Questions tagged [academic-life]

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

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22
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
14
votes
9answers
15k 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 ...
107
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
91
votes
10answers
22k 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" ...
35
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
51
votes
14answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
87
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
49
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
44
votes
6answers
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Do professors procrastinate? [closed]

I'm a Masters student and graduating in two weeks. I need to admit that I procrastinated A LOT while working on my thesis. If I do my Ph.D. I expect myself to procrastinate a lot there too. However, I'...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
307 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 ...
78
votes
14answers
14k 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 ...
56
votes
11answers
14k 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 ...
81
votes
14answers
16k 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 ...
64
votes
10answers
14k 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
55
votes
15answers
15k 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 ...
32
votes
11answers
7k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
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 ...
36
votes
12answers
10k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
5k views

How much do grades matter for a future academia position?

I am completing my PhD and I was wondering how much does the PhD coursework grades affect future academia applications? My undergraduate and master's was somewhat decent grade wise (3.8/4) in both. ...
39
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Motivating myself to study?

I'm a CS master student working on my thesis. I'm 25 years old and still until now when I wake up in the morning to start studying I wake up stressed and my stomach hurts. I also feel a very bad ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Why professors spend most of their time to write proposals than doing research?

I have been working in academic career in several years. I have noticed that almost all professors spend most of their time to write proposals? And to my surprise, they are not working on research ...
10
votes
1answer
255 views

What is “shared governance” and how does it work in practice in academia?

I read the Wikipedia page and this article on the subject and frankly, I am still clueless. I don't understand what shared governance means in practice, how it applies, who it is for, and how it ...
5
votes
0answers
670 views

Is there “rampant anti-male bigotry” in academia, and if yes, how does it manifest? [closed]

In an answer to another question, a user mentioned "rampant anti-male bigotry in academia". This sounds strange to me; I am a male and in academia (mathematics), and have observed no such bigotry. In ...
-4
votes
3answers
580 views

What should a graduate student be doing in the summer? [closed]

What should a grad student do during summer?
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Graduation Robes - What accolades does this guy have?

I am currently at my brother's graduation ceremony at Adelaide University, and in the Professor's/Post-grad seating area, sits a man fully in green. What does this special gown mean? (Apologies for ...
2
votes
2answers
481 views

Uncertainty about following academic career [closed]

I recently got my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (2015), and now I am doing a postdoc in Computer Science at a top tier university. I have a decent number of publications (>12) in respectable ...
18
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it appropriate for a PI to appoint someone who is a family member?

I am a junior faculty in one of the top-tier research US institutions. I just joined the department and hired two GRAs meanwhile. In addition, I would like to appoint one more individual in my ...
12
votes
2answers
622 views

Am I naive to think I can focus on professional programming and still be active in the field of CS as a whole?

I am working full time currently as a programmer in a summer internship. In the fall I will be continuing school and working part-time as a programmer. I believe that I want to be a professional ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

How reasonable is it to ask my referees to send their recommendation letters to me?

I am applying for a junior faculty position (i.e. tenure track assistant professor level) at a research-intensive US university this fall. As a part of the application process, the university asked ...
5
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
184 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
391 views

aggressive co-worker and bullying at the lab [closed]

I've recently started doing postdoc in an European country. Since the first day, I am having problems with working in the lab environment. The research group is too individualistic (there is no ...
4
votes
3answers
147 views

Distinctions between programs, departments, and institutes

I am applying to tenure track jobs at high research activity universities in the United State. Wading through open positions, I've become increasingly confused about what is the meaningful distinction ...
-2
votes
1answer
400 views

Dealing with stereotypes and stigma while pursuing a career in academia [closed]

How do professors successfully cope with negative stereotypes and stigma while pursuing their research careers? Specifically, some issues that come to mind are: Women scientists who are perceived ...