I am researcher (Assistant professor ) in computer science. I work on topics which takes more than one year to publish a single paper. Due to my interest I work in these kind of topics. There is one problem which I am facing due to my interest which is as follows. I will not able to advise lots of students due as the field in which I work is not hot and publication takes longer time. I came to academia with a mindset that I will advise as many students as possible. I feel motivated when my graduate students discuss research problems with me and other kind of discussions also. Due to my field in which I am currently working I can only advise one graduate student. The one solution which comes to my mind is to pick a hot topic and start working on that topic and then many students will approach me but I may not be that much interested in these kind of topics.

Question : How to guide more number of graduate students?

Note that the meaning of 'more number' is to advise roughly like 13-15 students in the entire career. I am also interested in producing quality students instead of just quantity.

  • Anecdote: My doctoral advisor and I met at a conferences a famous prof in my field. They were laughing at my supervisor because I was employed 30 hours. "You should employ two students for 15hours - they will work the same number of hours but you get twice the students!" Definitely not recommended and unethical.
    – user111388
    Jul 17, 2020 at 9:42
  • 1) What country are you in? This matters mostly because the way students connect with advisors are different in different countries. 2) Is the issue purely that not many students want to work with you, or are there 'bureaucratic' hurdles of other kinds? Jul 17, 2020 at 18:39
  • @Alexander Woo south east Asia. The issue is my research topic not any 'bureaucratic' hurdles
    – user66932
    Jul 18, 2020 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


I will advise as many students as possible.

Don't do this. It's unethical. Graduate education, especially for PhD students, should be about quality, not quantity. If everyone worked to maximize the number of PhDs, then there would be far more PhDs than are needed. This has already happened in most fields, but maybe not yours.

How do I recruit more graduate students?

If you insist, then

  1. Raise funds, probably through applying for grants.
  2. Advertise that you have money to pay graduate students a competitive stipend. In my experience most faculty underestimate the current free market stipend.
  3. Publish frequently.
  4. Ensure your students graduate promptly.
  5. Treat them decently.
  6. Help them find jobs.

If you have a reputation for these things, you will have plenty of students - unless your university has a reputation for not doing these things, in which case you will have to move.

  • I don't agree that quantity equates to poor quality. Also, getting students is easy, but getting good students is a function of your university's reputation. Jul 17, 2020 at 9:32
  • 1
    I didn't say anything about the relationship between quantity and quality, I just said that maximizing quantity should not be the goal.. Jul 17, 2020 at 9:40

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