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Potential Students

It is always okay to email me about potential supervision, but I frequently get too many emails per day for me to read and respond to all of them while doing the work I’m accountable for. This page is meant to help potential graduate students (and others) figure out whether working with me and my team makes sense to them. Please read this page before reaching out.

Are you...

  • Based in New Brunswick?
    Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB), where I am physically located, is based on the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus and is the training site for approximately 120 medical students per year and graduate students affiliated with one of four graduate departments with faculty here. My department, Community Health & Epidemiology, offers two degrees in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research: an MSc and a PhD. Most students in our department choose to be located in Halifax. However, completing one of these degrees and living in Saint John is also a possibility. That will involve taking most classes virtually but some travel to Halifax will be required. The DMNB building is equipped for grad students, providing space and a chance to meet in-person normally. There are other grad students from other Dalhousie departments on the campus who organize social events and informal gatherings. You will likely interact with the rest of the IMPART research trainee group as part of broader network building along with colleagues in Halifax. If you think this arrangement works for you, please get in touch. I also supervise Halifax-based students, you do not have to be in Saint John to work with me, but some potential students value this flexibility if they want to stay in New Brunswick.
  • Currently an undergraduate looking for summer work?
    In my discipline it is not usual to accept summer students because they usually do not have adequate training to meaningfully contribute to a research project before the short tenure in our research group is complete. That does not mean it is impossible to work with me for a summer, it just requires some vision regarding what you want out of your training. Do you want to work with large datasets? Do you want to gain some programming experience? If you have skills you want to learn it’s easier for me to figure out whether I can accommodate your learning.
  • An international student?
    The main challenge international students face when applying to my department is that their qualifications often do not match what our admission criteria rewards. Our department tries to admit students who will do well in our program, meaning they meet our program requirements. However, there are a few common tropes to the emails I receive, and I would like to address some here: You have international training in medicine, dentistry, or medical science: While these fields are related to public health, and more specifically policy-related study of social epidemiology, they are not automatic qualifiers for admission. Please see our program requirements. Even if I am interested in supervising you, you would still need to be admitted to the program, and that process is standardized (i.e., I have no influence on the process). You have an interest in my work: International students are receiving advice from someone, likely someone selling themselves as an expert, that it is a good idea to send me an email complimenting me and saying that you read one of my papers with great interest. That is nice to hear but I am always more interested to hear what you have to say about your interests and whether those will match with mine. At any given moment I have a number of projects that might work for the right candidate, but if your email does not explain how you are a good fit then I have to default to your CV. Please include a justification for why you think it’s a good idea for us to work together. Your work experience is public health-related but not really a great match for my own research: For example, if you are particularly interested in mother-child health outcomes in Southeast Asia, I might not be the supervisor for you; I simply know very little about that topic, and even if you have an interest in government policy’s role in those health outcomes, there is probably a more appropriate supervisor out there. You are probably better off contacting the graduate program director than me personally. They might be able to connect you with a potential supervisor that is more appropriate. This is probably more important for potential PhD students who might be expected to provide some information on what they want to accomplish through their dissertation research.
  • A recent graduate of a Master’s program looking for research experience?
    Occasionally I am looking to hire research staff. This is so uncommon that it is unlikely I’m hiring at any moment. However, I do appreciate potential employees reaching out to let me know they are based in the area and looking for employment. Even if I am not personally hiring research staff, it is possible one of my colleagues is, and I will not be offended / annoyed / etc. if you simply email me your CV and explain the kind of work you want.
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