Questions regarding the role of a more senior or experienced individual (a mentor) providing guidance and advice to a more junior colleague or student. This relationship does not have to involve a formal supervisory position.

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5
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the optimal balance of time spent on research vs. volunteering/leadership/organizing in grad school and beyond?

In graduate school I have found that along with being a producer of good research, fellowships/post-doctoral advisers/faculty search committee are also often interested in what one has done outside of ...
32
votes
1answer
1k views

How familiar should you be with a topic before assigning it as a thesis to an undergraduate?

I am a postdoctoral researcher in a university where undergraduates have to undertake a diploma thesis in order to finish their studies. My professor says we should put in our lab page some short ...
46
votes
5answers
1k views

How to ask for feedback from research students on my supervision abilities?

As the lone experimentalist in my group, I end up supervising most of the students (M.S., B.S. and high school) who do experimentation-focused research in my lab. I am always trying to improve my ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

What is a faculty mentor for a junior professor?

I see JeffE mentioned the existence of a faculty mentor in his comment on this question, so I am wondering if there is usually a faculty mentor for every junior professor (e.g., newly hired untenured ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

New to USA - Masters vs. Staying with my mentor

I'm 23, I recently immigrated to USA (legally lol) and I'm loving the amount of opportunity here and I sure want to make good use of it. However, I'm confused about a major decision and need your ...
38
votes
6answers
4k views

When should you stop asking your PhD advisor to do advisor like things?

After you have finished a PhD when does it become inappropriate to ask your advisor for advice, read over a manuscript, or do any other "advisor things"? Presumably if every student an advisor ever ...
24
votes
6answers
562 views

Guiding a mentee towards greater independence

I am a Master's student who is mentoring a recent graduate through a research project in the same field (of astronomy). He is a very good student, but struggles with one of the realities of being an ...
11
votes
4answers
600 views

Should graduate applicants follow instructions by department NOT to contact potential advisors?

I am applying for doctoral programs in biostatistics and have read multiple places to attempt to set up contact with a potential advisor before applying. What if the department website specifically ...
10
votes
3answers
262 views

What benefits are there to university alumni mentoring undergraduate students?

My faculty is starting a mentorship initiative where they match undergrad students with alumni from the same program. I was contacted by one of my old professors, and asked whether or not I could be a ...
8
votes
2answers
260 views

Supervised self-study

Imagine an education model in which teacher/supervisor/mentor does not teach the syllabus to students. Instead, just pushing them towards key topics, and students must study by themselves. The teacher ...
18
votes
3answers
557 views

How to encourage students to work more carefully and independently?

One of the challenges of advising students is working with students whose "quality control" expectations do not agree with that of the advisor. When such mismatches occur, how do we encourage them to ...
15
votes
2answers
211 views

Good resource/advice on mentoring undergrads

As a graduate student I will mentor some undergrad students so that they can help me with my work and get some useful experience working in a lab. From my past experience, I realized that they lack ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Incompatibility with the PhD advisor

My PhD advisor liked me during the exams. Then, when I came with the thesis I wrote, he got very angry, maybe because I did not do what he suggested, maybe because what I did is not quite in his ...
10
votes
1answer
395 views

Do tenure reviews in U.S. universities usually consider the number of PhD students that a professor successfully graduates?

When it comes to the tenure review process, someone puts it like the way it's put below: The tenure review process is designed to determine whether someone has "the ability to do their job." The ...
11
votes
1answer
439 views

“Challenging” Teaching Experiences for Math Grad Students?

I am currently a graduate student, who will (hopefully!) graduate in the next year (or two . . .). I have slowly come to realize that I enjoy teaching, and consequently want to do more of it! My ...
10
votes
4answers
267 views

Does mentoring an undergrad give an edge on job or grant applications?

Simple and short question: as a postdoc (or a senior grad student), is it a good idea to mentor an undergrad? How much edge will it provide perhaps for a future (NSF) grant, or a job application?
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Advisor isn't advising

I'm having the problem that my advisor isn't providing me with any real guidance. To avoid making this a rant post, I'll just state the facts: my advisor is an MD/PhD, working almost full-time as an ...