Do professors discuss about their PhD students or other PhD students and their performance or likelihood of being successful? Grad student community is much smaller than undergraduate community and often a professor has just handful of PhD students under them. So, it is possible the other professors might know about an underperforming or overachieving student from a different group.

If yes, what is the nature of discussions that they have? How often do they feel the need to advise or provide assistance to a student that might have caught their eye?

  • We share stories, and best practices. Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 4:36
  • The last question you ask seems unrelated and I don't really understand what you mean. Can you clarify?
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 11:07
  • 1
    You might want to consider that professors are no special humans, they are as human as all others too. There is no homogenous class "professors", some talk a lot, some of us don't, some talk a little bit..
    – user115896
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 22:06
  • @Buffy I meant that, would a professor go out of their way to reach out to an underperforming student? Probably they saw potential in the grad student and the students performance doesn't match the potential they saw. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


Yes, faculty do this all the time. They talk about their progress, their attitude towards research, and actively seek advice on how to deal with some situations. This is a positive thing in my opinion, paraphrasing: it takes a village to raise a grad student!

  • And don't forget the gossip, too.
    – user115896
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 22:03

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