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Hey I have a few questions about the ABS (first time applier so yes I'm a noob lol)

1. Would a research position fall under volunteer or research? The reason I'm asking this supposedly dumb question is because when I select 'Research' it opens up a publication option. Do I just write "N/A" for it?

2. When I write about the description of something in the ABS, should I use dot-jots or full sentences?

3. Does the order in which I put stuff in the ABS matter? For example, if I list research over awards/achievements does that matter?



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1. this is really up to you and I really doubt you'll be penalized for putting something in the "wrong category". But take a moment and think about the experience: what category would best represent it? If you put down volunteering, can a file reviewer reasonably expect that you felt a sense of service to the community in that activity? That is, while it is true that volunteering is just doing work for no pay, realistically your volunteering activities should demonstrate learning beyond that pertaining to service/community/supporting others, etc. In this sense putting down research is a much better category, because I think you likely received a lot more academic growth/research ability through it than learning about what it means to serve your community. Now, if it were a difference between research/work, maybe you'll choose to put it down as work because it shows you received an award/were good enough to be paid by your PI etc. As for publications, yea you can just put down N/A or expected publication (*only if you do have a pub in the works though!). 

For example, I put down my first lab experience as work, as I was paid after my supervisor discovered me at a high school science fair. But realistically I didn't do anything significant in the lab. But my second lab experience (spanning many years) I put down as research, even though I could have put it down as work, since I gained significantly more academic learning / research ability, and contributed a lot to the lab's findings through that position. 


2. Personally I used full sentences so my experiences didn't devolve into checkboxes of competencies, and I could connect them altogether with a little bit about what I learned/how I grew from the activity.


3. I think it'll automatically be ordered based on year. 

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