Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

When in ur MSc do you start to network for a PhD?


thehockeykid

Recommended Posts

As I will be entering my masters come sept I was wondering when do you start to approach PhD supervisors about wanting to do a PhD?

 

I would hate to be that over ambitious 1st year masters student who is already talking about a PhD. However, I do not want to leave it too late and just get in for some unknown reason(s) -> I didn't bother asking why did they choose me.

 

So many questions:

Can anyone shed some light about the time to network/approach profs for a PhD position?

 

How do you do it if the program your interested in is at a different university?

 

What if your supervisor wants you to stay on at your current institution but it isn't ur first choice?

 

Anyone try to go to a different province or go international (USA) for their research?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no cookie cutter answer I'm afraid. There's never a point that's too early - many people do a 'mini-MSc' and fast track to a PhD in one year...this means they would already have a PhD PI and project lined up during their first year.

 

Conversely, some people complete the MSc in 2 years and don't stumble upon their PhD PI until late in the project (unless of course, they match their MSc PI).

 

Don't try too hard - when you find common ground with a prof, it will just feel right. Attend as many social functions/departmental colloquia as you can, and just soak in the knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I will be entering my masters come sept I was wondering when do you start to approach PhD supervisors about wanting to do a PhD?

 

I would hate to be that over ambitious 1st year masters student who is already talking about a PhD. However, I do not want to leave it too late and just get in for some unknown reason(s) -> I didn't bother asking why did they choose me.

 

So many questions:

Can anyone shed some light about the time to network/approach profs for a PhD position?

 

How do you do it if the program your interested in is at a different university?

 

What if your supervisor wants you to stay on at your current institution but it isn't ur first choice?

 

Anyone try to go to a different province or go international (USA) for their research?

 

This is just my opinion but I would NOT be that over eager masters student. Telling people you want to do a phd when you are in the first months or year of a masters is like telling people, "I'm going to be a medical doctor". It doesn't mean **** until you get in. Same thing in research, you have to prove to yourself first of all, that you indeed love this work. Spend a year or so figuring out if you love research enough to make it your life. One year is plenty to network for a phd position. Secondly you have to prove to your peers and supervisor that you are cut out for this. Your supervisor really holds the keys to the door. They will be your primary reference.

 

THat's not to say you can't network in the form of connections, but don't go telling every PI that you want to do a PhD.

 

Just my two cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no cookie cutter answer I'm afraid. There's never a point that's too early - many people do a 'mini-MSc' and fast track to a PhD in one year...this means they would already have a PhD PI and project lined up during their first year.

 

Conversely, some people complete the MSc in 2 years and don't stumble upon their PhD PI until late in the project (unless of course, they match their MSc PI).

 

Don't try too hard - when you find common ground with a prof, it will just feel right. Attend as many social functions/departmental colloquia as you can, and just soak in the knowledge.

 

do post phd programs have require a full research proposal for admissions?

 

I get what you mean chamilt, I remember some ppl doing undergrad tours dressed in a suit (looking way too ambitious)

 

Edit: would it be bad to use profs from ur undergrad as references for you because you do not want to tell your msc supervisors that you want to do a phd at a diff school?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

do post phd programs have require a full research proposal for admissions?

 

I get what you mean chamilt, I remember some ppl doing undergrad tours dressed in a suit (looking way too ambitious)

 

Edit: would it be bad to use profs from ur undergrad as references for you because you do not want to tell your msc supervisors that you want to do a phd at a diff school?

 

If you apply to a PhD program and you do not use your MSc supervisor as a reference, you won't get accepted. It's expected that professors from your MSc can comment better on your research strengths than your BSc and there will be some serious questions from a prospective PhD supervisor if they can't get anything supportive from your MSc supervisor. After your MSc, your BSc is useless as far as research goes.

 

For networking, start thinking about it during your first summer (ie. next year). You'll probably be at conferences so it's a good place to meet people and see what sort of work interests you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

do post phd programs have require a full research proposal for admissions?

 

This depends largely on the specific program/field of study.

 

The ones I've had experience with:

 

Engineering - yes, in fact you would even need a pretty much complete proposal just to take on an M.Eng. PI. Part of your application process is getting a PI to take you on as a student with their funding.

 

Math - by the time you're starting in an M.Sc. you frankly don't know enough to do any real research. By the end of your M.Sc. you tend to have a better idea, and so having a vague awareness of your research interests is key, having a full out research idea is certainly helpful.

 

If you're looking into your PhD at this point, look into prospective schools' application process.

 

One important note that I cannot emphasize enough, is that you cannot do all three degrees at the same school, unless you have a very narrow research interest that is pretty much only done at one school (highly unlikely). While there is no real reason why you cannot, it is highly taboo in academic circles and your professional career will be called into question following completion of your PhD. So if you did your Bachelors and Masters at the same place, you must go somewhere else. Your PI would likely tell you this later on in the process.

 

In short, if you did all of your degrees at one school, you got to know a very small pool of professionals in your field when compared with people who did degrees at 2, or even 3 universities. Additionally, you cannot argue against someone who claims you got your degrees due to favouritism, it just plain looks bad.

 

I know of only a single professor who did all three of his degrees at the same place (McMaster), and is now employed as a professor at the same university...and he's been there since the 80s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to echo what others have said. It's really very discipline-specific. I don't think that much "networking" in the conventional sense is really required either. It's entirely normal to do different degrees at different schools, and in some cases they will say that *have* to go somewhere else. Progress in research training is as much about working with different people over time as it is with maintaining the same contacts.

 

It's kinda hard to believe that I was ever in an analysis or statistical inference class. About the most math I usually do is dosing something by weight...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...