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Found 7 results

  1. GingerNeuro

    Lack of autonomy

    Hi all! So I've reached an impasse in my graduate career and I don't know how to proceed. Since I've been in my program (going into my 3rd year), I've had almost no creative control over what I do. My advisor gives me projects, ones that frankly aren't very interesting to me, and I'm expected to analyze old data and publish the results. I find myself having zero intrinsic motivation because I'm not compelled by the work. On top of that, everyone else in my lab, including an RA, has been involved in projects that they had a hand in conceptualizing. Additionally, recently a fellow grad student scoffed at my lack of experience doing neuroimaging and the fact that I was working on data somebody else collected. I feel like my advisor doesn't trust me to do my own work, and as a result, I'm stuck in this loop where I'm unmotivated because the projects I'm assigned don't interest me and due to the lack of motivation, I'm not given an latitude to do my own work. It's as if my advisor is testing my ability by giving me these projects, not realizing that I don't tick that way. I was a musician for many years before becoming a scientist and as such, I'm motivated by creativity. Without the creative element, I feel like I'm doing banal, menial labor--which I've done in the past. So I guess my questions are: 1) is this normal, 2) if not, how do I address it, and 3) if it is normal and I'm misinterpreting the situation, how am I misinterpreting this situation? Thanks! -J
  2. SLP advising

    SLP advising help

    Hi all- just wanted to share a new website I started- http://slpgradschool.com/ (or just enter slpgradschool.com) to help undergraduate speech pathology and audiology students improve their chances of getting into graduate school. The site has tutorials- videos too- on all aspects of getting into grad school. I've been in the field for 12 years and have served on two different university admission committees so have a pretty good sense of what schools are looking for. On the site, I give you lots of strategic ways to improve your chances of getting in and even explain the parts of the process. For example, its the start of the fall semester-- if you are a senior, you should have asked the 3 or 4 people you've identified to write your letters of rec already. Check it out!
  3. I'm done writing my thesis proposal, and I'm working on filling out the RTAF for the graduate school. I've selected two faculty members for my thesis advisory committee but I need at least one more person to serve on my committee. I've found an archaeologist who worked at the site I'm interested in, but how do I go about contacting her to ask if she'll serve on my committee? Is name-dropping acceptable? Would it be best to include a CV/resume and a copy of my proposal, or would this be perceived as annoying fluff? What form of communication is preferred? Any and all information is appreciated! I constantly overthink things which is good for a thesis but not so good for explaining to people why I'd love to work with them and what I'm interested in, so I want to get these initial communications right!
  4. Hi all, I am in the process of trying to move from European history to U.S. History as my main field. This is, in part, because the prominent British historian in our department recently left the university and also because I have been interested in US and considering switching for a long time. However, departmental politics have made it really hard for me to leave my current advisor (she has a lot of pull on the tenure committee and Americanists don't want to "steal" me from her). I have spoken with my advisor and she has given me the all clear to take U.S. coursework and make that my primary field, but others are still hesitant to work with me. How do I navigate this situation without stepping on any toes? I hate politics and red tape, and I've been in advisor limbo for the entire semester. I need to get this sorted out, so I can go on with my life. Edit: Also, I am still in my first year, so things are early for me. I know I don't have to declare an advisor and major field at least until May. Has anyone else been in similar situations? What should I do? Help!
  5. I am beginning my second semester in an funded engineering MS/PhD program, doing the PhD route. Unlike most programs, I was admitted directly into a PI's group who secured my funding. After a semester, I am still very confused by the culture and environment of my PIs laboratory group, so I thought I would ask the board: In the fall I met with my advisor who told me to focus on classes and ease into the lab, but by the end of the semester he bluntly asked what I have accomplished and reminded me how much I am costing him (explaining that he could've bought more lab equipment instead of me). He asked me to come up with a research topic, which I am hurriedly working on. My advisor is in the very top of his field, but is still relatively approachable. However the lab culture is very stand-off-ish. The group is a mix of 7-8 MS/PhD students all doing different things, and even though we all share an office nobody rarely talks to one another. It took me a month to learn everyone's name, and I still don't know what everyone is working on. Group meetings with my advisor do not exist. Others in the program describe having weekly group meetings and paper review groups and even a collaborative chat app. But in this group the students meet individually with an advisor, so it's very hard to determine what anyone is working on. I still don't know all the project in the lab, there is no lab website, and nothing is shared with me. I am completely in the dark. Even though I am starting my second semester, I have had very little lab time, have done zero experiments and am not even sure where most things are in the lab. Other students in the group are busy doing their own things, and are difficult to approach. So my question is, am I bringing my undergrad mindset into gradschool, or is this lab very difficult to work in? How do I get started? My thoughts about graduate school were that my advisor would pair me with a student who would help me get situated in the lab and I would help him/her with a small project during my first semester, and would then branch out into working on my own proposal. Is this a misconception, or is this how most graduate students start? Is my lab uncommon, or am I doing something wrong? At this point, how can I get the ball rolling with research? When I meet my advisor, he tells me to "go do things and show me results", and it is very clear that he is expecting something at the end of this semester, but I do not know what or how to plan to even begin research.
  6. Main Question: I submitted an abstract to a well known journal (in the field of Civil, Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering) a couple months ago and the abstract was accepted. Due to major changes in unrelated circumstances, it will not be ready/adequate. Is this a problem? Background: I am a graduate student at an American engineering university. I submitted a journal paper a couple months ago and it was accepted. However, my circumstances changed over the past months, and completing this paper is no longer a priority nor plausible. My funded research (unrelated to the said journal paper) is requiring too much of my time, and I am likely planning to leaving the program. Also, my wife would prefer me to leave the program and pursue an engineering job with a salary. To further compound problems, my personal computer (which carries the work corresponding to the paper) has broken down permanently (that is, the computer is completely dead). As a result, my priorities have dramatically shifted to job applications and interviews. At this point, completing the paper by the due date (one week) is no longer a priority, nor feasible. However, I would like to one day return to a career in academia and get a PhD. Would neglecting to submit this paper negatively effect my reputation? In your opinion, would this hurt my professional relationship with my advisor (who was working on the paper with me)? Would this hurt my ability to publish in the future with this journal?
  7. Is there a logic to this other than "find people who are knowledgeable in the area of and sympathetic to your specific dissertation topic" ? My university's handbook tells us to choose 5 committee members, specifying that a maximum of two can be chosen from outside the university. Why would that be a good plan? Is there some reason why you would WANT someone from outside the university given the added bureaucratic red tape and trouble for everyone involved? Reasons I can think of: Your university lacks people with the right expertise. Your beloved former adviser has moved to a different university (or was convicted on all counts, or sent into space with a monkey and a dog, or gave up academia for a NASCAR career). Why else? Is there prestige associated with getting mucky-mucks to be on your committee? I know that your adviser's reputation matters a lot-- but how important is the committee that you choose? Is choosing someone from another university a way of positioning oneself so as to increase the chances of getting a job at one of their institutions? [*]Is this a matter of literally linking your name with theirs in some sort of social networking way (electronic and otherwise)? From a different perspective (that probably matters most): ******Unless you have a pre-existing relationship, why the heck would a professor at another institution agree to be on your committee simply because he/she has expertise that's useful to you? What's their incentive?? What do they get out of it other than extra work? ****** So... what's the story here? I'm wondering if there isn't some super-clever thing that some people have figured out to do in selecting their committee. That's my question... but any other advice on selecting a committee (esp. in the social sciences) would be very welcome!
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