I am currently in my first year of PhD at a good university, and despite everything being “in order” (my supervisor is happy with my progress, I am doing well with the teaching, a have a good life alongside my studies…) I feel that, below the surface, stuff isn’t really so “in order”.

For the past 3 years I have been followed by a psychiatrist and a psychologist and diagnosed with OCD, Anxiety, ADHD and Autism. These conditions led to me taking an interruption during my Master’s (which I then completed with top marks) and to having “special arrangements” in my previous job before starting a PhD.

For the past months, in fact since I started my PhD, my conditions have been an ongoing issue affecting my quality of life on a daily basis. (I have difficulties developing a relation with my housemates, I barely manage to be in the office because of social anxiety, etc.) Anxiety has not improved and, in the past weeks, I feel it has been worsening and can feel I am flirting with a burn-out.

On a couple of occasions, the student advice service has advised I took an interruption. Speaking to my “advisor” (each student is assigned a staff member as advisor alongside their main supervisor), they seemed to hint at the fact it wouldn’t be as big a deal as I might be making it to take an interruption.

Part of me really wants an interruption. I feel I need some time off to “catch my breath”, the past years have been extremely demanding and I feel I’m not able at present to work at my best. However, part of me also feels guilty about it. I know that there are a lot of students who would like my same opportunity (academic offer, funding, etc..)

In short, I guess I’d just like some advice. Should I apply for a 3-6 month interruption?

I am a PhD student researching environmental science in Europe. As such, I have received hundreds of environmental samples, including water, sediment etc. over the past year and a half, the extensive work with which has let to two peer-reviewed publications. However, I am still struggling to understand who actually owns these samples – is it the faculty, my supervisor, myself, or the party that sent the sub-samples in the first place? My question is basically – what can I do with the samples without looking at potentially serious issues. More specifically:

1) If there is considerable disagreement between myself and my supervisor as to which analyses are to be carried out on said samples, from a strictly legal standpoint, am I free to carry out the analyses I want to, and which I am sure will benefit my thesis, even though my supervisor disagrees with my approach. There is more than enough material to carry out both mine and my supervisor’s methodology.

2) Can I sub-sample and share some of these samples with other institutions or individuals for the purposes of possible (not documented or otherwise agreed upon) collaboration? Again, I strongly suspect my supervisor will not be happy with this, but would it be considered illegal or as academic/other misconduct. Obviously, my supervisor would know and probably be a co-author on any ensuing publications (if any).

What are the possible repercussions of the above? Could I be expelled from the program, or my PhD revoked after the fact? I could not find any discussion on such topics, and instead kept coming across the usual “fabrication, falsification and plagiarism”-related discussions, hence my questions!

I’m a physics student from Argentina and I’ve just been accepted for a Physics PhD in Cornell University. There are a few research groups that I really like and I was wondering if it is a common thing to mail them introducing myself and asking if it is possible that there is going to be an available position for me in the future. I wouldn’t like to study there for a year to find out that the groups I like wouldn’t have taken me in the first place. Thanks!

P.D.: Also, does anybody know when does research begins? I thought that the PhD program was 1 year of courses and then research, but now I’ve read that there are actually 2 years of courses before you join a research group.

I am graduate research assistant at university of Oklahoma. I am not sure this question can be in this category.

I am having trouble with FED/EE and OSADI/EE tax issue with the university payroll office staff. It is obvious that they made a administration mistake on my file, and charged me extra $150 on January check.

They tried to misdirect me using wrong information (such as late enrollment and my course is invalid course) to avoid to give my money back, I explained that I did follow all the guideline. Now they are not replying me my email and try to avoid the situation.

It is only $150, but I feel very disappointed on their responses. What is the best way to approach the problem? I want to get my money back no matter how much time and effect it takes.


I am doing a PhD with concentration on continental philosophy in Hong Kong (my MPhil also had the same concentration too), but I am really interested in political theory and political science and often audit relevant courses. I am wondering whether it is possible to get another PhD of political science in Germany, if I focus on empirical political science research or political theory, after finishing my current one, provided my German is fluent enough.

Usually to be accepted by a PhD program by a reputed university the admission committee looks for candidates who have made research contributions to the desired field (specially through publications). A Masters student however only starts his/her research work in the last semester and even if something substantial is done during that time, getting it published would take a fair amount of time. How is it possible then for a masters student who’s applying for PhD showcase their publications in the application?

My master’s mentor was a PhD student in my university.

I had an interview in a Dutch University for a PhD position, and the committee made me feel weird about my former mentor being a PhD student. Although the University and my supervisor have said it was okay, I am still a bit worried about my chances.

Does having a PhD student as a mentor lower my chances?

I’m doing a PhD in mathematics at one of the world-leading universities. I spend a lot of time engaging in science communication: both speaking (talks for general audience, some of them quite successful) and writing (popular science blog, I started to publish also in some magazines). Even though I enjoy maths a lot, I prefer communicating it to non-mathematicians much more.
Would getting a job in science communication as opposed to continuing research or working in industry be a “waste” of PhD? Also, would I need a degree in journalism or science communication to be considered a serious candidate for jobs in popular science or media? I’ve done some research online but it seems that there aren’t many scientists (not to mention mathematicians) with a PhD who would focus their career on communicating science.