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research experience app question


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I have a question specific to the NYU application. On the online application, there is special section regarding research experience, described below:

"Do you have any research experience? [Check yes/no] If yes, please upload a description of the work [title, where the work was done, name of supervisor, date and title of any publication, patents, etc.] to one of the Additional Information pages."

Following these instructions, I fashioned a sheet listing the project titles, a one sentence description, names and contacts of PIs and supervisors, the dates of my involvement and my roles in the research, and a list of any products and their status (e.g., publications, presentations, etc.) for every research project I have ever worked on. I have a few years of full-time and part-time nonprofit and government policy research experience, so it is a kind of long document (~4 pages), but also really lays out the trajectory of my research leading up to these applications. My question is: Would this be something I should submit as an optional supplement to my application for all schools, or only to submit to NYU? Would adcomms find this annoying or useful? It isn't really redundant to the CV since publication titles don't explain necessarily what the project was, and projects for which the product was a government report wouldn't be listed on CV.

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I wouldn't send that for every application as it seems like a lot of information that no one will read. FWIW, you can list government reports on your CV in a section with a heading that indicates what they are. This would then be a separate section from your peer-reviewed publications. I've seen CVs that have "Peer-Reviewed Publications" and "Nonrefereed Publications" as headings, for example.

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Maybe this is a difference in field, but this information would certainly be redundant to the CV. In my CV, I list all of my previous research projects, under "Research experience" with the title of the project, supervisor, location, and a short description of what I worked on. It only takes up one page on my CV, not four though, but maybe this is because you have a lot more experience, or maybe because I summarized my experience really concisely (5-6 lines total per project). I feel that any more information beyond the 6 lines would be unnecessary information to have on a CV or anywhere else (except for the schools that specifically ask for this information, as NYU did for you, of course). I did not include outcomes like publications in this section though, because I have a separate CV section for publications.

Also, sometimes I worked on a series of small research projects so instead of counting them as separate projects, I just grouped similar projects together into one appointed position. For example, my undergrad thesis work was actually 3 separate projects but with a common theme, so I list it in my CV as one single entry as an "Undergrad Student Researcher with Prof X" and summarized my work for all 3 projects together. 

To answer your question about the other schools, I think you should find a way to communicate your past research experience in a clear and concise way through your CV. Maybe 4 pages is pushing it so maybe you can find a way to condense the information (or remove less relevant projects?). That is, if NYU is the only school that is asking about research experience, I think it would be worth the time to work this information into your CVs for other schools (as long as you don't make it crazy long!). However, I'll give this advice with the caveat that the norms in your field may be different!

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