60

To be honest, you will not be spared the moral decision. There will be a number of angry and/or unhappy people if you leave, there is no way around that. The core question is: do you know the other supervisor? Will you be happy with them? Is the added value of the other topic/institution so much more than your current that this difficult and costly decision ...


38

Go to the Dream University This quote from your question says it all. Internally, deep inside me, I want to leave and pursue my dreams and the things I am more passionate about. However, I feel very bad and selfish to do this. In this case your dream is achievable. Follow it. Everyone else will be OK. Your supervisor will probably get another student and ...


13

If you have just started the first PhD, I don't think there will be that much anger towards you. At this point there has not been a substantial financial, advisory or intellectual commitment to you. You are not abandoning a project midway through its completion. Of course, it depends on the PI of lab you are leaving. Maybe they had another student that they ...


8

From a career perspective, it doesn’t matter if one is your dream and the other is not. What matters is: What is the future of each individual field? How many publications does a PhD student in each group churn out during his/her PhD, what is the quality? There can be orders of magnitude in differences in quality How is the general funding? If you need ...


6

Your best letters will come from professors who know more about you than that you did well in their courses. I hope you have some of those. You could say in a cover letter that your exams in this persons courses were tops in each, based on anonymized department reports. I doubt that you'd be required to provide evidence for that.


5

I was in a very similar position as a PhD student (although I hadn't actually started a PhD when I made my choice.) I chose not to go to the dream university. I went for the one with the better quality supervision. Who knows, I might never even have achieved a PhD if I had gone to my dream university? I will never know because I didn't choose to go there. ...


5

In this era of networked printers, few people ever actually load letterhead paper into a printer any more. Instead, most organizations have electronic "identity" or "branding" collections that include templates for letterhead, business cards, etc. As such, in my experience, most recipients (in the US and Europe at least) expect letters ...


4

There is more to the story. A weak letter from a "strong" person means very little. If they can't say much about you to support your candidacy, based on what they know, and just send a "form" letter, then it won't have much impact. On the other hand, a letter from someone who knows you well can read as a much more enthusiastic endorsement....


4

(I'm a computer science professor; I regularly evaluate applications for my department's graduate programs.) You are asking the wrong question. You don't want to show your motivation; you want to show your research potential. It really really really Does Not Matter how much you want to do a PhD in computer science. Sure, all else being equal, we prefer to ...


4

My sympathies. Some people are ... to put it politely... procrastinators. The bad effects this can have on other people make me think to give such people a more judgemental label, but I'll not do it right now. As a comment suggests: call them on the phone... send another email... and be prepared to ask someone else to write the letter.


3

Many universities have online systems for submitting recommendations in which the recommenders will get an email with a link to submit. In many of these they can paste the recommendation into a form or else upload a PDF. No signature needed. I usually do PDF with my letterhead template but it's not necessary.


3

Yes, it will count. Since you write "manager" I assume it's someone in industry, not academia, and so your manager may not be familiar with academic letters of recommendation. Probably the most important thing is that the letter should be a separate PDF document, and not just an email message. If the organization has an electronic letterhead, your ...


3

When there is a large pool of readers, the stature of your letter writer is overrated. "Famous" professors are often unknown to most other professors. If the competition is within a single university or a small country, then stature might be important, depending on local culture. But usually letter quality will count for more.


3

Should I ultimately decide to apply for PhD under the set theory/logic department in the future? It's up to you. Nothing you have said indicates that you should not pursue your dream. How much would my past research experiences in other fields help in my application? A lot. When I read the title, I thought it was going to be that you're applying to ...


3

There are several/many programs in Communication (which may sometimes refer to itself as Mass Communication and some related terms) that would be good places to study social media, online behavior, etc. using computational methods. Just going off the top of my head, I'd look at the PhD programs at University of North Carolina, University of California at ...


3

It is certainly appropriate to put in a line on your CV about your participation in the project, naming it, and maybe the PI. You can also state that the work is "yet to be published". Don't overstate the case, of course, but if the paper is not yet written, nor the authorship determined, you can't say, now, any more than that. But participation in ...


3

Generally speaking, for your future academic career, prestige of University as a whole is less important than prestige of department, and that is less important than prestige of advisor. And all of that is tempered by the strenth of reference letters you will obtain, and by the directly observable quality of your work. (By the latter, I mean how good your ...


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 have some very serious doubts about your first few sentences but ignoring those, I can say it seems like you're in really good shape. To add to your list (as a math graduate student myself) really focus on your GRE. A good GRE score will not help you that much but a bad or mediocre one can certainly hurt you. This is something you definitely can study for ...


2

If you have your engineering side covered already with strong letters, you can get a strong letter from outside of the field. However, you are applying to an engineering program, so first and foremost, you must make sure that the program managers understand that you are strong in engineering, not business. It is no harm, of course, to demonstrate that you ...


2

You don't need any special wording or "politeness" beyond what is normally expected of adults. Tell him that you would like him to supervise you and that you are interested in the research area you discussed. Ask, explicitly, if he is willing and able to take you on. If there are other considerations, such as funding, that he controls you will have ...


2

I am not sure about this. You ask if a letter send by email without letterhead and without signature will be ok. If the system only accpects LOR via some annoying online portal, then the safe answer is no. The letter might never even get into the system. You need to check with the place you are applying. My guess is that if they accept a LOR by email, ...


2

'My engagement with the first institution is still on the trial period, in which case I can cancel and leave without any problem.' That answers your question. There's a trial period. Use it. Now, man up. Talk to your supervisor. Just possibly he'll surprise you with 'Oh, THAT'S what you wanted to work on? You can do that here!' OK, probably not :-) ...


2

Such things depend more on why you leave rather than just the fact that you do. If you establish a poor record then it is harder to get in to another program. But it also depends on where you want to study and the nature of the program that you enter. Some programs give you some room and time to catch up with missed knowledge and some programs provide an ...


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 ...


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 ...


1

If your second major (economics) is not related to the graduate program (pure? math), your performance in the second major will be viewed the same way as your performance in elective courses. It is not that important but it will count towards any GPA cutoff. If you were applying for a graduate program in economics with an intent to do quantitative research, ...


1

I picked some quotes about decision-making from a huge list. Here are some that I think might apply to you. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” ― Siddhārtha Gautama “People will always have opinions about your decision because they're not courageous enough to take action on their opinion.” ― Steve Maraboli “Sometimes you ...


1

Reading through comments and answers I think I have a different opinion. First I have to say I commend your moral values and your consideration. Now, in response to your question, I think leaving the current position is in gray area in terms of morality. After all you wrote a motivation letter and had an interview before getting the position, in which ...


1

Remember, the education is about YOU and the product of the education is your abilities and your knowledge. The educational institutions getting money, professors and other staff being employed, etc, etc... are all secondary effects. Do whatever is better for you. You are the only one to decide what is better for you. It is you holding the greatest stake.


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