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Found 36 results

  1. orange turtle

    Tattoos in grad school

    This is the deal: I have a tattoo on the back of one of my shoulder blades. It's a science geeky tattoo. Small (about 2 inch by 2 inch?), not flashy, but noticeable. I often forget it is there. I also usually wear sleeved clothes. It's the summer now and I have been wearing more sleeveless tops, and in some of them, the tattoo can be seen. Last week, I wore a sleeveless cotton shirt and during lunch, went to sit outside to enjoy the weather. One of the guy profs in my program was eating his lunch outside and we acknowledged each other. When he was passing me going back in, he said "I really like that tattoo on you" and then winked and left. I'm really self-conscious now. Was that behaviour okay? I have never thought about covering it up, but now I am not so sure. However, I wasn't "flashing" it or anything. Honestly, I forgot it was there. Is inking inappropriate for school? Should I cover it up to prevent the whole...if you show it, it means you want me to see behaviour? I was really creeped out by the prof and his comment. Help! Edit: Would your answer to my question be different if the prof had said "Nice tattoo" or "I really like that tattoo" or "Cool tattoo" without the "...on you" and winking?
  2. Dear all, I've been offered admission by two universities (UCSD and UVa). I am currently weighing these two wonderful options, and I’m considering a lot of factors including prospective advisors and mentors, academic culture, university resources, graduate placement, funding, and location. I know that the most important of these is my future supervisor. Now, if all other things were equal, I'd be left with what seems to be a Manichaean dilemma. My recruiter/prospective supervisor at UCSD has been simply great. Besides the fact that my research seems to be perfectly aligned with their* work, the current students at UCSD with whom I've had the chance to talk have had nothing but superlative praise for this particular professor. My prospective supervisor already has plans for me--for example, they're already including me in a panel session that they're preparing for the AAAs in San Jose this year. That being said, the said professor is young and is a very new hire in the department. I believe this is their first job post-PhD, and I also think I might be the first PhD student they will supervise. I can't help but worry about the possibility that my prospective supervisor might eventually want to move to another university before I finish my PhD there. The work of the other professors in the department isn't as aligned with my research interests, although I'm sure one of them would be able to supervise me if I were to stay there. My prospective supervisor and I are going to have another Skype session soon. What should I ask? My situation at UVa is quite different. While I'm not aware of any specific professor at UVa who really wants to get me in the program, I think there are more members in the faculty (than at UCSD) who can supervise me. One of them is a very famous scholar in the subfield of anthropology that I identify with, and I would definitely love to work with them. Current students there have told me that this professor seems like a likely supervisor for me. However, I know that because they are older and more popular, they are definitely busier and in greater demand. I am afraid that I might not get as much attention and support from them because of this and that this would somehow hurt not only my PhD but also my professional career. What do you think? Both universities and both professors are really, really great, and I am having such a difficult time deciding. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts! If anyone is interested in specific details, I would be happy to provide them in a PM. If you know anything specific about these two departments, please PM me, too! Looking forward to hearing from you! * I'm using the gender-neutral singular pronouns they and them.
  3. Hi, I'm in my second semester as a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature. I know some people might think that it's too early for me to start worrying about what to do to get hired, others might be thinking that it's never too early, others might be saying "you're a comparative lit. major, there are no jobs" lol, but please just stick with me a moment. I'm looking for advice on how I can become a more competitive applicant when applying for assistant professor jobs (and similar jobs) after I finish my Ph.D. I'm technically first-generation college student (my parents dropped out of college, and my much older sister went to college later through a continuing studies program and received a masters online. However, she doesn't work in academia) so I'm pretty lost here about how all of this works and what's attractive to universities. I'm trying to figure out what I can do to stand out. I've been told that I should go to conferences, so I applied to two and got accepted. Are conferences helpful or do you feel like it doesn't make much of a difference? Should I try publishing more? Researching (you know, outside of my future dissertation work)? If so, how do I start approaching professors or institutions, in general, to start doing that? After graduation, should I apply to a post-doc program? If so, do you know of any stand out ones that I should aim for or even what people look for when hiring post-docs or do you just feel like post-docs are unnecessary? My fellowship requires me to teach one semester gratis. Should I attempt at teaching more? Older students in my department have suggested getting a masters in another department (i.e. English, French, Anthropology, Theatre, etc.) to further diversify myself and make more valuable connections, but I'm not sure if tagging on another year or two to finish another degree for the sake of networking is that beneficial especially when comparative literature programs require you to take courses outside of your department anyway. Should I start building more experiences outside of academia (In undergrad, I was an EIC of a publication for a year, I've also worked in publishing, tutoring, mentoring, and led a social justice/community service non-profit organization for a year, and I minored and worked in social media for a bit-- should I keep doing more things like that in grad school or is it time to refocus and just build on one or two things?) If I sound really young, lost, and a little overwhelmed, it's because I am. I graduated from a private university with a degree in English (writing) in three years and was accepted straight-way into this Ph.D. program when I was 20 going on 21 years old. My program requires 48-course credits, after this semester (I entered in Fall 2017 right now I'm in Spring 2018 semester) I would have 24 credits so I'm approaching that halfway mark with my coursework (I probably need to slow down a bit, but I can't hold a job on this fellowship minus departmental related research/internships relevant to my career so I don't have anything really going on at the moment). I'm required to take a minimum 9 credits Fall/Spring each and a minimum 6 credits in the summer so I'll be at 30 credits when the Fall 2018 semester commences. I'm not at a prestigious ivy league school; I'm in a very small program at a pretty large public university. I don't feel like me being young with a good fellowship is enough to really stand out. So if anyone knows about ways I can further build my CV and experiences to become a better applicant for future jobs, that info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  4. strawberrykat

    Interviews with professors

    Just curious, does anyone know if professors often reach out to multiple students that they are interested in? I assume that they wouldn't want to put all their eggs in one basket.
  5. All of the grad programs I'm applying for need 2 references and so far I've only gotten one. The other prof I contacted hasn't gotten back to me yet and deadlines are fast approaching. Unfortunately, the two profs I emailed are the only two who know me well enough, so there's no one else I can ask. However, there is also another course instructor I had who I think would have good things to say about me, but she's a Ph.D. student and I've heard we should only get well-known professors to write reference letters. So should I still ask the Ph.D. student to write a reference letter or just wait for my other professor to reply (or email her again)? If I decide to send the second professor another email, is there a way to do so without coming across as impatient? I understand how busy professors are so I'm worried about being a burden or putting extra pressure on them. My application deadlines are 1-2 months away (I stated specific deadlines in the email) and I have one semester left until graduation so I don't think I have enough time to get to know any new professors, unless there's a quick way to do so? I know this is my fault for not asking earlier and/or in person but there isn't much I can do about that now since the holiday started and I don't go back until January. So is there anything I can do between now and January to get the second referee? This is the only thing getting in the way of my grad application. I have everything else - good grades, sufficient research experience, CV, letter of intent - so I'm not ready to give up on applying all together. If there's absolutely nothing I can do, can I get away with one referee? P.S. I'm not sure if this matters but I'm applying to the MA public policy programs at Carleton and UofT, and MA social justice at Brock and Laurier, so if anyone is in any of these programs can give insight into the application process and what the admissions committee is looking for, especially regarding references, that would be helpful
  6. Applying for PhD programs in Statistics and had a quick question. Can PhD students work under assistant or associate professors as their main advisor? For my application to a few departments, I want to mention faculty whose research I'm interested in and a few of them are associate professors. I'm assuming this is okay but just wanted to double-check whether associate/assistant professors supervise PhD students or not. Thanks for any input!
  7. Hi, I am an undergraduate student who attends a decent public university and has a good enough GPA & LSAT score to get into a top law school at my state. I am in a fortunate enough position to not be concerned with how much money I make as long as I make above $40k (as a freelance tutor, I've been making decent amount without much time commitment). I like and am good at writing, reading, speaking, analyzing, teaching, and presenting/defending arguments. Coming from a teaching background, I know that I would love to be a Philosophy professor as well as tackle the challenging process of becoming one. Another aspect of being a professor that appeals to me is not having to be in a service sector where I may experience a lot of stress due to my clients. The only thing that shies me away from this career path is the dismal job prospect, which is between 4~15% for receiving a tenured-track position. Compounding this issue is the fact that I do not want to leave my home city, which makes this 4~15% even slimmer. As for pursuing law, I understand that this process is tough and that the job prospect is not high either–although it is better than that of pursuing professorship. So the question is, should I pursue law or becoming a professor? If law, which field should I pursue or avoid and why? I am open to any field as long as it has a reasonable job prospect and does not entail agonizing stress level (i.e. having to deal with unreasonable customers who refuse to pay or put you through mental hell). Thank you for your insight.
  8. I went to a grad school info session for a program in International Relations last week, and everyone attending was encouraged to "cold-call and email" prospective professors. We were told they love to get queries from prospective students. I'd like to do this, but I'm not sure which specific professor to contact, exactly what I should say or what kind of response I should expect to get. Is it okay to contact more than 1 professor at the same school? Does it matter specifically what concentration they are in? Will it necessarily translate into an improved probability of getting in?
  9. I have been getting some "Your profile looks good" "Your background matches my research interest" replies followed by either some general (I perceive so. Correct me if I'm wrong) comments like "I encourage you to apply" or "I'd be happy to work with you if you get accepted" or some very few mails discussing specifics. I don't know what to classify as neutral, stock or positive. Can someone please help me out? Are these comments on profile and background at least slightly positive and specific or just formal and stock? These are from some really reputed programs or unis. So I don't believe they need to promote anything but I have been hearing such opinions. Any truth to it? I am really confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  10. Hi All, I am going through a lot of graduate schools faculty lists and trying to find which professor has done research which I find interesting. Till now, I am able to obtain only a handful of such professors. Some professors have a good bio on the university website but have no footprint of a research paper anywhere. And in some cases, the name itself is so common that I find myself sifting through other lecturer's work. So would it be a good idea to start up a chat in order to get more details in their research area, assuming that I would be aiming for that university also? Thanks.
  11. srmi

    Rotation dilemma

    So I emailed a professor I was interested in doing a rotation with, and his response was yes. However, he also mentioned that he will be retiring soon and thus will not be able to take me in as a student in his lab. I'm pretty bummed because I was hoping that he'd become my PI someday, but I guess I should have asked before accepting to this school :/ Anyways, I wanted to rotate in labs that I will potentially be able to stay in, since there are only three rotations in my program. But then again I feel rude replying to him, "ok never mind, I'll look for somewhere else to rotate in". Is it common for ppl to rotate in a lab knowing that they won't be able to stay/return? Should I look for other labs to do rotations in?
  12. orange turtle

    sexual harassment?

    So I confided in my supervisor that a faculty member in our faculty (different department) asked me to sleep with him and that I was upset by the offer. My supervisor responded that I was over reacting and that he meant it as a compliment as he was attracted to me. She went on to say that if I want to progress in academia, I should learn that working below men was normal and that I should get used to being hit on and recognize a compliment when I was given one. She then reminded me he didn't actually attack me, so "get over it and stop being so sensitive." I was so upset by her comment I had to go home, and then I just cried and cried. I couldn't come to work for a few days because I was just dejected. Now I'm just confused. Am I over reacting? I thought it was sexual harassment before I spoke to her but now I'm just confused. I was thinking of talking to my graduate program head and that's why I approached my supervisor for advice. Now I'm scared of talking to the head as I'm worried he will just behave exactly the same way. If it matters, my program head is a man and while he is nice, I am uncomfortable and afraid to tell him. The deputy chair is also a man. Both don't know me well except that I am in their department. I was hoping my supervisor would go with me, but her response was so unexpected. My supervisor is also well liked and popular with the faculty and students, and I am worried this will make her response more accepted and credible by the faculty. But I don't think I could take another faculty member tell me I'm just being emotional for no reason.
  13. I know grad schools usually need three recommendation letters, and I think I have a good three from my department lined up (I haven't asked yet though!). However, I could also add a 4th one, as the professor offered to write me one (more as a character reference though, and not really speaking to academics/research) - is that okay and not overkill? Some more info: the 4th recommender is outside of my university (and outside of my field), but he is a fairly recent Nobel Laureate and is a well-respected researcher in his field! Thanks very much!
  14. meggied

    Decision Dilemma

    I need some advice. I got into a great school and everything is pointing me to go there except I'm not sure if there is a great research fit. I want to start not attached to a group so I have time to try out a few groups. The school has a good variety of research but only one professor that is doing research I originially thought I was interested in. How many people change their research focus after starting school and then also has anyone had bad experiences or heard of bad experiences going into a school not in a lab yet?
  15. meggied

    Unsure on Research Fit

    I need some advice. I got into a great school and everything is pointing me to go there except I'm not sure if there is a great research fit. I want to start not attached to a group so I have time to try out a few groups. The school has a good variety of research but only one professor that is doing research I originially thought I was interested in. How many people change their research focus after starting school and then also has anyone had bad experiences or heard of bad experiences going into a school not in a lab yet?
  16. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/20/suit-alleges-ohio-u-sat-complaints-professors-sexual-misconduct-decade?utm_content=bufferba9dc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=IHEbuffer (This is a link to more info from Inside Higher Ed about the charges being brought against the alleged harasser- Prof. Andrew Escobedo.) https://www.ohio.edu/cas/about/directories/profiles.cfm?profile=escobedo (This is a link to his profile on the OU site.) I would encourage grad students, particularly female grad students, to be wary of OU's English department in light of these allegations. It looks like he is in the process of being fired, as the Inside Higher Ed article states: "Ohio has already moved to fire the tenured full professor and says its processes ensure that all complaints are 'investigated thoroughly and handled appropriately.'" Nonetheless, a department that would allow this type of alleged conduct to go on for a decade is one to be leery of. (I highly doubt they would be in the process of firing him had the allegations been found to be untrue in the subsequent investigation.)
  17. Hello, I have been admitted to two programs without interview and I have no idea which research lab or professor took me in. I had mentioned few professor's name in my SOP. So should I mail them to find out if they want me to work with them? Is it appropriate? Help me out!
  18. So I got an interview invitation. The purpose of the interview is to secure funding with potential professors. One professor in the program has the research that I am very interested in but he is titled as "Emeritus." I know that becoming emeritus means you are officially retired but may still be involved in research. How should I politely ask him whether he will have projects available? Can I just ask him "I am interested in some of your research projects but I see that your title is emeritus so was wondering if you still have projects available?"
  19. Hi everyone I started my masters and my advisor is a young assistant professor. When I contacted her to before application, she said that she had a project while when I came here (another country), she said that we have to find a topic. The problem is she is new to the field and does not help me at all. She expects me to go and find a topic myself. I tried to have meetings at first regularly, but after a couple of meeting that I noticed she does not give a me helpful feedback I stopped. It has been a more than a month now that I havent talked to her. Today I prepared a table of previous studies and wanted her to take a look at it and then we can have a meeting next day, yet she refused to read it and told me to find a hypothesis and write about it and show her the results. Guys, I am not sure that if I am a lazy student, or she really does not do her job as an advisor... Please help me to figure this out.
  20. I'm applying for several PhD programs and master programs. My first school is due today in 10 minutes. Two of my professors have submitted their LOR a long time ago but this one professor still hasn't hers yet. I reminded her three days ago and she promised me that she will have it ready by today. But well. I'm so disappointed and sad. I know her and she knows me really well so I completely trusted her. I've been doing research with her for a while and she's also the head of the department so I believe she can really write me a strong LOR. I've already submitted my application and i hope that the school do accept late recommendation letters (if she's ever going to write it and submit it)... Did she just forget? just why? Should i find someone else to write? I know one other professor in person really well (since I'm from a liberal art college so we have a small faculty-student ratio) , but I've only taken one class with him, not sure if he has enough to write academically.
  21. exitiumax

    When to ask?

    Hi everyone. So, I am currently in a Master's program and have come to the decision that I would like to pursue a doctoral degree. My current school didn't require any post-secondary exams so I have yet to take the GRE. Because of this, I will have to wait until next application cycle to apply to doctoral programs. This current program will end in May. I was wondering when I should inquire about potential LOR's for doctoral programs? By the time next application cycle comes around, I fear the professor will not be as familiar with my work or ability as a student. Further, asking now seems rather odd. Has anyone faced a situation like this where they intended to take a year off between degrees? Any suggestion? Thanks in advance!
  22. ThousandsHardships

    What to call professors

    I'm applying to PhD programs and I've gotten in touch with a couple of prospective faculty. If they sign their emails with their first name, is it good to assume that they're okay with being called by their first name? Or should I play it safe and wait until they invite me to do so? Or should I simply ask? I don't want to come off as disrespectful, but I don't want to be regarded as not being able to take a hint either. I have a master's degree and know at a LOT of, if not most, grad students call their professors by their first name. I've never been able to really do so, and half the time I actually end up avoiding their names altogether, which I know is the worst of the worst of ideas because it comes off as more disrespectful than simply using their first names, but I for some reason can't get over the mental barrier of not being able to call them anything unless they tell me on the first day what they want to be called. Any advice?
  23. ThousandsHardships

    Emailing Past Professor

    One of the PhD programs that I'm applying to is in my home department at my alma mater. The professor that I would like to work with is someone whose class I've taken in the past, but whom I have not contacted for over six years. I'm not even sure if she would remember me. I took her class before I had even declared the major. As far as I'm concerned, she has not seen me graduate, she has not seen me do my master's, she has not seen my interest develop, and the weirdest thing is, I've been in almost constant contact with everyone else in the department except her. So my question is...how do I break the silence? I might get away with not contacting the professors in the other programs I apply to, but I feel like I can't get away with not contacting her since I technically know her. At the same time, I can't do that typical email where you introduce yourself and your interest and ask to talk to discuss this further. After all, how can I ask to discuss this further when I've already taken a class from her and know exactly who she is? I'd really appreciate any insights onto this topic. Thanks in advance for your contributions!
  24. So finally got what I hope will turn into something good. One of my undergrad professors who has been contacting me about a possible research project that involves restoration of meadowlands in CA was interested in me as I'm going into soil science. Unfortunately didn't get accepted into the first project he had going, which involved almond trees, but this one seems more promising since one of the students he hoped would join rejected it for another offer. However I was not near his second choice or directly competing with anyone else. In the meantime, he invited me to tour his lab, meet the lab members, and discuss the project with him later this week. He said it was meant to be a low stress thing and not involve a formal interview. Since this might be my only chance of going to grad school even at my safety school, I could use some advice since I want to make the best impression and show my enthusiasm for the project so that I can get my foot in the door.
  25. Hey Guys, What a wonderful time to be alive! Yet there are many decisions to be made! I have been offered admission by three MA programs: SAIS Washington DC; Fletcher; American University; Georgetown's Security Studies program—though I will hear from them next week, I feel it is in the bag. My predicament is the following. I am a non-American student whose main areas of interest are international relations and international security. I want to devote my life to academia (preferably based at the USA) but that requires a top-notch PhD. The programs I am most interested in are incidentally the most selective: Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Chicago and Yale. My question for Grad Café’s devoted followers is the following: Which of the MA programs I mentioned above would best prepare me for the PhDs admissions I mentioned beneath? By now, I have realized that American admission committee’s do not focus exclusively on one item on the applicant’s CV. But since I want to walk the road towards tenure, my academic credentials will carry significant weight both for my PhD admission and my career. I might be too picky, but I am troubled with the following observations: - SAIS might be considered too policy- or economics-centered. - I have the feeling that American U is sometimes held as a step beneath or not “prestigious enough”. - Does Georgetown’s Security Studies program carry the same reputation as the MSFS/Foreign Service? What do you guys think? Thank you
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