Interview-Research proposal

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reishi
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Interview-Research proposal

Post by reishi » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:55 pm

Hello all,
I find myself fortunate enough to shortlisted for an interview (I'm a self-funding student. I presume they decided to deal with us first. No returns from other courses). I was over the moon till I got an email today requesting me to send them a research proposal of 500 words which is due in 17 days, which surprised me extremely. Apparently, it will be used in the selection process. (No, I haven't accidentally applied for a PhD, it's DClinPsy alright). I am gonna write them and ask for an extension, I cannot possibly write a research proposal in 17 days, I do not have a subject on my mind! There wasn't any info on writing an original research proposal for the interview neither on their website nor on CH. I've been a frequent on this forum for a while now and never ever stumbled upon something like this. Former interviewees, have you done such a thing? Please guide me!
Last edited by BlueCat on Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"Ever since psychoanalysis came up, everybody's ill more or less."

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lakeland
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by lakeland » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:51 pm

I didn't have to do this, but given that my first assignment I had to submit 4 months into my first year of training was a research proposal of 5000 words, I'd say this is a completely fair request. You're right that it's not a PhD, but it is a doctorate with a huge research component, so they want people who have research skills already.

500 words isn't much and I think to request an extension would be unreasonable. Think about what research you've done before. Think about where you work clinically. Read some journals relating to an area of interest and see what's going on. Look at what authors are suggesting for further work and get inspired. Good luck.
Last edited by BlueCat on Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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reishi
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by reishi » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:47 pm

lakeland wrote:I didn't have to do this, but given that my first assignment I had to submit 4 months into my first year of training was a research proposal of 5000 words, I'd say this is a completely fair request. You're right that it's not a PhD, but it is a doctorate with a huge research component, so they want people who have research skills already.

500 words isn't much and I think to request an extension would be unreasonable. Think about what research you've done before. Think about where you work clinically. Read some journals relating to an area of interest and see what's going on. Look at what authors are suggesting for further work and get inspired. Good luck.
Thanks very much for your reply and suggestions. I agree it's not unjust to demand a research proposal, but I think it's unfair not to mention it on uni's website, and clearing house, then ask for it to be completed in 17 days, saying it must be original, and intersect with staff's research interests, and will be evaluated as part of the selection. I have just handed in my master's research proposal, it was a 1200 word one and I was given 3 months to complete it. I shouldn't have been informed about this just now, it should have been up online since the very beginning of the application process.

However, I didn't mean to ask the forum to evaluate the request ethically, I just wondered if any interviewee, whether international self-funding or NHS funded, was asked what I was demanded. Because I'm in self doubt now, I couldn't, well shouldn't, possibly have missed such an important task of the selection process, right?
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Geishawife
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by Geishawife » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:05 pm

reishi wrote: I shouldn't have been informed about this just now, it should have been up online since the very beginning of the application process.
Of course, it isn't just you who has only just found out! If the information is not on the site, then all self-funded applicants will be in the same boat. I agree it's quite a big task, but it's not unfair if the same request is being made of everybody.

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reishi
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by reishi » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:13 pm

Geishawife wrote:
reishi wrote: I shouldn't have been informed about this just now, it should have been up online since the very beginning of the application process.
Of course, it isn't just you who has only just found out! If the information is not on the site, then all self-funded applicants will be in the same boat. I agree it's quite a big task, but it's not unfair if the same request is being made of everybody.
I really doubt that I would be the only one asked for this year, I'm trying to figure out if it had happened before, for both self funding and nhs-funded applicants.
Also, I think that it would be still unfair even if the same request is being made to everybody in the same boat. I honestly don't understand how you guys see it that way. Everybody has their own weaknesses and strengths and responsibilities in life. One of the applicants could be completely free to muse on the proposal for upcoming 2 weeks, while some others could not. Or some applicant could be quite mastered at last-minute writing, while the other could always have been very punctual on their deadlines and never left their work to the last minute before, so now might struggle. And if they had knew such a request would be made in such a short notice, they could have chosen to apply elsewhere. Direct applications are really quite time-consuming and nerve-wrecking.
I really don't get why I have to explain this in such a detailed manner to gain empathy. Please think like this: One of the courses who announced they are going to do interview only, now emailing all the NHS-funded applicants they are required to take a numeracy test in two weeks, and it will be a part of the selection process. And they do this announcement after the clearing house deadline. Will you find it not unfair?
"Ever since psychoanalysis came up, everybody's ill more or less."

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BlueCat
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by BlueCat » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:31 pm

I can see that this is really worrying you, and it sounds like it has come as a bit of a shock. I guess as an overseas applicant you probably are a bit out of the loop. However, this sort of thing isn't unusual and even though it wasn't explicitly stated, can be considered par for the course. Some job applications will ask you to do this. Often candidates will be asked to prepare a presentation, with maybe a weeks notice. More than once I have been asked to give a presentation on a topic that I wasn't informed of until the day of the interview. The task you have been asked to do in two weeks - I was asked to do that IN AN INTERVIEW for the course, in 20 minutes. If everyone has been asked to do the same thing, then it is fair. Maybe you are overthinking it? 500 words isn't much.
There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Billy Connolly.

yorkshirepysch
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by yorkshirepysch » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:37 pm

reishi wrote:
Geishawife wrote:
reishi wrote: I shouldn't have been informed about this just now, it should have been up online since the very beginning of the application process.
Of course, it isn't just you who has only just found out! If the information is not on the site, then all self-funded applicants will be in the same boat. I agree it's quite a big task, but it's not unfair if the same request is being made of everybody.
I really doubt that I would be the only one asked for this year, I'm trying to figure out if it had happened before, for both self funding and nhs-funded applicants.
Also, I think that it would be still unfair even if the same request is being made to everybody in the same boat. I honestly don't understand how you guys see it that way. Everybody has their own weaknesses and strengths and responsibilities in life. One of the applicants could be completely free to muse on the proposal for upcoming 2 weeks, while some others could not. Or some applicant could be quite mastered at last-minute writing, while the other could always have been very punctual on their deadlines and never left their work to the last minute before, so now might struggle. And if they had knew such a request would be made in such a short notice, they could have chosen to apply elsewhere. Direct applications are really quite time-consuming and nerve-wrecking.
I really don't get why I have to explain this in such a detailed manner to gain empathy. Please think like this: One of the courses who announced they are going to do interview only, now emailing all the NHS-funded applicants they are required to take a numeracy test in two weeks, and it will be a part of the selection process. And they do this announcement after the clearing house deadline. Will you find it not unfair?
If you are on the doctorate you may be asked to complete projects or pieces of work at very short notice, so I think this type of thing is actually great preparation for what is to come. If you are currently suited enough to be accepted onto training then this task should not be as epic as you are making out; the fact you are struggling with an impromptu task (which is research related - an area we should all be well versed in if we are applying for the research heavy course) suggests your readiness to cope with, and adapt to, change is not at a level which the courses may expect. I second the other posters here that because others have been asked to complete this task too then it is not at all unfair in any way - everyone is having the same demands made of them.

In relation to your thought experiment about a course springing a numeracy test on an unsuspecting applicant: I'd say that as long as everyone got the same test they would be perfectly within their rights to do so. Perhaps that particular course had an exceptionally high level of excellent candidates and now needs to find an additional way to select for interview?

I think a key part of the doctorate process is readiness and ability to adapt to change and unpredictability. If change or unpredictability is an issue for you now, consider how you might feel on the course!

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maven
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by maven » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:07 am

They've asked you to write a one page proposal in 17 days? Seems pretty reasonable to me. I'd ask people to write 500 words as part of an application that is up for a week, and I often ask people to do a task on the spot in an interview that probably involves writing a page in half an hour. I can't see that it needs advance warning on the website, and if you asked for an extension without a major life event like a birth or a wedding in the interval, I'd find that indicative of someone who is likely to struggle with the demands of the course.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

tilly
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by tilly » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:45 pm

Hello, I am a current trainee and for at least the last few years my course have asked this of their interviewees, both funded and self-funded so you will be in the same position as everyone else. I think it is fair to say that they take into account how long you have to complete the proposal so are not expecting miracles and I can assure you if you are worried as I was when I was writing mine, they wont make you stick to it for your thesis (unless you want to). I can echo what others have said and can talk for this course, in that this request is similar to demands you will experience on the course with deadlines, placement and thesis to juggle - that is part of the interview process, so I would advise against asking for an extension and give it your best shot. If you have just completed a proposal for your MSc why dont you use that? I would imagine they can overlook that it doesnt key in exactly with a tutors interest (although this is preferred) if you are passionate and knowledgable about the project.. my link to one of the tutors interests was not too strong tbh.

Good luck!
Last edited by BlueCat on Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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reishi
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Re: Interview-Research proposal

Post by reishi » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:35 pm

BlueCat wrote:I can see that this is really worrying you, and it sounds like it has come as a bit of a shock. I guess as an overseas applicant you probably are a bit out of the loop. However, this sort of thing isn't unusual and even though it wasn't explicitly stated, can be considered par for the course. Some job applications will ask you to do this. Often candidates will be asked to prepare a presentation, with maybe a weeks notice. More than once I have been asked to give a presentation on a topic that I wasn't infored of unti the day of the interview. The task you have been asked to do in two weeks - I was asked to do that IN AN INTERVIEW for the course, in 20 minutes. If everyone has been asked to do the same thing, then it is fair. Maybe you are overthinking it? 500 words isn't much.
Thanks BlueCat, your writing has helped and eased my mind quite a lot. I actually came up with an original (I hope so) idea.
tilly wrote:Hello, I am a current trainee and for at least the last few years my course have asked this of their interviewees, both funded and self-funded so you will be in the same position as everyone else. I think it is fair to say that they take into account how long you have to complete the proposal so are not expecting miracles and I can assure you if you are worried as I was when I was writing mine, they wont make you stick to it for your thesis (unless you want to). I can echo what others have said and can talk for this course, in that this request is similar to demands you will experience on the course with deadlines, placement and thesis to juggle - that is part of the interview process, so I would advise against asking for an extension and give it your best shot. If you have just completed a proposal for your MSc why dont you use that? I would imagine they can overlook that it doesnt key in exactly with a tutors interest (although this is preferred) if you are passionate and knowledgable about the project.. my link to one of the tutors interests was not too strong tbh.

Good luck!
It happened exactly as you said :D They assured me that it is just for practice, and I don't have to use it for my actual thesis (what a relief!), and I can actually use my master's proposal as well 8)

Below is a general reply:
I see a couple of posters pointed out that the courses demand a lot with limited deadlines and and hurl assignments at you, I am fully aware of that. However, I think this should be expected in training, when one's primary job is the doctorate. Right now, my primary occupation is my master's that I'm doing full-time and my responsibilities weigh more in that direction. So, I did send them an email asking for an extension, and they were kind enough to oblige my request, even though it is just a few days. Now, I am in no position to advice future applicants and suggest them to do the same thing, but I am happy that I asked for it.
Last edited by BlueCat on Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Request for anonymisation
"Ever since psychoanalysis came up, everybody's ill more or less."

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