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127 votes

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

Generally, yes undergraduates should be paid for their research. This is an equity issue. At many institutions, a large portion of the student body has to work while they study in order to survive. ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
74 votes

How to increase the productivity of undergraduate research assistants?

Accept that what you are doing when working with undergraduate researchers is teaching and developing young scientists. Make that mental shift, and your view of productivity changes enormously. Even ...
Corvus's user avatar
  • 18.1k
62 votes
Accepted

How to ask professor to explain something again?

I would like to take a different perspective than Buffy: You were late (maybe even disrupted the course when entering the room) and missed something. Now you want additional time from your teacher to ...
OBu's user avatar
  • 13.1k
59 votes

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

I was an undergraduate who was paid for his work (rather than receiving credit; I had the option of one or the other, but research credits in the department I worked in were useless to me). I worked ...
Azor Ahai -him-'s user avatar
51 votes

How to ask professor to explain something again?

Perfect question for office hours! Go and wait for your turn to ask.
Nicole Hamilton's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Reply ‘no position’ while the job posting is still there (‘HiWi’ position in Germany)

Student assistant positions in Germany are usually open only to students enrolled at a local university (often where the position is offered, but always in Germany). This is for reasons of social ...
henning no longer feeds AI's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

How to increase the productivity of undergraduate research assistants?

I've had a lot of undergrads in my lab (physics). Unlike Corvus, I'd say that certainly more than half have been net positives to the group's research, and several have been very productive. The two ...
Raghu Parthasarathy's user avatar
31 votes

Hired as a research assistant and told to track working hours for payment, is this normal?

From my experience doing research assistant work at a state university in the US, and from speaking with peers in both "hard" and "human" sciences this is par for the course. A tiny bit of paperwork (...
G. Bahr's user avatar
  • 381
28 votes
Accepted

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

It's unfair to take valuable labor from anyone, including students, without compensation. On the other hand, new undergraduates just starting in a research lab are often 90% training and 10% ...
Madcap Engineer-Physicist's user avatar
22 votes

Is it possible for a PhD student to survive in the USA only on TA/RA money?

Agnostic of institution, each of which has its own set of policies governing TA/RA pay (more or less depending on the institution), a short answer is yes. There are also, of course, different costs ...
DMML's user avatar
  • 2,264
22 votes

How do Journals find reviewers and their contact information?

There are a number of ways to identify reviewers First, the journal may ask authors for so-called preferred reviewers, which are suggestions for reviewers. Second, the editor, who likely is an expert ...
Peter Jansson's user avatar
20 votes

Can I publish a paper during my PhD study without notifying my supervisor?

"Can you? Yes. Should you? No." - Federico Poloni No, it is not illegal. Your supervisor could be upset with you, though, either because they are merely jealous (feeling you are working ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 123k
19 votes

Consequences of quitting a graduate-level Research Assistant (RA) position mid-semester, with little notice?

This will likely vary greatly from one department to another. It will also depend upon your relationship with your advisor, departmental needs, etc. As @tonysdg noted in the comments, it would be a ...
haff's user avatar
  • 1,756
18 votes
Accepted

Do professors in pure mathematics hire non-PhD research assistant?

In pure Mathematics, there is less need for research assistants. The typical jobs of an RA such as conducting experiments, wrangling data sets, doing literary search, are not there. Research in pure ...
Thomas Schwarz's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Can you contact a professor whom you have never met to inquire about a RA opportunity?

All of us get such emails all the time -- I get about 1-2 per week. Anecdotally, most professors just delete these answers, whereas some (myself included) at least cursorily look at the usually ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
15 votes

Pessimistic with direction of academia-industry project

My answer is rather a statement about what not to do rather what to do: Do not do a PhD in a field you are not interested in. And do not choose a field of research for your degree just because of ...
Captain Emacs's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

How to handle the fact that the advisor is disappointed?

This is part of the process. You will continue to make mistakes. It's likely that all your supervisors made similar mistakes when they were first learning and they likely will continue to make ...
Harry's user avatar
  • 1,602
14 votes

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

You may be assuming that the students who only work the minimum time required are motivated only to get the paycheck. I would speculate that students actually work the minimum time required to keep ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70.5k
13 votes

Having trouble getting my "assistant" to put in work. How do I tell him to help out more without being rude?

Disclaimer lable: 100% organic locally grown opinion I think there are a few aspects you need to reflect on. First, it's fine for different people to create a joint effort with different motives. As ...
Penguin_Knight's user avatar
13 votes

Can you contact a professor whom you have never met to inquire about a RA opportunity?

While @WolfgangBangerth's answer rings true, you can frequently "stand out from the crowd" of emails by paying careful attention to the subject line of the email and your first sentence. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 3,215
12 votes
Accepted

How are research assistantships for international graduate students funded in the US?

Can international students be paid through NIH/NSF grants that are awarded to the PI Yes. International students are generally not eligible for personal federal fellowships, such as the NSF Graduate ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 109k
12 votes

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

I think payment should depend on the type of work being done. If an undergraduate student is doing menial work with limited training value, they should definitely be paid. I would include cleaning ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 123k
11 votes
Accepted

How to effectively e-mail a professor I met briefly about collaborative work?

I always suggest being a bit more succinct, and mentioning (but not delving into!) the technical aspects of your work. How about this: Dear Professor XYZ, This is [name]; we met at AAA conference in ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70.5k
11 votes

Hiring freelancers for research projects

I don't see any problem with this, though you need to consider whether their work rises to the level of shared authorship. Mostly it would not if you direct their behavior (your IP, not theirs). Of ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 376k
11 votes

Hiring freelancers for research projects

In the US context, this could be very difficult. The first issue is that it is likely that the grant budget allocated money specifically for graduate student research assistants (and often ...
Brian Borchers's user avatar
11 votes

How do Journals find reviewers and their contact information?

The editor contacted some potential reviewers, asking them to review the paper or to at least forward him the contacts of someone that may be able to give a meaningful review. One of your former co-...
EarlGrey's user avatar
  • 19.1k
10 votes
Accepted

How do I stay motivated with repetitive tasks as an undergraduate research assistant?

First of all, I think you're taking the wrong approach here. Drawing circles isn't helping you at all in any way. You can't put on your resume that you know how to draw circles. You aren't getting ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 254
10 votes

Should professors pay undergraduate students doing research in their labs?

Yes! When I was an undergrad, I worked in a lab starting my freshman year and my PI paid me $3 over minimum wage and gave me research credit. The university could only pay me for 20 hours/week max ...
Maria's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes

Reply ‘no position’ while the job posting is still there (‘HiWi’ position in Germany)

Is it just because he think I am not good enough at the first read of my email and make a polite refusal? Most likely, yes. Note he didn't say the position has been filled; he's only saying he can't ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 133k

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