Questions tagged [early-career]

On issues affecting academics or researchers specifically in the early stages of their careers.

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4 votes
1 answer
259 views

I'm having trouble coming up with research problems I can solve. What should I do?

I'm in pure math and I'm trying to come up with interesting research projects to work on. How can I find interesting problems? Also, I'm not even a grad student or postdoc or assistant professor. I ...
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14 votes
8 answers
6k views

Is it normal for academics to pay conference fee themselves?

I am invited to present in a session at a conference, and the conference requires presenters to pay the registration fee themselves. I usually will have some research grant/ travel fund to cover the ...
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12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it possible to get a tenure-track assistant professor job at a research university if you don't work on a trendy topic?

I'm worried that I am not working on things that bigshot academics care about and that this is hindering my ability to get a good job. Is there any point in trying to become an assistant professor if ...
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1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Would you recommend publishing in interdisciplinary academic journals?

I am a post-doctoral researcher in social sciences and work on several topics that may not only be interested to the discipline itself but also to a wider academic audience, I suppose (hopefully). ...
  • 917
6 votes
1 answer
297 views

Doing a postdoc with your advisor's collaborators

I will be applying for postdocs soon (in the US and Europe). I think I have a profile that is competitive, and I want to do a postdoc at a top place where my advisor did his postdoc (and continues to ...
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

Role of university ranking in becoming a professor in Germany [closed]

There are different universities in Germany, like Hoschule, University, and the University of Excellence. While doing a PostDoc, apart from having a good publication. What is the importance of ...
5 votes
1 answer
933 views

Is it appropriate to apply for an assistant professor job in the same department where I just started my postdoc?

I started my second postdoc at a European university this month and found that my department has a job posting for hiring an assistant professor with a tenure track. It matches my profile and I really ...
  • 153
3 votes
2 answers
227 views

How can I tell if other people aren't working on my project/problem?

I was reading some papers and I came up with some ideas that I think are interesting. But I am worried that someone else is working on it. It would be a waste of time if I try to prove something and ...
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1 vote
4 answers
539 views

Why is prestige and rank so important in academia?

Getting your PhD at a prestigious university, doing a postdoc at a prestigious university, publishing in fancy prestigious journals, etc.?
  • 1,782
1 vote
2 answers
379 views

How do I find small, teaching-focused universities in the European Union?

I'm a European doctoral candidate about to defend her PhD dissertation. I'd love to eventually get a job at a small teaching university with a relatively larger focus on education rather than research;...
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8 votes
5 answers
4k views

Several mistakes in published work: Advice

I am a beginning scholar. I recently published my first article in my field in a very good journal. The peer review went incredibly smoothly with basically no need for revisions (one reviewer gave a ...
  • 81
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

(How) Can I switch from field X to field Y after getting my PhD?

I am an early-career academic: I am finishing / finished with grad school, but have not yet found a permanent position. My work so far has been in field X, but I would like to move forward in field Y. ...
4 votes
1 answer
570 views

How can I find a mentor (not a supervisor)?

I am a first-year PhD student. My lab is very small and quite disconnected in terms of research from other groups in my department (we're interdisciplinary, the other groups are not) There are some ...
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1 vote
2 answers
126 views

Can I continue studying in Germany/sweden after a few semesters elsewhere?

I am a second year architecture student at the University of Aleppo. I will start the third year soon. I decided to continue studying abroad, so my question is: can I continue my studies in Germany or ...
1 vote
1 answer
190 views

How to "quit" DFG Eigene Stelle and transfer the funding to another person?

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), which funds most basic research in Germany, has a grant program that funds a temporary position ("Eigene Stelle") for novice principal ...
6 votes
1 answer
144 views

What tasks can undergraduates research assistants do effectively in the social sciences?

I'm a new faculty member and I have a number of undergraduate research assistants. I'm having trouble using up all the hours that they are assigned to work with me. Most weeks I run out of tasks to ...
0 votes
2 answers
772 views

I want to keep doing the sort of work I've been doing as a PhD student, rather than becoming a supervisor or bureaucrat. Can I remain a PhD student? [duplicate]

Note: I am aware of this other post that covers why doing many PhDs in different subjects is not a good path. My question is different: can I do multiple PhDs in the same subject, or very similar ...
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4 votes
3 answers
283 views

How to prepare for the questions you get at a research interview

I recently applied for several permanent research positions. The interview were all similar: a talk on your past, present and planned research and some time for questions. I prepared well for the talk ...
5 votes
3 answers
184 views

Providing evidence of being the major contributor of a successful grant proposal helps your opportunities to get a job in the academic field?

I recently worked on a grant proposal for a project. As it sometimes happens to post-doc researchers, to move forwards in their career they have to ask a senior researcher to act as the principal ...
-2 votes
1 answer
241 views

From these two options, which one is better toward becoming a Professor in a high-ranking university? [duplicate]

Let's say you've just finished your PhD.(EECS), your ultimate goal is to become a Professor from any high-ranking University (world top 100). You are presented with two main options. Option 1: ...
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0 votes
0 answers
173 views

Staying longer as a postdoc vs doing another postdoc elsewhere

I am currently on the third year of a postdoctoral fellowship that is due to finish in ~10 months. I'm looking into faculty positions, but I take into account that I might not succeed in getting one ...
0 votes
5 answers
581 views

How do I learn the "hidden curriculum" for academic career success? [closed]

I have the impression that there are a lot of hidden secrets, unstated norms and rules that make or break potential researchers in academia. How do I acquire this secret knowledge? Additional context: ...
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1 vote
0 answers
133 views

What should I choose between the Georgia Tech MSCS and CMU MCDS programs? [closed]

I am admitted to both the Georgia Tech MSCS (Specialization in Machine Learning), and the CMU MCDS programs. Georgia Tech costs me around 30k USD while CMU costs me 120k USD. Both are 1.5 year long. ...
0 votes
1 answer
234 views

How can someone build their early-stage career without help from their advisor?

A PhD student I know is having trouble with their academic advisor. Their advisor is very hands-off (to the level of being neglectful) and has a very sink-or-swim mentoring style. To be clear, the ...
-3 votes
1 answer
137 views

How do I transition out of the stuff I worked on in my PhD thesis? [closed]

One piece of advice I've gotten is to try to work in a different area from the thesis. "Don't keep squeezing and milking out one paper." I started reading papers in a different field but I ...
  • 1,782
0 votes
3 answers
198 views

Would it be a good idea to show my research statement to multiple people?

I showed my research statement for applying to postdocs to my advisor, but that's it. Also the recommendation letter writers looked at it (they requested it, anyway) but have provided no feedback/...
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14 votes
5 answers
7k views

If someone doesn't get into a graduate program/postdoc, or a grant, etc, how are they supposed to know why?

So that they can do better next time. There's usually no transparency or explanation of why they were rejected.
  • 1,782
1 vote
1 answer
346 views

"Pausing" my PhD for 3 months to do an internship in industry, pros and cons?

I am a first year PhD student in an interdisciplinary STEM subfield, in a UK-style program (so 3 or 4 years long). I have been offered a 12-week internship in a biotech startup working in a similar ...
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1 vote
1 answer
266 views

Should I quit PhD in Germany to apply for Top Universities because of Personal Reasons? [closed]

I guess similar questions have been asked but I didn't find one which is close to mine. To my background: I have two bachelor degrees in two natural sciences from a well known university in Germany (...
1 vote
0 answers
222 views

A better method than essays to measure diversity, inclusion, and equity?

I have been invited to join a scholarship/grant committee for supporting university early career researchers (ECRs). One of the aims of the panel is to implement diversity, inclusion, and equity ...
0 votes
2 answers
484 views

When should I start applying for Tenure Track positions? [duplicate]

Ph.D. Candidate in Social Work. When should I start applying for Tenure Track positions, if I plan to complete my degree by December 2023? I'm Canadian. And yes, there are Social Work researchers in ...
1 vote
1 answer
300 views

Could taking a post-doctoral position actually hurt my future career?

I would like to briefly explain my situation: I am currently a doctoral student at a German university of applied sciences in a small but growing institute (with a relatively good working climate). I ...
  • 861
6 votes
1 answer
321 views

are there paid graduate school coaches/consultants (Europe)

I'm a master's student. I need to hire a coach/consultant who can advise on academic politics and procedures and knows European or Australian/New Zealand unis and available finances. My google skills ...
30 votes
6 answers
8k views

Guilt about quitting PhD as first student of the lab

I am a first year PhD student in a lab in Europe. I joined the lab 6 months ago and soon afterwards realized that the topic and institute are not what I had imagined it would be. It took me quite some ...
  • 309
18 votes
6 answers
4k views

Is doing a postdoc with someone you already worked with during your PhD a bad move?

I am currently looking for a postdoctoral position. The PhD I did was quite multidisciplinary, and among the fields within there is a field "A" that I would like to investigate further ...
user avatar
38 votes
13 answers
11k views

Is there a point in pursuing a PhD outside of top universities?

I graduated with engineering and physics degrees last year, and started a PhD program in theoretical physics. While the program is a good one, it is not top-15 in the US or top-50 in the world. This ...
  • 421
19 votes
2 answers
5k views

I submitted a paper over a year ago and have not heard back. What should I do?

I submitted a pure mathematics paper (my first paper!) to a journal in September 2020. It is now December 2021 and I have received zero reports. A few months ago I sent an enquiry. I got a response ...
  • 1,782
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Resignation from a postdoc without appropriate notice period (UK)

I am 3 months into a 15 months postdoc in the UK, so I am still into the initial 6-months probation period. My contract specifies I have to give 3 months notice before leaving (plus some further ...
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Get exposure on different topics before choosing one for a PhD

I started my PhD in computer architecture in 2017 and after one year I left it to start working for an information security company. I have been in the industry for 4 years. I now want to go back to ...
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0 votes
0 answers
122 views

First year postdoc at career crossroads - how do I communicate this with my PI?

I'm in a predicament on where and how to take my next career step, and how to communicate this to my PI. Important note - so far they've been really supportive of me and my career. TL;DR at bottom of ...
0 votes
1 answer
225 views

Should I abandon my PhD topic after a year?

After the first year and pretty much at the cusp of submitting my research proposal, I feel that my PhD topic and supervisor is far too technical. I had completed a masters that was closer to ...
0 votes
2 answers
265 views

Does the country where you do a postdoc matter (irrespectively of other aspects)? [closed]

I am looking for postdocs, and I have different postdoc offers. I am really hesitating between different possibilities. Some of those offers are interesting, in a dynamic group and they are in eastern ...
6 votes
6 answers
6k views

What's a reasonable length of unemployment after finishing my PhD?

I finished my PhD one month ago. I applied to post-docs and I received three firm offers. Those offers are interesting but are (i) not in the field I would ideally like working on, (ii) are not the ...
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

What are the tips for getting promoted to a Program Coordinator at a 2-year college?

I am a fresh graduate from my graduate program who just landed a casual instructor position at a 2-year college. In the 2-year college that I will be working for, instructors are usually hired as a ...
27 votes
0 answers
1k views

Does the new law "zur Stärkung der Berliner Wissenschaft" make postdocs in Berlin de facto permanent?

In the German city-state of Berlin, a new law titled Gesetz zur Stärkung der Berliner Wissenschaft (law to strengthen Berlin science) was passed. One of the changes has been described as tenure track ...
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10 votes
1 answer
207 views

Why do I need to declare parallel grant application(s)?

Some funders (e.g. the ÖAW and the FWF in Austria) require the grant/fellowship applicant to declare if they have submitted any other grant application(s) at the same time. (This is asked during ...
  • 234
12 votes
2 answers
398 views

How to do research without being a star researcher?

After my PhD and postdoc in computer science I got a permanent position in a company's research lab. This is my first time to work without a supervisor nor colleagues (other members have there own, ...
  • 121
2 votes
2 answers
225 views

How bad is it: doing the first PostDoc and PhD at the same place? [closed]

In academic recruiting it is often asked that one has lots of experience which includes being at different institutions preferably in different countries. I would like to who: What are the potential ...
  • 1,634
1 vote
1 answer
243 views

DAAD funding for stay abroad for PhD students and postdocs: is it added to the regular TV-L salary?

There are several funding options from the German DAAD for PhD students and Postdoc working in German universities to visit other countries: Research grants for doctoral candidates Research grants ...
8 votes
1 answer
366 views

How to pursue an academic career in Italy

I am an early career scientist that want to pursue an academic career in Italy. I am familiar with the usual track of an academic in Italy: Phd, "assegno di ricerca", "RTDA", "...

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