Apr 27, 2012
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Psychology Student
So this year I'm going to be quite busy with school and work, but I also need to get some research experience. I'm just not sure it will all be possible, so the latter might have to wait. I will be doing my thesis next year, so that is a guaranteed bit of research, but I assume that won't be enough on its own? I could probably focus on getting some research experience next year on the side (like helping out at a lab), while doing my own thesis. Would that be enough research for most mid level schools?
 
Aug 21, 2015
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So this year I'm going to be quite busy with school and work, but I also need to get some research experience. I'm just not sure it will all be possible, so the latter might have to wait. I will be doing my thesis next year, so that is a guaranteed bit of research, but I assume that won't be enough on its own? I could probably focus on getting some research experience next year on the side (like helping out at a lab), while doing my own thesis. Would that be enough research for most mid level schools?
I think you should try and gain more research experience this year and next year before your thesis. Psychology programs are extremely competitive so it's best to start doing things that can be helpful towards your resume. Become a Research Assistant and maybe participate in 2-3 labs? If you can. I also read that joining an organization can increase chances as well (APA).
 
Jul 30, 2015
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MD/PhD Student
Yeah my approach was that taking some undergrad debt and not working made financial sense because it got me into a funded program rather than a psyd, where I would have had to pay roughly 100k in tuition and another 80 in living expenses.
 
OP
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Apr 27, 2012
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I'm just trying to gauge whether I could get into a decent, funded program with a thesis + 1yr of helping in a lab (basic stuff). (both completed in same year)
 

Doctor Eliza

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To clarify, will the thesis and research take place during your junior year (i.e., before applications) or during your senior year (i.e., while you are applying)? If it won't be until your senior year, I'd say it is too little too late.
 
OP
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Apr 27, 2012
838
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To clarify, will the thesis and research take place during your junior year (i.e., before applications) or during your senior year (i.e., while you are applying)? If it won't be until your senior year, I'd say it is too little too late.
Yeah, my thesis would be Sept 2016 to April 2017, and i'd want to start Phd Sept 2017.
 

PsychPhDStudent

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How can you know if/how much you like research without much research experience? Are you going to get any experience this year?
 

PsychPhDStudent

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Are you not able to read?
This is not how you make friends.

I'm asking if there is any possibility you can tweak your schedule to get any research experience at all (even just ten hours a week) this year? Maybe a class that requires a research project? (I took at least one class in undergrad that resulted in posters and actually one publication.) First year of grad school I worked probably sixty hours a week on average between all my responsibilities. Being able to attend classes, work, and get research done at the same time would demonstrate grit and organizational skills.

If you just do it senior year, my opinion is you have no chance and are doing yourself a disservice.
 
OP
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Apr 27, 2012
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I'm asking if there is any possibility you can tweak your schedule to get any research experience at all
I'm a student that is doing well academically but I'm signed up to the Uni's disability service (mental health stuff). At this point i just feel it be hard to take on all these three things. An old med is not working as it once did, and the process of finding a new one can be long and the side-effects you have to put up with until you find the new one..so sort of bad timing. I'm not sure if it is a good idea to mention the disability stuff to the lab or would that just make it less likely to work there?
 
OP
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Apr 27, 2012
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btw, would this be a problem just because its being done in the last year, not necessarily that it isn't' enough experience?
 

psycscientist

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btw, would this be a problem just because its being done in the last year, not necessarily that it isn't' enough experience?
By the time you apply, you will have 1 semester of part time experience. This is likely going to be way under average compared to competitive applicants to funded reputable Ph.D. programs. I'm not sure how strong your letters of recommendation can be given such limited experience. Additionally, doing only a senior honors thesis may not provide you with the necessary breadth of experience that comes with working in a lab and being a member of a research team.
 
OP
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Apr 27, 2012
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By the time you apply, you will have 1 semester of part time experience. This is likely going to be way under average compared to competitive applicants to funded reputable Ph.D. programs. I'm not sure how strong your letters of recommendation can be given such limited experience. Additionally, doing only a senior honors thesis may not provide you with the necessary breadth of experience that comes with working in a lab and being a member of a research team.
Really? A thesis is a year long process where you conduct your own research.
 

psycscientist

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Really? A thesis is a year long process where you conduct your own research.
Yes, I know what a thesis is; I did one as an undergraduate way back when. But you will have only barely started your thesis by the time your applications are due and that will be the sole research experience on your application. You asked if that was enough, and I think several people are giving you your answer: no a year of part-time experience is not enough.

If your thesis is a project that you work on with a mentor independent on their lab, you will missing other types of valuable experience that you would be getting in the lab environment. A thesis is great and I encourage students to do one if they have the opportunity, but I don't think it's a replacement for research experience in a lab setting.
 

futureapppsy2

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Like others have said, you will have essentially no research experience when you apply, and I'm not sure how you will able to convey your research experience, research interests, or enjoyment of research in your apps. Also, I'm not sure if having a thesis as your first research experience is wise--going in blind to what research is actually like (i.e., imperfect, time-consuming, and often frustrating) seems like a really bad idea.
 
OP
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Apr 27, 2012
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Thanks guys.

Should I tell the lab that I'm signed up with disability services for the Uni?
 

psycscientist

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Thanks guys.

Should I tell the lab that I'm signed up with disability services for the Uni?
What would the purpose of mentioning it be?

Also were you thinking of trying to work in lab experience this year? If you mean for next year, I still think that would be too little experience by the time you apply. If you think that you can not handle the extra work right now, why not just plan to delay grad applications a year or so and find work as a full-time RA once you graduate? This is pretty common.
 
Jul 30, 2015
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Yeah I agree. Applications are due in December so you will have 3 months of research under your belt to compare with probably an average of 2-3 years at least. You could probably get into a decent PsyD