Questions tagged [social-skills]

Questions about professional etiquette, appropriate interpersonal behavior, or social graces/norms

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11 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
218 views

Is it necessary to have all skills asked in advertisement to get a post doc?

Is it necessary to have all skills asked in advertisement to get a post doc.? I have very ordinary PhD and due to COVID I spent very little time in lab , although I leant some techniques bit I can’t ...
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0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Reaching out to colleagues [duplicate]

I'm a PhD student going into my second year. I spent my first year working alone at home thanks to the pandemic. I received an email from my supervision team to say that campus is reopening and they ...
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18 votes
8 answers
5k views

Dealing with a micromanaging instructor, as a teaching assistant

I'm a teaching assistant at a US university for a calculus class. My major duties are to write worksheets and then grade them along with the homework. I have been a TA long enough (5 years now) to ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
206 views

How to ask friends for help?

I have some contacts on a social networking site who are much more knowledgeable than me. Some are PhDs/professors and some work in big tech companies (Google, Facebook, etc.). Every now and then, I ...
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16 votes
7 answers
8k views

Is it weird to display ads on an academic website?

I have never seen (or realized) an example of an academic website which displays ads. I am thinking of a website not hosted by the institute, but as a personal website, paid by the faculty member. ...
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56 votes
15 answers
10k views

Do I have to include my pronouns in a course outline?

I am a TA in a US school and my professor told me to include my pronouns in the course outline. I personally would rather not for social and religious reasons. Her argument was that I will confuse ...
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  • 607
0 votes
1 answer
288 views

Interacting with Non-academics: How to Not Compromise One's Rigor? [closed]

This is a question about interacting with other people (in particular, non-academics). Hopefully, this is a common-enough problem that it is appropriate for this community. I consider myself an (...
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2 votes
1 answer
417 views

Should one disclose "red flags" when contacting a potential supervisor?

If one has a "red flag" in their history (in terms of non-academic issues), is it best to disclose it to a potential supervisor? This can apply to any type of situation (a conflict with a ...
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  • 1,645
-1 votes
1 answer
280 views

How would most professors feel and/or react if they recognized that a post here (or on any similar forum) was about them? [closed]

Obviously, the purpose of this forum is to ask questions relating to academia, but I've been wondering how most professors would feel if they recognized that a post was about them (assuming that the ...
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  • 1,645
-1 votes
1 answer
150 views

How could one build connections with professors at a potential graduate program? [duplicate]

I emailed the director of a graduate program I'm planning on applying to, and while the program isn't accepting a new cohort of students until next year, they suggested that I reach out to other ...
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0 votes
0 answers
108 views

How are scientists trained on the *business* side of running a lab?

I've noticed lots of folks in the sciences seem to have well-developed business skills needed to run a lab, like managing a budget, hiring employees, building a team, setting deadlines and managing ...
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8 votes
1 answer
589 views

How can I tactfully decline my supervisor's suggestion and set boundaries?

New here. So I just started my postdoc about a month ago (great time to start a postdoc during a pandemic I know). Learning the ropes and trying to kinda set my own path in the lab has been ...
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3 votes
2 answers
335 views

What social skills should I practice to make a successful doctoral application?

I've been applying to doctoral positions in mathematics with a strong background. BSc and MSc in math, and a MSc in computational math/engineering. I've got research experience in my field and ...
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45 votes
9 answers
9k views

Do you keep your study notes publicly available?

I am considering to create a wiki/blog for most of my study notes that I have made or taken digitally. Also, for the handwritten and rough ones I am thinking about storing them in my GitHub ...
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I tell if I'm making enough progress when working remotely?

I am starting a PhD abroad, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic I cannot leave my country at the moment. My advisor has agreed that I can work remotely (starting later is not an option). While we can ...
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2 votes
2 answers
734 views

Is an acknowledgement worth putting in a CV?

Of course, the bread-and-butter of an academic CV are degrees and publications, and citation index is a primary means of judging the value of said publications, but it's also common for academics to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
224 views

How do you balance school and study? [closed]

I know there's many different questions that involve having a life with a healthy work-life balance but my question is different: I'm looking for a balance between my school life(high school) and ...
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36 votes
5 answers
6k views

How to publish superseding results without creating enemies

While working on a research paper with a coauthor, I found an unpublished paper in arXiv and discovered out that the technique we developed in our paper can be used to improve a result in the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
396 views

Unpleasant situation with a collaborator made worse by supervisor. Am I overreacting?

I've been involved in a collaboration project for the past year or so (the collaborator was the one who approached me and they were leading the project), the problem is that the progress from the ...
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  • 471
0 votes
1 answer
181 views

How can I up my confidence level in my technical skills? [duplicate]

Let me paint a picture of my background in brief. I did my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. I was a good student (almost all A's) till my high school. However, I struggled a lot in my ...
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8 votes
3 answers
928 views

Does the talk count as invited if my PI invited me?

I'm a just-graduated undergraduate in Biology/Bioinformatics. In a month or so, I'll get to give a short (10-minute) talk at a major conference during one of a handful (5?) 50-minute workshops (I'm ...
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46 votes
5 answers
15k views

Is it acceptable to use working hours to read general interest books?

Every year are published around a dozen of books directly related to my research. By directly I mean on the same topics of my research, normally by authors I am familiar with, and potential reference ...
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65 votes
7 answers
19k views

I'm a professor being mistaken for a grad student, how to handle this?

This question is the flip side of Mistook new faculty member to be a student, how big a faux pas is it? I'm an associate professor, and apparently I look young for my age. When I meet new people at ...
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15 votes
8 answers
7k views

Is being socially reclusive okay for a graduate student? [closed]

I am Ph.D student in computer science and mathematics. I have published a few research papers and working on some papers. I am an after mid-stage student and I spend almost 90 percent of my time in my ...
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4 votes
4 answers
543 views

Would it be weird to cold email former students of a prospective advisor?

I was accepted to a PhD program, and the two professors I mentioned in my application have reached out to me to discuss research. Now I am wondering what is the best way to gather information on them. ...
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53 votes
10 answers
21k views

Is asking your PhD supervisor a basic question considered inappropriate?

I've done my Master's degree in Computational Mathematics. Then, because of several reasons, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in the field of Quantum Chemistry. The problem is, obviously, my lack of ...
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6 votes
1 answer
360 views

Interpersonal skills, lab dynamics, and personality

What happens to grad students who are disliked by all other grad students in their labs? For background on the situation: I started my phd recently, and I'm in a lab with three other grad students, ...
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to politely encourage academic integrity in non-academics?

To give context for the question I have volunteered to do some work for a local charity. The work they do is literally lifesaving and almost certainly something the government should be responsible ...
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  • 151
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

Asking faculty up for tenure about the tenure decision

If I know a faculty member is up for tenure this year, is it appropriate to ask them for news about the tenure decision? If yes, are there norms around how to ask? I'm a grad student and still ...
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-5 votes
1 answer
3k views

What programming language should a physics major know? [closed]

Know how of what programming language will come in handy during a physics major's research ?
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2 votes
4 answers
288 views

What should physics majors work on during semester breaks? [closed]

First and second year students are unlikely to get selected for major internships (right?). Given this, what can students do after freshman and sophomore years that will be useful later on. I thought ...
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4 votes
4 answers
279 views

Rehearse or memorise to improve my presentations?

This may be a dumb question. I would like to improve my presentation skills. So should I rehearse my presentation at least 5-10-20 times? Or should I memorise my presentation and practice it enough? ...
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64 votes
11 answers
21k views

Difficult student would dispute every grade in the course and now wants letter of recommendation

I had a student in one of my courses that for every graded assignment would come to me and challenge the grade given, even though I provided a rubric to show exactly why the points where taken off. ...
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  • 1,785
22 votes
2 answers
5k views

What kind of help can I request from a terminally ill professor?

I am a student in Mathematics. There is a field I'm interested in (possibly enough to make it my main research area) which is not studied in my city. I've read a lecture notes on this topic a few ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
207 views

Could appealing/advocating for mental illness/ADHD/disability rights count as volunteering?

TL;DR Applying for PhD and asked volunteer experience. I requested ADHD accommodations and am the first student in my alma mater to get extra time on exams. I didn't do it solely for other people such ...
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  • 2,248
1 vote
0 answers
97 views

Indicate leadership/groupwork in research experience for graduate applications?

For academic CVs, should/how do/how might I indicate leadership/group work when describing certain research projects? Option A: Use words Project A, Subject X11, Date Group Description ...
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35 votes
2 answers
1k views

Post-doc priorities: "Laundry list" vs. "Research trumps all"

I am a post-doc in the physical sciences and I am finding that people have very different expectations of what a post-doc's priorities should be. Typically people are somewhere between two camps. I ...
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  • 471
27 votes
2 answers
5k views

How should I respond to someone's research "elevator pitch"?

I am starting my PhD in cosmology in October of this year. I have already met some of the older PhD students and postdocs in the department where I will be studying, and I am going to be attending two ...
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37 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can I talk about articles I'm refereeing?

For the first time, I've been asked to referee an article for a journal, and a prestigious one. I work in Maths, so the article has been online as a preprint on arXiv for some time, and it was on the ...
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  • 801
0 votes
1 answer
175 views

Advice for somebody who considers to join a PHD program in order to go to research about the possibly negative sides

A friend of mine considers to join a PhD program in order to go to science. I think she has a very idealized view of science and the prospects there. (I personally am somebody who left science after ...
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  • 3,017
8 votes
2 answers
701 views

Co-authors either dismiss my ideas or don't understand them... and then dismiss them anyway

I'm a PhD student in computer science. I'm currently working with 2 co-authors in revising a paper for resubmission (I'm not the main author). They act very respectful and open to criticism, but they ...
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2 votes
0 answers
403 views

When is it beneficial (or politically correct?) to mention somebody's race/culture in an anecdote? [closed]

Today, I heard a friend mention an exciting conversation he had with somebody of a different race. He mentioned this woman's race several times in order to paint a more detailed picture of what his ...
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  • 5,039
10 votes
1 answer
634 views

Meeting like-minded people for forming collaborative research relationships [duplicate]

I'm quite new at doing full-time research as a career. It seems that everyone in my department whom I talk with is focused not only on "their" research but also on various side projects with other ...
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67 votes
6 answers
14k views

Mistook new faculty member to be a student, how big a faux pas is it?

Today I was introduced in the cafeteria by a professor who I know to someone new by just their first name. Because of admissions season, I thought that the new person was a prospective grad student ...
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22 votes
6 answers
14k views

Is it unethical to take a photograph of my question sheets from a sit-down exam I've just finished if I am not allowed to take them home?

Last semester I've retaken a course and went through the exam. It was a sit-down exam and all students were present. All students are required put their possessions (phones, cameras, etc.) in their ...
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3 votes
1 answer
253 views

UK Transferable skills programs, where has this scourge originated and how to complain about it?

If you are part of academia in the UK, either as a teacher, postdoc or PhD student, you might have had to fulfill some departmental requirement for transferable skills. For those who have never came ...
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  • 4,021
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Applying for a position: Certificates and Supplements

When applying for positions in academia (I think the question is valid for economy as well) I add several documents to my application: cover letter/motivational letter, CV, publication list, PhD ...
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  • 1,236
1 vote
0 answers
118 views

Evidence regarding the effect of soft-skills for academic success?

I was planning on giving a talk for undergrads regarding the effect of soft skills on success in both academia and the industry. It seems well-established that soft skills (along with hard skills) are ...
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