24 votes

My poster didn't win the "best poster award", is it desperate to ask the committee about an evaluation of my poster quality?

At some conferences all posters are evaluated and all participants receive some feedback. If you've received none it's likely that there is none to send you. You could politely ask the organizers if ...
19 votes

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

My recommendation is to figure out roughly how much time it's reasonable and sustainable long run for you to think really hard (maybe this is one or two hours a day?), and then commit to spending that ...
  • 31.1k
13 votes

My poster didn't win the "best poster award", is it desperate to ask the committee about an evaluation of my poster quality?

No, it’s neither impolite nor desperate. In the eyes of any reasonable person I don’t think it will imply anything negative about you at all. There is a possibility however that the committee won’t ...
  • 174k
12 votes
Accepted

Overcoming poor results in first college for graduate school admission

In the US and (I guess/suspect Canada) the early grades won't hurt you and will be largely ignored, due to the later success. Just like high school grades have no real impact on doctoral admissions if ...
  • 280k
11 votes

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

I don't think there is a "one-size-fits-all" answer that will work for everyone. I think it's useful to be aware of two extreme scenarios, as well as a few practical considerations. Then you ...
  • 7,331
11 votes

Is there an independent and fair organisation for investigating and documenting discrimination and power abuse in academia?

In my opinion, there is no way to achieve any such fair venue to record mishandling of students. The reason are as follows: This is not unique at all to universities; mishandling can occur in any ...
  • 11.2k
8 votes

My poster didn't win the "best poster award", is it desperate to ask the committee about an evaluation of my poster quality?

While you can certainly ask, I'd like to suggest a slightly different approach for the future: When presenting the poster, ask people who are interested in your poster (or pass by) for suggestions how ...
8 votes

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

For the "initial years" of doctoral study the answer would be quite different in different places. For example, in US most students spend a couple/few years in advanced coursework preparing ...
  • 280k
8 votes

Is there an independent and fair organisation for investigating and documenting discrimination and power abuse in academia?

Many universities have a standard process to handle these cases. I agree with you that one of the considerations students should make when picking a graduate school is the existence of a strong ...
  • 23.5k
8 votes
Accepted

Typical agendas for meetings among PhD candidates

In my institute (for context: western Europe, with both experimental and theoretical labs), PhD students would elect one or two delegates or representatives, generally for a one-year term. Their role ...
7 votes
Accepted

Is it better to merge my SOP and PS into a single essay or just join the two files one after the other to create a single file?

It is impossible to say whether any given university uses them interchangeably, though it is likely that some do. Actually, I'd suggest that you write three documents; an SoP, a PS, and a combination ...
  • 280k
6 votes

Typical agendas for meetings among PhD candidates

The doctoral program where I formerly worked had something not quite like this, though it included both faculty and students. Once a month the students involved in their research (that is, later, not ...
  • 280k
5 votes
Accepted

Best website for giving details of a book mentioned in a Statement of Purpose

I'd suggest no link at all for several reasons. Most important is that you don't want the reader to go off somewhere else while reading your SoP. You want them to focus on what you write. Also, as you ...
  • 280k
5 votes
Accepted

Are poster sessions worthless for math grad students?

Poster sessions, like any academic activity with a reviewed publication will add something to your CV. Not as much as a full paper, but positive. Poster sessions are, however, also valuable since they ...
  • 280k
4 votes

Overcoming poor results in first college for graduate school admission

The grade from the school A will not hurt you. Your current academic achievements will show them that you have the perspiration to overcome hardship to achieve success again despite of that mental ...
  • 429
4 votes

PhD student paid from NSF grant also working side job as independent contractor

There are multiple laws and policies in play. Your institution should be liable for certifying your effort on any federal project, as required by Uniform Guidance. Your effort should be defined at ...
4 votes
Accepted

Reasons for differences in the Ph.D. admission process in India vs U.S. and Europe

The main reason is the number of applicants. I know PhD applicants and Phd students from both India and Europe. I have also been part of interviews to select students from both. European countries are ...
  • 1,634
3 votes

Best website for giving details of a book mentioned in a Statement of Purpose

From my experience, only mention it in the PS if that book is truly important for your development (Do you have a good reason to justify that to yourself?). If the book is popular, it is probably ...
  • 429
3 votes

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

I think you're looking at this a bit sideways. With your mentor, work out a reasonable schedule for your graduate work, with deadlines and milestone reviews. The two of you should agree on the ...
3 votes

How to contact a potential graduate supervisor who is on sabbatical?

I suggest that you ask their department how they can be effectively connected to. They may need to put you together with the professor. In most cases, I think a professor would be glad to entertain ...
  • 280k
3 votes
Accepted

My professor says he'll send me recommendation letters once he finished writing them, what should I respond?

Many professors will share what they write with students even when the expectation is that they are "confidential". I don't have a problem with it as long as the recommender is honest and ...
  • 280k
2 votes

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

Your advisor's suggestion is a good one. You should completely focus on your research problem. As you progress, you will face some questions. Try to actively seek answers to those questions even when ...
  • 456
2 votes

My professor says he'll send me recommendation letters once he finished writing them, what should I respond?

In the US at least, the issue isn't confidentiality, it's whether the student has waived their right under the law to see the letter. Most schools won't take a letter "seriously" if this isn'...
2 votes

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

Vash, I can't agree more with the concern you brought up in your question. I'm also doing Ph.D. I also have background projects. To make the long story short, here's what I came up with. I analyzed my ...
1 vote

As a PhD student in theoretical physics, what fraction of my time (if any) should I spend on background material rather than my research problem?

That depends on what year you are in. If you are in first or second year of grad school, then I'd say it makes no sense to work on anything non-trivial research wise, if you don't have the necessary ...
  • 128

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