Jump to content

What Next? After the Applications are Turned In


hopefulPhD2017

Recommended Posts

Greetings all! I submitted 8 applications last week and am working on turning a ninth, and final, here in a few days.

I did reach out to 4 professors during my application process; two were very gracious and I was able to meet or speak with them. Two never returned my emails.
I'm wondering if it is too late to contact the POIs I mentioned in my various SOPs? The application is in and done but I figure the admissions offices are preparing our applications for review and that now would be a perfect time... Or perfectly off-putting.

I hesitate to bug or irritate anyone, however I recognize that my reluctance and discomfort with doing such may make me less competitive than my fellow applicants.

Thoughts? Is there anything else you all are doing between Dec. 1/15 and January when we will start to hear admissions decisions? I'm having trouble feeling like it is all out of my hands at this point.

I recognize that there are 2017 cycle threads started in various disciplines, but am interested in hearing from lots of folks on this awful waiting period, and would love advice on proactive things I can be doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I am experiencing, it is often discouraged to contact POIs, because they already have a lot to do and, to speak honestly, shouldn't waste their time on prospective students that may not even make the cut... I also contacted profs. at the beginning, and only one professor answered back and gave me advice and was encouraging-- and that doesn't even mean anything. Consequently, I'd suggest you do not contact any more professors! As long as your SoP shows you did your research and fit (and even that is debated over here), you've done enough. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally agree with @Yanaka. Unless you had such a good rapport going that you got to the point of sending random emails of greeting, I think it's better not to try and open new lines of communication. In the end, since your applications are in, the email really wouldn't be able to say anything useful, other than hey, I applied fyi. 

This whole application process makes me feel like damned if you do, damned if you don't. I got all my applications in this pasy weekend because I was so anxious and didn't want to feel like they were still on my to do list. Now that they're all in, I'm still anxious now that all I have left to do is stalk one last Lor writer. I wish time would go faster :(

I'm going to try and work on a paper or two I've been hoping to get published and maybe catch up on some fun reading... Do some freelance work... I hope I'll be able to keep busy.....

 

Hope all this anxiety will lead to some good news.

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, after my finals are over and my apps are all submitted I'm going to start working on a contingency plan in the event that I strike out this year. Perhaps this might mean applying to a masters program (I do not want to shell out the $ for this, but I'm considering it), or applying to a few entry-level think tank/research institute positions, or really anything that I could do that would make me a stronger candidate next application cycle. While this has nothing to do with my chances of admission, my hope is that having a solid backup plan will relieve some of the anxiety that we will all surely experience over the next two or three months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I did last year was first take a break for a few days because I was exhausted lol.  Then I picked up any extra hours at work I could and found side jobs because interview weekends weren't going to be cheap.  Other than that I continued volunteering in a research lab and polishing up my plan b in case I needed it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, MarineBluePsy said:

What I did last year was first take a break for a few days because I was exhausted lol.  Then I picked up any extra hours at work I could and found side jobs because interview weekends weren't going to be cheap.  Other than that I continued volunteering in a research lab and polishing up my plan b in case I needed it.

Thanks everyone for weighing in! I am glad you all added your thoughts. What do you mean paying for interview weekends? Those come out of your own dime? What??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, hopefulPhD2017 said:

Thanks everyone for weighing in! I am glad you all added your thoughts. What do you mean paying for interview weekends? Those come out of your own dime? What??

They can yes.  Even if a program does say it will cover costs, expect to pay upfront and wait for reimbursement unless they tell you otherwise.  Some programs cannot afford to cover all of the travel related costs so yes you might be covering some or all of your own airfare/gas, hotel, and meals.  Last year half my interviews offered zero reimbursement and provided no lodging/meals, while the other half offered some reimbursement and provided lodging and/or meals.  I cut costs wherever I could, but all the travel was still expensive and I didn't get any of my reimbursement checks until the summer.   

Edited by MarineBluePsy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could tactfully ask if the program has funds. Don't be rude or pushy. Just enquire respectfully. I did for the programs that interviewed me. Phrase it such that you want to know if there is funding you can "apply" for and you understand if there is none.

All were very understanding when I asked. I asked at both schools and one school said when the application gets shortlisted, I get a flat stipend to come out. The second school said they didn't have funds and to ask the PI I was interested in. And surprise! My PI offered to fly me out on her grant. I am now working with her :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hopefulPhD2017, I think coverage on interview weekends varies by field and institution. I went on three official visits for oceanography/atmospheric science programs and all three were fully covered (lodging, flights, meals, etc.). For only one was I reimbursed by my potential advisor; for the other two, the institutions/departments handled all of the expenses up front.

Wait until you hear back regarding admission, because when they mention an interview/visit weekend, they will tend to let you know up front whether or not they will cover expenses. If it's vague, I agree with the others that you should respectfully ask! They understand that you're a student and are likely deciding between a few programs and don't have the money to dish out on a bunch of flights and such.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've submitted all my apps, too. I think this is the most anxious time, more anxious than when you're waiting for the final results after the interviews. I did contact two or three POIs but they never replied, so I decide to wait till late January when most schools begin to make their decisions to see if there's any chance. No hope on this though, my friend at MIT told me that few contacted the professors in advance. They just waited till they were admitted and emailed the POIs for fundings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use