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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What rules guide whether to put qualifications on an academic business card?

I'm just wondering what rules of etiquette guide whether an academic puts qualifications on a business card. I'm assuming that either "Dr" at the start or "PhD" at the end is important to include ...
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18 votes
4 answers
561 views

How important are teaching portfolios in obtaining an academic position?

I have been recently introduced to the idea of teaching portfolios, that is a collection of teaching experiences and references made by peer educators. Their supposed purpose is to go along a ...
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  • 181
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I effectively use tags to organize my bibliography?

I use the online tool citeulike to manage my bibliography. The main tool to organize the library is tags (functionally equivalent to tags here on this site). One problem I seem to be having is I do a ...
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  • 3,502
20 votes
4 answers
781 views

Does Pop-Science involvement hurt one's reputation?

There is a divide between the scientific community about involvement in popular science. I would define it as involvement in NatGeo/Discovery type documentaries, writing columns for newspapers/...
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19 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to format for a useful journal club?

I've been attending my lab's journal club for a while, and I'm wondering whether there are better ways out there of conducting a journal club. To make the question more generic, our club seems to have ...
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  • 47.9k
67 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to achieve successful collaborations?

Quite often, at conferences or while attending seminars, I will start an interesting discussion with the speaker, first on-site, then later by email, and even though at some point there seems to be ...
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14 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the typical time period after which an incoming grad student is expected to start publishing?

An incoming graduate student is typically required to help out as a TA, take courses both related to their research and required by the program, as well as to start reading up on the research topics ...
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  • 9,451
10 votes
4 answers
664 views

Failing to deliver promised research

Will people look down on me if I say that I plan on doing research that I end up not doing due to various reasons, especially if I'm a PhD student? I guess it's somewhat expected, and that ...
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  • 10.8k
8 votes
2 answers
390 views

Beginning PhD in related field without subject area expertise, will that be a problem?

I just finished an undergraduate degree in psychology, with a focus in biological sciences and pre-medicine courses. In looking at my options for graduate school, I've taken an interest in biomedical ...
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  • 47.9k
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Advisor asking me to work on research not covered by my grant

I have a rather difficult quandary. I'm a first-year student, and I joined my lab group to work on a clinical psychiatry/neuroscience grant. I've been making slow progress towards familiarizing myself ...
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  • 47.9k
22 votes
5 answers
1k views

How do I not get impatient when other people ask me to describe my research?

I mean, I really should be glad when they ask me this question. But inevitably, different people will ask me the same question many different times (over many different interviews), understandably so, ...
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  • 10.8k
41 votes
4 answers
9k views

Details an applicant should include/exclude in an introductory letter to a prospective grad school adviser?

I'm applying for graduate school (PhD in computer science), and I'm considering writing to faculty whose research areas match with what I intend to pursue, to understand: Whether they'd be looking ...
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  • 9,451
17 votes
1 answer
633 views

What are the options for fellowships for international grad students in USA?

I'm looking for fellowships that an international grad student can apply for, to support him/her while working towards a Ph.D. (additional to whatever funding that may be available as TA). So far, I'...
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  • 9,451
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

How are the personal assistants for professors usually funded?

As examples, the lab executive assistant at http://www.klab.caltech.edu/people.shtml or the lab administrative assistant over at http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~tapio/people.html#admins
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  • 10.8k
21 votes
3 answers
42k views

Difference between reference/recommendation

What is exactly the difference between a reference letter and a recommendation letter in Academia? According to Wikipedia: Letters of recommendation are very specific in nature and normally ...
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28 votes
6 answers
72k views

Attending graduate school at my undergraduate university

I've been told by numerous people that (1) my undergraduate university will be disinclined to bring me on as a graduate student, and that (2) it's a bad idea to attend grad school where you completed ...
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  • 47.9k
60 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I get the most out of conferences?

I recently attended a very large conference in my field (SfN, ~30,000 attendees), and after I got back I was thinking about what I had gained from the trip, and I realized not that much. I listened to ...
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  • 47.9k
24 votes
1 answer
24k views

What's the net income of a W1/W2 german professor?

I've seen a job announcement where the salary was said to be comparable to the assistant/associate professor level W1/W2 in the German system, and I was wondering how much it would exactly make in ...
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35 votes
5 answers
5k views

Does doing a postdoc mean a commitment to an academic career?

I have heard that it would be a bad idea to take up a post-doctoral position, if your ultimate goal is to work in industry. The basis of this maybe that it is harder to be hired for an opening at a ...
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23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it possible for a student in first year of Ph.D to secure funding for attending conferences?

Note: I'm primarily interested in answers relevant to Computer Science (Theory), but answers in different areas in CS / totally other disciplines are equally welcome. In most (if not all) PhD ...
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  • 9,451
20 votes
7 answers
2k views

Are master's degrees in the US mostly meant to prepare you for a Ph.D?

I am a Canadian undergraduate student intending to get a master's degree, but not intending to get a Ph.D. A Canadian graduate student told me that master's degree in the US are really only designed ...
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  • 303
12 votes
5 answers
849 views

Online resources for summer schools in software engineering?

I'm looking for an online resources that lists all summer schools of the actual year in a specific domain. Are there any sites? I just found one: Summer Schools in Europe, but this site seems to be a ...
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22 votes
2 answers
6k views

How early should a graduate student begin their job search?

Generally speaking, are there good "milestones" to suggest that a graduate student should initiate their job search? Roughly a year from completion? More? Less? Is there a particular time of year a ...
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  • 51.2k
69 votes
6 answers
13k views

In practice, how secure is a tenured position in the US?

Coming from France, where any official academic position (i.e. associate professor or full professor, or equivalent positions at public research institutes) is a civil-servant one, and therefore ...
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26 votes
10 answers
2k views

Is there a correlation between being a good teacher and being a good researcher?

I have been told that there is a correlation between being a good teacher and being a good researcher (like this paper, in page 15, point 3.6), but i have not found any references or studies about it. ...
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  • 1,996
22 votes
4 answers
10k views

PhD in pure mathematics for a student in computer science

I'm a student currently pursuing my masters in computer science. My present area of research is computational algrebraic geometry (theory of grobner bases and tropical geometry). Afterwards, I'm ...
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  • 1,795
27 votes
2 answers
3k views

Advisor isn't advising

I'm having the problem that my advisor isn't providing me with any real guidance. To avoid making this a rant post, I'll just state the facts: my advisor is an MD/PhD, working almost full-time as an ...
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  • 47.9k
55 votes
10 answers
70k views

How important are my grades to the rest of my PhD career?

Speaking to the faculty in my program, I've noticed that they seem to evaluate themselves and others using two criterion: (1) publication quality and quantity, and (2) ability to obtain grant money. ...
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  • 47.9k
28 votes
6 answers
22k views

Conference vs Congress vs Symposium vs Meeting

What is the distinction between the following scientific events: conference, congress, symposium, meeting? While I have some idea about differences (e.g. congress - large and serious, meeting - by a ...
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  • 25.7k
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Changing mailing and e-mail addresses as corresponding author--which to include?

I finished my undergrad last year and have since been working in the private sector. I'm about to submit a paper with my senior thesis results. Two questions about corresponding author information: ...
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  • 721
24 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I find out which universities allow a sandwich (stapler) PhD thesis?

Following on from What is a "Sandwich thesis"? , is there an easy way to find out which departments at which universities will allow a sandwich thesis (aka a stapler thesis, portfolio thesis,...
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  • 25.6k
60 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to evaluate potential advisers on grounds other than their research/publications?

While accepting an offer to grad school, one is basically entering into a lasting relationship with one's adviser - most likely, someone whom the applicant has never met before, and the only exposure ...
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  • 9,451
106 votes
3 answers
21k 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?
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  • 1,996
22 votes
4 answers
18k views

What is the difference between Ph. D programs with coursework and those without it?

I have been looking into PhD programs in the Engineering field, and I have found different types of programs, such as some with coursework, and others without any coursework. What is the practical ...
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  • 1,996
24 votes
5 answers
1k views

Balancing coursework, research, and teaching

I'm a first-year graduate student, and I just joined a computational chemistry laboratory. I have three tasks now: pass all my courses, fulfill my TA duties, and start research. I'm finding that I'm ...
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  • 47.9k
17 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to recruit a PhD student without a strong connection to teaching?

As a postdoc, I'm considering to apply to research-only positions (for instance in a research institute, and not a university), and I know that one of the responsibilities of being a researcher is to ...
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13 votes
6 answers
578 views

Evaluating Grad Schools on grounds other than research

Assuming that an applicant does his research and applies to a bunch of schools for a PhD. He gets accepted by a few of them with full aid. Assuming that the research and faculty at all places is more ...
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19 votes
5 answers
11k views

Usefulness of prior industry experience before entering grad school?

I'm wondering what impact does prior industry experience (by which I mean 2+ years in a non-trivial functional role in any established organization) lend to the profile of someone who is entering grad ...
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  • 9,451
49 votes
5 answers
32k views

How to find a good topic for a PhD research proposal?

In many countries an application for a PhD position includes a written research proposal, so my questions is what are some advises/strategies to come up with a good topic/idea for a PhD research ...
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  • 993
87 votes
14 answers
25k views

Is there any efficient non-linear note-taking software?

I'd be interested in tools helping to organize thoughts and ideas, especially in a non-linear way (i.e. not as most existing note taking tools, working with lists and bullets, but rather as a post-it ...
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18 votes
4 answers
1k views

Advice and tools for hosting an online journal club

I have some experience with hosting reading groups/journals clubs in an off-line setting. Usually we meet every week in a room and discuss the paper for that week. However, recently some colleagues ...
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161 votes
20 answers
32k views

How do you judge the quality of a journal?

A colleague and I recently submitted a paper to a journal with an impressive-sounding name, the "International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Research". According to ...
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  • 2,031
19 votes
3 answers
1k views

What kind of opportunities exist in the industry for someone with a Ph.D in theoretical CS?

I'm curious to know what kind of choices does someone with a recent Ph.D in theoretical CS have, in the industrial research labs, and how to find out about existing opportunities. In particular, I'm ...
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  • 9,451
212 votes
4 answers
42k views

University rank/stature - How much does it affect one's career post-Ph.D?

What I'm trying to understand is, to what degree does the status/rank of the University (where one completes his/her Ph.D) matter while shaping his/her career after graduation? I would like to know ...
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  • 9,451
80 votes
15 answers
13k views

Preprint services other than arXiv (for other fields)

While arXiv is great, it covers only topics in physics, mathematics and computer science. Are there any good preprint storage places for other scientific disciplines?
48 votes
8 answers
13k views

Good practices for organizing notes

As a PhD student I generate a lot of pages with calculations, ideas and lecture notes. Most of them are useful only for a short amount of time, but some may be important for much longer (when writing ...
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  • 25.7k
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the most important criteria to consider when hiring postdocs for a research group?

One of the most important challenges that academics will face is group management. Although this takes many forms for graduate students, undergraduate assistants, and so on, I believe postdocs are a ...
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  • 172k
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do I need to have teaching experience before entering grad school?

I'm considering going back to graduate school, but I've heard from a number of friends that graduate students are all required to teach. Is that the case? I have no teaching experience at all. Will ...
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  • 47.9k
16 votes
4 answers
262 views

Usefulness of graduate school extracurriculars

All graduate programs have committees such as the "social committee" and "speaker series committees", as well as Graduate Student Organizations and other organizations to work on behalf of these ...
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  • 47.9k
15 votes
4 answers
475 views

Teaching Assistantships and research

I'm working as a TA now, and I've found that I'm spending an inordinate amount of time on my TA-ship. Is this normal? Furthermore, is this expected? I'm worried that my research career will suffer ...
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  • 47.9k

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