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Programs What to write in a CV for PhD application?

  1. Oct 17, 2009 #1
    Hello all,

    I'm finally preparing to apply for PhD, so it is time to write a good CV.

    My situation: I'm about to finish my MSc degree (research based) and intend to apply to several universities in Europe, mostly in the UK and Germany.

    Do you think I should list the research projects I did during my undergraduate degree? That was quite a while ago, and I barely remember what the pojects were about, aside from the title :uhh:. Also, they were in very different fields from what I do now (and am interested in continuing doing) so the commitee might think my research interests and skills are different from what they now are. On the other hand, that might show that I have knowledge and experience in very diverse fields. Or not?

    Also, I've seen in some CV's I found on the web that some people list their hobbies and stuff like that. Does it help? I stress that my question refers mainly to the UK and Germany.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2009 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    One's CV should included any research performed - even as an undergrad - and publications.

    Most professionals would include awards or recognitions, community service or participation, but not usually hobbies. Some may include interests rather than hobbies.
  4. Oct 19, 2009 #3
    Thanks for your help Astronuc!
  5. Oct 19, 2009 #4
    I will tell you about my experience and the observations I made during my 3 interviews/assessment procedures for PhD positions in Germany (and the Netherlands; you might want to check out: www.academictransfer.nl ).

    The most important thing to keep in mind is that the professors and postdocs want to know how good you are as a researcher, and more importantly, how you would fit in in their groups.

    1. CV
    This has to be precise. Only the listing of the projects which you have done won't work - try to mention what and, if possible, how (i.e. methods) you did the projects. So, maybe 2/3 short statements for each project.

    2. Cover Letter
    Try to pick important projects you have done which can be linked to the PhD position/project you are applying for. Highlight what you have learned, skills acquired, working settings (as in either independent or group work).

    3. Interview/Assessment
    If you are shortlisted, most places will invite you to their labs/working places; meeting with the group members. Here in Holland, candidates are normally asked to give a talk on a topic of candidates' choice (eg. master's thesis) for 25-30 mins, followed by questions.

    I hope that will give you a rough idea. BUT, not everyone goes through all that painful procedure. Most professors prefer candidates recommended to them by other professors or researchers. Thus make sure you have excellent recommendation letters.

    I don't much time at the moment..will try to write more later; feel free to send a PM.
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