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What to ask post-acceptance?


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I have a phone call today with a POI to discuss further details of an offer. I wanted to see if anyone had any good questions that I may be missing that I should ask him during this discussion.



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Here is what I asked my POI and some of her students. You might need different things:

-Could I start reading up on things and preparing studies in the summer?

-How long do people normally take in the program?

-Do students go to conferences often?

-How is the competition for external funding?

-What is your supervisory style? How often do you meet with your students?

-Do your students have a lot of projects at different stages, or do they usually work one at a time?

-How do your students balance TAing, classes, RAships, research, and potentially teaching/internships?

-I asked a bit about going into industry, as its pretty common in my program. I talked about it more with the students though. Sometimes you don't want to go down that road with your POI.

-Do you prefer your students to work on campus? What do they normally do? Do students talk about their work with each other to get feedback/new ideas?

If you're not sure yet, you could ask what research they are working on that isn't out yet, what they're planning to do, or if they want you to come up with your first few projects independently. You could ask about collaboration with people at different schools, within the school, between their students, or across departments.

I hope some of that helps. There's probably many more things I forgot!

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If you don't already know yet, you should ask about your exact first year funding offer and if you get a chance to talk to students ask if they think that stipend is livable. Also, it may be helpful to ask about how your POI works with first years specifically during the transition into grad school and starting independent research.  I've found that different POIs have very different views on how to mentor during this time.

Congrats on the offer! 

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