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Do Pharmaceutical Trials count as Research Experience?

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TiptoeConqueror

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Hi,

I'm new to the forum and I couldn't find the answer to my question anywhere. I'm currently working at a prestigious university as a clinical research assistant. I work primarily with subjects with cognitive disorders and I've been doing so for ~2 years now. I'm seriously considering applying to clinical psych Ph.D. programs, but I'm not sure I have enough research experience. In my job, I coordinate a few studies and do a great amount of psychological testing, as well as patient recruitment. I've gotten a lot of experience with my target population. The only problem is I work mostly with pharmaceutical studies, so while I am involved in the collection of data, I'm not really analyzing it or designing a study. Plus, I'm not working with a professor, but a psychiatrist.

I switched majors rather late in the game, from a basic science to psychology at the end of my sophomore year of college. So really, I didn't begin my psychology coursework until my junior year. I did a senior thesis, but other than that, I don't have any other research experience. I've got a great psych GPA, I'm expecting great LORs, and while I have yet to take them, I think I'll do pretty well on the GREs (I hope!). I know there's a lot more to the competitive admissions process than what I've mentioned here and that I seem less accomplished than some of you applying.

My question is: Am I getting research experience in my current position? Will this count to a clinical psych Ph.D. program? And, if not, what can I do about this? Quitting my job is not an option as I love what I do, I need the money, and I value the relationship I have with my superior and they would like me there for at least another year if not more. I really want to apply as soon as possible. Any constructive advice would be much appreciated!
 

spafticus

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Yes, you are getting valuable research experience. I have the same type of experience, clinical pharmacotherapy, where there isn't even a clinical psychologist on the team. During my interviews this year, everyone was very impressed with my type of experience I acquired.

The only thing I'd suggest is #1 Rock the GRE and #2 try and get some publications under your belt.

Good luck!!
 

erg923

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Hi,

I'm new to the forum and I couldn't find the answer to my question anywhere. I'm currently working at a prestigious university as a clinical research assistant. I work primarily with subjects with cognitive disorders and I've been doing so for ~2 years now. I'm seriously considering applying to clinical psych Ph.D. programs, but I'm not sure I have enough research experience. In my job, I coordinate a few studies and do a great amount of psychological testing, as well as patient recruitment. I've gotten a lot of experience with my target population. The only problem is I work mostly with pharmaceutical studies, so while I am involved in the collection of data, I'm not really analyzing it or designing a study. Plus, I'm not working with a professor, but a psychiatrist.

I switched majors rather late in the game, from a basic science to psychology at the end of my sophomore year of college. So really, I didn't begin my psychology coursework until my junior year. I did a senior thesis, but other than that, I don't have any other research experience. I've got a great psych GPA, I'm expecting great LORs, and while I have yet to take them, I think I'll do pretty well on the GREs (I hope!). I know there's a lot more to the competitive admissions process than what I've mentioned here and that I seem less accomplished than some of you applying.

My question is: Am I getting research experience in my current position? Will this count to a clinical psych Ph.D. program? And, if not, what can I do about this? Quitting my job is not an option as I love what I do, I need the money, and I value the relationship I have with my superior and they would like me there for at least another year if not more. I really want to apply as soon as possible. Any constructive advice would be much appreciated!

Yes, but from the sound of it not much experience or exposure to the data analysis and writing side of the things. At least see if you can get familiar with SPSS while there. That will be a big help.
 

TiptoeConqueror

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Spafticus and erg923, thanks so much for the honest advice! I'm going to work on those things. I'm preparing for the GREs now and I'm aiming high. I'm definitely going to work on using SPSS as my exposure to that has been quite limited, and maybe, this will give me an added advantage in discussing with my boss if I could co-author one of his papers.

If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm open.
 
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