions are actually for data collection I'd be doing for my thesis so I know that I'm in a less common situation. I'm a bit surprised to not receive funding for the summer so I'm wondering if this is common? It also didn't mention the duration that I'd be covered for. To me, that doesn't seem like "full funding" but perhaps that refers to tuition remission, stipend and health insurance? Is that right? I'm also an international student so I don't have a clear sense of what typical funding packages include in the US. I guess my thought was that it would guarantee tuition, stipend and insurance for 4-5 year. Based on this forum, it seems like it depends on the school.

Thanks & stay safe!

I am pretty sure your package includes a tuition waiver, insurance and stipend, but you can always email the program coordinator/faculty adviser to double check on that. I believe it's pretty common for US schools to guarantee funding for 9 months and then summer funding is dependent on availability of RA/TA positions, your faculty adviser and, of course, your progress during the academic year. Not a lot of PH schools guarantee funding for 4-5 years, but there should always be RA/TA opportunities - you would just have to look for those and apply. I know extra hassle, but that's the way it is. If you want to know more about UW (Seattle), feel free to message me - I graduated from their Health Services Department.

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I have a question about funding! My program is tying my pay to the number of hours I work as a Research Assistant.  They guaranteed $25 for 20hrs in a week including tuition and other fees waived except for medical insurance which is to be paid by myself. My question now is if I do not work up to the 20 hours in a week, will they not pay the guaranteed amount?

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On 3/18/2020 at 5:44 PM, HSRPHD said:

Hi all,

I've heard back about funding from the two programs I've been accepted into - UW and Pitt. I have GSRA positions that run from fall to spring. Both GSRA positions are actually for data collection I'd be doing for my thesis so I know that I'm in a less common situation. I'm a bit surprised to not receive funding for the summer so I'm wondering if this is common? It also didn't mention the duration that I'd be covered for. To me, that doesn't seem like "full funding" but perhaps that refers to tuition remission, stipend and health insurance? Is that right? I'm also an international student so I don't have a clear sense of what typical funding packages include in the US. I guess my thought was that it would guarantee tuition, stipend and insurance for 4-5 year. Based on this forum, it seems like it depends on the school.

Thanks & stay safe!

Hey there, I didn't apply to UW but did get into Pitt (not going there, decided on somewhere else). I would caution you to read your offer letter carefully -- does it explicitly mention tuition remission, insurance, fees, etc. as being covered? If not, I would call and write them and clarify and get answers in writing. When I was considering Pitt I called to ask about funding since it seemed so uncertain, and it is absolutely possible at Pitt to get admitted, get a GRA, and be expected to cover your own tuition, insurance, and fees.

As far as usual funding packages - I am fully funded under fellowship at the school to which I decided to go, and that includes full tuition remission and health insurance. It is year-long funding and includes summers (I am expected to work 20 hours/week during the summer). 

As far as duration of funding, there is a wide range. My fellowship is for 2 years, and my school's model is to then fund the remainder of the PhD by hiring 3rd and 4th year students as TAs (and at that point you are not taking classes anymore so it is less expensive to pay your tuition). Your offer letter should also state the conditions for continued funding (mine states that it is 2 years and that I will be reviewed at the end of year 1 to make sure I am making satisfactory progress before it is renewed). 

I had another offer that included tuition remission, stipend, but no fees or insurance, and another offer that included only partial funding. Always good to ask specific questions and get documentation in writing. Also worth considering how you will be paid (W-2? 1099? Other tax form?) so you know what you need to do in terms of your tax responsibilities for your stipend. The school should be able to answer all of your questions, so don't be afraid to ask them and to follow up if you are not 100% clear on what you would be getting. 

Good luck and congrats!

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3 hours ago, Abs_baba said:

I have a question about funding! My program is tying my pay to the number of hours I work as a Research Assistant.  They guaranteed $25 for 20hrs in a week including tuition and other fees waived except for medical insurance which is to be paid by myself. My question now is if I do not work up to the 20 hours in a week, will they not pay the guaranteed amount?

Can't speak for all schools, but usually tuition waivers and other support is tied to FTE%. At UW, for example, they wouldn't give you all that support unless you are at 50% FTE, i.e. 20 hrs per week. Your department should be able to answer this question with certainty.

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