If you need help with online teaching or other challenges in academia arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.
126

Should I mention that I completed my Ph.D. with no supervision? Definitely not. "I had no supervision during my PhD." could be interpreted as "Nobody taught me anything during my Ph.D. so I am unqualified." or "I am incapable of giving credit to other people who deserve it." or "I am so obnoxious my supervisor will not interact with me." or "I refuse to ...


31

Tread carefully to avoid a doesn't play well with others impression. I was in a somewhat similar situation (Ph.D. supervisor in a different area), although I had plenty of contacts in my own area. In my applications, I never explicitly brought this up but did claim that I was rather independent in setting and pursuing my research goals. The evidence I ...


20

German here. I guess that's just a questionable translation of the standard German phrase Arbeitszeugnis (pl.: "-se"), Arbeit=work and Zeugnis=certificate, diploma. In business, Arbeitszeugnisse would mean a collection of diplomae, plus (relevant) testimonials from your former employers, or qualification certificates. In your case, it'll probably a small ...


14

You shouldn’t say it, because it’s not true. Of course, I’m guessing here and this isn’t based on any specific information in your post, but “my supervisor didn’t advise me on the mathematics in my thesis” is not the same as “I received no supervision”. I am fairly confident that your supervisor taught you many things about X, the philosophy of doing ...


9

As @jvb said, "work certificate" is the somewhat unlucky attempt to translate the German Arbeitszeugnis. The closest to Arbeitszeugnisse you probably have are letters of recommendation. So, I'd hand in the letters of recommendation and explain in the cover letter that in the US instead of Arbeitszeugnisse, letters of recommendation are used. If you get ...


7

I don't appreciate being called; it imposes your time schedule on me. Others differ. However, I suspect that email is your safest bet. The practical problem is that many universities in Germany have been closed due to COVID-19, and the numbers listed will be the work numbers. Either you are calling an empty office, or your call is forwarded to the persons ...


6

It would be polite and helpful for you to let them know as it reduces their work. But a simple mail/email is all that is required. "Thank you for your consideration, but I've accepted another offer." No more is really needed.


4

As already mentioned, work certificate is a blunt translation of Arbeitszeugnis (reference letter). It is a standard thing to require for regular employments in Germany. The quoted sentence looks as if some bureaucrat bluntly translated the boilerplate of a regular German job ad into English and lacked the experience to adapt it to an international audience. ...


4

I think a careful inspection on your supervisor and your PhD subject/publications will reveal the truth. Therefore, no need to explicitly express it but you can mention it in your application.


3

You do not need to provide any letters of reference. If you do they may well be ignored as they ask for the contact details of 2 referees. This means that they will contact those referees directly and get the information required in their own format as they wish.


3

The purpose of the background check is to find out if you are likely to abuse children on campus, assault your colleagues, or steal from the university. It is not related to academic integrity. Academic integrity is evaluated by reference checks and transcript checks. Convictions are decided by law courts, not university committees. You have a ...


3

When applying for a postdoc, should I mention any of the above? I was in the same boat as you, one leg in one discipline, another one in a completely different one. I had one thesis director but the referees were from both fields. I also had the opportunity to discuss with them in the course of my PhD. The experience was amazing. I made sure to highlight ...


2

It is hard to be certain about the future. There will be more positions because of government stimulus spending. More students will apply for PhD programs because they cannot find jobs. As a result of chaos, fewer students will complete the eligibility requirements. The most likely net effect is more applicants for more positions, but they will be less ...


2

Actually, I think your suggestions aren't likely to help much. You are suggesting making your CV more diverse while doctoral research requires more focus/specialization. You've already been told what is lacking, and you have a lot of breadth already in your CV. Either find a program that matches what you want to do, as the places you've already applied to ...


2

The ability to work independently and attain significant accomplishments is noteworthy. Your letters of recommendation should speak to your many qualities. Your published contributions should speak to your research accomplishments and your ability to publish original work. We are talking a form of a job interview here. And people are hired not just for ...


2

Mistakes of this nature, when handled appropriately at the time, are part of the learning process and you can move beyond them without additional penalty. I assume you don't make such errors now, intentionally or otherwise. There are a few exceptions, however, as when applying to a national intelligence organization and being asked specific questions. You ...


1

Wondering with all the travel bans and people leaving cities if previously filled places might become available this year in the US? Obviously universities are in disarray so don't want to bother them at this time....Just wondering if there's any scope to start this year as now I have no work. Any ideas if this is feasible? It sounds very unlikely. It is ...


1

I would be fine to ask. Thank them for their interest. Ask about the current status. Ask whether there is anything they still need from you. Three weeks is about right. If there is a problem then it is time for you to know.


1

I know she contacted one already, and I know they gave a great feedback, but it's been more than two months now without hearing from her. Should I contact her and ask if she needs any extra info or wait? Definitely contact her! There was genuine interest between you and you have nothing to lose, everything to gain. It is easy to fall under the impression ...


1

Do you have the experience, the knowledge and the expertise? Was your thesis published and peer reviewed? If so, what is the problem? You need to sell you so think sales and marketing Be honest in interviews and what you write down but no need to reveal details that do not affect your ability to do the job I think you should keep it to yourself


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