Questions tagged [etiquette]

The customary code of polite behavior amongst the academic world.

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34
votes
11answers
9k 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 ...
17
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5answers
3k views

Should I notify students that I've interacted with after getting sick, by email?

I saw a bunch of students today during my office hours (~15-20 out of a class of 96). Then around noon I went downhill quick, and now I'm sporting a fever over 100 F. I don't know necessarily what I ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
548 views

Appropriate way to discuss genetic conditions in a large lecture?

I want to cover the topic of achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, in a large introductory biology lecture. How can I discuss it in an appropriately sensitive way, one that respects people ...
61
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
210 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
138 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
462 views

Would it be arrogant for me to offer my professor material on the module they teach?

I am a first year CS undergraduate taking a module on differential equations. For part of this module I did a personal project on the motion of simple harmonic systems (damped and undamped) which I ...
36
votes
4answers
19k views

As a student with questions about a paper, can I email the author myself or should I ask someone else to contact him?

I am reading a paper and have questions about the details of the procedure described. I have read other papers by the same team but they don't explain too much about that procedure anyway. I think it ...
4
votes
2answers
413 views

Is it acceptable to directly email the Editor-in-Chief if the editorial staff are not responding?

I have submitted a paper to a journal that says the time to first decision is generally X months, and that there are strict deadlines for reviewers to complete their review. After X months were up, I ...
3
votes
6answers
607 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
166 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
161 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 ...
47
votes
12answers
12k views

How should you respond when a professor answers your question with "It's obvious!"?

I had a math question and I went to my professor's (now a professor at Harvard) office hours (this was a really long time ago). I asked him and he said, "It's obvious!" I sort of said, "...
35
votes
12answers
30k views

How to deal with students who submit their homework as an attachment to a completely blank e-mail?

I am responsible for the exercises for a graduate course (which happens to contain only international students). The students submit their solutions via email and all of them send a normal email: ...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

Mentioning LGBTQ Identity in Personal Statement for PhD Applications

I'm currently applying to grad school to do a PhD in physics in the United States. I would really like to mention in the personal history statement/diversity statement essays: 1) the work I did in my ...
41
votes
4answers
11k views

How to respond when insulted by a grad student in a different department?

I'm a lecturer at a small university. In a class I taught last year, one grad student disagreed with his grade and complained as high up in the university as possible. The result was the grade stayed ...
42
votes
8answers
24k views

How to deal with students leaving the class for 10 min during the lecture?

In the freshman classes I teach (the class is like 30-35 students), some students would step out the class for 10-15 minutes and come back. The class time is 1 hour and 15 min. This is always ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Can a professor shout at a student? [closed]

Is there any possible penalty (from the educational institution) for the professor for disrespecting a student? What can and cannot do a professor in terms of respect to a student?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How to inform a student about my appreciation of his/her original solutions

In the final exam of a course, a student has solved some problems in a really ingenious way. He gets perfect score anyway. What is the appropriate way to inform him about my appreciation of his ...
3
votes
3answers
379 views

Student-Professor Etiquette: I think I'm a bad listener [closed]

Long story sort, I am a young undergraduate student (exact sciences) working on a project with one of my professors. I proposed the idea I had together with my references on him and fortunately he ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is it an offence to ask a professor to share a soft copy of his recent book with me for my semester?

My professor (say Mr. X), a theoretical physicist, is in charge of a course on Math Physics in the undergrads. He had co-authored a book on Statistical Mechanics but he never mentioned anything about ...
25
votes
13answers
7k views

How to handle students not returning borrowed equipment?

I frequently bring my own equipment to the classroom for student use. Some students forget my announcements to bring certain items. Some items are infrequently used or kept ready on standby when time ...
12
votes
3answers
38k views

How do I speak with my professor about my mental health?

I'm an undergraduate in my junior year, and I've been having an especially bad month when it comes to my mental health and academic performance. Two weeks ago, I discovered that I had two midterms, ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Would it be a good idea to ask professor about academic standing relative to other students?

I'd like to know my academic standing relative to other students. This information would help me with: allocating my time and effort between classes deciding whether to take a follow up course ...
1
vote
3answers
48k views

How long should you wait for a professor who's late for class? [closed]

I've heard that you should wait 15 minutes for a professor who is late to a class, before leaving. Some of my classmates have said that the 15 minute rule is only for professors without PhD's, and ...
16
votes
2answers
994 views

Can I contact the secondary author if I can't reach the corresponding author?

I attempted to reach the corresponding author, for an article I had questions about, but her university e-mail was seemingly disabled because she left academia. Learning that she started to work at a ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

How to respond when Professor do not reply to your earlier mail?

Recently, I asked a professor to give me some references about a field that I can read about during my semester so that when it is time for a project, I can know the prerequisites of the subject. In ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the social meaning of "He was a student of..."? [closed]

I hear this phrase time and time again, mostly from very senior professors: "Do you know the new book by [person]." "Yes. He was a student of [famous guy]". Before anyone asks, ...
49
votes
9answers
8k views

How not to come off as boasting or arrogant, if you are one of the few active students in a class?

tl;dr: How not to come off as boasting, arrogant, attention seeking, etc. if you are one of the few students participating in class? Some background: I am currently attending a Master's level course ...
0
votes
4answers
574 views

How to deal with a PhD advisor who makes mean comments?

I’m one year into my PhD program, and I recently drafted my first review article. I’m a native English speaker, and was often applauded for my writing during high school and college. My advisor made ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Asking referees for help over a few months: one big request or many small ones?

So I'm planning to apply for a few different graduate programs, and the various applications will take place over the span of a few months. I have two referees who I plan to ask for all of these ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Is it rude to be messaging your supervisor if he is in hospital? [closed]

My advisor is currently in hospital waiting to have an operation. It is nothing serious but nevertheless he is away from work. I've noticed that some of my lab mates continue messaging him despite him ...
57
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I get informal with a professor if they didn't explicitly invite me to do so but the situation seems to suggest it's appropriate?

Some years ago I completed my B.Sc. in a university. I was very young and the default behaviour for all the students (especially the young ones) was to formally address the professors. PhD students ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

How to ask for a recommendation letter from your current professor without ruining your chances to extend your contract?

I am currently a postdoc in a research group and I would like to move to another group and leave the current one. I would like to ask my current PI for a recommendation letter since another PI is ...
4
votes
2answers
671 views

Do I need to explain the change of my application to my reference letter writer?

I'm an undergraduate student applying to graduate schools. A few weeks ago I sent my application plans to the professors who will write me the reference letter. However, recently I decided to cancel ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it appropriate to ask about the number of applicants to a position?

Is it generally acceptable to ask how many applicants there were to a position I applied for, and does it depend on the current stage of my application? For instance, immediately after applying, at an ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

How does someone who holds two doctoral degrees sign their name?

If just received second doctoral degree, how does one sign their name at the end of an email or other correspondence. Would it just stay Dr. So and So or be Dr. Dr. So and So?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it ok to share a paper accepted for publication with a single person?

I have a paper that was accepted for publication and we the authors have already filled out the copyright transfer. There was a disclaimer saying we're not allowed to share the paper publicy before 2 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

As a full-time paid RA, should I get co-authorship on a paper that I have written?

I am working as a full-time research assistant at a university. I recently wrote a paper almost entirely independently. The contribution of the professor I work under was limited to telling me the ...
14
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What's the best way to offer/publish a corrigendum as an independent party?

Context: I do volunteer work doing data entry for an online database of organisms name (not Wikispecies, though I have edited there too). When entering data from published catalogue catalogues, it is ...
4
votes
1answer
306 views

Our final exam has us work in pairs. I am struggling with personal issues and worried about being able to pull my weight. Should I ask to work alone?

I am an undergrad about to graduate this month. I've been dealing with post-traumatic stress and severe depression for almost two years now. This time of year is especially difficult for me due to ...
4
votes
2answers
350 views

Is it polite to ask to be the corresponding author in a paper that I contributed the most?

I wrote a paper and have done the majority of the work, including the idea generation, research, and the writing. I am coauthoring with my advisors and a few other researchers. In the paper the ...
4
votes
1answer
353 views

Wondering whether to tell the truth to another PhD program that I have resigned from the first one

As you may know, I have resigned from a PhD program after spending year although working hard and I have discussed that before here in the platform. Now, all the positions I had applied for was ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Suggesting edits in recommendation letter

I asked a professor months earlier for a recommendation letter for a summer school, he accepted but in turn, he asked me to draft my own recommendation letter, I did that since I was only applying for ...
27
votes
6answers
9k views

Should grad students accept yelling by supervisors? [closed]

In my opinion, yelling and disrespecting should not be the case between supervisor(s) and their grad students regardless of how well or poor the student is doing. Supervisors are usually holding the ...

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