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Rising Stars of Research 2010 - Workshop: Becoming a successful graduate student


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Rising Stars of Research 2010 - Workshop: Becoming a successful graduate student for Social Sciences students, presented by Dr. Larry Walker.

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Rising Stars of Research 2010 - Workshop: Becoming a successful graduate student

  1. 1. Rising Stars of Research – 2010 workshop for social sciences students Dr. Larry Walker
  2. 2. grad school ?? major life decision critical for career trajectory costly if you make a mistake aim for top-notch university and program location and livability costs and funding relationships
  3. 3. careers demographics  demand academic position registered psychologist government agencies and NGOs (policy and research) business (management and research)
  4. 4. grad student experience MA/PhD 6+ yrs full-time often unitized program few courses (research methods and statistics, core, breadth) … with small classes internships / field placements comprehensive exams research and thesis/dissertation
  5. 5. grad student experience conference presentations publications small cohorts … within labs and areas social events / social life diversity – students from Canada, US, international
  6. 6. areas of specialization (psychology) clinical (accredited) community behavioral neuroscience counseling cognitive science educational developmental school health forensic quantitative methods organizational social/personality environmental …
  7. 7. apprenticeship model intense supervision and mentoring close relationship (but “arranged marriage”) commitment both ways collaborative, mutual support, feedback increasing autonomy
  8. 8. apprenticeship model different styles (integrate vs. explore) match supervisor and program interest research prospective supervisors extensively  past and current work  future directions  track record with students  availability and accessibility  style and likability
  9. 9. application process check university and department websites application deadline major or honors (or equivalent) GPA (last 2 yrs): B+ … but A more typical grades more important than actual courses (except those required for major, such as methods/stats) distribution of courses, rather than specialization
  10. 10. application process lab, research, or directed-studies (individual) volunteer RA upgrading (unclassified studies) GREs (general and subject-test) letters of reference (strong recommendation, ability to excel at grad studies, specific vs. generic platitudes) statement (ideas, motivation, matching)
  11. 11. admissions  MA  PhD  terminal MA models  fast-track to PhD  direct-entry PhD very competitive (offers < 10%) limited by supervisors’ load and interest limited by financial resources and space limited by funding policy
  12. 12. funding typically low tuition in Canada tuition waivers often guaranteed minimum funding in supported years
  13. 13. sources of funding teaching assistantships (dept) research assistantships (grants) fellowships  university entrance  Tri-Council (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR)  provincial (MSF, OGS)  private and specialized apply beginning of 4th year solid “A” average  increases likelihood
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  15. 15. funding application value & results opportunity deadline duration Canada Graduate Scholarships Program Check your applicant – Master's status: (SSHRC-CGSM) • through your $17,500 university  spring For students applying university sets 12 mths 2011 to, or registered in, a deadline (Sept ?) master's or combined MA/PhD program in • directly to SSHRC the social sciences or  SSHRC’s humanities at a deadline (Dec ?) Canadian university.
  16. 16. some hints minimum first-class average last 2 years check eligibility of subject matter accessible language … coherent and clear obsessive adherence to requirements complete bibliographic information for research contributions error-free!
  17. 17. evaluation criteria and weighting academic excellence … 60% research potential … 30% communication skills … 10%
  18. 18. typical process department appraisal rank and comment forward allocation to university competition university appraisal forward allocation (with alternates) to Ottawa SSHRC appraisal no national competition typically CGSM awarded