Interview: Research Interest

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by LuckyBunny2009, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. LuckyBunny2009

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm just wondering if it's essential to know your field of research interest? I don't feel like I've had enough exposure to other potential fields to be able to say with certainty.

    Also, how does one find out which research areas are strong at a particular school?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. ecoli

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    Check the school's website and see what the faculty is doing. Find one or two things you think are interesting and claim that this is a potential field of interest.
     
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  3. LuckyBunny2009

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    Thanks for the reply, ecoli. does this mean, I can say something that's completely different from the research I've been doing?
     
  4. URHere

    Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    You can be honest with your interviewers and admit that you're not 100% set on a research area, as long as you can convince them that:

    1) You have enough research experience to know that it is an experience you want in your life.

    2) That there are people at their school whose labs you would be interested in joining.

    As long as you hit those bases, be honest. It's alright to say that you are interested in 3 different lab groups with 3 totally different focuses. It's even alright to admit that you would like to rotate through different departments before making up your mind. It's alright to be open-minded and flexible. In fact, those will be very good traits to have down the road.
     
  5. Jorje286

    Jorje286 Member
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    I think having a very specific research field that you're interested in shows that you're very passionate about something, and have figured out what you want to do, which undoubtedly puts you at an advantage. But like URHere said, not being very sure about what you want to do isn't necessarily very detrimental either as long as you can convince them that you love the research process. And I imagine that adcoms would be reasonable enough to think that it's natural for undergrads not to know exactly what they want to do. Probably they can also see through those who are faking an interest. I guess in general a lot of will depend on the philosophy of the program and the personal inclinations of the directors.
     

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