I’m currently doing university level continuing education in Quebec, Canada. As part of my degree, I want to do some courses from another university online. I’ve talked to my chairperson, and he validated certain courses. So I made an application this January, and recently received a conditional offer of admission.

One of the conditions was receiving the official transcript from my current university. No problem, right? Simply ask my home university to send them the document: they have an online form for it, which I filled out, and off it went.

What I’m concerned about is that under the Documents to send is listed “Official transcript” and under details, “with H18.” What is H18? Does it refer to something that must be on the document, or something about the university?

Screenshot of missing documents

I interviewed for an advertised PhD and got an email thanking me for interviewing but advising that I wasn’t successful. They encouraged me to apply for PhDs at other colleges and their college. I have actually already applied to another advertised PhD with the same supervisor (who knows I have applied), but don’t know whether they just didn’t like me as a candidate or did like me but had another better candidate. If the former, I won’t be considered for PhD2 but if the latter I may be.

This was my first PhD interview and I want some feedback, whether it is about my performance at interview (too nervous, talked too much), or other factors affecting my rejection (lack of research experience, average scores in a particular module that required high scores).

How do I politely request this feedback?

I have a sponsor to do my PhD but the problem with supervisors. I keep sending emails to them and no one replies to my email.

Could you let me know how can I encourage them to look at my email? for example what title is appropriate for my email in this case? and what should I include in my email?

I have a question. I graduated from an UK university with 2.2 (53), and now I am thinking to apply for Ph.D. My study area is Drama Studies. I am an international student and I have funding. I am not going to apply for any funding. I don’t have any work experience.

Do you think is it possible to get a Ph.D. offer from any university?
Thank you for your answers.

I have a question. I graduated from an UK university with 2.2 (53), and now I am thinking to apply for PHD. My study area is Drama Studies. I am an international student and I have funding, I am not going to apply for any funding. I dont have any work exprience.

Do you think is it possible to get a PHD offer from any university?
Thank you for your answers.

Should a teaching dossier list teaching experience in chronological order (starting with most recent) or should I order things by relevance to whatever I’m applying for?

I’m applying for a job which has listed teaching Calculus and Linear algebra as the primary expectation.

My more recent experience has been with Adult Basic Eduation which is not relevant to the posting, so my gut says not to emphasize this first.

Are my instincts correct? Should I put my older work experience at the front?

I recently completed my PhD and now I looking for my first postdoc. Right now I’m in a terrible situation.

During my PhD, I had the possibility to join a great research group in the US and before to leave, the PI asked me to come back for a postdoc.
He was a great mentor and I really would work with him again, because I’m interested in his research line (totally different from my education).
I thought about it a lot, and I decided to go! So I called him to get more information, but he told me that had had a great opportunity at NCI in another city and decided to relocate the lab there, but he said that if I wanted to go with him he would be happy!
Since he must officially sign in May and we talked in February, he suggested to me to do other application as well. Then we talked again in March, and he told me he could start the application process on May.
In the meantime, I did others applications. I had a good feedback and one of these already sent me the official offer.
I’m evaluating this offer, but I really want to work with the PI that I already know and admire.

What do you suggest? What I could say to the PI that I waiting for?
I’d very much appreciate your opinion and reflection on this topic.

So I am currently a PhD student (rolling to PhD after finishing my MS), and now trying to transfer to a different PhD program, hoping to do better research in the field I am interested in.

I just applied to three top schools, let us call them X, Y, and Z. I also got my recommendations from three professors, A (MS superviser), B, and C. I got rejected from all schools; haven’t even been interviewed by any. It was hurting to hear such news as I though I had a good academic and research profile, and was also fully funded. I have a very good GPA in my undergrad and a 4.0/4.0 GPA during my master’s, and got 5 published conference papers (3 first author) and 4 accepted conference papers, and have submitted two (first author) journal papers and is working on the third. I have a work experience for few months at a company, and have been working as a teaching assistant and as a mentor for national/international students during both my graduate and undergraduate studies.

What went wrong? Is it the fact that I am transferring to a different PhD program, or is it one of the references? Were my applications bad, or am I a bad student?

My MS study

I have always wanted to study abroad (especially for MS and/or PhD). Due to some financial reasons, I had to do my MS in a local school, which is the best in the country so far and thus not a bad destination. I joined a fresh professor’s group, and have been his one-and-only student for around one year. When I started, I was an engineering student with an engineering background (just like him). However, I am also concept-driven and have always been more interested in doing science and theoretical work. He surely understood my passion and let me choose my research topic freely. After many weeks of literature review, I came up with an interesting topic in physics, and he approved and became interested too. Given that both me and him had no background in this topic, it was tough two-years for me. However, I managed to get through it. I published conference papers in very competitive conferences and wrote “a superb thesis”, quoting my professor.

Reasons of transfer

My professor knew very-well that I wanted do my PhD abroad in a top school, I told him that during our first meeting. After completing my master’s studies, I could not apply due to the same financial (and sadly also some family) reasons, and had to find an alternative plan until everything is resolved. I knew my professor really wanted me. I am so glad that I built a great relationship with him. I asked him if he could find me a “researcher position” here until I obtain an offer from the university of my choice. He answered: “unfortunately, I talked to the dean and this isn’t allowed here, but you can just roll to PhD and work as a researcher for me; it is the same thing, and from that you will also help establish the group and also publish papers to get your acceptance easily”. I accepted his offer, hoping to both help myself and him and learn from this experience, and all I can say now is “I wish I knew better”…

Now that one year has passed and everything financial has been resolved, I am seriously working on obtaining an admission from a top school. I told my professor and he was kind of shocked from what I have said. I quote “I am surprised, I really don’t think it is a good idea and it is better for you if you pursue your PhD here”. He asked me for my reasons and I told him it is very personal and I hope he understands. He answered “yes”, but seemed unsatisfied. I have two reasons for my transfer (I still don’t know why I haven’t told him the truth):

(1) I have always wanted to obtain my PhD abroad from a top school. This was my initial plan, I never thought or intended to pursue my PhD in my current university here.

(2) There is an under-representation of my field here (in terms of faculty and facility too). That is, my research interests do not match that of my superviser (nor his expertise) or that of the faculty here, and sometimes I cannot conduct interesting experiments due to the lack of some necessary equipment and material.

My applications

  • To universities X and Y: Submitted in January 2018, after contacting professors in both. Applications included a research proposal (no personal statement). Professor A, B, and C submitted the references. I was not interviewed, and got rejected in March 2018 for X, and April 2018 for Y.

  • To university Z: Submitted in February 2018, after contacting a professor. Applications included a personal statement in which I mentioned point (2) above regarding my reason of transfer. Professor A and C submitted the references. I was not interviewed, and got rejected in April 2018.

I would appreciate if someone could help guide me on what went wrong. I am currently waiting for my fourth top choice, and thinking about submitting many more. Should I discuss a specific issue in the personal statement? What I should I say?
Should I write an appeal? I got 3 conference papers accepted since the submission, and have submitted one conference paper (first author).

I’m an electronics engineering sophomore at an Indian university, particularly interested in quantum computing, quantum information theory and quantum engineering. However, the problem I’m facing is that we do not have the possibility to take up extra theory courses in computer science (e.g. complexity theory, analysis of algorithms) or mathematics (topology, differential geometry, discrete mathematics, etc). I feel these theory courses are extremely important to understand quantum computing properly (more so, with stuff like topological quantum computing and relativistic quantum information, coming up). By the end of the 4 years of my undergraduate course while I’ll likely be having sufficient background for further study in the area of quantum “engineering”, I feel I’ll be lacking in the theoretical aspects. For the record, I do have some experience with research in the area of quantum computing (I’m currently pursuing a undergraduate research project at a nearby university in my city). Also, I’ve been trying to learn some of the mathematics and computer science topics on my own, using various online resources.

For that reason I was thought if it would be possible for me to apply for a masters degree in computer science/mathematics, after my undergrad, before directly applying for a PhD in quantum computing. I feel that such a masters degree focused on the theory would make my PhD application stronger. A course like the one offered by Oxford: MSc in Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science would probably be perfect for me (at least that’s what it seems from a reading of the course contents). But, I’m a bit worried because the acceptance rate in such courses is already very low (for example Oxford has only 17 places available in this course while on average 115 people apply for it per year).

So, in short my question is: Is it okay if I mail the head of the Math/Computer Science department head, asking whether they accept applications from electronics engineering students and what I can possibly do as an undergraduate, to improve my odds of getting accepted to such a course? (For example, the heads of activity of the Oxford’s Quantum Group are listed here). Also, if yes, how should I frame my email? Suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.