*Dr. LeMoult hopes to take a new graduate student for the Fall 2024 incoming class*
I will only be accepting applications through the Clinical Psychology program. Unfortunately, I am not able to supervise graduate students whose primary interests are in other areas of psychology (e.g., Social/Personality, Health) or areas outside of psychology (e.g., kinesiology).
- Here is a link to all the information regarding admissions to the psychology department and a link to the application: https://psych.ubc.ca/graduate/admissions/
- Here is a link to frequently asked questions about UBC psychology’s admissions and application process: https://psych.ubc.ca/graduate/admissions/admission-faqs/
Below I’ve answered some FAQs to help you decide whether the DAS Lab is the right fit for you and to help you be as successful as possible in the application process.
*a special thanks to Drs. Jessica Schleider, Samantha Dawson, Kiley Hamlin, and Kristin Lauren for the inspiration they provided.
What do I look for in a graduate student?
- A strong match between my research program and your research interests. I supervise students who are interested in the biological, cognitive, and/or social responses to stress that underlie the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of depressive episodes (and comorbid anxiety disorders). I recommend reading our current and ongoing projects and publications to better understand the research we conduct. However, those should be used as examples. Students who thrive in my lab are those who are interested in developing their own line of research under the umbrella of depression, anxiety, and stress. I work closely with each student to identify their area of interest and collaboratively develop a program of research that will establish them as an expert in that area, thereby best positioning them for postdoc or faculty positions. That being said, I do not focus on treatment outcome research and am no longer leading neuroimaging studies.
- Ability to work well collaboratively and independently. We are a group of individuals who genuinely enjoy each other’s company, who look for opportunities to collaborate and better each other, and who jump at the chance to help one another. This culture is at the core of our lab!
- A passion for research, learning, and growth. We value a growth mindset and people who are excited about learning, reading, and contributing to the literature.
- I am best suited to support students who are interested in careers that involve basic and/or applied research. This might include faculty positions (e.g., in departments of psychology or psychiatry), jobs with some government research agencies (e.g., Canadian Institutes of Health Research), research-focused positions in the private sector, or employment in academic medical centers (e.g., hospitals).
- Competitive applicants to our program have accrued independent research experience. They also have experience presenting their research at academic conferences and/or have peer-reviewed publications. Gaining this experience provides students the opportunity to confirm their passion and enjoyment for the type of work they will be doing in graduate school.
- Relevant research experience. Individuals may have experience conducting research related to depression, stress, and anxiety in youth or adults. Or, they may have experience with methodologies used in the lab (e.g., experience sampling, eye tracking, psychophysiology).
- Strong letters of recommendation. A strong letter typically will be written by someone who knows you well; who can speak to your research experience, skills, and abilities; and who can comment on your potential for success in graduate school.
- Evidence of strong communication, both written and oral.
- Computational/statistical skills or a keen interest in learning these skills and evidence of potential to do so.
- External funding from government agencies. You should apply for funding the same year that you apply to graduate school. Funding can substantially boost the competitiveness of an application. Additional information about funding can be found in the “Should I apply for funding?” section just below.
- A strong fit with our lab’s core values (described on the DAS Lab homepage and the Join page), as evidenced by experience/activities and/or commitment to developing these values during graduate school.
What about the GRE? How important are my scores?
I will not use GRE scores in my evaluation of graduate applicants. I am aware of the data suggesting that the GRE systematically disadvantages Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) and low-SES applicants, and there is not strong evidence that supports the validity of the GRE for predicting success in graduate school.
Are my grades good enough?
I do not use absolute grade “cut-offs” when evaluating applications. If your GPA is lower than our department usually admits (but above the UBC minimum requirement), I will look for patterns. For instance, a low GPA could reflect a tough semester (e.g., during COVID-19). If there are good reasons for why your grades may not reflect your ability (e.g., having to work full-time during your degree), please provide this context in your application in the statement of challenges. Within transcripts, I pay most attention to how students have performed in research methods/statistics/directed research courses because these skills are most relevant to research.
Should I apply for funding?
Yes! UBC students receive a minimum guaranteed level of support for the first two years of the MA ($23,000 per year for two years) and the first four years of the PhD ($23,000 per year for four years), unless other arrangements are made at the time of admission. Funding can come from Fellowships, TA, or RA roles. Receiving a Fellowship allows you to dedicate more time to research; thus, you should apply for funding the same year that you apply for admissions. Canadian citizens or PRs should apply for CGS-M and be sure to specify UBC-Vancouver as one of the 3 available institutions. International students can apply for one of 50 affiliated fellowships, and additional information can be found here. If you self-identify as Indigenous, you are eligible to apply for the Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative, and additional information can be found here.
Should I email you to express my interest in applying to your lab?
I read emails from prospective students and I try to reply promptly. However, emailing me (or not) will have no impact on your odds of being admitted to work with me. If you choose to email me, please include a brief summary of who you are and your research interests, as well as your CV.
I encourage you to review information about my lab and our research that is available online. A complete list of our published articles is available here and examples of our ongoing research projects can be found here. However, these should be used as examples of the research ideas that can be conducted. Students who are the best fit in our lab are those who are excited to collaborate with the lab to drive forward a program of research that is particularly interesting to them.
What should I include in my statement of interest?
I find it helpful when applicants include the following in their Statement of Interest:
- A clear statement of your research interests and career goals and, importantly, please articulate how these interests/goals relate to work conducted in the DAS Lab. In other words, why the DAS Lab?
- Discussion of your past research experience(s), your contribution to them, and what you learned from them. Rather than providing a chronological account of your research experiences and responsibilities (which I can get from your CV), I recommend you provide a synthesis of the skills you developed from working on projects and the key insights you have taken away from them (e.g., interpretations of your findings and how this informed new research ideas or questions). I am particularly interested in hearing about how your accumulated experiences led to your current research interests and prepared you to pursue them in graduate school.
- Thoughts on the specific projects and research questions you would like to pursue in our lab.
I am mainly interested in a career focused on clinical practice, but I have heard that mentioning this in my application or interview will negatively impact my application. Is this true?
I aim to recruit students interested in obtaining rigorous training in both research and clinical practice. This is an integral aspect of the scientist-practitioner model!
That being said, I am best prepared to support students who are interested in careers that involve research. This includes a wide variety of career paths, including academic faculty positions (e.g. tenure-track positions in departments of Psychology, Education, Social work, or Public Health); clinical-research careers (e.g. in academic medical centers); and non-academic careers in applied research, health services administration or policy.
My lived experiences (e.g., my own or my relatives’ mental health difficulties, neurodiversity, membership in an underrepresented group) shaped my interest in psychology, but I have heard that I should not mention this in my application. Is this true?
Lived experiences motivate our interests and goals in important ways. If you are bringing lived experiences to your education and training, you are not alone. If your lived experiences help you meet the goals of the statement of interest (SOI) described above, then I welcome you to describe those experiences. With that said, lived experiences should not be the main focus of your statement of interest (SOI), but it could be integrated into your SOI (e.g., how your experiences inform your approach to research, your research questions). It is also okay if lived experiences did not motivate your research interests or if you choose not to share them in your SOI.
How should I organize a CV?
Below are some great resources for creating a CV.
- “How to Write a Strong CV,” Association of Psychological Science
- Example CV for psychology applicants, University of Ohio
- Example CV for clinical psychology applicants, University of Nebraska—Lincoln
What will the review process look like?
I value and prioritize equity, inclusion, and diversity in the recruitment of graduate students, as well as the research we conduct in the lab. I use a holistic evaluation process that considers all aspects of a person’s file. For these reasons, I do not schedule informal interviews with students prior to the application deadline. This is because not all students request to meet with me, and I do not want to unfairly advantage or disadvantage any student. I intend to schedule interviews via zoom with applicants in December or January once all applications are in and I have had the opportunity to evaluate everyone at the same time using the same information. I may conduct one or two conversations with applicants via Zoom before inviting a few applicants to UBC’s recruitment weekend (date TBD).