In short, How does one go about hiring a professor or someone really well established in their field for a private tutoring session?

I tried looking online but can’t find much, mainly websites for tutors that are practitioners or “experts” as in with with n years of experience at best. This doesn’t cut it at my level as I am a researcher with a PhD and already have published papers on my topic.

However, I am very passionate about my subject and always looking to grow. So I do have questions, very technical (in my case computer science) and would happily pay a fee for consulting with a professor in the field.

Any advice?

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    What exactly do you want them to do for you? As it stands, your question is unclear. – Thomas Feb 4 '20 at 22:38
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    If you really mean to "hire a high-level consultant", you'd need to offer them something substantial. If it's just consultation with no share in anything subsequently, you'd pay "consultant's fees", which might be 500 USD per hour, or worse. Is this what you mean? – paul garrett Feb 4 '20 at 22:39
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    Discuss ideas, mostly technicalities and soundness. Brainstorming... – AnarKi Feb 4 '20 at 22:39
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    @AnarKi Is anything you are working towards not purely theoretical? – Bryan Krause Feb 4 '20 at 22:54
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    Find a StackExchange forum and post your questions there. I'm sure some expert readers will respond to you. – Prof. Santa Claus Feb 5 '20 at 2:16

Unless you are in a place where professors are greatly underpaid and generally abused, this seems like a quest that is bound to fail. People are busy and they aren't normally driven by money (other than large pots of grant money).

What I think you want, instead, is a collaboration. That can be started with just an email, provided that you have something to contribute yourself. This requires you to do a bit of research to find someone with common interests to form a two-way partnership.

Perhaps the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan and his relationship with Hardy will be instructive.


Write to them and ask. There's no other way about it. They might be willing to talk to you, or they might direct you to someone who can (since you did say it's technical).

Sabine Hossenfelder's "Talk to a Scientist" is the only initiative I'm aware of where the scientist publicly sells his or her time. As far as I'm aware it's aimed at members of the general public (as opposed to PhD-level researchers), but they only say they don't solve homework problems and don't review written material, so presumably they would also be willing to talk to PhD-level researchers. The rate is US$50 for 20 minutes. However, they don't cover computer science.


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