Questions tagged [etiquette]

The customary code of polite behavior amongst the academic world.

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14 votes
8 answers
7k views

When do I switch from "Dear Dr. X" to "Dear Firstname" when exchanging emails with a professor that I never seen before?

I've heard that after the first email, I need to switch from Dear Dr. X to Dear Firstname. I've also heard that "Dear Firstname" is only for the professor that I actually met in person. The &...
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  • 3,634
0 votes
1 answer
82 views

Backing out after expressing initial interest in a reading course

I am a first year math PhD student in the US. I was initially interested in the work of a professor and I contacted him to ask for the possibility of a reading course. We didn't make any concrete ...
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3 votes
1 answer
184 views

Email netiquette for telling thesis committee member I've replaced

I'm a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the social sciences. I've decided to replace one person in my doctoral thesis committee because she is not giving me any feedback or responding to my emails in ...
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17 votes
5 answers
8k views

How rude is it for a grad student to be late to a professor's valedictory lecture?

I'm a gradate student at a UK university. Today, I faced a difficult situation and I'm not sure if my decision was right, so I'd like to hear your opinions (I'm not a native English speaker so I ...
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11 votes
5 answers
7k views

How can I go back to a PhD program I left for another?

TL;DR: First, all of this is happening in the US. I was a PhD student in X, in good standing, but had a shift of interest towards field Y, so I switched programs and universities to study Y. A year is ...
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22 votes
3 answers
6k views

Number of registrants for a virtual talk I organized turned out to be small, should I notify the speaker beforehand?

I'm a graduate student and I organised a series of online lectures spread over many days. The total number of registrants was 50 but those who actually came were around 10 to 11. Now, today one of the ...
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23 votes
5 answers
9k views

Is it petty to expect people to use your title in a professional setting?

As a general rule, I'm a laid back person and don't take life too seriously. So while I have a PhD, let's say, I don't wave around. (So much so that my PhD scroll hasn't been framed yet). I work ...
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  • 491
1 vote
4 answers
600 views

Is it “too much” if I ask to meet with my PI and ask her to sign my copy of her dissertation?

I got into an internship with my PI this summer. She accepted me. 😭😭😭 I’m so thrilled, I’m loving it, but today was the first day she actually came in, as she is usually at her other lab in NY. I ...
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15 votes
6 answers
6k views

How do I tell a professor I don't find their research topic interesting?

This hasn't directly happened to me, but it's come close. Basically I meet a professor for other reasons (I attended a talk by them, I requested a recommendation from them, during a social visit to ...
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14 votes
6 answers
8k views

Is it ethical to privately thank authors when you discover they’ve cited your work?

Is it ethical to privately thank authors when you discover they’ve cited your work? Can it be looked upon like you’re trying to gain future favour? Or like the citation itself was for any reason other ...
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39 votes
8 answers
11k views

I just got invited to referee an article! Is it OK to share this achievement on social media?

I am very proud of this achievement and I am thinking about sharing the email to social media. Is it okay to post it as long as I remove confidential information, e.g. manuscript id, title, author? ...
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  • 493
-2 votes
2 answers
945 views

A jerk is becoming a professor, should I alert their faculty?

During the early stage of my research career many years ago, as a graduate student, I met this young and bright but yet very manipulative PhD student. Let's call the person A. At the beginning A was ...
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19 votes
5 answers
6k views

Am I making a mistake by going to a "mid-tier" program?

I work in industry. I applied to a good mid-tier biochemistry PhD program and was accepted. College buddies, who are now grad students at prestigious programs are advising me to break my word/signed ...
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12 votes
10 answers
5k views

How to answer rhetorical questions

Often in lectures, my professors will ask rhetorical questions. Sometimes, their body language makes it look like they're waiting for a response, and they'll even look intensely at a specific student ...
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  • 343
3 votes
3 answers
409 views

How do I avoid answering too many questions?

Often in class, professors will ask questions to the class. Usually, I'll at least think I know the answer to the question, so naturally I want to answer it. The problem is that my hand shouldn't ...
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  • 343
3 votes
3 answers
481 views

Etiquette: how to handle unwelcome invite to collaborate?

About a month ago I had a phone call with a research funder (RF) and an academic in my field (A), initiated by RF. I've been working publicly on research question X for some time, A has not. A is from ...
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  • 221
41 votes
7 answers
23k views

I insulted a professor by using an anti-Semitic slur in a department seminar. How bad is this?

I am in a research group in a French university in physics (I am a 1st year PhD student) and in a seminar in my university I used a slur against an Israeli professor, Professor X. I am from an Arab ...
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8 votes
5 answers
2k views

How should I write a letter to ask the author of a research paper some questions?

Can I write: Hi Prof. xxx, I am xxx, PhD student from xx University. Recently I am studying your paper titled “xxx” in xxx. Could you please help me understand why xxx? I assume that there may be two ...
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42 votes
5 answers
9k views

Should I tell the editor I'm declining a review invitation because the authors are hostile about feedback?

I have been invited to review a paper for a good journal. The paper is certainly on my expertise areas. However, I have reviewed papers for the same authors in the past (and accepted some/most of them)...
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10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Etiquette for reimbursement requests to advisor [closed]

My PhD advisor recently agreed to fund my research visit for a conference. What is the etiquette for submitting expense bills for reimbursement? Should I submit bills for all the ubers taken, meals ...
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15 votes
10 answers
7k views

Is it impolite to send the professor a pre-written letter of recommendation for approval?

I know the professors are a busy tribe. I would like to save them some time by writing a letter of recommendation myself and sending them for approval. Would that be seen as impolite as I am ...
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  • 189
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Would it be advisable to ask to be a research intern for prospective PhD advisors

I do math, and currently do not have an REU opportunity for the coming summer. Part of this is due to me being a US citizen studying in the UK (meaning many opportunities start before my classes end), ...
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25 votes
6 answers
6k views

How can I have productive meeting with a very prominent researcher?

Summary: I am a shy/introverted PhD student and I have a collaborator at another university. They are setting up a meeting for me with an important researcher in the field. What should I even say in a ...
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  • 1,279
-7 votes
3 answers
773 views

How to handle further meetings in academic career with a such a master's thesis "advisor"?

I completed my masters in mathematics from Asia in August 2021 and joined PhD in Germany in Nov 2021. I had to do a masters project/thesis in my 4th semester (April-August) and for that I asked a prof....
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

What to do about this incident as a PhD student? [closed]

I am from a marginalized community in my country whose religion X is persecuted in my home country (which is in Asia). Now, I am in my first year of PhD study in math in a top university in Germany ...
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9 votes
3 answers
488 views

Coauthor wrote a small part of the paper then ghosted us

Me and my coauthor are writing a (math) paper with a third person who initially has been very active, mainly in the form of conversations and planning, and then after writing some parts, disappearead ...
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  • 192
9 votes
5 answers
7k views

What to say at a wake for a professor's wife? [closed]

The professor taught me a course many years ago, while the wife died in a road accident that I learned about in the news. What should I say at the wake? Can I ask about the professor's research and ...
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  • 103k
5 votes
2 answers
317 views

Appropriate to call editor of journal where my name was removed as author?

Unfortunately, I recently discovered that my name was removed from a published piece which I contributed substantially to (it is available online). I have already asked my co-authors, and all of them ...
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2 votes
2 answers
102 views

Asking about supervisors/collaborators you haven't met

Is it normal/acceptable to ask researchers/supervisors you're familiar with (in this case, a professor who supervised me some number of years ago) about other researchers who they've likely to have ...
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  • 161
36 votes
5 answers
7k views

As session chair, how to politely end someone's presentation/conversation if over time?

Scenario 1: Depending on the length of the talk, I'd show the speaker a 10min/5min "warning" sign that their time is about to come to an end. Arguably, 1-2min "overtime" seems ...
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3 votes
1 answer
451 views

Do I need to apologize for late reply to Professor's mail?

For some reasosns, I needed to email our professor in the name of the whole class as class representative. When I got the reply, I had to check if everyone in the class was OK with it. This has some ...
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0 votes
4 answers
469 views

How to follow up with a prospective supervisor in such condition?

This question is an extension of my previous question:How many days should I wait for e-mail of Prospective Supervisor in this condition I e-mailed a prof in France on Jan 10 asking if he is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
433 views

How should I not get in trouble due to my political views in academia as a student in my time left in my home country given these political conditions

This question has been in my mind for about an year. Finally, I am asking it here. I don't know I would be getting knowledge about it anywhere else. I think it is on topic here. Kindly help. I live in ...
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47 votes
8 answers
12k views

I might be rediscovering someone else's result. What should I do?

I am writing a paper presenting a mathematical theorem I recently proved. However, while reading one of the papers that I am citing, I found out that the same result (or something very similar) might ...
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  • 891
34 votes
10 answers
10k views

Is it appropriate for professors to use the f*** word during lectures?

This has happened a few times. The university is an average, good university in UK. One professor said lately "I'm so sick of this f****** pandemic." Another time another lecturer said "...
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  • 1,383
1 vote
1 answer
351 views

Is it acceptable / legal for students to photograph their professors during class? [closed]

Recently, I noticed a student taking a photo of me from her seat during class. I asked her while the class was working on groups if she indeed did do this and she confirmed, but downplayed her ...
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6 votes
6 answers
500 views

How to express my unwillingness to contribute to military projects

I recently enrolled in a Master's program in electrical engineering at a public research university in the midwestern United States. I am currently focusing on power distribution and transmission, as ...
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0 votes
1 answer
103 views

Reaching out to Prospective Advisor

I am admitted to a UK university for my PhD and I am supposed to submit a proposal for the PhD topic. I reached out to a professor and he responded saying that he is interested in discussing it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Asking a collaborator to work on a second problem he is already working on

I am a PhD student in Mathematics and I'm working in collaboration with a more experienced researcher for some time. We are working in a nice topic in which some good results are being attained. On ...
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6 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is it unprofessional that my TA texted me on a Saturday night?

I had an academic issue during the week and I reached out about via text (he is okay with this method of communication. In fact, he gave me his number without me asking for it). I reached out to him ...
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0 votes
2 answers
201 views

Helping PhD student when supervisor does not offer help

A friend (1st year PhD student) is facing some technical issues with writing a code (Computer science) that she finds difficult. The supervisor does not want her to get any help from lab members. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
120 views

How many days should I wait for e-mail of Prospective Supervisor in this condition

I am a citizen of an Asian country who e-mailed a prof in France 4 weeks ago that I am interested in discussing PhD research opportunity in Pure mathematics. He replied 2 weeks ago asking me to send ...
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2 votes
2 answers
240 views

How do I reply to a potential advisor without being too enthusiastic?

I heard back from a potential PhD advisor from University ABC saying that I am accepted into their program and he also stuck his neck out for me for getting a fellowship as well. I am still waiting ...
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0 votes
0 answers
291 views

Dating my TA after the fall semester [duplicate]

Long story short, my TA and I have expressed romantic feelings for each other; I’m a man while she’s a woman, if that matters. We’ve not acted on our feelings yet, but now that grades are submitted ...
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1 vote
2 answers
255 views

Informing my potential PhD supervisor about an offer from another PhD program

Last year, I reached out to several potential PhD advisers as I prepare for my PhD applications. One of the potential supervisors (let's call him supervisor A) with ties to the industry responded and ...
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  • 142
35 votes
11 answers
10k views

Replying to students' emails or ignoring irrelevant questions

I started teaching this year and what surprises me is how often students will just send you emails asking about stuff that I feel they should figure out by themselves. For instance, they will email me ...
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  • 548
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do I politely tell a professor that I prefer not to be interviewed late at night?

I have applied to a graduate program in the US, and a Professor emailed me that he wants to meet on Zoom to talk about my application. He gave me some dates when he will be available for a Zoom ...
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0 votes
3 answers
186 views

Emailing to have a discussion

I am an undergraduate student in physics who has been self-studying certain subjects in humanities/social sciences due to the pandemic. I'd like to gain more perspective on the subjects, but have been ...
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1 vote
1 answer
204 views

Cultural differences and etiquettes to be kept in mind for a PhD interview

I am a student who has completed his master's and I took an year break to prepare for PhD and living in a poor Asian country. I applied to PhD programs in Germany and France this year in Pure ...
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1 vote
6 answers
1k views

How should a reminder e-mail asking for a PhD position be written so that it is not considered rude?

I live in an Asian country and I wrote to three professors in France asking to discuss PhD research opportunities in Math. I introduced myself and told them my background in the particular branch of ...
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