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International Perspective

by Anat Guy

Anat talks about her experience as a graduate student in the Social Work and Social Policy program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

What is your research about?

The aim of my dissertation is to examine the relationship between occupational choice and attitudes toward the welfare state with regard to the changes in the terminal and instrumental values that take place during the academic training.

Who are you working with?

I work with Professors Dahlia Moore and David Bargal.

How long does the PhD tend to last in Israel?

PhD studies, in social science, tend to last between 4 to 6 years.

What are some of the expectations for a PhD student in Israel?

The expectations tends to vary according to academic department and the personal goals of the student. Those wishing to join the academic field are expected to participate in a study group, to present at conferences and to show significant progress with their dissertation.

What do you wish was different about graduate student life in Israel?

I wish that greater financial support (e.g., research grants, scholarship funds, etc) would be given to PhD students so they could focus on their studies.

What are PhD students in your country concerned about (jobs; pay; work load; etc)?

Unfortunately PhD students in my country are concerned with work load.  Because the stipends are so small they have to work a lot, and so most of their time and energy is dedicated to work and earning a living.

PhD students are also concerned with finding a place to work after they graduate.

SPSSI is concerned with the psychological study of social issues: What are some of the social or policy things going on in your country that might be of interest to SPSSI members?

SPSSI members can find great interest in social issues in Israel: The Israeli welfare state deals with unique social problems such as terrors victims, an increasing social gap between Israeli Palestinians and Israeli Jews, ultra-orthodox Jews and secular Jews, foreign workers and their social rights, the changes in the structure of social services (such as privatization, the entrance of the third sector) and so on.

What advice in general do you have for graduate students interested in SPSSI and its goals?

I would advise graduate students interested  in SPSSI and its goals, to participate in studies that can influence policy in general, and social policy in particular. I would advise them to refine their skills so they can "translate" research finding into social action recommendations, to be not only good researchers but to be able to implement their findings in the form of social planning, social policy or social intervention.

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