Hot answers tagged

81

I will answer here because it may help to have a female perspective. I will note that most of my points are covered by the male answers. The thing that is missing is a firsthand perspective, which I can bring. First, the thing you are experiencing is very common for women in your position. Many, many women who are youngish, attractive-ish, and pleasant have ...


80

If there are any female faculty that you trust, I would go and talk with them about the situation. This would accomplish a few things. Documents your concerns if anything ever escalates. Allows for you to share your concerns with another person, who may be able to give you insight specific to your situation. Allows you to verify if your colleagues are ...


66

Adding a student's perspective to Pete's answer: My advisor told me at the being of my master thesis, that soon I would know more about my particular area of research than him. At the time I didn't believe a word he said, but at our third meeting I was already explaining stuff to him and by the fifth I started to feel irritated that I had to explain stuff ...


65

First, let me start off with a counter-question: Why would you expect them to be exactly the same? Different regions have historically different educational systems on all levels, starting from Kindergarten. Why would you expect specifically the PhD degree to have a completely uniform definition everywhere in the world? Of course there are nowadays ...


51

I’ve had to teach colleagues children, nephews, and even the son & daughter of the Dean. Be professional. Treat and grade them the same as any other student. They also think “oh sh*t s/he knows my Dad / Mum so I had better be careful”... :). Don’t call them out in class, but don’t avoid them either. If you do random questions and it’s their turn, then ...


49

At my university - or at least in my department - the norm seems to be that they prefer to hire externally for tenure-track jobs (speaking from experience serving on a search committee for a tenure-track position). The line of reasoning is, "if we're the ones who taught/mentored/molded Candidate X, then they're not bringing in anything new in terms of ...


47

Yes European higher education can be fairly cheap for the students, especially in those countries where universities are mainly public, and hence are largely funded by their respective governments. This means that they do not need to charge high fees to their students to cover for costs. Nevertheless their campuses offer all the facilities their students ...


47

Here is an overview of the situation in Germany, where there are no tuition fees for Bachelor and Master programs at public universities (though student union fees and public transport fees totaling 60-130 EUR per semester still apply). For Bachelor degrees, the general requirements for admission to any German university are (1) proof of knowledge of the ...


43

In my observation over some decades (in mathematics), I think it is nearly impossible for a PhD student to gauge their own progress. Sure, it is possible to know whether one feels discouraged or encouraged, etc., but these are mostly artifacts of one's own temperament and of the general environment, not indicators of one's progress. If you have an engaged, ...


41

I can't comment on how common this is outside of biomedical sciences (my field), but it's becoming quite common in this field. In terms of what it is, the "Chalk Talk" is a chance for you to talk about your research (past, current, and future directions) without hiding behind Powerpoint slides. You'll typically be given up to an hour to do this, in front ...


39

Update on 2016-06-28: The UK Government has put out an official statement on this issue. The short answer is "We don't know yet, but for a PhD program likely not." The terms of Brexit have not been negotiated. They will may start to be negotiated if and after a vote to leave wins the referendum. (So that's the "we don't know".) On the other hand, it will ...


33

Probably, you have an incorrect picture of European PhDs. There are significant differences in the paths that lead to a PhD in the US and in Europe. Several of these differences have been already covered by other questions, but let me highlight those I think are the most important for what concerns your question. First, however, the usual disclaimer: ...


31

I am not even sure it makes sense to speak about “graduate schools” in Europe. In the countries I know, the big divide is between the master's degree and the PhD program, and not between bachelor and master programs. A master's degree is mostly another diploma with slightly higher requirements/more focused topic but otherwise not unlike a bachelor's degree ...


31

I don't think it's possible to give an answer in the abstract. In general I wouldn't recommend paying a lot for a Ph.D. program anywhere, but it depends on how much they charge and how much money you have. Ph.D. programs in developing countries vary enormously in quality and reputation, and how useful they would be for getting an academic job in the U.S. ...


30

Well, it depends how strict you are with the terms "open" and "free": Open: Most European countries I am familiar with (Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland) are actually fairly open in terms of admission. There are always some basic requirements (e.g., candidates need to have a high school diploma or comparable), and sometimes there are entry ...


28

Switching from one thesis supervisor to another is hardly a "rebellion". In fact it's a fairly common thing: in my own PhD program it seems to happen roughly 5-10% of the time. (In institutions with a higher rate of faculty turnover, it is probably more common.) And switching advisors is much easier than any form of "starting over a PhD". You should ...


26

I can tell you how I measured my progress in an area (Theoretical CS) where the few papers arrive on the final year of the PhD. The first year of my PhD I studied a lot. I mean a lot. And I realized I was making progress when I could follow arguments and expositions that were too alien for me in the beginning. When I was reading a description of a theorem (...


26

As there is no "US" tag, the German universities have a general and quite strictly enforced policy that no one may be "simply" given a professorship at the same university where they were postdocs. No Hausberufung. The rule is about "promoting" people to professors internally. If you were somewhere else, it's not a problem. If you have a position offer from ...


23

It will be very difficult to do so. Several European countries have rules about how long someone can be employed in "government" positions without a permanent contract. For instance, in Germany, if you do not have a unbefristete (permanent) contract after a given time, you are required to leave university employment. Other countries almost certainly have ...


22

You can expect rather more than that. 10/0 corresponds to a second year PhD student (functieschaal P). A postdoc typically goes on somewhere around 10-5, plus a point per year. So you might hope to be somewhere around 10-8. To get your annual salary, multiply these numbers by 14: 12 months plus two bonus payments. Don't ask me why. Coming from abroad you ...


22

Is this a cultural difference between continental European and British/American system I cannot surely speak for all continental Europe, not even for a small portion of it and not for all fields, but speaking with a few European colleagues of mine, it appears that the expectations that we have on recommendation letters are completely different from the ...


22

In most European countries following the Bologna process, a master's degree is a "hard" prerequisite for being accepted into a PhD program. There is no easy way around this, in large part because the PhD typically encompasses only the research phase of a standard US PhD program. By skipping or omitting the master's degree, one would have a "weaker" degree ...


22

In the UK there are four levels of permanent academic employment: lecturer, senior lecturer, reader, professor. These four positions between them are roughly equivalent to the three US positions of assistant professor, associate professor, professor. These days lecturer is often a probationary position for the first few years, but higher positions are ...


22

Yes, you should notify the school. However, part of being a professional is just being professional. You don't indicate any issues that seem to imply anyone behaving badly, so I think you should go ahead. But not notifying the school (and probably the lecturer as well, if the daughter is a minor) would be a mistake. If something bad happens in the future, ...


21

I think in the end it will be a personal choice based on what you want in your career on where you may do your PhD. Based on some of the queries you had in the comparison between a US PhD or a European one, hopefully the following will be of help. This link is a good page that shows the difference between the system in Europe and the US for PhD. The main ...


20

The legal situation in Israel I mention Israel first since am involved in a legal case before the Israeli national labor court on this very question: Arguing that those PhD candidates who are required to work all week long, who are forbidden from working outside the university, who can be required to teach up to a limit according to the needs of their ...


19

I can talk about PhDs in the UK, I have less knowledge of the rest of Europe, but I know that it is not similar to the US. In the UK, you specialize early in a subject, and your education is therefore narrow and deep. In the US, you specialize later, and your education is therefore wide and not so deep. It's changed a little (but only a little) since I was ...


19

Just read OECD statistics. "Underdeveloped" countries are not in OECD, but they presumably spend less per student and charge more because they can't afford public investment (or vice versa, they don't invest so they're underdeveloped). First chart. The average expense per student per year in OECD is about 14000 USD (in tertiary education ~ university). ...


19

I can give you some insight in Germany/Austria (phd in physics in Austria), not so much on the UK. Many countries in Europe now use the Bologna system https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bologna_Process#Qualifications_framework It is normally a three step process for a phd: Bachelor programs is more or less equivalent to US undergrad, takes 3 years normally (all ...


18

Welcome to European vacation regulations :-). You are entitled to X days of vacations per year. Literally. There's no hook to it. You simply ask the employer, basically your direct supervisor (head of the group, department, dean?), and if there's no reason to say "no", they will approve it. Of course taking time off during days when you are teaching needs ...


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