I wonder if anyone can help with the following question.

I’m doing research after a different professional experience, so I’m presently in an early stage of my new career – although I’m in my middle age. I would like to establish some sort of connection – possibly collaboration – with a researcher I admire, but who doesn’t know me.

How should I address this person in the best way in order to hopefully obtain a positive response? Unfortunately, there are no chances for me to get to know her directly through some kind of congress or conference for the moment.
I hope I shouldn’t simply give up the idea…

Any suggestion is welcome!

I had a research stay abroad in an Institute 2 years ago. A short while after leaving institute (about 1 month later) I submitted an article related to my work there to a journal. Recently my article has been accepted to publish.
As I had an email address belongs to hosting server of the institute where I was working there, I want to write that as my email address. Is it right to write email address and the name of institute as the contact address for my article whiles I have left there? In addition,

I am doing my master’s degree in Robotics Engineering. So far I have taken all of the core courses and now have to choose electives, which lead me into a dilemma. I cannot decide about the best strategy to be employed while choosing the electives.

As I am in the Master’s level, I believe I should be specializing in a specific field. Some of the options are as follows:

  • Collaborative, Cooperative, Networked Robotics
  • Medical Robotics
  • Miniature Robotics
  • Robotics for Extreme Environments (e.g. Space robotics)
  • Unmanned Vehicle (e.g. Autonomous robots)
  • Bio-Inspired Robotics
  • Cognitive Robotics
  • Social Robotics

I have a great interest in Unmanned Vehicles and Bio-Inspired Robotics. However, the Unmanned Vehicles greatly involve in the Defense Sector and hence require a security clearance* and the industry appears to be behind the academia in the field of Bio-Inspired robotics – I couldn’t find any job opening in this area. As a result, in order to maximize my chances of finding a job, I have considered to specialize into Medical Robotics.

Should my strategy be:

  1. Specializing into a specific field (Medical Robotics)?

Some of the available electives are (1) Medical Robotics, (2) Rehabilitation Robotics, and (3) Human Robot Interaction.

Counter point: If in the future I realize that this isn’t what I really wanted, there is no way back.

  1. Choosing the electives that I am already familiar with the content and maximize the chances of getting good marks?

In this case I would choose (1) Digital Control Systems, (2) Artificial Intelligence, and (3) Engineering Optimization.

Counter point: this option doesn’t make me an expert in any of the listed fields. I will have a good understanding of different disciplines such as Control Systems, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. This might be a better option to find a job.

Additional information:

  • In Summer 2018 semester, I will conduct a semester-long independent study, for which I need to prepare project proposals and contact faculty members to find myself a project supervisor. The project subject greatly relies on my decision about the electives to choose.
  • My undergrad dissertation was on Bio-Inspired Robotics.
  • *I am an international student studying in the US.
  • I do not have any intention of pursuing a PhD.
  • I am currently not considering to work for research laboratories.
  • I have recently applied for a job and upon my interview they have redirected me for another position. Would that be a smart decision to choose the electives that will allow me to fulfill the requirements for the position and hence try to secure a position at this company?

I will apply for a PhD soon. I would be applying to the Politics department, but there is a professor in a different department who holds really interesting seminars on political topics. However, as I said, he is not affiliated at all with this department. How do I ask him / how could I phrase this best?

PS: My question is not whether I can attend his lectures as a guest -I would love to take these seminars for credit, if I can. I just don’t know whether that’s an option, or whether students from the politics department will be allowed in these lectures/seminars.

I got a PhD in mathematics three years ago, and am currently a post-doc. My appointment is due to finish this August, so I am now looking for a new job.

My dream job would be a permanent faculty position in my home country. The problem is that in my home country, the recruitment calendar is considerably later than the international average: if an offer comes, it could be in mid- to late May (most likely) or possibly even June (if I have to wait for people above me in the shortlist to step aside). Also, the competition is very tough; even though my CV (as far as I can judge) seems fairly good, there is a real possibility that I will not get any such position this year.

If I cannot get a permanent position, I would like to do a second post-doc (somewhere in Europe). But the calendar for post-docs, on the other hand, is much earlier: based on my experience so far, it seems that the vast majority of offers that I could get would have a reply deadline somewhere in February.

All of this puts me in a tight spot:

  • either I could sit idle until the permanent position interviews; and only if I fail all of them, start looking for a post-doc. But the chances of finding, in June, a post-doc to start in September seem fairly slim. If I did this, I am genuinely scared I would end up as a high-school teacher.
  • or I could apply to post-docs now, and accept one of the offers without telling them anything; then quietly go to the permanent position interviews, and if I pass one of them, renege on the post-doc I had already accepted and take the permanent position instead. But this raises obvious ethical issues.

Of course backing out of a commitment on a job A to take a better offer B is usually frowned upon. However I think I heard people saying that the case when A is a post-doc and B is a permanent position is exceptional, and that in this case such behaviour can be forgiven. Still, I would feel more comfortable if I had more opinions about this. If you were in this situation, what would you do?

Anticipating some objections:

  • Applying to post-docs now, all while being upfront with them about my parallel permanent position search, seems more or less equivalent to not applying at all. In fact there is already a post-doc position that I failed to get for this very reason (this position actually was in my home country, so I could not hide anything from them).
  • From what I have heard, requests to postpone the permanent position’s starting date by a year so that I could do my post-doc are usually not granted (since they need someone to teach their classes).

(This question: Accepted post-doc and have subsequently received offers for full time faculty position – quandary is similar, but their exact situation seems somewhat different.)

I am a visually impaired person with an MPhil in Mathematics degree from Pakistan.

I’m aspirant of a fully funded PhD place at some good university in Western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

In which of these countries is it easiest to get into a funded PhD progrma? Which country and which university (or universities) in that country should I particularly focus on?

My mathematical background is not very high, and so I don’t mind having to do a Master’s / MS / MPhil in order to come up to the standards to that country or university, as the case may be. However, I will again need a fully funded place.

I recently got accepted to my first choice graduate program, but then my second choice school emailed asking for an interview.

I feel like since I applied, I should at least do the interview, but I am worried that my first choice school will find out and revoke my acceptance. (it was an informal, unofficial acceptance directly from my faculty advisor)

Am I just being crazy? Do professors from different schools talk about their PhD applicants? Should I still do the interview?