Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
The Lancet published a large multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial of noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NSSA) and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI) for depression in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) suggesting that these compounds have no clinical benefit [Banerjee et al 2011]. We felt that it might be premature to suggest that the use of all antidepressant treatments is ineffective [Sepehry et al 2012]. In response, we ran a meta-analysis examining the evidence for the use of SSRIs for treatment of depression co-occurring with AD [Sepehry et al 2012, see Appendix N]. This study suggested that treatment effects are potentially assessment dependent, and provided the motivation for the current examination of depression diagnostic criteria and assessment/screening scales for AD. A literature search showed that Provisional Diagnostic Criteria for depression of AD (PDC-dAD) was proposed to diagnose depression in AD. Their validity has not been established, yet they have been used in epidemiological studies and clinical trials. Likewise, no study examined short and easy to use screening measures with comparable collateral version’s validity and utility for use with the PDC-dAD. Hence, I set these as my goals : to examine the validity-evidence of the PDC-dAD followed by simultaneous examination of the reliability (internal consistency), utility, and validity (content, construct, and concurrent) of screening measures already validated for use with older adults, for use with the PDC-dAD. Thus, the literature around depression in older adults and in AD was reviewed to improve understanding of the importance of investigating depression and its diagnostic/assessment approaches. Briefly, the result of the validity studies showed that, first, the PDC-dAD are the best that exist to date for diagnosing depression in AD; however it needs optimization. Second, screening measures developed for depression in older adults, including the collateral version, are psychometrically acceptable (valid and reliable) allowing for adequate screening of mild to mildly-moderate AD for dAD; however, the collateral version was the most valid given its psychometric properties, particularly, positive predictive value, specificity, and clinical accuracy for use with the PDC. Hence, recommendations are made for the use of the screening scales with the PDC and for future research.
- Childhood Maltreatment and Perceived Stress in Individuals with Concurrent Psychiatric Disorders (2019)
Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma,
- Patterns and history of prescription drug use among opioid-related drug overdose cases in British Columbia, Canada, 2015–2016 (2019)
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 194, 151--158