According to Sean Carroll, a famous cosmologist and tenured professor,

Don’t be too well known outside the field. I hate to say this, but the evidence is there: if you have too high of a public profile, people look at you suspiciously. Actual quote: “I’m glad we didn’t hire Dr. X; he spends too much time in the New York Times and not enough time in the lab.” And that’s the point — it’s not that people are jealous that you are popular, it’s that they are suspicious you care about publicity more than you do about research. Remember the Overriding Principle.

According to an opinion piece by Manil Suri published in the New York Times, in science it is also not appropriate to talk about hobbies. Manil Suri is a famous scholar, his description of the situation in academia is worrying, and gives the impression that behavior is constrained and under close scrutiny. Being too expressive of personal identity can be viewed as running counter to scientific neutrality. In competitive venues, where complete immersion in one’s field might be the promoted ideal, the mention of an extracurricular pursuit can even be seized upon as a lack of commitment. I remember a young mathematician at a prestigious research institute sharing his love for piano playing after hearing I wrote fiction. “Don’t tell anyone in my department I own a piano,” he requested in the next breath. This is a shock to me because I perceived the STEM field as most openminded.

Am I hurting my chances by answering honestly about hobbies and extracurricular and social engagement activities? I work in a STEM field.

According to Sean Carroll, a famous cosmologist and tenured professor,

Don’t be too well known outside the field. I hate to say this, but the evidence is there: if you have too high of a public profile, people look at you suspiciously. Actual quote: “I’m glad we didn’t hire Dr. X; he spends too much time in the New York Times and not enough time in the lab.” And that’s the point — it’s not that people are jealous that you are popular, it’s that they are suspicious you care about publicity more than you do about research. Remember the Overriding Principle.

Don’t be too well known outside the field. I hate to say this, but the evidence is there: if you have too high of a public profile, people look at you suspiciously. Actual quote: “I’m glad we didn’t hire Dr. X; he spends too much time in the New York Times and not enough time in the lab.” And that’s the point — it’s not that people are jealous that you are popular, it’s that they are suspicious you care about publicity more than you do about research. Remember the Overriding Principle.

according to an opinion piece by Manil Suri published in the New York Times, in science it is also not appropriate to talk about hobbies. Manil Suri is a famous scholar, his description of the situation in academia is worrying, and gives the impression that behavior is constrained and under close scrutiny. Being too expressive of personal identity can be viewed as running counter to scientific neutrality. In competitive venues, where complete immersion in one’s field might be the promoted ideal, the mention of an extracurricular pursuit can even be seized upon as a lack of commitment. I remember a young mathematician at a prestigious research institute sharing his love for piano playing after hearing I wrote fiction. “Don’t tell anyone in my department I own a piano,” he requested in the next breath. This is a shock to me because I perceived the STEM field as most openminded.

Am I doing wrong to myself, by answering honestly questionnaire about hobbies and extracurricular and social engagement activities?
STEM field, US related.

Backgrounds: I’m an international researcher (biologist) in Europe; with a PhD and one year postdoctoral experience. I want to increase my chances to get a second postdoctoral position through contacting potential PIs and expressing my willingness to apply for my own funding and to write a postdoctoral research grant applications.

Questions:

1) When I cold contact professors for postdoc positions, what is the most polite way; Should I immediately (with my cv) send a cover letter including research ideas and informing them that I want to apply for my own grant? Or just present myself and my research interests and wait for a reply. Then if it is a yes I fellow up with my ideas etc..

2) Often Professors are busy and have big research group to handle so I feel like they might not be interested in hassling for a grant with a new postdoc. Especially if they don’t know him or his PhD advisor, so they tend to not reply. (I don’t blame them though).
So is it better to contact the second most senior researcher in the team, to improve the chances to get a reply?

I am applying to a PhD program. I worked in the past with researcher A from research team T who was my bachelor thesis supervisor. Now, I am applying to a PhD progam within the research team T and also to another universities.

Researcher A would be a perfect candidate to ask for a reference letter, since my internship under his supervision went really well. However, I am wondering whether or not it would be appropriate to ask him, since I would use it to apply to other universities (he would know that of course).

Details:

  • I already applied at team T and am waiting for news.
  • A is not the team director but the team is quite small and A knows I applied there.
  • A is not the one who would supervise the PhD I applied to.

I am afraid that asking him for a reference letter could make him think that I am not that much interested in that lab L and that this could have a negative impact on my application at this lab.

I am starting my MSc. this September (UK), and am strongly planning ahead and setting myself goals. Simply, when would be the appropriate time to submit my applications?

My MSc is 12 months long and will go from Sept 2018 to Sept 2019. I was thinking of applying 6-8 months into my MSc.

What do you think? When is the most logical time to submit my applications?

I am currently looking for a PhD in computer science for the fall in France, Germany and Switzerland. Although I still find some offers, I think applying in June is quite late.

What are the common periods to apply for a PhD in those countries and in which month do people usually start their PhD? Is it common to start it at the beginning of the summer semester?

I am master of engineering science graduate from Malaysia and here, the M.Sc. doesn’t have any course work so it is pretty much like a 2 years Ph.D. thus I don’t have any transcript or what-so-ever, only my publications, thesis and graduation letter. I want to know if it is acceptable to apply in Canadian universities without having any masters degree transcript or grading. Unfortunately the university graduate office is not willing to answer my question unless I pay the application fee and wait for 12 weeks.

P.S: I also have talked with a supervisor (in Uottawa) and he has already stated that he is willing to supervise me.

I have been working for two years after my Master and I am now looking for a PhD. I got a PhD offer from one university, met the person who would supervise me and told them I am very interested, while making it clear that I also applied to other PhD offers and am waiting for answers. They said that that it was not an issue for them.

But now he just sent me an anonymous paper and suggested to me peer-reviewing it to help me “get a foot on the ladder”. I am really confused by this proposition since:

  • I am still working for my company
  • I am still searching for PhD offers to apply, which takes me all my free time,
  • I never reviewed a paper before.

So, I am not really in the mood to do this now since I have more urgent concerns. However, I do not want to upset this potential supervisor, nor make them believe that I am not motivated.

So, should I do this review or not, and if I don’t, how can I refuse without upsetting this potential supervisor?

Let me precise that I am likely to do my PhD there if my other applications don’t get accepted.

EDIT

The paper in question is anonymous and I am asked to peer review it for a journal publication. The paper subject is in my field of research but not really in the field of my potential supervisor.

I recently applied for several postdoc positions. Two of them (“A” and “B”) are closely related to my doctoral dissertation topic, and these applications were quite strongly welcomed. I am already in the process of negotiations regarding one of them. However, the salaries are on the low side, and I don’t have an official job offer yet.

On the other hand, one of the postdoc positions (“C”) I applied for is in a different field of study, but the pay is more than twice as high compared to the other two, and it would probably be considered more prestigious. The principal investigator (PI) immediately contacted me after I applied and asked me to have my references submit their reference letters.

The issue is that my main reference — my dissertation advisor — is sceptical about the application for position C: he says that it is likely to have a large number of competing applicants, and the interest in my application may be low or non-existent. Also, he shares the opinion that it is awkward to pursue another application when I am practically hired in my field (where everyone knows each other as well). He suggested me to wait and see if there the PI associated with position C will follow up and show more interest.

I would definitely be interested in seeing what happens with the application for position C. My question is, would it be indeed a good strategy to wait to see if the PI of position C is going to follow up, or could I perhaps ask him to continue with my application without the reference letters for now (in order to not insist that my dissertation advisor goes ahead and writes a reference letter)?