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Muse_

Questions for POI on Visit

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I will soon visit my top option for Ph.D. studies. During the visit, I will have an individual meeting with both my likely supervisor and a likely committee member. I'm interested to know if anyone has any recommended questions. So far, I have the following:

  • What approach do you take in supervising (more hands-on or more hands-off)?
  • What do you see as the real strength(s) of the program?
  • What current projects are you working on?
  • Do your doctoral students help as research assistants? If so, what might my work as one look like?
  • How have your supervisees fared in securing academic jobs?
  • In your opinion, what does it take to be successful? Are there any shared traits among your most successful supervisees?

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Those look good to me! At my visits I  ask about:

what kind of feedback they gave students and what forms that took

what sort of courses they were thinking I'd take in the fall/confirming I knew what was required to take vs electives

who would teach the methods course in the fall (them or another prof in the department)

how often they're in the office or working on camous, if face to face time is important to you

ask what students typically do in the summers. Do they have opportunities to leave and do research? Is there funding for that? Do students have to work other jobs?

If you feel comfortable, you can ask about their experience in grad school. What they liked/didn't like, and how that's influenced their mentoring style.

Finally, their thoughts about relations in the department/school overall (ie if they note a general camaraderie between faculty). Also confirm they have tenure or will soon; you don't want them to leave in a year or two. 

I also found it nice to just chat with them, ask about favorite restaurants or things to do. For me it's important I work with people who personable and realize I'll have a life outside of grad school, it would be a bad sign if my POI spent literally all their time in the office or reading and expected me to do the same.

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5 hours ago, Muse_ said:

I will soon visit my top option for Ph.D. studies. During the visit, I will have an individual meeting with both my likely supervisor and a likely committee member. I'm interested to know if anyone has any recommended questions. So far, I have the following:

  • What approach do you take in supervising (more hands-on or more hands-off)?
  • What do you see as the real strength(s) of the program?
  • What current projects are you working on?
  • Do your doctoral students help as research assistants? If so, what might my work as one look like?
  • How have your supervisees fared in securing academic jobs?
  • In your opinion, what does it take to be successful? Are there any shared traits among your most successful supervisees?

That first question...ask your advisor's current students. Many advisors don't have an accurate sense of what kind of advisor they are. They might be able to give you some idea, but if you really want to know, ask their students.

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