145

A few suggestions: If it were me, I would be very forthcoming about the illness. Of course, no one is entitled to your private medical information, so you will have to decide what you're comfortable with. But "an undiagnosed brain tumor caused me to act erratically" is a very convincing explanation, and does not reflect poorly on you. Consider ...


137

My advice is to state facts not conclusions. For example, you should not say: It's impossible to finish my degree here because they discriminate against Christians. Instead, you could say: I finished all my coursework, but I have been unable to get a spot in a lab -- there are only 10 lab spots for 40 students. Further, two different professors told ...


129

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 ...


128

These statements, in many variations are quite common. But they are not discriminatory, as you suggest (universities do not "discriminate against white males"). All the statement is saying -- and that is true in actual practice in the discussions of hiring committees -- is that women and other minorities are specifically encouraged to apply. This does not ...


122

No. How will you know exactly what's "just enough to pass the first selection round"? You won't. You can't. Don't "surprise" by withholding helpful information. I believe most people find it annoying and inconsiderate when someone deliberately withholds information that they need in order to do their job (which is what you are proposing to do to the ...


117

It's not easy to understand how a mental health issue can lead to plagiarism, and it's less clear still how a medical practitioner could reach the conclusion that a specific instance of plagiarism was a consequence of a mental health issue. Unless those things can be documented and explained in a credible way, it is unlikely people will overlook the ...


112

Leave it blank You don't have to play along with the diversity people, but that doesn't mean there won't be any consequences. Throughout my time in undergrad, the US military, and now grad school, I have steadfastly refused to answer questions about my race. And why should I? My father is from Mexico and is still a dual citizen. As far as I can tell, that ...


112

Thou shalt not dumb down thy writing, but don't make it a vain exercise of style I'm a non-native English speaker, and let me put it straight: I may write in simple English, because limited are my English writing skills, but I don't want to read simple English because I want to enrich my vocabulary and grammatical constructions. But whether you write for ...


107

You can't really hide the fact that you were dismissed for plagiarism. If you do, and it comes to light later, that can be sufficient grounds to have your admission revoked (or to be expelled). If you're asked, then you need to be straightforward about it—explain the entire situation briefly and cogently. Explain what happened and why it happened, and why ...


100

For me, it means two things: I am really busy I don't know anything about the job you're applying to and what you want to emphasize about yourself If the first draft you write is something I can't sign, I'll edit it or I won't sign it. If it's not braggy enough, I might add some emphasis. But metaphorically handing me a piece of blank paper and asking me ...


87

One important consideration that you should take into account is whether there is an actual case of nepotism or not. Nepotism is if the preferred candidate is objectively inferior to at least one other candidate from all the information that is accessible to the selection committee. Or, in other words, if the head of the department is willingly hiring a ...


80

What I currently do is save the following text on my computer, and simply paste it in an email response every time I receive this type of email. I'm sorry to say that this email is too generic for me to consider you as a future PhD student working with me. Unfortunately, it doesn't demonstrate that you know what topics I work on. I'd recommend in the ...


76

To make a good PhD degree, you do not have to be in the top 100 universities in the world. The high tier journals accepts papers and acknowledges valuable research contributions from all over the world. Develop the skills you have acquired in your masters, get a highly motivated and experienced supervisor who is interested in your area/you are interested ...


75

It's not uncommon to have subheadings for different kinds of publications. "Peer-reviewed journal articles", "Proceedings", "Monographs" and so on. For a journalism program, "Newspaper articles" seems like a completely appropriate subheading.


75

a professor that I spoke to said that he could write a "positive, but not enthusiastically strong" recommendation This sounds like a polite way to tell you to ask somebody else.


73

The statements what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours? and it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here. ...


72

The employing professor will not have access to this data. You can omit anything in this form. The data from this form goes to HR and is aggregated there so they can prove to auditing bodies that the staff distribution is not skewed (i.e. that they are not discriminating on basis of whatever)


72

How can I prevent this from happening in the future? Well, you can always go live on a desert island, or join an order of silent monks (and even living among monks would not guarantee that you will escape such foibles of human nature). More seriously: you can’t prevent it, and you shouldn’t try either. You did absolutely nothing wrong by sending a reminder ...


71

I would tell them what you expect from a PhD student: prove theorems/run empirical tests/conduct human studies or all the above. If their profile is a clear mismatch, I wouldn’t bother. I would next ask them to review two papers of their choice out of your recent publications. One page review each. The review should include at least one idea for future ...


68

I have, on many occasions, received references/letters of recommendation from academics with their student copied in. Some do it as a matter of course for transparency so that students know what's being said about them or to confirm that they have actually done it (profs are notoriously bad at getting refs in on time!). And some do it in error. In the ...


65

You could use a summary statement like the one you've proposed as your thesis topic - and I'd assume that it was for brevity and clarity rather than because you hate the title. That being said, that title is far from the worst paper title I've read today, let alone something in need of outright hiding from the world.


64

I'll give the same answer as Allure, but for a very different reason. Not only is it common, but most people won't notice it. And of the few that do, fewer yet would think it an important enough issue to bother with. "Egad, this person misspelled a word. Horrors." Nope, it ain't gonna happen. But, you also need to be assured that no single thing, ...


62

You have asked three very distinct questions (one in the title of the question and two in the body). I have done my best to answer them in the most factual and literal way possible. Disclaimer: I am commenting about your questions regarding whether certain things are "normal". None of what I write below should be interpreted as an expression of opinion ...


60

I'd be a bit wary of working with this person if this is really them and is really their communication style. 20 minutes is plenty of time to determine a student is not a fit and to politely deny them. 20 minutes is not really enough time to commit to supervising a student. This level of communication might be typical from some professors, but I think ...


58

I feel that I have said or done something wrong. How can I prevent this from happening in the future? The only odd thing you did was remind via both the online system and the personal email without acknowledging you did so in the email ("I am writing you an email on top of the online notices because I was told those sometimes get caught in spam.") You ...


58

If the prospective student cannot realistically solve the problem - and it certainly seems so given that you + some colleagues couldn't solve it - then it does seem unprofessional to me. One could easily interpret your reply as a soft rejection, except it's dressed up to give the student some hope. Ambiguous signals are bad (just see how many literary plots ...


57

You can't "retract" a letter. This isn't done, and I think it would look weird and somewhat suspicious. The committee might be inclined to read that letter more closely in case it contains something damaging that you were trying to conceal. At the very least, it seems distasteful to be "gaming" your professors' supposedly well-considered evaluations in ...


56

I would take it as simply a polite way to decline your application. They no doubt really do get a lot of strong applications (every decent program does), and in many cultures such as the US there is a tendency to "sugar-coat" bad news with compliments (I don't know if your application was in the US, but I believe this practice turns up elsewhere as well). ...


55

The United States does not recognize the statehood of Palestine (meaning technically that can't be your home country as far as that government is concerned), which makes it somewhat unsurprising that an American university might not have it listed as a country. The Department and School likely doesn't have a particular stance on the issue - they probably ...


55

I have never seen a photo on CV to be a requirement (although the fact that is included in parenthesis might implicitly mean that is optional?) My interaction with colleagues in Europe (especially Germany) seems to suggest that this is a relatively common requirement, or at least a default expectation for what is a "complete" CV that they may feel the need ...


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