It seems a bit harsh that I am writing my second alumni blog again after searching on Academic Transfer for a PhD position. But at least this time I have something useful to do afterwards;
I am currently volunteering as a research assistant for dr. Jelte Wicherts from Tilburg University. He is really into Questionable Research Practices and I am learning a lot about what not to do in research. This research about research business is turning out to be fascinating stuff. I am performing a meta-analysis at the moment and I never knew that it can yield that much extra information. But that is not the only thing I am doing at the moment.
I am actually pretty busy for someone with a part-time job; I have a tutoring job now that (barely) makes rent and both my research projects are being rewritten at the moment. Plus I want to study some resampling statistics (bootstrapping) because I have found that it is more intuitive than NHST (next challenge = bayesian stats). Apart from that I am still on the editorial staff of the Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Journal to which you should send your research report abstracts (really, please do). I have tried to create a secondary goal for the ABC Journal which is to raise awareness (I never use 'raise consciousness'; that reminds me of new age crap about expanding consciousness) on issues like publication bias, editorial bias and general problems in the peer review process. On our facebook page you can read our first two interviews with scientists (dr. Mike Cohen and dr. Richard Shiffrin) about these issues.
Recently I have also become part of the Science Team that helps organise a conference for the European Federation of Psychology Student Associations (EFPSA). The theme will be networking and I am getting a sense that it is really important nowadays; especially when you are looking for a PhD position. Who you know and your connections are of utmost importance. I still guess my interdisciplinary interests and broad knowledge is going to pay off in the end, but I figure it is not the fast track to a PhD position. The most effective way in my opinion is to fully embed yourself in your favourite topic and specialise.
So I figure there is still some spare time left. In that spare time I still read a fair amount and I have grown committed to the AllTrials campagne (www.alltrials.net). It is an initiative that aims to uncover all lost and unreported clinical trials (imagine that happening in psychology ;)). If all trials are available the best decisions can be made to create a good and affordable health care. The meta-analyses only work if all the data is provided and as evidence-based medicine depends on them this is crucial. That brings me back to my current fascination with meta-analyses, but I will not bore you with that anymore.
I think this leads to another worthwhile tip: put all the skills you have gained in internships and courses on your CV for all to see! If you learned a useful skill or have participated in something that shows your commitment to science; put it on your CV. So that is two tips from me: networking and skills. Don't froth about coming across nerdy, everybody's nerdy.