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Rebranding or repairing a broken PhD student

This seems to be a week for academia-related questions. I am an ABD student in the humanities at a prestigious university. The job prospects in my field are grim, and they are grimmer still for me because I have not performed well in my program. My history is one of late papers, lingering incompletes, delayed time to qualifying exams, and poor rapport with faculty. I am in the beginning stages of writing a dissertation that I know will serve me no real purpose. So what do I do now? [more inside]
posted by redfishbluefish on Apr 8, 2014 - 16 answers

Effective learning: looking for the best academic skills and techniques

What are some effective academic skills, techniques, and tools for effective learning and succeeding academically? — Looking for uncommon, highly effective techniques that aren't the oft-repeated ones ("don't procrastinate!") but more like "use spaced repetition software to review the major concepts all throughout the semester". — I'll share some of my own. [more inside]
posted by markbao on Feb 20, 2014 - 22 answers

[academic/reading-geek filter] how to take notes on books within books?

My apologies for this very convoluted question...tl;dr: I guess I'm asking how people deal with taking notes from books, not just on the book's content and structure etc, but mapping bodies of literatures mentioned in those books. I would love to hear if you have a system that works for you. More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by starcrust on Feb 19, 2014 - 10 answers

CS academia vs. industry, with snowflakes

I'm graduating this spring with an undergrad degree in computer science, and I'm lucky enough to have two great postgrad opportunities on the table. But how to choose between a safe and enjoyable industry job vs. attempting the grad school grind to (maybe hopefully) do what I love? [more inside]
posted by serelliya on Feb 15, 2014 - 10 answers

Should I send this letter to a search chair at a SLAC?

I am considering rescinding my application for employment at a SLAC - I am fairly certain they have invited candidates to interview since my initial follow-ups, but have been wholly unresponsive to my questions. The goal of this letter is to change their behavior so that they are not rude during future job searches. I think I would have liked this job, but do not want employment there if the search process is indicative of department dynamics. Letter enclosed. If you think I ought to send it, any suggestions for revision are welcome. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 31, 2014 - 72 answers

From "Did you play football in highschool?" to "Are you up for tenure?"

AcademicClothesFilter: MetaFilter, help me (20ish dude) find a store that sells awesome tweed or professorial-like sportscoats/jackets! I am a beginning academic who hates suits, but soon I will start to teach and go to conferences and will need to "look the part." Thus, I need to update my wardrobe with something thematically between "formal" and "wannabe hipster causal." The hitch is: I am sort-of built like a linebacker, with a very broad chest and very wide shoulders but with a not-quite-commensurately-large bottom torso, and thus sizing can often be an issue for me (i.e., getting more fabric "up top" in generic sizes ends up with billowing fabric down below). Is there any store that sells hot to trot professorial tweed that might fit someone with my body build? Or will I need to get a loose fit and then get it tailored? (Is that... what tailoring is?).
posted by Keter on Nov 28, 2013 - 14 answers

Turning unpublished report into conference paper - self-plagiarism?

I'm trying to turn my masters report into a conference paper. This mainly involves shortening it by many, many pages. Masters reports in my department are not published or even listed online or at the library. The only way anyone could ever read it or even know about it is to ask me or my advisor for a copy. Instead, the way I am sharing the work is to write a conference paper on the same subject. Do I need to cite my own unpublished report? [more inside]
posted by Gravel on Nov 25, 2013 - 9 answers

Black turtlenecks, cigarettes, red wine, and Derrida

I'm defending my dissertation next week and the process has wrung all enthusiasm for academia right out of me. The whole enterprise has come to seem like nothing but an anxiety-ridden grind. In my small amount of free time before the defense and during the break I'm allowing myself afterwards, I'd like to read some novels that will delude me into thinking that being an intellectual is kind of, well, hot. Examples and extended description below. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Oct 26, 2013 - 19 answers

How can I make my work experience relevant for a job in academia?

I am in need of some help... I've just completed an M.A. in Anthropology, I'm trying to pull together a CV for a job teaching as an adjunct professor or community college professor. I don't have professional teaching experience, even though I've got loads of experience teaching to my peers in graduate seminars. (I'm also not sure how to convey that, other than in a cover letter.) I've got some of my written work (Academia.edu), and one of my presentations on YouTube. I'm in the process of revising some other papers to put on Academia.edu... Hoping, I suppose, that displaying my work will make me a better candidate. Now, here's the question: How can I make my existing (non-teaching!) work experience relevant to applying for academic jobs? [more inside]
posted by ScarletLark on Aug 12, 2013 - 10 answers

What do you know about being management in a union environment?

I may, in the future, have the opportunity to move to a management role in a union environment at a state university. Some state universities have professional unions and some have service employee unions. Do you have experience working or managing in an environment like this? How is it different from working in a non-union academic environment? If I were to make a move like this, how could I be the best manager for both union and non-union people possible?
posted by eleanna on Jun 22, 2013 - 11 answers

What was academia like before different IT revolutions?

I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
posted by codacorolla on May 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Do you have advice for an MPP student ISO research position job?

I'm starting graduate school in the fall: yay! I need to learn an entirely new set of norms around interviews, resumes, etc: oh no! I have a meeting set up with the head of a research institute where I'd LOVE to work there while I'm studying. What do I say? What's OK to ask for? [more inside]
posted by blandcamp on May 13, 2013 - 3 answers

Academic job in Kazakhstan: take it or leave it?

I was offered an academic job at Nazarbayev University, a new English-medium university in Astana, Kazakhstan. I am in a STEM field. Help me decide whether I should accept it. [more inside]
posted by auctor on Apr 3, 2013 - 37 answers

Academic-filter: Dissertation Writing Group, take 2!

How should I organize an academic writing group hosted online? [more inside]
posted by spunweb on Nov 14, 2012 - 2 answers

Visualize 6 Pages in 1 Slide?

How do I visualize the content of six pages on one PowerPoint slide? Graphical palpability preferred. [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Oct 20, 2012 - 11 answers

Has Santorum ruined the sweater vest?

Calling academic fashion mavens! Can I rock this look (tweed jacket & sweater vest) as a woman? [more inside]
posted by BrashTech on Aug 11, 2012 - 24 answers

What did you do with your molecular biology PhD?

I'm doing a PhD in molecular biology, and I want to get a broader feel for my options when I graduate. [more inside]
posted by jlibera on May 26, 2012 - 2 answers

Getting a master's degree when disillusioned with academia?

I've always been drawn to science and research and I'm strongly considering going to graduate school to get a master's degree in computer science (location: Sweden) and maybe even aim for an academic career. But my recent experiences with academia has left my disillusioned, sad and angry. Can I get my degree without GRARing all the time? How? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 21, 2012 - 11 answers

Good idea? Huge mistake?

I've been accepted to a PHD program at the University of Maryland's iSchool, and will likely be researching social media and social gaming for my dissertation. I'm excited, love the program, and can't wait to start publishing work as part of the academic community, however recent discussion on Metafilter, and a smaller living stipend than I expected, have me second guessing what I thought was a great opportunity. Details inside... [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 6, 2012 - 13 answers

Vanity URLs for Academics

I'm a PhD student with an academic blog and a personal blog, thinking about my future marketability as either an academic or a postdoc style researcher. Should I host it all under myname.net, keep my catchyname.com for the academic blog, or something else? [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Oct 25, 2011 - 19 answers

Any advice or comments on jobhunting at science conferences?

Do any of you have experience with postdoc recruitment at academic conferences (Specifically, BSGT/ESGCT)? [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Oct 6, 2011 - 11 answers

Help me understand why desciptive bibliography is useful.

How are descriptive bibliographies of modern books useful to scholars & researchers? Rephrased: what questions are answered by the information they contain? [more inside]
posted by wowbobwow on Jul 26, 2011 - 2 answers

How to combine academic and creative work in the same field?

A case-study in journalism: after entering academia (j-school staff), will a feature writer say goodbye to creativity? [more inside]
posted by earthwormsleg on Jun 8, 2011 - 6 answers

Help me figure out what academic articles to read

Help me figure out what academic articles to read [more inside]
posted by raeka on May 26, 2011 - 17 answers

As-it-happens research updates: can't write with 'em, can't write without 'em?

How to concentrate on a research-driven book project when the subject matter is periodically changing / being updated by other writers? [more inside]
posted by taramosalata on Apr 22, 2011 - 4 answers

so long suckers?

What did you do the summer before you went on the academic job market? What do you wish you had done? [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Apr 21, 2011 - 10 answers

5-part humor or riddle for science presentation

Help me come up with a five-part joke, riddle, or comic strip to embed in 5 separate data presentations at a science conference. [more inside]
posted by dino might on Apr 1, 2011 - 6 answers

Should I attempt a third undergrad degree?

I’ve settled on a professional grad programme I’d like to attend. It’s fairly competitive. Like almost every other such programme in Canada, minimum entry criteria include a four-year BA with a B+ average or higher (likely, much higher) in the final two years of study. Most will not consider applicants with any other profile, e.g., a three-year BA + GRE + additional courses taken as a visiting student, as has been suggested in other questions. I’m writing because I suspect I’ve got the stinkiest background imaginable - two undergrad attempts, and more. I sincerely thank in advance anyone with the patience to read further. [more inside]
posted by nelljie on Mar 19, 2011 - 4 answers

Throw away printed PDFs?

If you're an academic and/or grad student and you've printed out reams and reams of PDFs b/c they're easier to read that way... is it worth keeping them all, just for reference, even if they don't seem immediately applicable to your current projects? Or is an electronic copy enough and can the unwieldy stacks of paper go off to recycling without regret?
posted by shivohum on Jan 27, 2011 - 28 answers

How does the NSF break the good/ bad news?

[Academia Filter] I am familiar with how the Australian Research Council announces the outcomes of applications for funding, but how are things done in the US? How does the National Science Foundation inform grant applicants of whether their grant has been funded or not?
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace on Jan 24, 2011 - 4 answers

Help finding or coining a term

A colleague and I are writing a book chapter on social media, and we have been unable to find or make up terms for one distinction we would like to make. What is a good, compact term for 'information that is endorsed or supported by a credentialed expert on the subject or is agreed to be true by a community of experts'? [more inside]
posted by amberwb on Jan 21, 2011 - 25 answers

What constitutes reasonable "proof of payment" for reimbursement from a 501c3?

What exactly constitutes "proof of payment" for the purposes of 501c3 accounting standards? Are my accounting demons tormenting me for their own sick pleasure, or because they actually have to? [more inside]
posted by col_pogo on Jan 12, 2011 - 8 answers

Help me reference my thesis!

Please help me find an article or book I would like to use for my literary theory thesis. This is all I know about it: 1) It was authored by two french males. 2) It is about tragedy in 5th century BC Athens. 3) It introduces the phrase 'tragic moment' 4) It is from the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by rigby99 on Oct 18, 2010 - 7 answers

There's academia and there's ...?

Academic Grant Writing logjam filter. Final moments before I must submit and I need a word for my rousing conclusion. How the hell do academics refer to the outside/real world? [example over the fold] [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Oct 5, 2010 - 11 answers

Would rather not have to deal with this

Should I divulge to my boss my mentor/coworker’s complete lack of work ethic? (academic lab situation) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 25, 2010 - 19 answers

Help me get a great start to my Masters.

I am going to do an MA in European Identity and Integration. What are some good summary works about Europe that I can read to be able to engage with the course straight away? [more inside]
posted by tumples on Jul 1, 2010 - 7 answers

How do I do a good literature review?

How do I do a good literature review for a research paper in philosophy? I have access to good resources, but I really want to make sure that I cover everything that's been written on the topic. How can I put myself at ease while making sure I don't miss a beat? [more inside]
posted by superiorchicken on Jun 23, 2010 - 17 answers

Are all research papers for sale companies a scam? (I want to work for one, not buy from one).

I'm a PhD candidate who just got hired to (ghost)write academic essays for a company. The pay is fine, and I've been emailing with a real person. Their website also seems legit, and they explicitly told me that this is legal. Could it still be a scam? [more inside]
posted by earlofrochester on Jun 7, 2010 - 24 answers

Watching Television

Rounding out my summer syllabus: Favorite studies, statistics, theories, essays, short stories, comics, poetry and other short readings about television? [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on May 7, 2010 - 9 answers

'Metaphysics of Quality' taken seriously?

How is 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' received among professional philosophers? [more inside]
posted by aesacus on Mar 6, 2010 - 22 answers

Academic and business styled conversations

Looking to balance differences between academics and business world communication styles? [more inside]
posted by pmononoke1 on Jan 30, 2010 - 17 answers

What are the top academic journals in various fields?

What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
posted by ollyollyoxenfree on Jan 30, 2010 - 49 answers

Wanting This Probable Possible Promotion!

Just got a call from HR for a "chat" about an administrative position I applied for with my current employer. The "chat" is tomorrow. How might this "chat" go, and other than the usual interview preparations, what else should I be prepared for? [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Jan 28, 2010 - 9 answers

Where can I get affordable online access to academic journals?

Where can I get affordable online access to many academic journals? Generally only large university libraries have paid the expensive subscriptions for electronic access to academic journals. Sometimes these libraries let users access the journals online. But I am not affiliated with any university. Are there any libraries I can join by paying a fee, that would give me online access to many online journals? I need journals in biological and physical sciences.
posted by algal on Oct 25, 2009 - 21 answers

Paper or Proceeding?

Academic Resumefilter: The proceedings of a conference I presented a paper to were published in a special issue of a journal (and the papers under went an additional refereeing process). Should I include these under "journal articles" or must these be listed as "conference proceedings"?
posted by pseudonick on Jun 27, 2009 - 14 answers

The Hermeneutics of 4chan: A Deconstructive Analysis of Teh Lulz

Academia must have discovered the Internets by now... right? I'm interested in finding some academic, long-form journalism, or just generally "high-thought" articles about "low" Internet culture, from memes to 4chan to Anonymous to Second Life. Halp?! [more inside]
posted by Keter on May 6, 2009 - 16 answers

Foreign language prep.

I'm in a humanities field and I will likely need to learn multiple languages. As a Master's student, I'm scheduled to take around 3-4 courses each semester, with much of my second year devoted to research and writing a master's dissertation. My question concerns foreign language prep....when is the optimal time to do that? Do I travel abroad this summer and shore up on what I know? Or do I take care of the problem during my first few semesters? What are the pros and cons of traveling abroad vis a vis taking care of the problem domestically (e.g., either at my school or some other program in the states, unaffiliated with my school)? [more inside]
posted by Genco_Olive_Oil on Apr 8, 2009 - 8 answers

Developing a Relationship with my Professor

Hey all, I'm an incoming master's student with plans to apply to my institution's PhD program after my master's. As the first person in my family to go to college (let alone graduate school), I am quite green in many respects. What I'm really worried about is the professor(s) I want to work with in the future--how do I go about developing a professional relationship with them? I'm afraid of creating a negative impression about myself if I keep badgering them during office hours and blatantly trying to ingratiate myself with them. Also, any advice you could give me would be really helpful--especially with regards to a master's student in the humanities field. What should be my main focus and what common errors should I avoid?
posted by Genco_Olive_Oil on Mar 28, 2009 - 12 answers

Help me recession-proof my future, post-college life.

I'm 21 years old, about to graduate college, and the recession is freaking me out. I know there's no right or wrong answer to which course my life should take, but I need help focusing on realistic skills and places to live that I should be considering. [more inside]
posted by Muffpub on Jan 7, 2009 - 20 answers

Unmarried academics seek UK immigration advice

How can I accompany my unmarried non-same-sex partner who has been offered a job in the UK? [more inside]
posted by tractorfeed on Nov 3, 2008 - 13 answers

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