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Questions tagged [academic-life]

Questions related to academic culture, academic communities, and the coexistence of "life" and "academia."

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21 votes
7 answers
13k views

Are old (>35) faculty candidates discriminated against all over the world?

I think that in India research institutes will never take a faculty candidate who is over 35. Is it so all over the world? I am asking this question from the point of view of if someone starts their ...
user6818's user avatar
  • 1,549
96 votes
10 answers
28k views

What makes academic failure different from failure in another career?

It is my understanding that academia as a nebulous whole has its own culture and speaks its own language that makes it a very different environment to work in compared to other so-called "industry" ...
astronat supports the strike's user avatar
67 votes
9 answers
17k views

What is the best way to deal with cranks?

Imagine you are minding your own business when you receive an email from someone who claims to have discovered the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. He provides ...
Allure's user avatar
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16 votes
9 answers
18k views

What are the goals and benefits of doing a PhD?

I'm a master computer science student in a German university and I will be graduating soon. I'm in a situation between accepting a PhD position or leaving academia to start looking for job. This is a ...
Jack Twain's user avatar
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116 votes
9 answers
22k views

How to stop feeling guilty about unfinished work?

My biggest challenge as a PhD student is best summarized by the following from PHD Comics: "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com A consequence of working in research is that the ...
ff524's user avatar
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75 votes
9 answers
52k views

I wasted six years of my life getting a PhD degree. What should I do, and how will I survive?

I struggled with low self confidence throughout my bachelors, masters and PhD in chemical engineering. After spending two years in Masters and six years in getting a PhD degree, I am lost at what I ...
Abhik Tandon's user avatar
54 votes
14 answers
10k views

How should I deal with discouragement looking at others success?

I'm a master CS student. I had so many troubles in my life. I didn't have proper schooling and were in difficult situations which led to me being not so good compared to my peers now at the graduate ...
Jack Twain's user avatar
  • 4,022
37 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to prevent physical/psychological health side effects of workaholism in academia and research?

As a research student, I spend most of my time working on my research career, even when I am at home, I am awake until 3 or 4 A.M just doing my research-chores. As a matter of fact, long-term having ...
enthu's user avatar
  • 7,548
35 votes
8 answers
10k views

Are political/ideological reasons for career moves acceptable in academia?

Suppose one is happy at one's institution until something happens that makes it impossible to stay given one's strong ideological beliefs. Is it a good idea to mention these beliefs if they are the ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 132k
25 votes
3 answers
2k views

Ways to manage something like a 'work-life balance'?

According to a recent international study on work-life balance within academia "a majority of researchers and scientists had conflicts between their work schedules and personal lives at least two ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 351
96 votes
5 answers
7k views

Typical experiences of transgender people in academia?

I've recently come to accept that I'm transgender (MtF, male-to-female). I won't go into the exact details of this as it's personal, but I have a "girl mode" where I identify as a female. I'm also a ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
45 votes
15 answers
9k views

Is it important to maintain a work-life balance as a PhD student?

My apologies in advance for asking such a trivial question. My concerns may not be as urgent or serious as some of the others on here, but I have been worrying about this for some time now. My life ...
user avatar
44 votes
6 answers
2k views

How does the US government shutdown affect academics? [duplicate]

I hope this question does not offend our American fellows. I've read in news that the US government is partially closed and many agencies and services run by US federal government is no longer ...
user avatar
36 votes
4 answers
15k views

I am interested in retracting my old journal articles. Would it have any negative effects on my academic career?

I managed to successfully publish my old bachelor thesis in a good quality national journal in my country. However, I am thinking of retracting the article due to certain circumstances. First, I felt ...
need help's user avatar
  • 495
34 votes
8 answers
16k views

What is the reason that once a student has passed a university course, the student cannot take the course again?

This question geared towards STEM but can definitely be expanded for courses in the arts as well. Imagine the following scenarios: A student has taken a course, but passed the course with barely a ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
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24 votes
6 answers
6k views

How do academics find time to write books?

Books covering primarily academic topics, from philosophy and neuroscience to physics and geopolitics, are usually written (not surprisingly) by experts in the field, which are normally academics ...
voidptr's user avatar
  • 770
22 votes
4 answers
7k views

How do teaching buy outs work?

Normally a professor is paid for eight to nine months each academic year for teaching several courses in the period. However, if a professor gets a research grant, he can support himself by the grant ...
E Zhang's user avatar
  • 537
17 votes
5 answers
11k views

What are the perks of being a tenured professor at U.S. universities, besides having academic freedom?

For instance, one of my professors went to Princeton (for his undergrad math degree) for free, because his parents are tenured faculty at Princeton. Is such a benefit available to tenured faculty at ...
user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
29k views

Is this statistic about how many Latinos/Hispanics have a PhD in the USA correct?

According to Ileana Freytes-Ortiz, < 2% of people in the US have a #phd Of those, 6.5% are Hispanic By defending my PhD yesterday, I just became part of the 0.13% in the US that is #...
SSimon's user avatar
  • 3,679
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Tenure and tenure denial rates by universities

Is there a way or website to find the tenure and tenure denial rates by universities and departments? I heard from some faculty that the tenure rate at X university is Y%, so I wonder if there is a ...
Thomas Lee's user avatar
  • 4,980
5 votes
1 answer
305 views

What practicable alternative do I have to not fly around the globe to present a poster/pollute environment? [duplicate]

Popularizing your research and results is an important part of a non-tenured researcher, which alreday and often starts after graduating with a bachelor and proceeds up to being a postdoc for many ...
user48953094's user avatar
  • 4,356
4 votes
2 answers
226 views

How can we effect institutional change to make academia climate-compatible? [closed]

How can we create an environment in which academic institutions are responsible for the carbon footprint of the research carried out under their auspices? For context, I am a postdoc working several ...
JumpingJupiters's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
318 views

Most efficient way of booking academic supervision appointments

I'm wondering if there's a more efficient method of booking an academic supervision appointment. The method I experienced was a schedule on the professor's door, first-come-first-serve. How do we ...
Jerel's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
1 answer
414 views

Could my visiting instructor position be terminated due to low course reviews? Full time instructor position is not going well at all

I'm a fourth year doctoral student in Applied Experimental Psychology who earned a Master's prior to enrolling in my program (which my Ph.D program accepted on full). Long story short, my funding ran ...
zzmondo1's user avatar
  • 1,926
86 votes
14 answers
18k views

What good is engineering research with no practical relevance?

I am a Ph.D. student currently doing research at a top engineering school in North America. I am becoming more and more jaded at the fact that a sizable portion of the research conducted at my ...
Norman's user avatar
  • 1,423
83 votes
14 answers
19k views

How do really talented people in academia think about people who are less capable than them? [closed]

To be more specific, how do really top professors think about students who are much less smart than them, the students can be their Ph.D. students or just students who were taking his/her class. This ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 941
64 votes
10 answers
14k views

What should I do the day before submitting my PhD thesis?

I am submitting my PhD thesis in less than two days. I have checked all the tables, figures, appendices, references, and also checked spelling and any potential typos (which I believe there might be ...
Josee Luis's user avatar
64 votes
10 answers
17k views

Is it true that 'nice' professors fail to produce good students?

This is a very tough question to ask because there are so many advisors on this forum so I am expecting most inputs from the current grads. This question largely stemmed from a post I read online ...
Olórin's user avatar
  • 1,340
62 votes
11 answers
17k views

How do I gain back my faith in my PhD degree?

I am 3 years into a PhD program at a top North American university in STEM. My daily routine includes working on my research and preparing for courses I am assisting. In general, I would say that ...
Masked's user avatar
  • 347
58 votes
11 answers
23k views

My PI is publicly humiliating me: Why would a PI do this and what can I do to mitigate the damage from this?

My principal investigator (PI) and I tend to get along pretty well; however, he is often moody and has some quirks about him. Sometimes this means that he is in a bad mood and will take it out on me. ...
user135806's user avatar
52 votes
15 answers
16k views

If you know a family member who is much more qualified and capable in mathematics than you are, should find another field of specialisation?

Imposter Syndrome and depression: I feel pretty depressed that I am not as "qualified" as a close family member. In particular, this family member has undergraduate and graduate (PhD) degrees from Ivy ...
depressedguy1234's user avatar
51 votes
13 answers
28k views

What do universities usually do with a student's graded final exams?

Personally I do not recall ever having seen any of my final exams I have taken during my undergrad (except in my nightmares). Midterms, quizzes and homeworks are usually returned to the students ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
  • 11.5k
41 votes
7 answers
9k views

Are universities run more and more like businesses? What are the consequences? [closed]

I watched an episode of "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj" called "Is College Still Worth It?" In there the point was made, with ample evidence, that universities are increasingly ...
user avatar
41 votes
10 answers
12k views

Is "flowery language" frowned upon in engineering and STEM related research?

I work in an engineering field (related to AI, machine learning, etc.) and something I found interesting is whenever I use "big words" or even long words like "substantiate" or &...
Coco Jambo's user avatar
  • 1,023
41 votes
4 answers
5k views

What exactly is "campus security"?

I read this question where a teaching assistant asks how to deal with an aggressive student. In her answer, the user Nicole Hamilton gives advice to call campus security. Now, in my naive foreign ...
zdurra's user avatar
  • 371
37 votes
12 answers
11k views

How to address in-group bullying without compromising PhD/career?

I've been bullied by my supervisor and other members of my research group for the past couple of years. Some of the things which have indicated bullying include snide remarks being made during group ...
Anonymous's user avatar
  • 379
37 votes
6 answers
12k views

Is it OK to publish a book as an undergraduate?

I am a CS student at 4th year in my university. I have done a lot of real-world projects, worked as a freelancer for many years, and have released a lot of software in use by thousands of people. I ...
Madno's user avatar
  • 515
36 votes
5 answers
4k views

Improving work conditions of student assistants, PhDs, Postdocs etc

I have been following threads on this website for a few months now. However it's my first time posting. I am a postdoctoral researcher from a Western European country who has done reasonably well ...
Xam1968's user avatar
  • 363
34 votes
11 answers
9k views

Is it common for people in academia to experience prolonged lack of sleep and how to deal with it?

Stuck in the lab again, for the third night in a row. I have never done three in a row I think I might just break a record. I cannot sleep, because the lab is super crammed and uncomfortable and I am ...
Olórin's user avatar
  • 1,340
33 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why do some individuals who are productive PhD students at leading Western institutions, then publish infrequently as faculty in their home country?

I am a computer science student from Turkey. While I was checking the websites and publications of various CS Professors in Turkey for my future studies, I noticed a strange trend. (Excluding minor ...
mehdi's user avatar
  • 331
31 votes
6 answers
9k views

What do you wish you knew as a student before you became a researcher?

There are a number of lessons I learnt as an undergraduate which I wish somebody had told me much earlier. Although each of you learnt different lessons with different notions of which way is the ...
29 votes
5 answers
10k views

Why do academics work only nine months of the year?

I'm wondering how best to respond to queries from non-academics along the lines of "Why should you be paid during the summer holidays?" This is the sort of question I hear a lot in this economic ...
Shane O Rourke's user avatar
27 votes
6 answers
14k views

Why do academics drink so much coffee? [closed]

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems -- Alfréd Rényi All the universities whose staff lounges I've been to have had coffee machines with free coffee. I've seen groups name ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 132k
21 votes
6 answers
5k views

Social etiquette for interacting with PhD peers who complain *a lot*

People in my program complain a lot and usually not in good humor. How can I handle this socially and professionally? Some of these people are my friends and some are no more than peers. In general ...
Dr. Beeblebrox's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
10k views

Why do PhD students complain so much? [closed]

This question has two parts. First, a comparative question. Second, a broad question about why PhD students get so stressed and complain so much. Do PhD students complain more than people in other ...
Dr. Beeblebrox's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
8k views

Difference between private and public universities as a faculty member?

As a grad student I was, for the most part, shielded from issues like high-level bureaucracy, departmental duties and politics, and long-term career advancement. Obviously these things become more ...
Dnuorg Spu's user avatar
  • 5,818
20 votes
2 answers
13k views

Should I disclose my academic dishonesty on grad applications?

I just graduated in May this year (2023), and in my last semester of senior year, I was caught cheating on an exam and have academic dishonesty on my record, and I'm trying to apply for accelerated ...
Premedstudenf2023's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to handle pressure from collaborators when life circumstances make it impossible to get work done?

I am looking for a bit of advice on how to handle the workload in a PhD while juggling several collaborative projects plus family pressures. I am in the final year of my PhD which, overall, has been ...
rt1870's user avatar
  • 311
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Competition in department among professors

My professor that I've worked for, and other professors that I've met in undergrad, often complain about how it is "publish or death" situation in their department. Specifically, they have told me ...
user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why do academics tend to be reluctant to ask for help from other academics?

I've seen situations like the below happen quite a few times. Alice writes a paper. It's well-received and receives a hundred citations. Bob also works in the area, and he engages a student Charlie ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 132k