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What would be considered quality research experience when applying to a Clinical Psych Ph.D.?


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I have 3 years of research experience. I have presented a poster that I was first author on at two conferences; however, that was only a proposal. I presented as a first author at my school's research day on data from the lab I was working in as undergrad. My name is another poster that is about to be presented by that lab, but I won't be attending the conference. Currently, I am in a Masters of Clinical Psych program and I am in a research lab. I am helping write a chapter in a clinical psychology handbook. I am on a research project but I won't be first author. I am looking to apply to Ph.D programs this coming fall. I have no other first author publications, posters and I am not working on my own project currently. Do I have enough quality research experience to be a competitive applicant?  Should I ask for more work in my current lab or should I find another lab that could support me on my own project? 

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3 Years of research experience is good, especially with your experience writing a chapter and working in different labs seems like you will have a good amount of experience. Make sure you are putting the second poster your name is on in your CV- just because you won't be there to physically present at that conference doesn't mean you shouldn't put it on your CV if you worked on that poster. Maybe try to get another first author poster submitted by the time you apply and maybe start working on a manuscript from someone else's data. 

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22 hours ago, SocDevMum said:

Are you not writing a Masters thesis? These are usually first-author pubs or posters, and really cement your research abilities. 

I wanted to but the way my program is setup we don't write one. I knew it wasn't a requirement going in to the program, but I did not know that they wouldn't allow me to write even if I requested to. My second year consists of a clinical externship for 21 hours a week. My school says that between an externship and my other classes, a master's thesis would be too much.

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For research intensive PhD programs in clinical psych, I would advise at minimum getting a first-author poster accepted at a national/international conference in your area of the field before your apply. A pub (submitted) would be even better. As mentioned, there are many archival datasets out there, and your faculty members may have opportunities to use data within their lab that isn't being analyzed. It's worth pursuing, even if not your thesis, as mentors in research programs increasingly want to see evidence of emerging independent thought/productivity in research. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ask your lab for more concrete research i.e., your name on a submitted pub. Even if it is second author, clinical psych has ballooned in competition and you need to be on a submission. (Still possible without, but harder)

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