Apr 16, 2009
18
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Psychology Student
I'm currently working at a research lab at a very well known hospital, and the lab is very pertinent to what i want to pursue. However I am considering TAing next year, which will be my second year in a master's program. It would include full tuition and 7000 stipend, whereas the lab I am working at right now is voluntary. As far as admissions into PhD programs go, which job would be better?
 
Jan 29, 2010
111
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Status
Psychology Student
I'm currently working at a research lab at a very well known hospital, and the lab is very pertinent to what i want to pursue. However I am considering TAing next year, which will be my second year in a master's program. It would include full tuition and 7000 stipend, whereas the lab I am working at right now is voluntary. As far as admissions into PhD programs go, which job would be better?

I'm thinking the RA job. I'm assuming there you have opportunities for poster presentations and publication, and that you're actively participating in research of some kind (not just, for example, sitting in the lab organizing files all day long). The TA is an attractive offer though for the money. Do you have enough time for both or is the RA a full-time position?
 

BuckeyeAlum

5+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2009
87
2
91
Status
Psychology Student
To piggy-back off of this question-

What about having the opportunity to be a TA or an RA in the early years of a Ph.D. program? Is one better than the other as far as internship or future career is concerned?
 
Jan 29, 2010
111
0
0
Status
Psychology Student
To piggy-back off of this question-

What about having the opportunity to be a TA or an RA in the early years of a Ph.D. program? Is one better than the other as far as internship or future career is concerned?
Depends on what types of internship sites/jobs you'll be looking for. I was a RA for a couple of years then a TA. A RA definitely is better for research & publication opportunities, but I don't regret teaching, either. It's advantageous to have some experience in teaching just in case I'm ever interested in working at places where teaching is emphasized (like small liberal arts colleges). It's good to show you have some experience teaching lecture courses and also have a portfolio (e.g. your syllabi, students' feedback, etc.) to show for it. If you're applying for more research-heavy internship sites, though, the RA would be better. I don't think I found a site yet where my teaching experience was really -that- helpful in making me more attractive. Some people commented on it in terms of how it may signify my capabilities to run community workshops, but nowhere as helpful as my RA experience was in interviews with more research-heavy internship sites.
 
Jul 13, 2009
610
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Psychology Student
Yeah,

I;'ve done both, and both are valuable in their own ways. Getting at least a year of teaching experience is something I would recommend to all doc students. Because you will have funded RA opporutnities in a doctoral program and because you will likely be switching schools for your phd, i would at least consider thinking about the TA position (I know a lot of MA students who would love that opportunity). If you have had actual research experience, you should easily be able to put some independent time towards dissemenation of the research you conducted during year 1 while in year 2, anyways. And then go full throttle into research in your phd. Do whats best for you personally, though! :laugh:

Depends on what types of internship sites/jobs you'll be looking for. I was a RA for a couple of years then a TA. A RA definitely is better for research & publication opportunities, but I don't regret teaching, either. It's advantageous to have some experience in teaching just in case I'm ever interested in working at places where teaching is emphasized (like small liberal arts colleges). It's good to show you have some experience teaching lecture courses and also have a portfolio (e.g. your syllabi, students' feedback, etc.) to show for it. If you're applying for more research-heavy internship sites, though, the RA would be better. I don't think I found a site yet where my teaching experience was really -that- helpful in making me more attractive. Some people commented on it in terms of how it may signify my capabilities to run community workshops, but nowhere as helpful as my RA experience was in interviews with more research-heavy internship sites.
 

kapinkkidowski

10+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2009
144
2
0
Cambridge, MA
Status
Psychology Student
Can you do both at the same time? I did my last year in my Master's program. People thought I was nuts and I was reaaaally busy, but every place I interviewed told me that it was one of the most impressive parts of my application...If you can possibly swing it and think you can keep your grades up at the same time, I say go for it. At the very least you have a good answer for the 'how do you think you'll be able to manage grad school work?' question. :)