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.

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338 votes
12 answers

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 ...
Wetlab Walter's user avatar
272 votes
20 answers

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 ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 11.4k
176 votes
11 answers

My research paper filed as a patent in China by my Chinese supervisor without me as inventor

I completed my PhD 3 years ago from a university in the UK. Today I was looking for some papers in google scholar. I found a patent in China. The patent was written in Chinese however, all diagrams/...
PRO88's user avatar
  • 989
167 votes
8 answers

Grant fraud, should I bust my PhD advisor?

tl;dr: Should I report this large grant fraud, and what consequences could it have for me? For obvious reasons, I will try to maintain some anonymity here. So I defended my thesis. Which was funded ...
ranting PhD student's user avatar
158 votes
3 answers

How are Ph.D. applications evaluated in the US, particularly for weak or borderline students? Am I likely to get into school X?

This is a special community wiki 'canonical' question that aggregates advice on a frequently-asked question. See this meta discussion. Please feel free to edit this question to improve it. When ...
140 votes
10 answers

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

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 ...
user avatar
140 votes
9 answers

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 ...
MMa's user avatar
  • 1,524
140 votes
13 answers

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 ...
Erik M's user avatar
  • 1,914
136 votes
17 answers

What's the point of PhD theses if nobody reads them?

At best, the PhD thesis is read by: The author The examiners The supervisor The author's parents The author's roommate / spouse / fellow students in research group Or less than 10 people in total. ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 121k
135 votes
15 answers

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 ...
user avatar
133 votes
14 answers

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 ...
Randomvisitor's user avatar
133 votes
11 answers

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 ...
P. Lombert's user avatar
  • 1,077
124 votes
18 answers

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 ...
user avatar
124 votes
11 answers

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 ...
girl101's user avatar
  • 2,708
124 votes
19 answers

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 ...
Jennifer's user avatar
  • 2,513
121 votes
13 answers

Why do students go for 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 ...
Learnmore's user avatar
  • 2,752
118 votes
9 answers

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 ...
Bryan Ex-Academic's user avatar
116 votes
11 answers

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 ...
G. L. 's user avatar
  • 2,042
116 votes
9 answers

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 A consequence of working in research is that the ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 108k
112 votes
28 answers

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;...
user80709's user avatar
  • 1,063
112 votes
10 answers

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 ...
user53019's user avatar
  • 991
109 votes
3 answers

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?
Dr. Snoopy's user avatar
  • 2,142
104 votes
10 answers

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 ...
Walter U.'s user avatar
  • 1,015
101 votes
17 answers

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?
Lobo's user avatar
  • 1,151
101 votes
8 answers

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 ...
user2562609's user avatar
  • 6,288
100 votes
9 answers

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 ...
user45379's user avatar
  • 771
96 votes
9 answers

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 ...
Santina Knight's user avatar
94 votes
9 answers

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 ...
user2350366's user avatar
  • 1,912
93 votes
7 answers

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, ...
Leon palafox's user avatar
92 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Bravo's user avatar
  • 22.8k
91 votes
8 answers

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 ...
IndyJ's user avatar
  • 921
90 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Vafa Khalighi's user avatar
89 votes
11 answers

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 ...
Mohamed Khamis's user avatar
88 votes
13 answers

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 ...
Peter1111's user avatar
  • 1,001
87 votes
16 answers

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. ...
user avatar
86 votes
4 answers

Am I being exploited by my supervisor?

It has been 4.5 years since I joined as a PhD student. My supervisor asks me to draft almost all of his important emails. He will begin by briefing me the issue, and ask me to draft the email in a ...
user3024069's user avatar
  • 1,373
82 votes
9 answers

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 ...
user avatar
81 votes
11 answers

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 ...
user avatar
81 votes
11 answers

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 ...
bitter student's user avatar
79 votes
4 answers

One reviewer in the committee rejected my Ph.D. defense but he didn't attend

Update on Feb 27 The extension is confirmed. I can get the different reviewer, but sadly the graduate school will be able to make a replacement for me next semester. My additional advice for others ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 773
79 votes
10 answers

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 ...
Austin Henley's user avatar
79 votes
15 answers

Why are academics not paid royalties on published research papers in IEEE, ACM etc.? [closed]

I understand that academics are not paid a single dime on their publications. In my field (computer science), IEEE, ACM, Springer, Elsevier are some known journals/publications and none of them pay ...
learnerX's user avatar
  • 713
77 votes
7 answers

What standards should I apply when evaluating a PhD thesis from a weaker university?

I have been asked to serve on the examination committee for a PhD thesis. It's in the area of machine learning. It's from a university in a developing country. My job is to provide a written report, ...
jmmcd's user avatar
  • 1,241
76 votes
5 answers

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 ...
BoltzBooz's user avatar
  • 1,103
76 votes
5 answers

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 ...
BDee's user avatar
  • 765
76 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Yes's user avatar
  • 7,596
76 votes
7 answers

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 ...
electrique's user avatar
  • 7,484
75 votes
9 answers

Is transferring to another university an option for an unhappy PhD student?

I've heard of people transferring between graduate schools because of their advisor moving to another school and taking their students with them. Do students ever transfer for other reasons? If a ...
Liana's user avatar
  • 2,091
75 votes
7 answers

Self-Plagiarism in PhD thesis

I am a final year PhD in UK in a scientific discipline and I am writing my thesis. I have already published 2 journal papers and I have submitted 2 more papers for publications. My department does not ...
user8448's user avatar
  • 753
75 votes
3 answers

Rampant sharing of authorship among colleagues in the name of "collaboration". Is not taking part in it a death knell for a future in academia?

I am a final year PhD student in chemical engineering. Since the start of my PhD, I was clear on one personal philosophy. I will put my name only on those papers where I have made substantial ...
gogeta's user avatar
  • 805

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