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Ollie123

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Hi everyone,

So things are not looking good for me this year. I'm wait-listed at 2 schools, but I don't want to rely on either of those so I feel its about time for me to start researching other options that will help me with future applications.

I've spoken to several professors that know me very well, and none really seemed to know what was "wrong" with my application this time around that prevented me from being a more competitive candidate. I guess in some ways that is a good thing since it means I don't have any glaring weaknesses, but I'm the sort of person that just wants to know exactly what is wrong so I can work my butt off to fix it:)

The one thing that has come up in conversation is that the VAST majority of my research has been in addictions when my primary area of interest is mood/emotion. That is simply because there are TONS of professors and job opportunities in my area for addictions research, but virtually none for depression.

I've been searching online for RA jobs and talking to some grad students who are well-connected, which has given me a few possible leads, but not many. Those of you who are currently working full-time in RA positions, I'd appreciate any advice you have on how you came around to finding these spots. Most RA jobs seem to be internal hirings (at least around here) - that's how I have found all of my positions. Particularly if any of you work in mood/emotion labs that may be hiring new RAs over the next 3-6 months, I'd love it if you could PM me some more information about it.

At this point I'm willing to go anywhere in the US if it means I'd get to work in a productive lab and ideally be able to collaborate on publications or presentations. I'll move into the lab, work all day, and spend my free time writing up posters if that's what it takes;) Seriously though, this is something I'm set on doing, so if it will put me in a better position to get accepted to a quality mood/emotion lab for grad school, I will find a way to make it work.

Thanks for your time and suggestions everyone, I appreciate it.
 

ss2044

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I'm an RA- I PM'ed you with some details, let me know if you want more info.
 

zbombvt

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I'm not sure where you're located Ollie123, but good resources for finding jobs can be found almost entirely online.

Search websites for hospitals, universities, clinics, whatever you can find. I know when I searched three years ago I found several job listings on these type of sites.

If all else fails and you see a research program you are interested in, e-mail the director and mention you are interested in their work and that you wondered if you might be able to contribute to their current projects in some way. That's how I got my job!
 
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Ella_Mental

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what state are you in? i can give you great leads in NY.
 

Dr.Maybe

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could you please post some of these leads on the thread, or PM me as well? if things don't work out with schools this year, i'm interested in RA positions in NY and Boston. thanks!
 

psychanon

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I'm sorry things aren't working out for you so far. I had the same thing happen to me the first time I applied (no one could tell me what was wrong with my app except maybe that I hadn't researched my specific area, which is similar to yours). Sometimes it's just luck. I got an awesome RA job working in my area and got in the next year.

Check out individual websites-- usually these things are not posted on Monster, etc. Sometimes they're posted under "psychology tech" or something like that.

In Boston (you should find lots of opportunities in anxiety disorders, and perhaps dep/ bipolar): Mass General (biggest); McLean Hospital, also check places like BU, Harvard, etc.

In NY: The biggest place is Psychiatric Institute of Columbia. There are lots of labs there and I've known many people who have worked as RAs there.

In Philly: There are LOTS of opportunities at Penn, especially in the dept of psychiatry. I have known lots of people to work there, and there are several opportunities in mood and anxiety disorders as well as treatment outcome research. There are also opportunities at the VA in Philly (that may be related to Penn, I'm not sure), and at CHOP.

Those are the metro areas that I've heard most about opportunities, but I'm sure there are tons others at places like Western State in Pittsburgh, UCLA, Northwestern etc. etc. Also, there are always opportunities popping up in psych departments in labs where faculty have lots of grant money. If you're really willing to go anywhere AND you're well-qualified (which it sounds like you are), you should definitely get something good. Remember, though, that these jobs are typically peopled with grad school applicants, so they may not know if the positions will be vacant until April. So there might not be much posted now, but there will be in a few months.
 

Ollie123

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Thanks psychanon (and everyone else).
You've all been very helpful.

Its just VERY frustrating right now. I find myself actually wishing there was a GIANT flaw in my application, because at least then I would have some idea what to work on.

Right now I'm primarily looking into MGH and U Pitt Medical Center, both of which seem like they have a reputation for getting students into grad programs (MGH perhaps more so, but Pitt too), and I have quasi-connections at both (know a post-doc at one, and a grad student friend worked at the other) which always helps.

I'm doing CRISP searches too to try and track down who is well-funded. Thanks for mentioning that bit about most jobs not opening up til April. While that seems common sense, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed and frantic right now and it just didn't occur to me.

Here's hoping it all works out in the end. I can't imagine what I will do if it doesn't.
 

psychey

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Ollie, don't give up. I applied last year and was devastaed when I didnt get in off of any waitlists. I tried again this year though and knew more about what to expect and was offered admission at my first choice. I also gained valuable research experience in the meantime at a job I love. Don't worry- it will work out!
 

Ollie123

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Thanks for the help everyone, but it has become moot.

I just got a VERY unexpected offer from University of South Florida!!!!! This was near the top of my list so I'm quite happy about it.
I was wait listed but thought I was WAY down the list and out of the running, apparently not.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Thanks for the help everyone, but it has become moot.

I just got a VERY unexpected offer from University of South Florida!!!!! This was near the top of my list so I'm quite happy about it.
I was wait listed but thought I was WAY down the list and out of the running, apparently not.

Congrats!!

I'm glad you found a spot....and FL weather isn't half bad. ;)

-t
 

Ollie123

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Thanks folks. I'm excited about the weather (especially given that I'm coming from someplace buried in snow 7 months out of the year), but not half as excited as I am about the program there.

HEAVILY research oriented, med school where I can do some genetics work, biostats department where I can do some more advanced stats stuff than you'll generally see in psych departments, at least 3-4 professors I can see myself collaborating with, the people in the program seem VERY hard working but still laid back (if that makes sense)....it was only about mid-range on my list before I went there but they SERIOUSLY impressed me at the interview. Now I'm just holding off on accepting on the off chance that one of the schools I've heard NOTHING from be it good or bad decides to call me. Even then chances are South Florida will win, but I want to be fair and give other programs a chance to impress me with their interviews.

This like....made my year....if not my decade.
 
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