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Thread: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

  1. #51
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhinPhD View Post
    Thanks Xan for your frank advice. I have couple of follow up questions: (1) I agree that I will have to be a beast at research at T80 for a good placement. However, I assume that even at T25 I will have to be at least a Sphinx to get an equally good placement. Does the daily routine of a doctoral student, with all the TA/RA and teaching duties, allow to devote 'significantly more' time for research? By significantly more I mean, let's say, 3-4 hrs more everyday than what is sufficient normally. Will it matter if I have a fellowship and so can get away with less TA or teaching duties? I believe RA hours can be very helpful, so wouldn't mind those.

    (2) Would it be rude to ask the college, before accepting offer, how often do PhD students co-author with profs during PhD? How many papers usually the PhD students are able to publish in A rated journals before hitting the job market?

    (3) If I am presenting in a conference, is it usual to get scholarship from the conference? Are there budget constraints by univs on attending conferences? Should I ask this- How many conferences typically one can attend?

    I know what I am asking will vary greatly from department to department and college to college.

    Thanks again for taking time to answer these.
    1) The type of work matters a ton. Lower tier schools tend to have more teaching and grading type responsibilities. This means that even beyond a difference in ability between different school tiers, there is a significant difference in time spent doing research. Find out what these differences are between the schools.

    2) This question isn't rude in the least. However, the information should be publicly observable. Look at the professors' CVs and the CVs of recent grads. Also, ask the students. They will give you the best answers.

    3) Just ask what kind of funding is available for conferences. I am not sure how this works for finance, but in accounting there are some conferences that only invite a certain number of students from a given school or only invite students from some higher-tiered schools. If you are presenting at a decent conference, then the school really should find funding for you. If it is co-authored, hopefully the faculty member would cover costs for you.

    All of these things are good to ask a department and use the information to decide between offers.

    To your original question. T25 vs. T80 is a really big difference. If the T80 has one or two people that are well known and you will work with them, then it could be worth it.

    In the end, go with your gut. Make a decision privately and sit on it for a day or two before telling the schools. See how you feel about it. The T25 is more likely to lead to a productive research career for almost everyone, but that doesn't mean it is right for you.

  2. #52
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Thanks YaSvoboden. Really appreciate your response.

    I am glad to come across urch, quite late though. I remember a post here which had a sentence something like this- "I learnt the most about a phd while making a decision on which program to choose". I understand it now.


    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    1) The type of work matters a ton. Lower tier schools tend to have more teaching and grading type responsibilities. This means that even beyond a difference in ability between different school tiers, there is a significant difference in time spent doing research. Find out what these differences are between the schools.

    2) This question isn't rude in the least. However, the information should be publicly observable. Look at the professors' CVs and the CVs of recent grads. Also, ask the students. They will give you the best answers.

    3) Just ask what kind of funding is available for conferences. I am not sure how this works for finance, but in accounting there are some conferences that only invite a certain number of students from a given school or only invite students from some higher-tiered schools. If you are presenting at a decent conference, then the school really should find funding for you. If it is co-authored, hopefully the faculty member would cover costs for you.

    All of these things are good to ask a department and use the information to decide between offers.

    To your original question. T25 vs. T80 is a really big difference. If the T80 has one or two people that are well known and you will work with them, then it could be worth it.

    In the end, go with your gut. Make a decision privately and sit on it for a day or two before telling the schools. See how you feel about it. The T25 is more likely to lead to a productive research career for almost everyone, but that doesn't mean it is right for you.

  3. #53
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    Re: 2016 Ask a Current Ph.D. Student Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    1) The type of work matters a ton. Lower tier schools tend to have more teaching and grading type responsibilities. This means that even beyond a difference in ability between different school tiers, there is a significant difference in time spent doing research. Find out what these differences are between the schools.

    2) This question isn't rude in the least. However, the information should be publicly observable. Look at the professors' CVs and the CVs of recent grads. Also, ask the students. They will give you the best answers.

    3) Just ask what kind of funding is available for conferences. I am not sure how this works for finance, but in accounting there are some conferences that only invite a certain number of students from a given school or only invite students from some higher-tiered schools. If you are presenting at a decent conference, then the school really should find funding for you. If it is co-authored, hopefully the faculty member would cover costs for you.

    All of these things are good to ask a department and use the information to decide between offers.

    To your original question. T25 vs. T80 is a really big difference. If the T80 has one or two people that are well known and you will work with them, then it could be worth it.

    In the end, go with your gut. Make a decision privately and sit on it for a day or two before telling the schools. See how you feel about it. The T25 is more likely to lead to a productive research career for almost everyone, but that doesn't mean it is right for you.
    This is great advice and very helpful as I'm in a very similar situation. I've been accepted to a UTD T10-ranked large state school program in management and a smaller program in the Pacific NW that usually ranks between T50-80. Why the dilemma? The smaller/lower-ranked program has extraordinary depth in strategy and sustainability/social issues (my primary research interest) and some well-known scholars in this niche field, and it's in a city/region I would love to live in. The T10 program has a larger faculty with broader focus, some superstar faculty and potentially influential committee members, curriculum structure that will give me an early start on research, but I might not be able to focus very deeply on the area in which I hope to develop a "research identity".

    Both have strong resources in qualitative training (important to me) although the T10 is probably stronger. Funding is relatively equal at both, and I may be able to negotiate my way out of the extra TA requirements at the T50-80. Both have track records of co-publishing with students, although the topical fit is stronger at the T50-80. I'm a little concerned about being a cohort of 1 at the T50-80 school, while I'd be one of 3 or 4 at the T10 school. The T50-80 school is fighting hard for me, while the T10 is enthusiastic but wouldn't be devastated to lose me.

    Is it realistic to think I can choose the T10 school and maintain research relationships with faculty at the T50-80 school since they are doing exactly what I hope to do? Or does the opportunity to develop a clear research identity in a smaller program help you get T50 placement and overcome the disadvantage of lower rankings? And if I were to choose one school and after 6-12 months decide I'd made mistake, is it likely the other school would allow me to transfer? Any feedback/thoughts are welcome.

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