This subreddit is for discussing academic life, and for asking questions directed towards people involved in academia, (both science and humanities).
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Questions and Discussion for Academics
This subreddit is for discussing academic life, and for asking questions directed towards people involved in academia, (both science and humanities).
Feel free to post interesting links within self-posts. Posts that will invoke critical thinking and healthy discussion are especially welcome.
Your post should comprise a question (albeit potentially an open-ended one) and must contain sufficient information to enable posters to provide an effective answer. This might include, for example, your career stage, your subject discipline, the type of institution you're affiliated with, and/or the country you're in. Mods may delete posts which do not provide enough context.
Questions from current and former undergraduates, graduates, PhDs, post-docs, professors and laymen all welcome!
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I am a fourth year PhD student pursuing Comm studies in US. The graduate program at my university offers a graduate specialization in data science for PhD students from different departments. I know this can be very helpful for me as I am doing quantitative research. But I am finding it very difficult as being a 4th year, my priorities are different (i.e. research, conferences, job market etc.) This specialization means 4 extra courses and technically I can finish it before graduating but I am still arguing if I should go for it in the first place or not. Since the academic job market is so terrible, doing data science might open more opportunities in the industry.
Any suggestion on this will be helpful
I'm currently a PhD student in the US. This is more of a theoretical question than anything else, but how do some scholars - if this is possible, I only know of a few cases - study 2 completely different fields or have a secondary interest that they are still able to pursue? For example, I work on Middle Eastern history, but have a strong interest in video game studies, or sports studies. How would I get involved in research on these topics on the side, and potentially begin publishing in that field as well? I don't mean to do this as a PhD student, but I'm genuinely curious after recently coming across a professor who does ancient history but is also a leading scholar in studies about a type of modern boat.
Hello, has anyone taken a Humboldt fellowship for a post doc. What all should I keep in mind? I'm an Indian with a PhD from an Indian University.
I’d love to hear what people are thinking for next steps, I only have one paper published
Don't have much to add, just what the question asks. If an artist for example who you liked or admired (not even necessarily regarded as "high culture" but rather "popular culture" died unexpectedly and you were in shock because of it etc. could you bring this up as a mitigating circumstance affecting your studies?) Would it be acceptable?
This year I decided to join a humanities research program and we've been required to do a conference outside the one we would do at the end of our research. I got accepted to SNURCS and it will be on the 11th.
This is my first time doing this so I'm not sure how to prepare and what it will be like. I'm doing a poster presentation and they gave me a size requirement but no other info about what they expect of the poster. I thought I was supposed to do a freaking tripod presentation but talking with a student, you need to make it on PowerPoint and print it out somehow? Is that right? I been working on it on PowerPoint, putting everything I want to talk about, but the question of what to do next is still there.
So am I supposed to print out the size and paste it on a card board or will they have something once I'm there to hold the print? Am I supposed to email them it? I tried emailing them questions and they will NOT answer. After a while I got an email today that seems automatic (for all the SNURCS students) and it didn't answer any of my concerns. I know they must be busy though. I'm just really frustrated. If you guys have any answers or advice, it will be appreciated. Sorry if it's all stupid questions, sometimes I think a student as clueless and easily stressed as me shouldn't have joined the program.
I applied to a research lab and I got this email back (). Does anyone know if this means I got the position? And how or should I prepare for it? I am an undergrad at UC Davis and I am in biomedical engineering.
Thanks for the response. Do you have some time in the next week or two to talk about the position?
For further context, I did a write-up on why I wanted to join the lab and what I was interested in.
College freshman here! Just stumbled upon my professor's twitter (online class so I haven't met her) while googling her ratemyprofessors. I was absolutely astounded by some of the stuff she was saying, seven years of bizzarro dark-triad rants about how she's too good at everything to be a professor (dead serious not tongue in cheek), bragging about being a functioning alcoholic, complaining about how stupid all of her students are, and more.
What the hell? She's only been here a couple years... how did this not raise any red flags?
Last year, I worked a lot on a field in Mathematics in a German university but unfortunately the professors here working on it don’t have the time to supervise me on the MSc Thesis. The problem is I would really like to spend my time working on the field, so I am thinking of emailing professors from different german universities whose work interests me. How is the best way to approach them through email and how do I make sure that they actually consider me? Do I read their latest publications and mention their details on the email, do I mention specifically the things I’ve read and done so far or do I simply ask for a zoom meeting?
Also, how realistic and worth it is to postpone the Thesis a semester so I write it in the desired field when my professors have the time?
I applied for a lecturer position at a UK institution about 5 weeks ago. In the last 2 days, I have had 2 views on my webpage indicating that someone from that institution has looked at my webpage.
I’m trying not to think about this much (since I’m in a less than ideal location TT in the US and desparately want to move from my current institution, not because of my department, I just don’t like living where I am). But I also had two questions:
Should I take it as a positive that someone is looking at my profile from this institution this far out from the submission deadline?
And, since things have changed since I was actively on the job market, in the event that graduate students in my department ask about the importance of a webpage in the job market, this had made me wonder at what stage in a hiring process I should be telling them that the webpage may or may not make a difference? (Even if minimal!)
Edit to say: I think it’s more common in my field in the US for the webpage to play a role at the start of the hiring process (ie right when applications come in), but this might not be accurate for all disciplines or in the UK.
How damaging is it for the career if there are no publications from the first postdoc? I am in STEM field, currently in second postdoc
tl;dr first postdoc issues
I am currently in the first semester of my masters and I am already struggling with the great debate - to student loan or to not student loan. I am recently engaged, and me and my human want to get a house soon (lol, in this market it isn't likely but that's the over-reaching goal). I am really scared that student loan debt will affect our ability to get a house. Does anyone in academia have a home loan and did student loans impact it?
Please help! Thanks so much in advance.
Basically title. I finished my masters in Maths & Economics this summer in Denmark. I’ve recently been chosen for a grant to study anywhere in the world (2 locations for a semester each) with all expenses paid. While this is very insane to me, I’m really struggling where to go. So I turn to you; where would you choose? Either because of the university itself, the city, the food or whatever reason you have!
I'm in the early stages of my PhD journey and I've recently selected a topic for my research. While I was excited about it initially, I'm starting to have doubts and concerns. I fear that this topic might not be the right fit for me or that it's too broad and I don't know how to narrow it down effectively.
I was wondering if any of you have experienced a similar situation in your academic pursuits and could offer some guidance or advice on how to navigate this uncertainty.
How can I determine if my chosen topic aligns with my interests and passion for research?
Does that even exist?
I’m considering pursuing a PhD simply for the love of my field, but all my research about the PhD experience has made it clear to me that I may simply be signing myself up for years of remarkable stress.
I’m not asking if it was worth it, as many would say yes in a strictly retrospective sense. But does anyone have an enjoyable account of their PhD? Like… did anyone have a good time? If so, I would love to know what facilitated that.
What is the field-specific accreditation gold standard in your particular academic area? In business, the recognized gold standard accreditation is the Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). To be clear, I am NOT referring to regional accreditation bodies but field-specific accreditation bodies that are used to determine the validity of applicants.
I am asking this for two reasons. First, out of general interest as an academic in other disciplines. Second, there are numerous questions posed here by prospective graduate students about whether to go to grad school and where to go to grad school geographically. The issue of field-specific accreditation is a crucial consideration as well, and these prospective students need to be informed of it before they potentially lose time and money.
My supervisor and I are currently awaiting the outcome of a paper we submitted a few months ago. It is my very first paper (co-authored) so this process is quite new to me. I’m not able to meet my supervisor at the moment as they are away. Yesterday I checked the paper and the status had changed to “awaiting final decision”. So, from your experience, is this generally a bad or good sign? The previous status was “awaiting reviewer scores”. God, this entire process is such a frustrating yet mysteriously intriguing experience!
I will be attending my first international conference next month. Selected for poster presentation. It's a big event. Many of the familiar names from my field (energy storage) will be attending.
Currently, I'm in dire need of a collaboraor for HRTEM and XPS. So, apart from poster presentation, I'll be looking for a potential collaboration. I need your advice/suggestion on how to make it happen.
Further, it'll be extremely helpful if you could share your conference stories and no to do things in a conference.
I'm a grad student in North America and I work with animals (rats to be specific). I've been reading online about other universities across Canada and the US that have started compassion fatigue programs to support the well-being of animal care staff and grad students. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with these programs and can offer advice about what it's like and whether it's needed for grad students (not just animal care staff).
I am living in a relatively isolated area in the US, and conference travels can be a bit inconvenient. I am curious about people's thoughts on acceptable travel time to domestic (not international) conferences.
I am okay to fly a few hours. That kind of travel does not bother me. This year, I skipped several conferences because I need to drive 5-6 hours. I personally feel that driving 5+ hours to a conference just does not worth it. Am I a bit too picky? I am curious about people's personal standards. Thank you!
I want to study a course at the university, however I don't have the money so I want to listen to local ideas to make money with memes and pay for my study, it will be very funny. 2. Maybe you can find some funny ideas, I'm from a third world country so getting a formal job won't give me enough money to study.
I am getting my Master’s in Social Work and taking a research class. The literature review itself does not bother me, but it is coming up with the question/topic that has me stumped. I have to identify a problem and gather evidence for the best intervention(s) in addressing said problem. What should be my “issue”?
3 weeks ago, I found out that he had passed away. I am deeply saddened by his loss. He was such a great mentor and genuinely cared about me. He and I worked on research projects: presentations and publications. He is, by far, the biggest reason why I developed a passion for research.
I am currently applying to PhD programs. His letter of recommendation would have been so valuable. While I have a copy of his letter of recommendation, I don’t think I can actually use it as part of the application right?
I was considering asking a former research colleague that worked in the lab with me to write a letter for me. The professor who passed away was our supervisor. At the time, she and I were masters students. She is now a PhD candidate. Would it wise to have her write a letter of recommendation?
Any help would be greatly appreciate.
For background, I am about to finish my qualifier and should be able to finalize my dissertation the year after.
I work at a research lab that does fund my PhD. I end up working things unrelated to my field, sometimes very unrelated and stressful. However, now I don't have coursework, so I am not sure if I even get the funding. In fact if I do a part time job I could make much more than the research lab position's stipend and probably still have more time to work on my disseration.
tldr; Do you think I should go for the self-funded route in the last year of PhD to avoid lab duties and to speed up graduation? The stipend isn't worth it anymore.
Edit: the lab work is for industry sponsors and not resulting in publications. ABD means all but dissertation meaning I have no class tuition.
Has anyone scheduled a zoom with the Cheeky scientist group for an introductory session? I am considering scheduling one, but honestly, don’t want to waste an hour if it’s garbage. Thanks!
As the title is self-descriptive, as an academic, I'd like to learn which premium apps/services that are available for free for us through our corporate emails.
Many thanks in advance for your valuable contribution.
It’s easy to look up endowments, who got what awards, and who’s research had the most impact. It’s also easy to ask institutions if they have well funded programs.
By contrast where would I find or get data to make a ranked list of the most well funded say Physics or Medicine programs per full time postgrad?
Hope I’m missing some common source.
Last year I was in a research class and I got an A for the final research paper. At my university, undergraduates whose final paper gets an A can submit it to an undergraduate writing journal that's on campus. I didn't do it last year since I had too much going on, but I'm considering going back and working on the paper for submission over the summer. Are there any social science journals that will take undergraduate submissions? And if they do, am I supposed to submit it as an independent researcher or as someone affiliated with my university?
My current project is entirely government funded. The fund amount was very limited and we really had to pinch each penny to get any research done, but at the end of the day, it was 100% from the government. We have found that our research has applications for the development of low-cost therapeutics with efficacies comparable (or even better) than the ones currently available in the market.
My supervisor is adamant on patenting this output. I don't want to. I want to publish the work and put it out there in the public domain. I don't care even if the work just remains as a preprint if we're unable to pay for gold open access publishing. Don't get me wrong, I am very salty about the government giving us such meager research funds; and over the years, funding has been substantially been cut. But al the end of the day, this was funded by the government through tax money. By patenting this work, I feel like I am swindling the public.
I know this makes for an interesting academic discussion, but I really find myself in a real-situation asking this question: is it ethical to patent and paywall the research outputs coming out of government funded projects?
I have read my funding contract and nowhere does it mention anything about who owns the intellectual property (or at least, not in the documents that I have received as part of my contract). I am sure my university will say it belongs to them because they gave the facilities to conduct the research, but the university itself wouldn't exist without all the help the government has given them using the tax-payers' money.
I don't know what to do.
I'm not 50 yet, in fact I'm not even halfway there yet. But I wanted to know what you guys think.
Astrophysics is one of the few things that can hold my interest, it may be my one true passion. But I am in nursing school and am planning on making that my career so I can raise a family. So I thought I can go back to school and pursue a PhD than when I'm older and don't have kids to support.
I am well aware of how competitive the PhD. I don't want to hear how hard it could be, I just want to know if it's possible to get in when you're in your 50's.