New answers tagged

15

Here are some things the grad students in my department did to keep connected: We have a slack group with lots of channels. Some are dedicated to posting memes/talking about random things We have occasional game nights on Zoom where we play games like Contact and other games that can be played over Zoom. We sent emails specifically to the new grad ...


2

I suggest that you take every opportunity open to you to do research and publish it. It will never hurt unless you publish in predatory venues. The university sponsoring this conference is reputable (and has a long history). The conference is in their main line of interest. I don't think you should have any qualms about submitting to such a conference. While ...


-1

it's absolutely ridiculous that everyone on here acts surprised that a prof would do this. of course this happens. the fact of the matter is that there's no nice solution to it. and I'm afraid admins would act as pollyana'ish as the people in the comments here. the only good (above board) advice is perhaps try to get an alternative letter writer.


17

First, I am sympathetic to your dislike of sitting in classrooms, at scheduled times, for artificially limited intervals, and too-often lecturers/teachers who add little to the textbook, or even to their own notes... and are possibly non-interactive as well. Or, as in k-12 in the U.S., often far more concerned with crowd control (not their own fault) than ...


36

I'd shorten and tone it down if I were you. Being a researcher involves a lot of sitting in other people's talks, so we all know that lectures are boring. But we still do it, because those are an excellent chance to socialize. We might just pack a paper to read in case it gets too boring. So your statement makes you look a bit like a loner. And being able to ...


0

You are panicking indeed. Give it some more time. This was last Friday, and I assume your response was also on Friday. However, that was only two working days ago, and this supervisor is probably now in the progress of furthering the application. This probably means filling in some form, possibly requesting availability from potential relevant others that ...


0

My answer is basically for US as that's where I am from, and also where I got my Ph.D. Advisor is key. Work with your advisor to pick an approved topic. The advisor will typically know what will work. It is important that the PhD candidate's research have original research, but it also needs to be related to and compared to past research, so extending past ...


3

I'm not a major believer in the performance in a single or even several courses as an indicator of research potential. People come in with different skill sets, different studying skills, even different life starting points. How many grad students struggle with depression or other mental illness? How many are from disadvantaged backgrounds? How many are the ...


3

Do not do pure math: the job prospects in academia are horrible. Then, once you leave academia you'll figure out that a math degree while highly impressive is completely useless to employers. Yes, it's a fundamental discipline which undergirds every engineering field, but by itself it is abstract and totally and completely useless. You need to couple it ...


3

I'm going to answer here as if you are the "friend." If the university accepts you into a doctoral program they have fairly high confidence that you will be successful. Otherwise they are just wasting scarce resources, including money, space, and faculty time. It may be that you have some deficiencies and I hope that the educational system in place ...


4

The university means something, but the reputation of the professor you will work with means much more. There are some top professors at "modest" universities. I assume that if the research lab is renowned it is for the faculty, not the overall institution of which it is a part. And many people here seem to want to suggest, mistakenly, that some ...


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 ...


0

None of the missing skills you mention strike me as "seriously underqualified". Those are tools that you can learn reasonably quickly. You can learn C++ and Python, and you can learn machine learning algorithms and try them out. This will not take you longer than a couple of months. The important thing is that you are an expert in your field: that ...


2

This depends a lot on how the degree is structured in your field and in your place of study. If you are required to obtain an advisor to take you on in order to start, then it is their answer to this question that is the only important one. Different people will judge differently. However, if the admissions process is more general, as it is in most fields in ...


2

Can you ask your prospective PhD advisor? Surely it is not impossible to change areas between masters and PhD, but for some topics some earlier experience may be very helpful. So it depends. As a supervisor, I'd not normally expect a PhD student to have worked in the same area before, although I had two PhD students who had done this, and it was actually a ...


1

This would definitely help your chances, and in any case you should apply to preserve the relationship since this prof has gone to bat for you. I would not see this as a guarantee, however, and I would continue to apply to other schools. I'm not 100% clear on the timeline, but it seems like this prof has already been unsuccessful in securing your admission ...


1

Messages are asynchronous. The whole benefit of asynchronous communication is that the sender can send them at whatever time is convenient for them to send it, and the recipient can respond at whatever time is convenient for them to do so, with no requirement for those two times to be particularly close to each other. If you don't want to receive emails ...


6

Your question mentions two problems and you only think they have to be related: He sends "almost critique no constructive feedback" He sends it at early dawn The second point is nothing you should worry about. In academia it is quite usual that people work (or read mails, write mails, look into papers or proof read what their students sent them) ...


25

It is entirely proper to send emails at whatever time anyone wants to. It is up to the recipient to read them as they see fit.


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 ...


0

All I can say is it is not easy to meet a mentor who has both the faith in OP, the project that led to a successful bargaining position of OP and capacity to offer what he/she did for OP. I know the publication proves the capacity, but next lab performance... past is no reference point, based on my experience.


0

This is mildly positive as was said. Now you have to seal the deal. I would say that you now should visit the lab. However with covid-19 and all. Find some way to show interest. Good luck.


0

I think the first thing would be to involve some staff in the group, if only one or two members. If one asks to be another admin [they may not do], it's worth considering, but it will be useful to have someone else on hand who can feed back with greater immediacy to the faculty. You already have a handle on most things which will be useful to students in ...


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.


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 ...


2

Leaving aside the fact that FB is evil, from the outside looking in, it appears nondeterministic. Not everyone sees the same messages, and you can't guarantee that any member will see any given message. Finding old messages is hard. The software that powers Stack Exchange, or at least a version of it, is available to universities very inexpensively as ...


4

I deleted Facebook several years ago, but that's not where I'm going with this answer, although you will get people who don't have or want a Facebook. Facebook is a poor way to share persistent information. The newsfeed rapidly scrolls past, and comment threading is rather poor, and not built for information-dense sharing like you might get when working ...


7

Do not use Facebook. Academics view it as unprofessional. Events should be managed using a calendar application. Most other functions you want to achieve are traditionally achieved with email lists. When setting up a platform, you do not want it to do as many things as possible. You want your platform to do one thing and do it well. That is the Unix ...


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 ...


1

I chose to do my Ph.D. in a major American city eight hours away by train from my rural hometown. My adviser is great. I have started to hate the city and pine for the wilderness every day. Yet I know a bad adviser elsewhere could make my life perhaps even more miserable, and might even make me hate my work. Somehow, you should try to balance your need for ...


3

I am a professor, I have been on more than 20 doctoral committees. Most of the answers here are focused on, or call attention to picking a topic. IMHO - by itself this is not a good strategy. In my experience, all dissertation decisions hang on one thing: the candidate's ability to understand how gatekeeping works. That is to say the classic error is the doc ...


4

As far as I guess, she chose a topic that was destined for failure. I.e. her hypothesis was incorrect. How should someone choose a Ph.D. topic so that she doesn't fail? I think your hypothesis here might be incorrect. You could in theory write an entire PhD thesis based on an incorrect hypothesis. The entire point of the thesis would become disproving the ...


4

When one fails or is about to fail a Ph.D., it is worth understanding what requirements are not fulfilled. This may vary from a field to field but generally, there are four sets of requirements: Formal criteria required by law. These are usually vague and the easiest to fulfill. They dictate the number of course points, seminars, and some generic ...


8

I want to reassure you that don't fail a PhD dissertation because your hypothesis was incorrect. If you are stressed about this on your own behalf- don't be. Your result is outside of your control. To reassure you, null results are published all the time. For example, "The Ineffectiveness of using Generic Deep Learning approaches on Problems of Type ...


19

Speaking as someone currently in the trenches, I’d advise the following general strategies for a doctoral student to maximize their chance for completion. At the very least, all these points should be considered. Also, as others have said, you won't fail a dissertation for having a hypothesis that yields a negative result – a dissertation is very much about ...


9

It is an empirical fact that the percentage of graduate students who fail to complete their PhDs is quite high. It follows that there does not exist a simple algorithm for choosing your PhD topic that guarantees success - certainly not one that fits in the space of an academia.se answer. If it did exist, everyone would know it, and we wouldn’t see the ...


25

A PhD is awarded following submission of a thesis. It is extremely rare for a student who submits a thesis to fail. It is quite common for a student to never submit a thesis. If the goal is simply to pass, then the key questions should be: What are the expectations for a thesis in my discipline? Expectations vary, but usually originality is expected. ...


46

Make sure your advisor has a good track record of graduating students in time. Anyone just entering or outside the field won't be able to assess PhD topics with good judgement, so it's unfair when advisors fail their students by giving them bad projects. Your best bet at avoiding this is finding an advisor who is unlikely to fail students in this way. If you ...


2

It would be serious ethical misconduct for your advisor to try to publish your work under his own name. If you find that it has been done, a note to the journal editor or conference chair would have serious repercussions for his career. You could also, then, file a claim with the university, perhaps resulting in his getting reprimanded or fired. It is ...


0

I had a similar PhD advisor, so I do not wonder at all. I used to protect myself by keeping all the main material for me until publication. In my case, I kept all the codes and outputs in my computer, so that I could prove beyond any doubt that I made the work.


0

Removing an author from a paper is a very sensitive topic. If that is done without the consent of the author, then this is a serious violation of research regulations. In your case, it does not matter if the paper is included in your thesis or not. Authorship of a paper does not depend on the thesis inclusion. As far as I know, these are standard research ...


0

I appreciate that you did not cave. But, I would consider, just saying consider, including some useful work done by the new PhD student so you can both enrich your own work and give them co-authorship legitimately. You could do that by using just a few of their paragraphs.


0

Unless you are going to seriously hurt someone in the process, go follow your dream. You will be dead for ever in a few decades.


2

Your situation does not sound fundamentally different from any other university graduate. Your work experience will possibly give you some technical and time management skills that others don't have, but you'll just have to put your skillset to good use like every other graduated student. Note, that going to graduate school for the sole reason to become a ...


0

I would take some time to carefully think about it if you can. A good supervision is also important and it can make you really enjoy what you are doing. It depends also on what kind of person you are. I am the one who needs and wishes to be inspired and the topic is really important, but not the only thing to consider. You will interact with people and you ...


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 ...


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 :-) ...


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 ...


30

My wife and I are trying to make a dual academic career happen. To make this work, several conditions must be met: Both partners must be fully committed to putting the needs of the couple ahead of the needs of the individual. For example, if I were to spend more of my weekends and evenings writing my grant proposals, this would boost my individual CV. But ...


1

I have started a PhD last year in a topic far from my background. I have been naive and I did very little research on my now ex supervisor. I started and then discovered that he was "hands off", meaning that the supervision consisted in meeting without any very meaningful advice on research. This, together with the my non expertise on the topic, ...


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