Questions tagged [social-skills]
Questions about professional etiquette, appropriate interpersonal behavior, or social graces/norms
What does it mean when I am told "your field might be related to my field"?
In various conversations with my mathematical colleagues, I noticed that the expression "your field might be related to my field" should not always be understood literally. Namely the other ...
Acknowledgments in peer-reviewed journal publications
I have a submitted a paper to a peer-reviewed top journal. It is in the second review round and as far as it seems, it will be accepted. I am considering to write an "acknowledgments" ...
When do I switch from "Dear Dr. X" to "Dear Firstname" when exchanging emails with a professor that I never seen before?
I've heard that after the first email, I need to switch from Dear Dr. X to Dear Firstname. I've also heard that "Dear Firstname" is only for the professor that I actually met in person. The &...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 (...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?...
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 -...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Are there universities or places within universities that cater specifically to shy people?
Are there universities that cater specifically to shy or reserved people? It seems like many universities have the usual social hierarchy set up of 'popular' student , 'overachievers' , 'sports-...