Questions tagged [communication]

Questions about how to communicate with others appropriately and professionally; communication etiquette.

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64
votes
1answer
6k views

How should I phrase an important question that I need to ask a professor?

When needing to ask a professor about something important and potentially delicate, what is an appropriate way to phrase the question or write the email? Examples include: Requesting a ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Dealing with irresponsiveness from far-away scientists

When meeting some scientists in person, I've had good conversations with decisions upon interesting plans for research cooperation and personal visits. But then, subsequent contact by e-mail is ...
82
votes
13answers
16k views

Why do academics frequently write very short email replies?

Why do many academics write short replies to emails? For example, I write Professor MK some polite email with salutation, etc., just polite and decent email. MK then responds like this: OK, MK ...
20
votes
4answers
9k views

Am I allowed to share a final copy of my published paper privately?

Suppose I published a paper in a journal with no open-access policy, but with the usual constraints regarding copyright. A researcher that I do not know in person has asked me for a copy of a this ...
37
votes
6answers
15k views

Is it rude to use tracking softwares for the emails that you send to potential advisors?

A considerable portion of emails that I send to professors abroad to see if they have any position available remains unanswered. Not receiving a response, I can not imagine if they didn't attract to ...
-4
votes
1answer
254 views

Should I email the program director of a department after being referred to them by another professor/potential advisor?

A couple of weeks ago, I emailed a professor (at a different university) about becoming my graduate advisor. While they didn't explicitly agree to do so (the program isn't accepting new students until ...
21
votes
9answers
29k views

Is it appropriate to say “hi” to a professor in email?

There is a professor with whom I've taken two courses so far, and who has also agreed to write me a reference letter for graduate school when I complete my undergraduate program. I usually write to ...
15
votes
1answer
366 views

How should I stay in professional contact with former supervisors and/or colleagues?

I want to ask if anyone still keeps in touch with former supervisors and/or colleagues from previous universities and how to do it in a professional way. I want to keep in touch with them for not ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How to work with an overly positive advisor?

I'm in my second year of my PhD and my advisor is very, very positive. She never gives me negative feedback, even when I objectively have made a mistake. For instance, two months ago, I noticed that ...
93
votes
15answers
42k views

Should I report a PhD student’s incompetence to their supervisor?

I had a short exchange of mails with a PhD student who wished to ask some questions about a paper of mine, which was troublesome in many respects: The student had a blatant lack of basic knowledge ...
58
votes
11answers
10k views

What can professors do to encourage properly written email messages from students?

(Motivated by https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/55082/hey-i-was-wondering-of-your-students-write-like-this) The writing style probably [stems] from the electronic age of text messaging. In ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How to pick the brain of a professor with whom you have no connection

I want to learn more about a specific part of a narrow, fledgling field. I want to have a 30 minute conversation with a the burgeoning experts in this area of study -- they are all researchers at ...
55
votes
7answers
10k views

My student told me his mother has cancer, what do I do?

Today I saw that one of my students in the class was looking very sad. He sat down at the end of class and he looked like he was in a bad mood. After all the students left the classroom I called him ...
42
votes
9answers
12k views

How should I ask a potential advisor why they haven't published in the last 3 years?

I'm using a throwaway account for privacy. I know professors are human beings and "I can just ask", but, as this is the start of the relationship, I don't want to seem rude - or to seem that I am ...
37
votes
4answers
7k views

Should I email old supervisor about my progress?

I might collaborate with an old supervisor in the future and would like to keep in touch. Is it a good idea to send an email to him about the progress I've made in my career? Also, what's the best ...
35
votes
7answers
11k views

A lecturer is hard to understand, what to do?

I have a lecturer at university that I find very hard to understand. My lectures are taught in English, but my lecturer is of East Asian origin, and English is not his first language. I find the ...
33
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it possible for people with a stutter to have a career in academia?

I understand that it is difficult for people with stuttering to verbally communicate and explain their ideas/research or to give lectures. Does that means there is no chance for them to work in ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Too many advisors

I hope that you can give me a good advice on my situation. I'm a PhD student with 3 advisors: one main advisor and 2 co-supervisors. I'm very happy with them all and we are working on a paper ...
12
votes
1answer
447 views

What leads to contentious tenure cases and can they be avoided?

After hearing about an incredibly contentious tenure case at my alma mater and several other contentious ones, I'm curious to hear how such issues come to be. Some issues that seem to be at play: ...
18
votes
4answers
14k views

Should a student use the email account provided by the university to communicate with professors?

I am an undergraduate and I do not know much about the rules of writing an email. The email system used by our university is not convenient at all: it responds slowly, often crashes, and its common to ...
9
votes
6answers
880 views

Having trouble responding to professors' emails due to anxiety,

I have crippling anxiety around "authority figures", and I'm irrationally deathly afraid to the point where I will cry in a room when alone with them, likely due to my upbringing, namely, always being ...
6
votes
1answer
378 views

Asking professor about certainty of a new opportunity

Recently I had an interview for a PhD position in Germany. After couple of days, I received a congrats email stating that I'm ranked 3rd candidate. Originally there was only single opening in the ...
1
vote
1answer
407 views

How should I phrase a question about an *ordinary academic matter* to a Professor?

Question: Suppose you need to communicate with an academic about some ordinary academic matter that is not especially important. Perhaps this is a standard administrative or pedagogical matter that ...
1
vote
1answer
878 views

How should I inform my advisor about struggles with Aspergers syndrome? [duplicate]

Although similar questions have been asked before, I hope this is not a duplicate as I'm not asking about whether I should inform my advisor (that's already decided), but how and when to do it. My ...