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applying for a PhD

patricia bowne pbowne at execpc.com
Sun Jul 1 16:02:31 EST 2001

Karin Lagesen wrote:
> I have been reading (lurking actually) in this ng for some time,
> and I've found many interesting discussions here. I am myself
> stuck in one of those situations that somehow only women seem
> to get themselves into. I am currently duing my master's at a
> university here in Norway. I'll hopefully be done around
> Christmas time, and I am really tempted to apply for entrance
> in this Computational Biology PhD programme that the EMBL has.
> The problem isn't applying, the problem is talking to my
> supervisors about it. I am going to need help with working towards
> getting accepted, and I also need two referees that can recommend me.
> I do believe they would, but there is still this sneaking fear
> of them saying that they won't. 

I'll bet the fear of their refusing is worse than the disappointment
you'd feel if they did say no. Ask them and find out -- because then
you can deal with whatever the situation really is. 

As for approaching your advisors, I don't know them, but what I like in
a student who's asking for help is organization. I want her to have
identified what she needs me to do and pulled that information together
for me.  If it's recommendation letters you need, I'd suggest preparing
a summary of all your relevant achievements and letting them know they
can have a copy if they want to refer to it. 

Don't worry too much about the time problem! People do much worse things
than take an extra year, believe me. If that's the worst thing you ever
do, you'll be a prize for whatever PhD program gets you.

Good luck


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