58

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 ...


24

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 ...


24

Yes (but it's usually an unconscious bias, and not openly stated). Many academics consider failing to become a professor actual "failure". An academic career is supposed to be a vocation. PhD students are supposed to be passionate about the topic, so much so that they'll want to continue to work on it after graduating. The best graduate students go ...


22

Yes, it might look a bit weird, but you don't have control over that. And he is giving you good advice that he shouldn't write you a letter. Not every advisor is willing to be so honest. But, I don't think it is an absolute block to your plans. Find others to write you strong letters and (US perspective) you should be ok. What you need are letters from ...


21

Nearly all PhD students will never be professors. Some PhD programs might prefer to recruit PhD students who intend to become professors, but sensible PhD programs will realize that students who wish to work in industry are students capable of making a realistic plan. That is a good thing. Stating your intent to work in industry is unlikely to hurt your ...


15

It is a judgement call. On the one hand, if you are sure it is no longer relevant, then mentioning it could be a problem since some would doubt you are cured, I think. On the other hand, it shows personal growth. Congratulations. But having grown as a person may not be as relevant to future research as you think. At least in the minds of others. On balance, ...


15

Do not press for a recommendation letter of someone who is reluctant to give you one. Nothing good is coming out of that. You have a different approach to things. It's very dangerous of you to label him as "idealist", maybe what happened is that he considers you an strong pragmatist and if you let through that you see him in the opposite side of ...


15

PhD admission committees are made up of people, and people are notorious for having individual opinions that vary greatly from one person to the next. So: some people may care; others won’t care; and some people will care, but in the opposite direction from what you think. (For example, if I were to read your SOP and got a sense that you want a PhD because ...


14

I can suggest two possibilities and a possible solution. First, your English writing seems awkward, so possibly you didn't express yourself well or made many misspellings. It is Fields Medal, by the way. This might have blown up your statement of purpose, which can be quite important. Second, it is possible that the "famous mathematicians" wrote ...


13

To begin with, I think it is silly that application processes even ask about these things, but that seems to be the way of the world now. If the guidelines recommend that you discuss your economic background (in the case where it is seen as a desirable "diversity" requirement) you could do this in a fairly short and sweet manner, which ...


13

It is hard to to diagnose the problem from the information you provided. Like @Buffy, I notice that your written communication is quite rough -- to a degree this is understandable because you are presumably not a native English speaker, but it also looks sloppy. (A non-native speaker should also know how to spell "Fields Medal.") I will disagree ...


10

It may or may not be noticed. It may or may not be important. No one but the recipient can say for sure. You don't want a reader to be irritated with you. So, I have a suggestion for you. First reformat it to the required standard. Then rewrite it to fit the two page limit if that is required. You will probably gain from being just a bit more concise in your ...


9

I would think that two and a half times the maximum would be a bit extreme and leave people less than pleased. A few extra words wouldn't hurt most likely, but what you suggest seems unreasonable. Factor out the most important ideas and express them concisely. Consider it a test that you don't want to fail. A note on the SoP. Don't use it to reprise what is ...


9

To add a little further context to Buffy's and Pete Clark's: in the U.S. in the current state of things, as I see in my own math R1 state univ (I'm on grad admissions), the total number of (EDIT: not admissions) applicants is perhaps 30% greater than usual. At the same time, economic constraints (partly due to uncertainty about the course of the pandemic) ...


8

I am faculty in a Biostats department. In my experience, there is a small premium placed on students who are likely to remain in academia (doesn't matter what fashion) in that they are more likely to publish components of their dissertation. As these papers often include substantial contributions from their advisors, this means more senior-authored papers ...


7

I am assuming this is US. I want to suggest an alternative. Kindly ask your references to add the situation in their recommendations. I don't think Bill Nace's suggestion is exactly the right one, simple because of this answer. From questions regarding SOPs and from some personal experience I understand that at least some admission bodies in US universities ...


7

First, only you can decide what you are comfortable with. While you are required to divulge some information (e.g., your academic record), there is no requirement to be so open with your private personal and health information. That said, I suspect including this information might help your application. As you say, it is helpful context for your achievements ...


7

A personal statement is a story/pitch that describes/sells your suitability for a position. Your historic phobia of animals might be a starting point for your story. Overcoming that phobia showcases part of your personality. Do you think its a good idea to include that I overcame my phobia by myself? I don't think overcoming your phobia is the key message, ...


7

I think you'd disserve yourself by making such a "complaint". Colleges have limited resources, and especially these days tend to be squeezed by administration... to offer ever-fewer courses, as ridiculous as that sounds. (Our graduate program at an R1 in the U.S. currently is under even-more-extreme pressure in this direction, for financial reasons ...


5

Short answer: No. Long answer: This is from the perspective of a hiring PI. These days I am flooded with applications of candidates that seem very motivated, but give me little confidence that they are the right person for the job. This is mostly for two reasons: 1. lack of relevant background for the position; 2. poor self-presentation (for example, not ...


5

Considering that admissions committees are interested in anticipating/predicting your (professional) future, the more data points the better. Whether or not one believes that "overcoming adversity" is a good thing in itself, achieving this-or-that from a position of relative privilege and security is quite different from achieving the same thing in ...


4

Actually, I suggest that you find somewhere else to mention this, and make the SoP entirely forward looking. The CV and such give your history. The introductory letter can give something of motivation. But the SoP should be used for just that, what is your purpose going forward. It isn't about what you have accomplished in the past. What do you want to study?...


4

Your ORCID would be better off placed on your CV, either next to or below your name. You can certainly cite your published paper in your statement of purpose, if it is relevant to the work you want to pursue in your PhD. You should also list your publications on your CV. It might be worth looking at the websites of a few professors in your field, to find ...


4

I actually think the problem isn't that your math classes are off-topic. I know lots of Physics PhDs who double majored or minored in math. The problem is that you're focusing an awful lot on your coursework in your SOP. Your classes really shouldn't be the focus: anyone reviewing your application gets that information from skimming your transcript. Most ...


4

Did your GPA improve as a direct result of not attending class? Or did it improve as a direct result of you using the time you would have spent in class to do more study by yourself? If so, the fact you didn't go to class is irrelevant.


4

As the other answers here suggest, this is a subtle issue so I won't give a firm recommendation. However, there are some things you might consider in making a decision. First is that the SoP should be forward, not backward, looking. People evaluating your application will be looking for predictors of success in the future. This mostly involves your academic ...


4

this generally seems to be the case in econ. not sure how it is in stats. my advice is to say that you want to be in academia and don't hint that you'd rather do something else even if that's the case. i agree with others that it's very hard to get a job in academia and that you should have a backup plan as a result, but for the sake of maximizing your ...


4

Yup. I know it’s quite common in Israel (and I know of someone else who has two advisors). No idea about the US though. I personally think this should be more widespread- with the way research is going these days, most impactful work span multiple domains and it’s not possible for a single professor/lab-Group to develop expertise in all these domains. So ...


4

Officially, in Sweden, it's normally the department that hires students. In practice, it's likely going to be the professor that acquired the funding who is going to evaluate candidates and make a decision. Even more in practice, your average Swedish professor won't care the least bit who you address in the letter. If you feel you need to put in a name, put ...


4

I suggest first to ask your Prof-A explicitly for more meetings, particularly also for a time and date for the next one at the end of the previous meeting. Maybe Prof-A doesn't realise that you are in some kind of "crisis". You should also tell them clearly that you feel stuck and that something needs to happen to get you back on track. All else I'...


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