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Hi all,

I have searched for this topic and have come across many threads involving similar questions to mine, although everyone's situation seemed a bit different. So I'm making yet another thread :rolleyes:

In my case, I will have 2 NSERC USRA awards to include on my ABS for the upcoming application cycle. I have presented posters based on the research conducted during the NSERC placements.

I don't want to seem like I am padding, but could I do the following?

-(x2) Employment entries - talk about the actual research, skills acquired, etc. Separate entries because it was a different experience for each NSERC USRA (I mean, it's about 1280 hours of research, 150 characters for just one entry seems a bit too short lol)

-(x1) Awards entry - discuss the competition involved to get the award; only one entry for this with the date including both years that the awards were obtained (since competition at my school remained essentially the same in both cases).

-(x2) Research entries - individual entries for each poster/conference presentations. They were completely different projects and at different conferences. Basically the description here would be that I presented my research to judges, etc.

 

Please note: this past application cycle I only included the NSERC under the awards (competition involved) and research (poster presentation) sections. Looking back, I feel like I did a disservice to myself because my application did not have any description of the actual research, skills, CANMEDs, etc.

Would it seem like padding if I did the above? Or do you think my justifications for each entry are valid to warrant them as separate?

 

Thank you!

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Only you can make the best judgement, but to support your decision, I entered my ABS similarly. I included my research awards under the same 3 categories that you proposed, although I had 2 employment entries only because the 2 research positions were in different areas. If you had 2 similar research projects, I might put them in the same employment entry. The description box really isn't enough to even detail out one project and I don't think the reviewers will care too much about the details of your project, only the nature of your role. I think your awards and research entries seem fine 

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That doesn't sound like padding. I would put it all separately like you did. Just because you win the award doesn't mean you actually did the placement which doesn't mean you presented. 

By some people's definition of padding i've padded my resume my entire life and i've done just fine. 

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3 minutes ago, Dr. Octavius said:

Thank you both for your responses! I will definitely include them as 3 separate entries. Looks like I totally shortchanged myself this cycle, ha. Live and learn! :rolleyes:

Definitely, it's part of the process! Although it didn't make a difference for me, I was also pretty conservative the last cycle I applied and this cycle I had no shame and filled in all slots haha. The consequence of understating yourself is worse than having the reviewer roll their eyes a little bit, I think 

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I agree with you! 

Another option - you could list the NSERC award as 1 entry, but put something like NSERC Award Recipient- 2x - it just makes it more obvious to the reviewer that you were awarded twice.

It's so easy to gloss over this when you're reading 15 sketches, so just making it more transparent helps (monetary value of award)! 

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I totally agree with both of you. It will probably be best for me to be a little less conservative next time and really try to sell myself!

Also, that's a great point that adcoms may accidentally miss a minor detail like that, so it would be a much better idea to be very clear that I won it twice.

It's the little things, eh? :P

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