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lack of undergraduate research experience?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:30 am
by anxietysics
while checking the applicant profiles, i was so surprised to see everyone had so much research experience in undergraduate. I was surprised because it is IMPOSSIBLE to find a research in undergraduate level in my country (Turkey). I will just have one poster representation at the end of this year and I am applying to summer school at Cern but I don't know if i can get there anyway. I am actually disappointed because now I know I don't stand a chance at all. Although it is relatively harder to find funding MSc, should i go for it first? is there anybody else similar to my situation?

Re: lack of undergraduate research experience?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:43 pm
by cosmosis
anxietysics wrote:while checking the applicant profiles, i was so surprised to see everyone had so much research experience in undergraduate. I was surprised because it is IMPOSSIBLE to find a research in undergraduate level in my country (Turkey). I will just have one poster representation at the end of this year and I am applying to summer school at Cern but I don't know if i can get there anyway. I am actually disappointed because now I know I don't stand a chance at all. Although it is relatively harder to find funding MSc, should i go for it first? is there anybody else similar to my situation?


Full disclosure that I am not an international student. However, your experience is not uncommon among our international peers, and even many domestic peers. Was your poster presentation on your research project/thesis? If yes, then highlight that. If not, then talk to your recommenders about your research interests. When there is a lack of research experience, your recommenders' letters can be very important to help the committees come to a decision. If they can vouch for your potential in doing research, then it will help you a lot. Also I am not entirely sure what is the procedure for doing a semester long project/thesis in Turkey, but if that is a possibility and you have time, consider doing it.

Also think about situations in courses where you might have shown creativity. Perhaps you found a novel way to solve a problem on your own? Or what type of projects are you applying to the CERN summer school for? Talk about those and show that you have the potential to undertake research projects.

Lastly, applying to MS programs is a good safety choice, so no harm in applying to a few MS programs. But if you feel that you are otherwise ready for a PhD, you should consider applying to a few PhD programs.