Questions tagged [advisor]

The one who helps students to select courses or an academic major, engages in short-term and long-term educational planning, assists in preparing the thesis necessary to obtain the degree; or a person who advises internship students on training in industry.

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339 votes
12 answers
61k views

I don't want to kill any more mice, but my advisor insists that I must in order to get my PhD

When my supervisor pitched the PhD to me, it was all about analyzing "big data". I had BSc/MSc experience in wet-lab biology (mainly culturing cells), however I wanted to branch out into ...
Wetlab Walter's user avatar
218 votes
11 answers
48k views

Have I embarassed my supervisors by solving a problem that a PhD student in my group was working on without success?

I'm a bachelor student in mathematics writing my thesis at a small university in the US. A PhD student that has the same supervisor has spent a very significant amount of time working exclusively on a ...
horsestaplebattery's user avatar
212 votes
22 answers
38k views

What to do when your student is convinced that he will be the next Einstein?

As an adviser, I have found it to be a detrimental motive for a student to focus solely on surpassing Einstein in achievement, for many reasons. One student in particular has busied himself with the ...
Advisor6's user avatar
  • 1,767
193 votes
15 answers
33k views

How to deal with an advisor who wants a "friendlier" relationship with me than I do?

I work as an assistant at a university in Australia. I joined the team consisting of my current advisor and his two PhD students. The other group members are men and they have a co-worker-like ...
justme's user avatar
  • 1,661
176 votes
11 answers
29k views

My research paper filed as a patent in China by my Chinese supervisor without me as inventor

I completed my PhD 3 years ago from a university in the UK. Today I was looking for some papers in google scholar. I found a patent in China. The patent was written in Chinese however, all diagrams/...
PRO88's user avatar
  • 989
170 votes
13 answers
32k views

Religious supervisor wants to thank god in the acknowledgements

My PhD supervisor and I are co-authoring a paper. We have an excellent relation, and he is both a well-regarded scientist in its field and a deeply religious person. In our co-authored paper, he wants ...
user avatar
166 votes
8 answers
36k views

Grant fraud, should I bust my PhD advisor?

tl;dr: Should I report this large grant fraud, and what consequences could it have for me? For obvious reasons, I will try to maintain some anonymity here. So I defended my thesis. Which was funded ...
ranting PhD student's user avatar
150 votes
6 answers
25k views

My professor is rigging data and plagiarizing. What can I do?

I am a graduate student. My department head is manipulating data in his research papers and skillfully alters plagiarized text to avoid detection. I found this out while working with him on a journal ...
atree's user avatar
  • 1,373
144 votes
14 answers
25k views

Should I intervene when a colleague in a different department makes students run laps as part of their grade?

Basic Premise Can a microbiology professor require students to run laps on the track during class for a grade, even if the class usually has no physical component to it? Background As part of my role ...
Vladhagen's user avatar
  • 18.9k
139 votes
10 answers
45k views

I slept with my advisor's daughter and she is blackmailing me now. What can I do?

I am doing a PhD in the US. I am in my mid-twenties and will graduate next spring. My advisor was very good and nice to me. He invited me to have dinner at his home many times and then I met his ...
user avatar
134 votes
15 answers
25k views

Two years into my PhD program, and Mom is dying of cancer. Should I tell my advisor about it?

I just finished my 2nd year of PhD, and my mom has been dying of cancer since the end of my 1st year. She nearly died in January but thankfully pulled through. She was just diagnosed again a few weeks ...
user avatar
119 votes
12 answers
31k views

What to remember when supervising female PhD students?

I have been supervising a female PhD student for a couple of months. She is the first female PhD student I am supervising and got the position on merit. My view is that her gender does not/should ...
G. L. 's user avatar
  • 2,082
118 votes
11 answers
40k views

One of my postdocs elegantly solved a problem another postdoc had been working on for years. I have no idea how to navigate this delicate situation

I run a lab in an applied computational field (e.g. computational biology/chemistry/physics etc.) One of my postdocs (“A”) has been working on a problem for the last two years. They have made good ...
ScoopedPostdoc's user avatar
117 votes
6 answers
20k views

What should I do after advisor got upset when I expressed "belief in evolution" and then said he couldn't add me to his research team?

A bit of background: I am a graduate student working towards my Masters in physics. During this summer I signed up for some classes that are somewhat outside my main focus of study. For instance, ...
user41235's user avatar
  • 1,235
115 votes
7 answers
21k views

Advisor tries to reproduce my results to ensure my honesty. Is it the norm?

I am a M.Sc. student in Machine Learning, about to finish my thesis this month. My advisor wants me to meet him in person to reproduce my results under his control. It is obvious that the main reason ...
user avatar
107 votes
14 answers
23k views

Is it ethical for a professor to get masters students to work on open source modules related to the professor's profit-making company?

My professor of Computer Science has a company (both based in Germany) that promotes an open-source software. Of course the software is free and open-source, but his company generates profits through ...
Jack Twain's user avatar
  • 4,002
106 votes
8 answers
14k views

What should I do if my advisor is forcing me to vote on a specific candidate in IEEE elections?

The IEEE holds yearly elections for senior positions in its societies. Every member of the IEEE has the right to vote in these elections, including me. My advisor, however, has candidates who, for one ...
GoldenLizard's user avatar
104 votes
9 answers
26k views

If I quit my PhD, would it make my advisor look bad?

I am considering quitting my PhD in computer science, because after doing a software engineering internship I realized I enjoy that kind of work much more. My advisor has been very kind to me, on ...
user45379's user avatar
  • 811
98 votes
9 answers
22k views

When should a supervisor be an author?

I understand that in a lot of big-lab fields it is common for the principal investigator to append their name to a paper even if they did not write the paper, design the experiment, or collect data ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
95 votes
8 answers
17k views

How do I talk about my abusive former advisor if people ask?

I was just at a conference where I met another grad student who - upon learning about my specialization and university affiliation - excitedly asked me if I knew Dr. -- and if he was my advisor (she's ...
Ace's user avatar
  • 2,360
94 votes
6 answers
25k views

My supervisor doesn't believe in depression

This is perhaps less a question and more of a cautionary tale, but I've seen a few people asking how best to talk to their supervisor about mental health and I wanted to share my experience with this ...
K.Grayson's user avatar
  • 1,229
92 votes
11 answers
30k views

How do professors advise PhD students that are smarter than them?

I will be starting a position as an assistant professor shortly and I have recently received applications from PhD students who in my honest assessment are likely a bit smarter and more talented than ...
user2562609's user avatar
  • 6,960
89 votes
10 answers
19k views

What can I do if my advisor wants me to keep working, even while I'm on medical leave for severe depression?

I'm a Master's student right now. Due to previous incidents (What can I do if a student in my lab threatens to tell lies about me, and my advisor doesn't want to fire her?), I'm clinically ...
Émile Lebacq's user avatar
88 votes
13 answers
51k views

How should an advisor handle an underperforming PhD student?

I'm a junior faculty in academia and I was asked to take a PhD student several months ago. I was not involved in the hiring process, hence I did not have a chance to evaluate his abilities before ...
Peter1111's user avatar
  • 1,001
88 votes
11 answers
11k views

How to train students to write high-quality research papers?

As someone supervising postgrad students, I wonder what is the best way to train these students to write high-quality research papers? The best way seems to be through coauthorship but ... On the ...
badroit's user avatar
  • 13.7k
86 votes
4 answers
18k views

Am I being exploited by my supervisor?

It has been 4.5 years since I joined as a PhD student. My supervisor asks me to draft almost all of his important emails. He will begin by briefing me the issue, and ask me to draft the email in a ...
user3024069's user avatar
  • 1,373
82 votes
10 answers
23k views

I feel like male professors don't feel comfortable taking me as a student. How should I address this problem?

It has happened in many instances in my education that my male advisors or professors get very uncomfortable around me and some refuse to take me as their student. They tell me that in a decent way, ...
Nadine's user avatar
  • 1,580
79 votes
11 answers
26k views

Is the phrase "thanks, but no thanks" appropriate in an email sent to a supervisor?

I recently have had a discussion about my friend's tone in his email. His supervisor asked him whether he wants to attend a summer school in May. He wanted to thank him for his invitation and also ...
padawan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
76 votes
5 answers
16k views

Is it okay that my supervisor insists for me to work from my room at night?

I am a female PhD student in the end of my second year, and my supervisor has been acting weird lately. He asks me to run the experiments from my laptop and not from my PC in the lab (it does not ...
BDee's user avatar
  • 765
76 votes
4 answers
20k views

My advisor submitted a paper with my work without including me as an author

As you might see from my history I don't have a good relationship with my advisor. Recently we wrote a journal paper together based on my thesis. I wrote the introduction, analysis and the description ...
james234's user avatar
  • 2,288
75 votes
10 answers
12k views

Is it common to review papers assigned to your supervisor?

Is it common to supervisors to email their students papers to review (which were apparently assigned to the supervisor, and not to the student). The field is Computer Science, but I would also like ...
seteropere's user avatar
  • 13.8k
72 votes
4 answers
13k views

Advisor drops MSci student suddenly in final semester

Today I had a fellow student (who is working on a master's degree) come to me and inform me that our mutual advisor (call her Professor WW) had just dropped her as a student for "personal reasons." I ...
Vladhagen's user avatar
  • 18.9k
72 votes
7 answers
8k views

How to motivate students you supervise to produce high-quality research when other graduate students in the program don't?

I have a good friend who is in his first year as an assistant professor right now, having earned his PhD last year. He is frustrated because in his new department, standards for graduate student ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 109k
71 votes
13 answers
36k views

Dealing with a PhD student reneging on an agreement to appear in social media

Inspired by this question, I have a similar but somehow different problem. I recently assumed a tenure-track position. One of my strategies for a visible start is to have a strong presence in social ...
user198293's user avatar
70 votes
10 answers
9k views

How to work efficiently under loose supervision during graduate studies?

I work in a very cross-disciplinary field, which has caused me some headache* over the past couple of years, partly due to the fact that my supervisor isn't very knowledgeable regarding the day to day ...
posdef's user avatar
  • 17.7k
69 votes
10 answers
30k views

Is it normal for an advisor to expect >80 hour workweeks from PhD students, and threaten them with dismissal?

My advisor always keeps pointing out that I should have publications and I should keep working and stuff like that. Recently he's been saying that not all student will finish Ph.D. and you should be ...
CentAu's user avatar
  • 1,478
69 votes
9 answers
29k views

Can I tell my PhD supervisor honestly why I want to leave him

I spent more than half a year with a PhD supervisor, and am not happy with both aspects: relationship and academically. With time, it becomes obvious that our field of research doesn't match. He ...
Schildi's user avatar
  • 1,007
69 votes
7 answers
9k views

Are PhD supervisors responsible for informing students about legal issues pertaining to research?

After an extreme amount of effort, I am now in possession of a very large dataset of human experiments which is required for my research. However, after speaking with some of my colleagues about ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
68 votes
17 answers
30k views

4 Years in PhD. No publications and adviser keep changing my research

First of all, I need to apologize for writing a really long description. I started my PhD in Mechanical Engineering 4 years ago and working with a professor, who has no idea on what we are doing and ...
Kalyan's user avatar
  • 559
68 votes
4 answers
13k views

Dealing with professor's death on my thesis

My professer, regrettably and very suddenly, passed away yesterday. He was my mentor for my graduation thesis. His teaching capabilities were not great, but he was a great man. Always helping out with ...
AnonymousGuest's user avatar
68 votes
9 answers
21k views

I feel I've done enough for a PhD but my supervisor disagrees

I have been working on a PhD for over 6 years, and in that time have published 5 (conference) papers, each of which I intend to convert to journal articles after my PhD. My supervisor has been ...
JEs9X's user avatar
  • 2,453
68 votes
11 answers
7k views

Is praising students' aptitude harmful?

As a computer science professor, I have told some talented students one-on-one that they show a real aptitude for computer science and that they should seriously consider taking more classes in it. I'...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
67 votes
14 answers
25k views

Bad first month in my PhD

I started my PhD in physics approximately a month ago. Now I am working on my first project with my advisor and a postdoc that follows me. I made several big mistakes for a little task that my advisor ...
Guestito's user avatar
  • 697
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
64 votes
10 answers
31k views

Telling PhD supervisor I published a paper about my thesis without telling them or listing them as authors?

I am in my 3rd year of PhD. In my program, it is a requirement for PhD students to graduate with a paper that is published in a Scopus Index journal. Before I entered, and during my PhD, I had ...
Pearl Hyatt's user avatar
64 votes
10 answers
16k views

What questions should one ask to the former/current students of a professor before deciding whether to do PhD under him/her?

Before deciding to do one's PhD under a certain professor, what questions should one ask of his/her former and current students? Many students (including me) are not sure what exactly to ask. May be ...
user13107's user avatar
  • 2,719
63 votes
13 answers
28k views

What should I do after my PhD supervisor calls me a retard to my face?

I am in the 5th year of my Ph.D. studies. My Ph.D. supervisor always likes to mentally and verbally abuse me and some of our group members. This time, I really could not take it anymore and I want to ...
Try2GetBack2Academia's user avatar
62 votes
6 answers
14k views

How can I tell my advisor that I'm not going to work for free?

I am an undergraduate student of Physics in Spain. This year I have to prepare my bachelor thesis and I also applied for a fellowship with the same advisor to do further research on the same topic. I ...
S -'s user avatar
  • 744
62 votes
9 answers
86k views

Is it appropriate to buy a "thank you" gift for a PhD supervisor?

I am nearing the end of my PhD and I would quite like to buy a "thank you" gift for my supervisor (although, she's the socially awkward type who I'm sure will be greatly embarrassed to receive one). ...
lemon's user avatar
  • 1,313
62 votes
5 answers
11k views

Previous publication of my supervisor and a post-doc is a lie

I am in a bit of a situation. Basically, the research on which I was basing my PhD was carried out by a former post-doc in our group. After one year and a half not being able to replicate his results, ...
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