FOR PROSPECTIVE GRADUATE STUDENTS
Thank you for your interest in our department and in this lab in particular. The next application deadline is December 1 2021 for students to begin study in Fall of 2022. I will be considering applications from prospective students for the next (December 1 2021) application cycle; however, please see FAQ 1, below.
I keep this website well updated, so I encourage prospective students to look carefully at this site in order to gain information about the work in this lab. Because I tend to receive many emails from prospective students, I have listed below the most common frequently asked questions.
A note to prospective students who are not Canadian citizens
Please the links here which describe funding for international students. One thing that is not obvious to U.S. citizens is that despite the way that funding and admissions are explained, UBC does not have a terminal master’s program in psychology. Rather, for the typical student applying with a BA/BSc degree, you apply to the “MA program” not the “PhD program”. If you come here, for your first 2 years you are called a “MA student” and then you will apply to the PhD program here to become a “PhD student”. However, this is a formality because we only accept MA students who we expect to transition directly into our PhD program (and who intend to continue on to our PhD program).
- Will you be accepting students for the 2022-2023 academic year (application deadline Dec 1 2021)?
I will be considering applications from students. However, owing to broader factors outside of my control, there may be limits in terms of how many graduate students can be admitted in the upcoming cycle, across our whole department. If this happens, it may be that I will not be able to accept any students because other faculty will get priority over me. I realize that as an applicant, it is difficult to know how to proceed. All I can say is that first, if I get word that I am not allowed to accept students, I will update this website *immediately* (as in, that will be the first thing I will do). Therefore, if this notice is still up it means that unfortunately, I do not have further information at this time. Second, if you are extremely interested in this lab I would advise you to apply anyway, because I am interested in taking a student and will try to do so if at all possible. However, I wanted to give you full disclosure about the application process this year.
- What are the current projects in your lab in which graduate students can become involved?
Please see this website under “Current Research”. Graduate students are involved in all of the projects listed in this section.
- What future studies will you be doing in this lab?
Future studies will continue to look at social context influences on peer relationships among children and adolescents with and without ADHD. At the moment we are working on the PRISM study involving online social interactions among teens/emerging adults. Please see the Current Research tab. There are also descriptions of existing datasets, such as the Parental Friendship Coaching study, and the MOSAIC study, on this tab. I continue to be interested in social functioning in children as well as parent and teacher interventions for social problems, so if you are interested in these topics this is also a good match.
- Can you tell me more detail about the research studies you have listed on the website?
Please read the articles that are bolded in the Publications section of this website. In addition, if you come to interview on the phone or in person, this will be a great opportunity to learn a lot more about the various studies going on. If you have specific questions about any study that would determine whether or not you want to apply, then please go ahead and ask me.
- Do you interview candidates?
Typically a short list of finalists are interviewed over the phone/zoom and then a smaller number come to in-person interviews (which last year we also held over zoom). This process does not occur until January through February.
- What are you looking for in a prospective graduate student?
This program and my lab are best suited for students who are predominantly interested in research careers (which could include research about intervention efficacy); students who are predominantly interested in clinical practice would not be happy here. Therefore, the most important criteria for judging prospective students is research match. The ideal student has completed an independent research project, such as an honors thesis, manuscript, and/or a conference poster, about an issue related to what we study in lab (and related to what the student is proposing to study in graduate school). It is helpful for the student to demonstrate in his/her personal statement (a) good knowledge of the specific research literature in the proposed field of study; (b) past experience in that line of research, in the form of an honors thesis, independent poster, or other options; and (c) what projects s/he wants to do in graduate school to build on this literature. Of course, not all students who apply, or who get interviewed, have done this, but this is good general advice. Research match is more important than is GPA/GRE, but better scores help an applicant to be more competitive and also to qualify for scholarships (generally, >80th percentile on GREs and >3.7 on GPA).
The GRE is optional this year so if you do not have GRE scores, you may still apply. We would just give greater weight to the other factors in your application.
7. What is the culture of the lab?
This is a great question. I would describe us as definitely food and fun loving, with a hearty sense of adventure. Every member has something unique about them. Check out the other pages on the website to see the zoo in action. Also see the tab where we talk about why and how we value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
8. I want to do research in graduate school that is about (autism, homeopathy for ADHD, social problems of children of refugees, etc.); will this be okay?
It is impossible to give a definitive answer without seeing your entire application, but in general, the MA years (first two years) are quite packed with courses and the thesis, so it is important that you can complete your project on a topic that I know well, and a population where I already have an existing dataset (or data coming in). In the PhD years (after the MA is completed) there is more flexibility for you to branch out in terms of building your own program of research interests. In fact, I encourage you to develop your own study ideas further at that time.
9. Is it required that I am willing to go skydiving or bungee jumping to be in your lab?
No really you don’t. I swear, they all wanted to go. They did make me jump first though, answering the age old question, “if your advisor jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” with a resounding “YES”.
However, if you do come here, you will have to get yourself an animal onesie.
FOR PROSPECTIVE PAID STAFF
I am full for paid positions for lab coordinators for the 2021-2022 academic year. My paid positions are almost always given to students who have been a volunteer research assistant in my lab for at least 1 year first; however, it never hurts to apply because perhaps there will be an exception. Ideally, lab coordinators should have their BA/BS in psychology and significant experience working on research studies and working with children, very strong organizational skills, lots of enthusiasm, and much patience.
FOR PROSPECTIVE UNDERGRADUATE HONORS AND DIRECTED STUDIES STUDENTS
I am full for honors and directed studies students to work in my lab for the 2021-2022 academic year. I almost always give these positions to students who have been volunteering in my lab for at least 1 year previously. However, sometimes I make exceptions so it never hurts to ask. Thank you for thinking about us! I will be looking again for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Please see the section under “for prospective undergraduate volunteer research assistants” for what materials I need from you if you are interested in applying.
FOR PROSPECTIVE UNDERGRADUATE VOLUNTEER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
I am full for volunteers for the 2021-2022 academic year. Every year, positions are typically full before the start of the academic year.
However, thank you for considering our lab! If you are really interested, it never hurts to ask, because sometimes there just happens to be a way to squeeze you in.
I ask for a copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine) and CV or resume, along with the contact information of 2-3 references who can speak about your work. Research assistants during the academic year will work for up to 10 hours per week and work in lab for both semesters. Research assistants will primarily be working on our social media study, where they will be giving questionnaires to participants about their social media use, and coding participants’ Instagram and Facebook pages. Participants will be UBC students and 18-24 year olds in the community.