advisor - What questions should one ask to the former/current students of a professor before deciding whether to do PhD under him/her?

Before deciding to do one's PhD under a certain professor, what questions should one ask of his/her former and current students?Many students (including me) are not sure what exactly to ask. May be a community wiki here might be a general source for such students.Please recommend phrasing of the question(s) also.This is a related question, How to evaluate potential advisers on grounds other than their research/publications? but it is much broader. I'm looking for specific questions to be asked to the students. Also manner in which to ask :)P.S....Read more

Are translations valuable to Phd admission committees?

I am really interested in translating academic material to my mother tongue. However the other day, I was talking with a professor and he advised me cease translating and start writing research papers if I want to continue my studies and start a PhD, he pointed out translation is of no value to English academicians!I know it is very important to show your research capabilities by actually doing so but I feel shocked and a bit disappointed if this is true about the attitude towards translating academic material.Would you tell me what you think o...Read more

graduate admissions - Doing PhD with a 'star' professor

I have recently been admitted to a few PhD programs, and have to decide where to attend. One of them has a massively famous professor (over 50k citations, 'Reuters Highly Cited Researcher'). Other potential supervisors at other institutions are still quite famous (~15k citations). Could anyone share some potential differences in my experiences if I work with someone who is that famous, or not? The group sizes/number of current students are all comparable....Read more

phd - Advisors who always insist on one particular idea: How to deal with this?

My advisor has developed an idea earlier in his career. While this idea is not particularly bad, he always tries to force all his students to apply it to almost all research topics we encounter. Many of them are, in my opinion, obviously not suitable to apply this idea onto, and have resulted in no research output, but he still insists on making the application of this idea work. This takes away our time to try more sound ideas and makes us work much less efficiently. What should I (and other students) do to stop this?...Read more

graduate school - Difference between 'PhD by Published Work' VS 'h.c. PhD' VS 'Dr hab'?

I have just learned of the 'PhD by published works' which appears to be a fairly common program for schools in the UK. Is this similar to an honoris causa conferral or is it some separate program? After reviewing materials on the Oxford Brooks & Warwick sites it appears that the entire program is just preparing a defense, which sounds a bit like Habilitation at first pass but it also seems that these programs are not restricted to current PhD holders. Can anyone shed a little light on this for me?Thanks....Read more

career path - Does the time taken to do a PhD affect post doctoral applications?

I am a non EU PhD Student in Germany in Global Studies. I am now in my 8th year of a PhD program, which is quite dysfunctional. However, with a lot of difficulty, I am about to complete the PhD and hand it in.I am looking at post doctoral opportunities but am worried that the long time I took to complete the PhD would affect me negatively. I have published quite widely, presented work at international conferences, and am in my late 40s now. I began my career as an academic (masters in 2008) after a long career as a journalist....Read more

phd - New postdoc and I am asked to draft a whole plan

I am a new postdoc at a very good university, a fresh PhD graduate. Since I passed my 2 round interviews and I was the best among the other applicants, I was appointed, and in fact, I don't know why they chose me. long story short, I am asked to draft 3 pages of research and project acquisition as well as what skills I need to improve in the following 6 months. I am serious that I feel I don't know anything or how to write. I was reading here and there, asked a lot around here, and now I can simply describe my status to be a "Confusion". I kind...Read more

graduate admissions - Replying to professor who said that I can join his research group as a PhD student next year

In search of a Ph.D. position, I emailed a professor and he replied me that I should recontact him next year as he does not have any available position right now. Also, he said that it will be too late for me as I will be wasting one year. Actually, deep inside, I do want to take a break of one year to spend some time with my family as I lived away from home for two years of my Master's study.My question is, is it okay to tell professor that you want to take a long break before starting your Ph.D.? In other words, what is a proper reply to the ...Read more

phd - How to approach potential advisor who's going on sabbatical?

I am a Math PhD student at a US university. I have made a decision on who I want to work with for my PhD, but I was made aware that the professor in question is going on a sabbatical next year, to be spent in a different university (not in close proximity). What is the best way to approach a potential advisor in such a situation? I have not yet asked the "question", but have met with the professor in question multiple times on research related issues....Read more

What skills can I get during a PhD to be competitive on the job market against non-PhD holders?

Earning a PhD help you learn tools and techniques in your field, and lets you become an expert in a very specific field of science. However, once you get your degree and try to enter the labor market, you're competing against people who are younger than you (i.e. recently graduated non-phd engineers) and may have actual work experience (i.e. non-phd engineers with a few years in the market).There are, of course, some positions in which they cannot compete, including research and teaching position. Those are the minority, though... in most other...Read more

Non academic career for PhD in Biology

This question has asked previously for PhD in mathematics and computer science in this StackExchange forum. However, the situation will be completely different for Biology graduate because of the skills we learn during our PhD. Math and CS graduates have lot of open options (?) looking at their quantitative reasoning skills, which are not enough for biology. We learn lot of logic, reasoning and statistics, but is that enough to survive in a highly competitive world?. So I was wondering: is there any alternative career option for PhDs in biology...Read more