44

Back when letters were normally sent by paper mail, the student usually provided a stamped, addressed envelope to the professor. Since letters are rarely sent now, I strongly suggest you do that too; your professors may have forgotten how it works. They might even have stamps that are no longer valid.


35

In Academia, you do not disclose who has applied for a job unless you have the candidate's permission. Since academics work in teams on long-term projects, sometimes they have to keep their job search a secret. If they do not, they may be excluded from teams. Ask the candidate for permission before contacting any references the candidate did not provide. ...


24

Offering to pay the professor for the postage would likely make them uncomfortable. Accepting cash in return for writing a letter of recommendation would feel weird, like accepting a bribe, even if it only reimbursed them for a cost they would be incurring. But providing them with a stamped, addressed envelope feels different. That is preventing them from ...


23

Yes. The time to get tenure can be as short as 0 years. I know people (a small number, to be sure) who received a tenured job offer straight out of a postdoc. In US mathematics departments it is also extremely uncommon for someone to take 8 years to be given tenure counting from the time the tenure track position starts. At my own department, 2-6 years is ...


22

Stick with the reference you were given Are you going to track down ancillary references for all the candidates? You want to be as fair as possible in your faculty hiring. Getting extra references for only a few people is unfair to both the people getting extra references, and people who didn't get a chance to provide an extra reference. If the extra ...


18

It's not the postage that would raise concerns for me -- it's the work flow. I could, in theory, drop it in my departmental mail bag with the right bar code attached to it, and it would probably work. "Probably" isn't good enough for me, though, when somebody's career is involved. I would make a call or two to make sure it would work, and ...


16

Most professors would be willing to do this, or their department would, but you can also offer to provide them postage for this. You could even take the sealed and addressed letters and post them yourself as an alternative. But it would seem odd if anyone objected to paying for the postage.


13

I don't think this would ever raise an ethical concern. Your stipends and such aren't provided to make you think in a particular way even if you are funded to provide some assistance to a particular group. Using a sabbatical to expand your reach is an excellent use of the opportunity. Have a bit of fun while you are at it also. Nothing wrong with that. Do ...


13

Here is another perspective from a european university. At my place it would be most strange, if official mail, concerning someone from the institute in even the remotest possible way, would not simply be covered by the institute of the professor. There is also the option to send the mail personally (to make sure everything is done correctly) and then ...


10

Actually, the probation period is usually 6-7 years, with perhaps a mid-term evaluation. Under some circumstances it is normally shortened, but not often for a first position. But in a lot of places negotiation is possible, though you need a really strong negotiating position. Having "promise" probably isn't enough. There is more to an academic ...


9

There may be law about this, but I would consider it improper unless you ask the candidate first for their OK. Otherwise, you are using a non-official, potentially unfair, informal, "off the record", process to help choose candidates. You have a defined process. You should stick to it, even if not required by law. Thinking about the law, defining ...


9

PhD programs in the US don't typically expect a previous masters degree of any sort (it might be a lot more common in some fields than others, though; engineering would be one of them where it seems more common, though I am basing that mostly on seeing engineering CVs rather than having much familiarity with grad school in engineering). Having done a master'...


9

It is true that, long ago, when "post docs" were not as numerous as now, there was no idea at all that you'd have a mentor. Rather, even though you'd be a new PhD, you were "an expert". And, also, long ago, joint papers were not so common. That culture has not disappeared, unfortunately. Yes, in my opinion, sensible people of_course think ...


8

Every university will be different, both in terms of the "default" tenure clock as well as the mechanisms for going up for tenure early. At my university, it is possible to apply early for tenure. Such cases receive extra scrutiny from the various evaluation committees, so it's very rarely attempted (the only cases I'm aware of are professors who ...


7

You probably submitted far too early. Typically, the way admissions work in the US is that a committee reviews the applications and meets to discuss them shortly after the deadline. There's really no reason to apply 5 months before the deadline, your application will sit there unread. There's no bonus for submitting early, and no decisions will be made until ...


7

The goal of a sabbatical is to expose yourself to new ideas, grow as a researcher, and contribute from your knowledge to the local community you are visiting. The goal of a seminar is to spread knowledge and foster collaboration. So go, have fun, and attend as many seminars as you like, this is 100% consistent with the intended purpose of sabbaticals and ...


7

They’re just setting a minimum bar for what it means for you to be visiting them. You’re free to do any other things you want like anyone else in the department. They just want to make sure that you’re actually interacting with the department and not say actually just traveling around the US the whole time.


7

Quite a lot of funded projects are unsuccessful, though few may be willing to admit it. Whether you can return the money is up to the funding agency. I'd guess that few of them would require it, absent outright fraud, and many might not even be prepared to do it. But, if you really want to do this, contact someone, such as a "program officer" at ...


6

I think there is some confusion about what a "postdoc mentor" is actually supposed to do. But, to start with, let me just say that I don't think anyone can be successful in an academic career without a mentor. A mentor is supposed to help a mentee go through their career by providing advice on the many things a newly graduated PhD simply cannot ...


5

While some people might wonder about your motives and/or commitment, I think that most will believe you when you give reasons for the switch. So, there may be some small effect, but I doubt that it would be a true block. However, changing might be the longest and riskiest path to your goal. Certainly it will cost you time, as you need to pass comprehensive ...


5

Another possibility: send the professor an International Reply Coupon. These are available from your local post office, and can be used by the recipient to send a letter first-class airmail. This works regardless of where your correspondent is. No currency exchange required.


5

We recently hired two PhD students, one with a 1,5-page-CV, the other with a 5,5-page-CV. What matters is the content. If you can fill 4 pages with relevant information, go for it, but I would go for 1-2 pages with hyperlinks to relevant content (LinkedIn, Google Scholar, your website, publications, ORCID, etc. - whichever you use).


5

I wouldn't mention it; it doesn't mean anything. You could have 30 papers under review in Science or Nature tomorrow (or substitute any favorite journal or conference in your field) if you wanted to spend a bunch of time with their manuscript submission software, and depending on venue a bunch of money on submission fees. What does that say about the quality ...


5

I'll assume this is for the US. It might possibly be different in other places with a lesser importance given to such letters. A person who doesn't really know you won't do your application any good. What can they say that is truthful and predicts your future success and knows whether you work hard or coast along. Even a letter from someone who can only say &...


4

I assume in this answer that the graduate coordinator is an office person, rather than a faculty member. If they are a faculty member, then this answer doesn't apply, though in that case some of the responsibilities I describe may still fall to that faculty person; besides that, they are likely to have just as much influence as any other faculty member of ...


4

It seems to me that you really wouldn't want to end up with a PhD supervisor who would react negatively to you iniating a discussion about this. So don't worry about putting off a potential supervisor, but rather view this as a filtering out process from your side. The best time for stuff like this is towards the end of the process, shortly before you accept ...


4

Personal statements are a hold-over from an earlier era, where schools were more interested in assessing character. Even as late as the 80s (and still in places today) grad schools saw themselves as producing well-rounded, thoroughly awesome übermenschen, and not just anyone would do. Academia has become more and more professionalized, standardized, and ...


3

Since homeschooling is a bit of a political hot potato, I suggest you research masters programs at conservative / religious univertities that are homeschool-friendly, for example: Liberty University (Baptist) - because the university is homeschool-friendly. Brigham Young University (LDS) - same thing. Biola University (Christian) University of Dallas (Roman ...


3

It is sometimes possible to transfer between doctoral programs and get credit for all the coursework you have completed and for having already passed the Ph. D. qualifying exam. However, I think the odds are probably against it. Getting credit for some of the coursework is generally possible, although many departments place limits on the number of graduate-...


3

(My context is math at an R1 in the U.S.) Our usual admission criterion is on merit first, and then have number of admissions limited by our capacity. The point I want to make is that "capacity" does not only mean "number of Research Asistantships or Teaching Assistantships or Fellowships" we have, but, also, on the number of faculty we ...


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