Questions tagged [social-skills]

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

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34
votes
5answers
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While working on a research paper with a coauthor, I found an unpublished paper in arXiv and discovered out that the technique we developed in our paper can be used to improve a result in the ...
6
votes
3answers
297 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 ...
47
votes
5answers
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 ...
62
votes
7answers
17k views

Professor being mistaken for a grad student

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 ...
15
votes
8answers
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
363 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
270 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

How to connect distant with senior colleagues in their last PhD year? [closed]

I have some senior colleagues in their final year of PhD. busy most of their time and in quite stress (as much any last year PhD student). we share a lot of history together. and also have some sort ...
15
votes
3answers
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
64
votes
11answers
20k 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. ...
22
votes
2answers
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 ...
27
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
435 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
344 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
579 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 ...
65
votes
6answers
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 ...
22
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
113 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I help minimize interruptions during group meetings as a student?

The project I work on has numerous members -- several graduate students, a couple of postdocs, and my advisor. We meet every other week to discuss progress and update one another on our status. Almost ...
59
votes
8answers
10k views

If you're black, how do you answer “Oh you're a professor? So you teach African Studies?”

In a comment to How do you answer "Oh, you're a professor? What do you teach?", @JohnSmith wrote I'm black so it generally goes "Oh you're a professor? So you teach African Studies?" ...
36
votes
9answers
6k views

What are the social norms associated with stealing free coffee? [closed]

Every morning, at the institution where I work, I attend a lecture series with on the order of 100 other students. The lecture hall is very central on campus, and large meetings are often held nearby -...
30
votes
5answers
5k views

Does one invite adviser / cohort / lab to one's wedding?

For a PhD student getting married in the middle of the degree, is there an established etiquette for invited your peers and/or your adviser to the wedding? Obviously, circumstances of the wedding ...
6
votes
6answers
391 views

Can't handle the stress while being bombarded with questions during the presentation

I am a fashion designer student. I have given numerous presentations but one thing always bothers me: the level and frequency of questions by the questioners. By that I mean some folks in the class ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

If a PhD student is bad in interpersonal communications, would he find trouble doing his PhD?

As far as I know, some research involves group-work. If a PhD student is either introverted, bad at interpersonal communications or both. What difficulties might they encounter?
31
votes
5answers
1k views

How to overcome preconceived ideas about social scientists?

I have the opposite problem to this question. Often when I talk to someone from a 'hard' scientific field I am 'taught' how statistics work or how programming works. It is a bit like being mansplained ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Socially acceptable to email a connection of a connection requesting information?

I'm interested in knowing the optimal technology/techniques to implement something (storing Lidar data in a database) in a corporate IT world. I have a colleague who recommended that I contact his old ...
118
votes
15answers
31k views

How do you answer “Oh, you're a professor? What do you teach?”

I suspect anybody who's a professor knows this story: you meet someone new in a social setting and it comes up that you're a professor. The inevitable next question is, "oh, what do you teach?" It's ...
54
votes
11answers
17k views

What is the effect of a PhD student dyeing their hair blue?

I'm a male 19 year old Phd student (in a field in the exact sciences), I dyed my hair bright blue. Personally, I think it transmits a great message and is generally cool. Although, I'm not sure how ...
83
votes
10answers
15k views

What is a social strategy I can use to respond to “How's your PhD going?”

I was surprised when starting my PhD as to how much I get asked this question and how much I fail at answering it. Whenever I attempt an answer, I fumble around and the subject immediately changes ...
9
votes
5answers
562 views

How to overcome my resistance to lecturing?

I am in a situation where I have several adult students for an all-day career training program that runs for about a year. So, they and I sit in the classroom most of a normal work-week. I decide when ...
3
votes
1answer
825 views

Appropriate topics over lunch with an invited speaker

There's a speaker coming to my university to give a lecture that all students and faculty are invited to. My department is especially interested in the speaker because he will be talking about a field ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the weight on the applicant's personality for tenure?

Assume that someone is an excellent researcher (many awards and at least 7-8 publications a year) and a very good teacher but he is not "liked" by some of the tenured faculty in the department (due to ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How should a teacher approach a student with distractingly strong perfume?

How might a professor approach a student who comes to class and/or office hours wearing perfume or cologne that is distractingly or overwhelmingly powerful? Certainly, different people have different ...
61
votes
9answers
57k views

Is it appropriate to buy a “thank you” gift for a PhD supervisor?

I am nearing the end of my PhD and I would quite like to buy a "thank you" gift for my supervisor (although, she's the socially awkward type who I'm sure will be greatly embarrassed to receive one). ...
1
vote
1answer
493 views

Malfunctioning social media buttons on a conference website

The website of a conference that will take place soon (next month), offers social media buttons that should redirect the website visitor to the corresponding social media page or account, but when I ...
50
votes
11answers
10k views

Is Facebook a necessary tool for a student?

I'm starting a master's degree in the autumn, and I recently received an email from the university inviting me to join the Facebook page for the course. However, I don't currently have an active ...
21
votes
6answers
5k views

Social etiquette for interacting with PhD peers who complain *a lot*

People in my program complain a lot and usually not in good humor. How can I handle this socially and professionally? Some of these people are my friends and some are no more than peers. In general ...
18
votes
5answers
9k views

Why do PhD students complain so much? [closed]

This question has two parts. First, a comparative question. Second, a broad question about why PhD students get so stressed and complain so much. Do PhD students complain more than people in other ...
35
votes
6answers
6k views

What to do when no one speaks English around you?

Often when I attend conferences and meetings, there are some social activities sometimes specifically for graduate students to mix with each other and get to know other students and build possible ...
13
votes
3answers
811 views

Advice for early grad student: how to professionally present tentative research idea(s) before one has chosen a topic

I'm a 2nd-year grad student in a US PhD program in one of the social sciences. Coursework has forced me throw out the initial ideas I had about research, which I proposed in my application nearly two ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

How to introduce myself briefly in a get together for new faculty members?

For the new faculty orientation, there is a get together where they will ask every new faculty member of all departments to say a few words about him/her self. What are the best practices regarding ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't colleges and departments teach social skills?

After all, to do research with a professor, a student has to have good social skills. So why not have classes that teach social etiquette and social skills? It seems that many courses in college are "...