Experience prior to being accepted onto a RA position?

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Michael54321
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:40 am

Experience prior to being accepted onto a RA position?

Post by Michael54321 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:04 pm

Hey guys. I haven't really had trouble getting interviews to RA positions in the past, but every time I've been sent away saying I don't have enough "clinical experience". So I have the academic qualifications (First, Distinction, BPS award). I also have experience volunteering as a RA during my BSc (non-clinical), and my masters was an MRes but it was mostly desk-based work. I have 20 months or so as a care assistant, but only for a single service user.

After taking a long break from applications, I recently started volunteering for the Alzheimer's Society (Groups + befriending). However I'm wondering this-- how long should I keep doing this before I start applying again? Is voluntary experience enough; will they expect more?

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strawbz
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:11 pm

Re: Experience prior to being accepted onto a RA position?

Post by strawbz » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:23 pm

I obtained an RA position after having 3+ years clinical experience working with the client group the project was investigating. Therefore, I would imagine your volunteering role would strengthen your position for working on a research project looking at people with Alzheimer's and related conditions. I think for RA roles, interview standards are high - I have since had several RA interviews after working as an RA for 3 years and never got any of them. I am doing a PhD now.

lingua_franca
Posts: 801
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Experience prior to being accepted onto a RA position?

Post by lingua_franca » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:07 am

I applied for an RA post in a dementia service when I was in the penultimate year of my PhD. In the past I'd spent two years as a bank HCA in an inpatient unit for older adults. I had positive interview feedback but was turned down on the basis that I'd never done research in an NHS setting before, and another candidate had. So two years' bank work (about 12 hours a week on average) with people with dementia was considered sufficient clinical experience, but I expect it will vary with the project.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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