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Open ended section for possible POI's in statement?


Seaz

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Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone had some input for writing a statement and listing some possible POI's. I am applying to a psychology program that allows you to find your supervisor somewhere in your first year of the program, but at the time of acceptance one of the faculty must agree to be the supervisor if no one else will be. I have 2 POI's but I was wondering if I should just add a 3rd POI or list it open ended... my 3rd POi choice could be between 2 or 3 professors- they all conduct similar research. 

In your opinion, which option would be better: 1) just list the 2 POI's, 2) pick a 3rd POI, 3) leave it open ended (I could cite working with proff. that have started one of the major research units, they all work for the research unit)

Regards,

Seaz

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I tried not to list any professors if I wasn't really spectacularly interested in their work. If you listed the third POI would it truly just be a list of names, or would you discuss how your research interests fit well with all 3 POIs? When I listed multiple names, I made sure to discuss how my research interests aligned with the work that all of them were doing such that one could foreseeably imagine all of them on my advisory committee. 

Edited by 01848p
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17 hours ago, 01848p said:

I tried not to list any professors if I wasn't really spectacularly interested in their work. If you listed the third POI would it truly just be a list of names, or would you discuss how your research interests fit well with all 3 POIs? When I listed multiple names, I made sure to discuss how my research interests aligned with the work that all of them were doing such that one could foreseeably imagine all of them on my advisory committee. 

I am mainly interested in my first 2 POI's but there is a huge faculty at this university that research similar things. I definitely could match research interests with the third POI, but they have a hard limit on pages. So not sure whether to take away from my first 2 POI's research match for a 3rd POI.... could it increase my odds of acceptance?

I also tried to weave my research interests in with theirs so they did not have to consciously think if we fit- it is right there.

Thanks for your reply!

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I'm in the same boat as you (applying right now) so I can't really say if it would increase your odds of acceptance or not. If I were to just give my opinion, however, it seems like your statement would be stronger if you just stuck to the two PIs. You could throw in a sentence about how "Among other faculty, I am interested in working with ___ and ___" and that way wouldn't be explicitly limiting yourself to the two PIs you mentioned. I feel like admissions committees and professors know that as applicants we aren't positive about what we want to do/who we want to work with so I don't think they will read your essay, see only two names, and then bind you to working with only those two professors as a student. But what do I know ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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When I read personal statements, I often skim to the bottom to see if my name is mentioned. If it is, I read things a little more carefully and with a mind to whether I personally could work with a potential student. So, there is one reason to mention anyone whose work interests you.

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