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Questions tagged [phd]

Questions about the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, including requirements such as dissertations and university programs leading to a Ph.D.

315
votes
12answers
46k 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 ...
233
votes
20answers
22k views

How to avoid procrastination during the research phase of my PhD?

I just finished all of my coursework for my PhD program, and am entering the research phase of my degree with a topic already in mind. I've already started the research, but I'm already finding that ...
154
votes
8answers
29k views

Grant fraud, should I bust my PhD advisor?

For obvious reasons I will try to maintain some anonymity here. So I defended my thesis. Which was funded through a government grant. In order to obtain this type of grant, a professor needs to ...
140
votes
9answers
24k views

Will ISIS attacks hurt my PhD application as a Muslim?

I'm a dedicated person, very passionate about physics and pursuing my PhD at a good school is crucial to my life. I've been preparing my application documents for a while now. GPA is almost 4 and ...
130
votes
14answers
27k views

How to build healthy working relationships with my male colleagues as a young-ish, attractive-ish woman?

I'm a PhD candidate from Asia currently visiting a prestigious university in Europe. Recently I've noticed quite some "strange" behaviours of male "colleagues" around me (by "colleagues", I don't mean ...
129
votes
13answers
12k views

Why is my mood dictated so much by how well my research is going?

I'm a senior PhD student at an American university. I have found over the course of my degree that my mood has largely been influenced by how well my research is going. If I make a small break-through ...
128
votes
15answers
20k 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 ...
128
votes
12answers
32k views

Can leaked nude pictures damage one's academic career?

I have an ex who has posted nude photos of me online in the past, linked to my online social media, and posted my full name and where I live. I am concerned he may do so again once he finds out I'm ...
127
votes
10answers
35k views

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

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 ...
118
votes
10answers
21k views

Should I have doubts if the organizers of a workshop ask me to sign a behavior agreement upfront?

Recently, I applied to attend a workshop of 14 days. I came to know about this workshop from colleague of mine. After a few days, I received an email saying I got accepted, along with that, some ...
116
votes
3answers
51k views

How does the admissions process work for Ph.D. programs in the US, particularly for weak or borderline students?

When applying to a PhD program in the US, how does the admissions process work? If an applicant is weak in a particular area, is it possible to offset that by being strong in a different area? Note ...
115
votes
9answers
23k views

How to deal with anxiety and depression after being kicked out of PhD program?

I was kicked out of a programming-oriented PhD program at the end of last summer because I failed one of two qualifying exams; the department is keeping me on assistantship for a semester while I ...
113
votes
19answers
29k views

Should I quit my PhD - workload, self-esteem and social life [closed]

I don't really want a degree. I just want to get married, and have weekends and evenings off, and chill out and play board games, and have nice conversations with friends, and have time to exercise ...
112
votes
11answers
24k 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 ...
110
votes
10answers
23k views

Do I not have the personality for a PhD?

I've been in the PhD program for a couple years now and I feel like people have a lot of expectations about the way I should think and feel about things. Not just my technical competence, but also my ...
105
votes
8answers
16k views

How to stop feeling guilty about unfinished work?

My biggest challenge as a PhD student is best summarized by the following from PHD Comics: "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com A consequence of working in research is that the ...
103
votes
10answers
17k views

Why do universities fund Ph.D. students in the sciences?

I was recently accepted into an applied math Ph.D. here in the U.S., and being the 1st in my family to graduate from university, I had a hard time explaining to them why my university will be spending ...
100
votes
28answers
32k views

How to silence the voice that tells you you're being financially irresponsible by spending 4 to 6 years doing a PhD?

I'm very conflicted regarding applying to (American) PhD programs vs. not doing so and finding a job in industry to have more money. The thought of doing a PhD makes me feel financially irresponsible;...
95
votes
13answers
34k views

Why so many people do a PhD even when chances of getting academic jobs on its completion are slim?

This is in reference to my question: How to do a PhD to equip myself for a job as assistant professor. I was told in the answer of the above linked question that chances of landing a job as an ...
92
votes
9answers
29k views

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

I really love research. I started a research project in graduate school for my M.A. in English. My research topic is a very viable and interesting topic for a dissertation. I'll be 60 on my next ...
92
votes
2answers
13k views

What is a “sandwich thesis”?

On the Internet, I have found that some people have graduated with a PhD by means of a “sandwich thesis”. Could anyone explain what it is?
91
votes
9answers
19k 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 ...
90
votes
18answers
78k views

Is doing two PhDs a good path?

I am studying a combined bachelor of engineering (electrical) and bachelor of mathematics; I just started this year and will graduate in 2018. The reason why I am doing double degrees and not a single ...
89
votes
9answers
14k views

PhD student, issued contract at year 3 which will sign over intellectual property. Is it legal?

I'm EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, the biggest UK funding source in the sciences and engineering) funded. Several months into my PhD an industrial sponsor came along. In ...
88
votes
8answers
30k views

Is it true that PhD students need to work 10-12 hours a day every day to be productive?

I hear a lot of people brag or complain about how many hours they have to work for their PhD. Is this the norm? And if so is this really a wise choice to make? Do students really 'work' during this ...
87
votes
5answers
8k views

Should I explain to the graduate admission committee why I am older than most prospective PhD students?

Firstly, I know that there are plenty of questions here like this one but hopefully this is not a duplicate. I was born and grown up in Iran and belong to a religious minority (Bahai faith). As you ...
85
votes
6answers
5k views

How to become well-known in the research community while being a PhD student

This question is mainly about building useful contacts during the course of the doctorate. How does one keep the relevant community in other universities informed about his/her research work? One way ...
84
votes
6answers
10k views

Should I report an accepted PhD thesis in which the literature review is copied verbatim from sources?

While writing the literature review for my doctoral dissertation, I picked up a few recent dissertations on similar topics from the library to get some pointers on references and style. As I was ...
81
votes
15answers
34k views

What are the potential pitfalls of having a PhD?

This question follow's JeffE's comment here: In most industries, a PhD has negative value. I am curious about what potential negatives there may be with having a PhD, particularly in industries. ...
80
votes
7answers
32k views

Use of first person in a PhD Thesis

Is there a non written rule to which person to use in the PhD thesis, 5 years of using "We" in the papers have brought me to the innate necessity to do it every time I describe something. Recently, ...
79
votes
15answers
188k views

Is it possible to work full time and complete a PhD?

Is it achievable to perform a doctorate while working in a private company (not in college) full time (8 hours per day, 5 days per week)? Or is it too much work or stress?
79
votes
9answers
15k views

Is it appropriate (as a PhD student) to email other researchers asking about some details in their papers?

It has happened on several occasion now, that I read a paper, understand 95% of it, but there are some niggling details which I simply don't get. I ask around, I ask my advisor, and nobody is able to ...
78
votes
11answers
22k views

I am a PhD student and hate it here. How can I warn prospective students during admit weekend without ruining my reputation?

On the one hand, I want to warn students not to come to my program. On the other hand, I don't want to be "that one," and I also don't want to tarnish the reputation of the specific people I worked ...
75
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
74
votes
11answers
17k views

Should I answer this question about diversity?

There is an optional prompt on my PhD application: censoredSchoolName University regards the diversity of its graduate student body as an important factor in serving the educational mission of ...
74
votes
5answers
32k views

Can I legally omit the fact I hold a Ph.D. degree?

I am about to complete a Ph.D. in Hong Kong and would like to study in the United States. I hold a first class B.Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering. I have a CGPA of 3.67 out of 4 in my current PhD ...
74
votes
7answers
19k views

PhD student failing

I have a phd student that is very smart. They had a small baby a few months before starting the PhD in a foreign country and then moved to do the PhD with their family in the UK. It has been 7 months ...
74
votes
11answers
289k views

PhD candidate vs PhD student

I see researchers working on their PhD calling themselves PhD Candidates, other call themselves PhD students. What's the difference between a PhD Candidate and a PhD Student? According to two ...
70
votes
13answers
18k 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 ...
70
votes
10answers
20k views

How to recruit PhD students when industry pays so much more?

I'll be starting as a tenure-track professor in a few months where I'll be doing research on software developer tools. I have seen that it is extremely difficult to recruit good PhD students in this ...
69
votes
11answers
23k views

Can one or two emoticons be used in a PhD Thesis?

I have a very dumb :-) question: Are emoticons (if rarely placed - one or two times) in a PhD thesis considered unorthodox? I have an introduction where I give an apt example and appended some small ...
69
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
69
votes
8answers
13k views

Is it considered normal to publish job offers inviting candidates to apply based on their gender and/or race in academia?

I was browsing PhD position offers in Europe on different websites and I was quite surprised to find that several offers contained sentences such as University of X value equality and diversity. We ...
69
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
68
votes
12answers
15k views

My advisor's new student copied parts of my PhD thesis; advisor doesn't care. What to do?

I wrote my PhD thesis a few years back. After I finished, my supervisor found another researcher and continued research with the apparatus I built, but along a different line of study. I met this ...
68
votes
9answers
24k 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 ...
67
votes
17answers
21k 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 ...
67
votes
5answers
49k views

What does it mean if a professor asks you to draft his reference letter for you?

This question is, honestly speaking, probably somewhat opinion-based, but I still want to give a shot. A professor acceded to my invitation of writing a reference letter for me. Nevertheless, unlike ...
66
votes
13answers
25k views

Can I slack off and get a PhD?

I am not a genius but I am a good test taker and a very practical person. I went through undergraduate school without studying much (skipping classes, doing homework, reading the books and doing some ...
66
votes
13answers
17k views

Suspicion that fellow PhD student lets someone else do his job

I have the definite suspicion, that a fellow PhD student in my department hired someone else on a freelance cloud working platform to do his work. I saw him/her using the website of this platform ...