7. FAQs for prospective PhD applicants

1. Will you be reviewing applications for a student to begin Fall 2025? Probably. I’ll update with an official answer as soon as possible!

2. Should I email you to express interest in applying to your lab? You do not need to email me just to let me know you’re applying to my lab. Those emails are stressful for you to send but won’t have an impact on how I review your application. Save yourself the stress. However, if you have questions that would determine whether you’d like to apply and that weren’t answered elsewhere on my website, feel free to reach out to me and/or my current/previous mentees.

3. Is UO’s program fully funded? Yes! Funding is guaranteed for the first four years. Funding in the fifth and sixth year may be available (has been available for many, many years but is not officially guaranteed). Funding is provided through graduate employment (GE) positions, which cover tuition and 95% of fees, and provide a stipend.

4. How much do you care about publications? I don’t care about publications per se. What I care about is the experiences you’ve had that prepared you for doctoral-level study in a research-heavy environment. Publications can be a way to document your preparation, but they’re not the only way.

There are hundreds of details and decisions that go into completing a study and writing a manuscript. A non-exhaustive list of these details includes things like:

  • coordinating a study administratively (IRBs, progress reports)
  • managing participant progress through a study
  • collecting data (whether it’s self-report, interviews, psychophys, salivary samples, etc. etc. etc.)
  • recoding variables
  • structuring/managing data
  • checking assumptions for statistical tests
  • handling missing data
  • conducting statistical analyses
  • creating compelling data visualizations and/or tables
  • conceptualizing a study idea
  • conducting a literature review
  • developing a coherent argument for a study
  • writing clearly and succinctly
  • recognizing the strengths and limitations of your study/data
  • etc. etc. etc. (the list goes on)

In the vein of showing vs. telling (see document #6 in this series), if you’ve had publications by the time of applying, please don’t just tell me you’ve published X number of papers. I want you to also explain your experience with some of the above elements that go into writing a paper. Did you come up with the study idea? If so, how? What motivated it? Were you involved in data cleaning/management and/or running analyses? What specifically did you do?

If you haven’t had publications by the time of applying, please tell me about your experience with any/some of the above elements that go into writing a paper–even if they haven’t culminated in you participating in or completing the paper-writing process yet.

Whether you have publications or not, I will be looking for students whose statements of purpose convey the experiences and skills that show that they’re well-prepared for this next stage of training, which will involve lots of involvement with writing and research (especially lots of involvement with managing and analyzing data…so if you have these experiences/skills, definitely highlight them!).

5. Do I need to have research and/or clinical experience related to eating disorders and/or suicide in order to apply? No. If you do have these experiences, amazing–please tell me about them! If you don’t have these experiences, no worries. Your skills and knowledge from other relevant experiences will probably translate to my topic areas. However, it will be important for you to explain in your statement of purpose why you’re interested in specializing in eating disorders and/or suicide. How did you become interested in either or both of these topics? What interests you specifically about these topics? What types of questions do you want to study related to these topics?

6. Do I need to take the GRE? Nope. UO does not require the GRE.

7. Pro tips. There are lots of resources out there to help guide you through effectively applying to clinical psychology PhD programs. Here are a few:

Lauren Forrest, PhD
Lauren Forrest, PhD
Assistant Professor