I am an undergraduate in theoretical chemistry, and I am currently having a summer research internship at one of the top institutions in the world. I was dreaming about this experience for a long time, but now I think that I can’t handle it.

I started to feel drained of energy six months ago when my family had serious problems in their relationships, finances and health. Now, it’s two weeks into my 8-week-long internship and I am unable to focus on anything at all. The only hope I have is that intermittently I have bursts of energy, when the idea of leaving seems preposterous, but they only last 1-2 days max. I also have troubles sleeping.

I have always been a diligent student coming in top 1-5 in all examinations I sat. My internship last year also went quite well and my results from it resulted in a publication. I have never felt as I do now, and even though I’m trying really hard to pull myself together, I’m failing.

I wonder how much quitting would affect my reputation, especially if I’m being honest that the issue is about my mental health. On the other hand, if I stay but am utterly unproductive, would it be worse?

I am > 40 years old and have been heavily involved in IT for my adult life. 20-25 years ago I successfully studied 2 years of Information Technology at a polytechnic (I’ve always been good with computers). I have subsequently enjoyed a moderately successful career as a systems administrator.

I am fairly certain I have a mental deficiency with respect of memorizing lots of facts – although in my current profession I have been largely able to compensate for this by having strong working models based on fundamental principles, and – of course – ready access to the Internet to help me over memory related hurdles.

I have a solid understanding (for a lay person) of the basis of law and a fairly analytical mind, and would like to study law part time in New Zealand or Australia – either online or in Auckland.

Is attaining a law degree “down under” with my impediment for recalling facts realistic, or does my difficulty recalling the names and minutia of case law by rote preclude me from completing a degree which would allow me to pass the bar?

I dropped out of my previous PhD 4 years ago, because my UK institution had a four year maximum time limit for completion which I didn’t meet due to my mental health issues. I’m now recovered and have been working for the last three years in a research position at another university. I would now like to apply to do my PhD part-time in the department where I work.

I think my previous supervisor would give me a reasonable reference as he was sympathetic to my issues, but I am concerned about how it would look to use an academic reference from a qualification I didn’t complete. My only alternative would be a generic reference from my undergraduate study director who will not even remember me as I only met him a handful of times and I completed that degree ten years ago.

Which would look best?

I dropped out of my previous PhD 4 years ago, my UK institution had a four year maximum time limit for completion which I didn’t meet due to my mental health issues. I’m now recovered and have been working for the last three years in a research position at another university. I would now like to apply to do my PhD part-time in the department where I work.

I think my previous supervisor would give me a reasonable reference as he was sympathetic to my issues, but I am concerned about how it would look to use an academic reference from a qualification I didn’t complete. However, my only alternative would be a generic reference from my undergraduate study director who will not even remember me as I only met him a handful of times and I completed that degree ten years ago.

Which would look best?

Assume Mr “X” has developed a project proposal on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
(ASRH) and won one million USD from a foreign donor. His design is an interventional study with
primary goal of preventing risky/unsafe sexual practice and unwanted pregnancy among middle
adolescent girls (14-16 years). The main interventional strategies were health education,
promotion of safer sexual practice and promotion and distribution of condoms and other
contraceptive methods to the girls. Raising awareness about the existence of free safe abortion
services was also among the strategies. As you are the member of the IRB of of X , the proposal came to you for clearance before the start of the intervention study.
Questions:
a. Is there any ethical dilemmas/problems in this case? Describe.
b. Any ethical principle(s) you may consider here?
c. What will be your recommendation?

I study in the USA.

Can a professor ask me to waive my right to privacy so he can talk to my doctor about my medical condition? He says he needs that in order to allow me to take a make-up midterm for an exam that I missed, even though a medical note certifying my illness is provided.

Also, the doctor that gave the note is usually a nurse practitioner (NP), but he instead wants a note from a doctor of medicine (MD).

I am an international student with a 3.7 US equivalated GPA. I applied to a grad school program in the US fresh out of undergrad and was accepted.

I was a part-time student at that grad school. During the next semester, I took up some courses at a local cc instead of the grad courses. (physics 1, chem 2, o-chem 2, ochem lab). I ended up having situational depression and got help really late in the semester. I was only able to withdraw from one course early in the semester, and failed two courses, and got a B in one.

I am currently re-thinking the grad program I applied to at first and want to apply to another one. However, this program is more prestigious. While my undergrad GPA and experience are good enough for the school, I am worried about how my recent bad semester at the local cc will be interpreted to the admissions office.

BTW: These courses that I bombed are not pre-requisites for the program I am applying to.

Should I discuss this bad semester in my personal statement? Are my chances of acceptance really low because they are recent grades?

I am wondering if anyone has experienced conflicting feelings of failure associated with their work? Essentially, I am struggling to continue my students and maintain a proactive attitude while continually facing an ever growing list of tasks.

I find myself struggling to even start the list in the morning, and when I do I either fixate on one particular task or rush it (which I later chastise myself for). Throughout my undergraduate degree I worked hard and made great progress, however upon reflection I find that unless I am sure my work is ‘perfect’ I am very reluctant to submit it, and will later feel guilty about it.

I guess most of these behaviors are associated with the fear of failure and/or self belief, or something such like. But I wonder if anyone else has experienced them in their work and if you have discovered any strategies/advice you think would be beneficial.

I am wondering about the health aspects of black boards and white boards.

Black boards have now been around for centuries. Their only detrimental health effect is the chalk dust. Some senior colleagues tell me that they are having breathing issues after several years of teaching. Then again, it’s just chalk, which is chemically fairly well-understood.

White boards are a rather recent fad in academia. They do not -seem- to produce dust as much as blackboards, but nevertheless there is a mess over time with ink dripping down onto the floor, and you need replace the erasers regularly. Last but not least, I have no clue about the ink used in those pens and their health effects.

Do you have practical advice how to handle black boards and white boards, and do you know about medical research about them?

I am currently a third year undergraduate at a good university studying computer science. I am planning to apply to top graduate schools when I finish my undergrad and I need a bit of advice.

In the first two and half (5 semesters) of my studies, I took the most challenging CS/Math courses in my university and did very well in them (GPA 4.11/4.30). I also joined two research groups and have 2 publications where I am the first author, published in reputable journals. I also have a very good relationship with my 2 research advisors.

Now in my sixth semester, I decided to go on an exchange semester and things just started crumbling. First of all, I couldn’t integrate well in the culture and I was left very lonely with no new friends in the area. My Girlfriend of 5 years broke up with me, my mother got into a car accident which affected her health, and I started taking depression medication due to that. I also gained a lot of weight which lead to some health problems. Needless to say, this term is coming to an end and I can’t wait to leave this place. I am going to probably fail 2/4 courses, and in the remaining ones, I will barely pass. I am expecting a 2.0 GPA at best.

Now I know this won’t go unnoticed by graduate school admissions. I am just wondering what steps can I take as of now to document all of this so that I can justify the poor performance in the exchange semester during my graduate application?