37

The professor's asking to be kept informed, which is certainly a positive sign because he's interested enough to want to know what you're doing. At the very least he's not outright rejecting you. On the other hand, there is no guarantee he will take you on until you actually receive the offer letter. I don't think there's much more to say other than thank ...


34

In many places it would likely be viewed as improper. I suggest that you don't do that. Instead, ask the supervisors to pass on a note from yourself to their advisees/students/whoever in which you describe what you want to do and providing contact information for yourself. Make a plea for participation, if you like. But giving your contact information ...


28

The reason this is the “most common advice” is that it is the correct, logical, and ethical thing to do. You’re overthinking things. Asking for letters of recommendation does not imply any commitment on your part to attend a specific school, or to pursue a degree at all. The assumption the professors are making is that you are considering doing such a thing, ...


19

Apply. If you don't, and the "top" schools all reject you, then you have no options at all. If you have options you can decide at the point that it becomes necessary which path you should take. The alternative is certainly sub-optimal.


18

You should apply to schools that you are not sure you would attend. You should not apply to schools that you are sure you would not attend. It may save you (and your professors) some time and effort to consider now which of these two your final 3 schools are, although as others said it is something that can be decided later.


17

That's a mildly positive response. You have a chance if you apply, but it's impossible to make any more qualified predictions about your success chances, because they entirely depend on who else applies.


8

Salary negotiations are about supply and demand. If your stipend has come to an end, it is no longer relevant to that supply and demand. If your stipend is ongoing, you can say you will only accept a new position if it pays more than the stipend. Your past stipend pay is not very convincing evidence of your merit. Your past stipend pay is not relevant to ...


8

In part to make a counter-point to the (good from a different angle) accepted answer, I would argue it is not only desirable, but in fact smart from the point of view of the OP. Emails might not be the ideal communication tool (e.g. legally), but finding out how a given teacher performs from their former students is a very good idea. I have personally ...


7

Fortunately, this isn't an either-or proposition! I agree with your assessment that you shouldn't come to your advisors empty-handed and ask for some schools to apply to. However, it would be perfectly reasonable for you come to them with a couple schools you like - probably spread out by competitiveness and such - and maybe some guidelines for what you ...


6

A better strategy is to search through the professor's websites, publications, department website, and thesis databases (such as Proquest Disstertations) and look up past students' contact information yourself. Then email the former students directly. Former students are likely to be more informed that current students. There's also no need to ask the ...


5

Each program handles admissions slightly differently, even sometimes at the same university. In some, an admissions committee reviews applications and makes offers to students, based on the strength of their application and the program's needs and capabilities (e.g., funding availability, future TA/RA needs, balance between different subfields, etc). In ...


3

Dyslexia is widely recognized as a disability. Deciding if dyslexia is "severe" is a matter of opinion. Only one person has a well-informed opinion about the severity of your dyslexia: you. If you think it is severe, no reasonable person will question it. Your strategy of mentioning your disability in the context of how you were successful ...


2

You phrase your question as a rational consideration. But the real issue here, I suspect, is an emotional one. It feels deceitful and opportunistic to apply for a college you are not keen to attend, just to have options. That's probably because applying for it somewhat implicates pretending that you do. It feels ungrateful and egoistic to ask for ...


2

The readers of such letters will normally be looking for predictions of success in the academic program and thereafter. The past is less important (what you have already done) unless it supports that prediction of success. If the letter writer understands that, and they are supportive, then you should be fine. But a "bald" statement that "I ...


2

I'd suggest that you don't name anyone unless you somehow name them all. Not only do you avoid seeming inflexible, you actually maintain some flexibility until you can judge better who would be best if you need to single out anyone. Indicate that you are familiar with their work somehow, I think, by naming papers you are familiar with. (Familiar with, not ...


2

Your highest degree is a masters. You don't have a PhD until it is awarded. And that is only after you pass all requirements, which has not yet happened. Of course, you can also say (if the opportunity exists) that you expect to be awarded a doctorate in 2021, but it isn't certain, and that will be understood.


2

It is a postdoctoral research position in e.g a university or research institute setting, right? If so I would say that a research statement is not the place for demonstrating proficiency. Your CV and reference letters should make it clear that your expertise is up to the level required by the position. I would follow other standard advice about research ...


2

Don't confuse an application for admission to a graduate program with an application for a postdoc. In most cases the application will be read by people well versed in your field, if you have matched your skills to the listed requirements. I think you can be much more technical in such a situation and it will probably serve you well. The only caveat is ...


1

Don't mention people by name, mention projects. Go to the group's web pages and read about their ongoing work. Then, when you write your cover letter, highlight how your skills, experience and interest could contribute to the ongoing projects. This not only shows that you are interested enough to look up details about the research group, but also that you ...


1

If you're in mathematics and the job posting has a slot for "faculty contacts" you should also list the names of the people you want to work with there. The reason is that you can search those data fields on mathjobs to get a list of everyone who wants to work with you, whereas you can't search the text of cover letters.


1

I agree with Buffy, except that the position you are applying for (postdoc) requires a PhD. It is common for last-year PhD students to apply for postdocs or faculty positions (which require the PhD) before they have officially graduated, or sometimes even before they have defended their dissertation. When applying for such jobs, it is customary to list the ...


1

As @Jeff says, you should follow both of the paths you suggest: develop your own ideas, and then talk to your advisor. (And don't be offended if their perception of your potential versus those programs is not the same as yours. They still may be wrong...) An important aspect both for you yourself to think about and for discussion with your advisor, is what ...


1

Assuming that the funding agency has no guidelines, you can write it so that it makes the most sense to yourselves and, hopefully, for your readers. The why can go elsewhere, of course, such as in an introduction or abstract (if short). Whether it is a mistake to just avoid the why of it is a judgement call that only you can make. Some problems are well ...


1

To answer the general question about how to pick the last recommender: Ask the first two. They know you well, they know your field, and they presumably know at least the famous professor, if not the postdoc. They can guide you to what would help your application the most. Professors beat postdocs, and a little diversity in field can help. I suspect the ...


1

Realistically, your acceptance into a good doctoral program will depend on an assessment of your probability of success in research. Funding might depend a bit on other things as well, but not the acceptance itself. Normally that would suggest professors are to be strongly preferred. In your case, however, the post doc has some knowledge of your research ...


1

I would counsel against two different SoP statements. If they are compared then it makes you look like you don't really know what you want. The university might be fine with two separate applications (or not). But more important than the source of funding and the activities to earn the funds is the question of what would the research be with each of these ...


1

This sort of dilemma is often country and culture-dependent. Some areas of the world will be far more strict about what is / isn't a 'maths degree'. Usually here (UK) I see it phrased as more like 'a degree with a high quantitative component' which includes computer science, physics, engineering, etc, but I don't know much about the Indian academic culture. ...


1

I think your plans for your future are quite reasonable, but my thoughts count for very little. Many engineers have a mathematical bent of mind and I believe many mathematics departments (especially in applied fields like statistics) will recognize that. An example of an engineer who became a mathematician is: Raoul Bott. In all probability, you are not ...


1

Often, PhD applicants come along with transcripts showing solid grades in their undergraduate courses. However, this does not always translate into an ability to apply the material in real-world settings, or to find and successfully pursue interesting/important questions. These are naturally important skills for success at research, and may be areas where ...


1

Having written letters for students outside my discipline, here are some things she might be able to write about that your professors might not. Ability to work collaboratively in a team. Ability to explain statistical concepts to non-statistician clients/team members. Flexibility. Ability to take on new challenges, such as with a particularly difficult set ...


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