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Options for research opportunities

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by michalita, May 10, 2008.

  1. michalita

    michalita New Member
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    What kind of options are out there for research opportunities if you are no longer an undergrad?

    Are there part-time RA positions and would such a position be considered sufficient in terms of research experience? I realize this varies by program and focus (clinical/practice vs research orientation).

    Also, how would social work research be looked at on a PhD psych application?

    Thanks!!

    PS. Feel free to direct me to related threads.
     
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  3. Ollie123

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    There's a bunch of great threads, though I don't have the links offhand.

    Few professors will refuse to accept a well-qualified volunteer just because they graduated, as long as they do have openings in the lab.

    There are both part-time and full-time RA positions available all over the place at major hospitals and universities. I was stacking 2 part-time positions before grad school - it required more work since neither was "really" 20 hours a week, but I thought it worked out great. The jobs are generally hard to get if you don't have pretty sizable research experience as an undergrad though. 20 hours a week may be "sufficient", but for research-oriented programs, the research experience will be what gets you in, so you need to aim higher than "sufficient" on that one.

    I'm sure social work research is fine provided it is high quality.
     
  4. michalita

    michalita New Member
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    I didn't major in Psychology as an undergrad (so no connections there, although my alma mater has great Psych research) but I do have connections with my social work research faculty.

    Thanks for your response! I realize my situation is somewhat unique.
     
  5. Ollie123

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    Well if you're willing to volunteer, no "connections" are necessary. They obviously will help, but they aren't necessary.

    I know plenty of folks who just cold-emailed people who had never heard their name before to get that first RA-ship. In some cases, these lead to paid positions down the road.

    With your social work background I'd really look into the major academic hospitals. I don't know what your interests are, but I imagine a social work background would be looked on very favorably by some of the health disparities units, and it might provide some good joint research/clinical opportunities.

    This area exists in other departments as well, but hospitals seem to be the place I see the most large-scale funded projects in that area.
     
  6. michalita

    michalita New Member
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    Is it possible to volunteer if one is employed full-time? (ie, in terms of working hours)

    Sorry to be peppering you with questions -- this is very helpful!
     
  7. Ollie123

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    That depends on where you're employed full-time, and how much you're willing to work:)

    Most "volunteer" RA spots will expect 10ish hours a week. Mostly just because they need to make sure you're there often enough for it to be worth time it takes to train you. Many labs will run participants into the evening, and even if they don't they may have other duties that need to be or can be done in the evening (e.g. data work, phone calls, etc.). Not many have a night-shift, though it isn't unheard of for very specific research projects or in hospital settings. I wouldn't bank on finding an RAship where night-shift is convenient though.

    Lots of people volunteer in labs while working full time. Its easier if you work a job with somewhat flexible scheduling, and it obviously means working more than normal. Consider it preparation for grad school though, when 40 hours is basically part-time;)
     

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