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选AP做导师风险会不会很大,他/她如果没tenure怎么办?
寄托天下 2014-09-25 11:18 我要评论 浏览8272次

原文的讨论主要是关于“选了一个AP做导师风险会不会很大,他/她如果没tenure怎么办”。我觉得这是一个和大家申请时选导师密切相关的问题。相信对于各位同学都有一些启发。以下是其中得票数最高的回答。建议大家不光看这个得票数最多的,其他的回答也看看。相信以大家的英文水平,看Quora应该没问题的。


原文链接:http://www.quora.com/How-risky-is-it-to-work-under-an-Assistant-Professor-for-a-Ph-D-in-USA-What-happens-to-you-if-he-she-is-denied-tenure


How risky is it to work under an Assistant Professor for a Ph.D. in USA? What happens to you if he/she is denied tenure?

Alexandra E. Sutton

This happened to me. Well, something like this happened to me. At the end of my first year of my first Ph.D. program, my (young, untenured assistant professor) advisor walked into our lab meeting and politely announced that he'd been secretly going on job interviews over the last six months, had taken a position elsewhere, and would be leaving after the end of the semester.

Everything stopped. Silence, then awkward congratulations from around the table (while we were all wondering 'Well, what happens to me, then?') and then I went through the rest of the day in this sort of clear-but-dreamy haze. My professor assured us all that he would support our choices about our own futures -- we could follow him to his new university, choose to stay where we were and try to work with him remotely, or choose to stay where we were and find new funding and new advisors.

None of these options seemed particularly enticing to me:

Option 1: Move to a new university.
For one, his new position was in a different sub-discipline than mine -- I'd come to work with him on general ecology, and now he was moving to a geography department to focus on information systems and mapping.

For two, I felt his new university wasn't going to be a great fit for me. It was in a small town in the rural west, far from any ecosystem I wanted to work on, far from friends and family (and my aging parents), and busy making a name for itself in different specialties and skills than I possessed.

Option 2: Stay at my current university, and work remotely with him.
I doubted this option would succeed at such an early stage of my Ph.D. My advisor and I were still just getting to know each other, and the nature of the projects I'd outlined would require intensive attention from both myself and my supervisor to succeed.

To make matters worse, I found out within a few days of the first announcement that my co-advisor had also had her position altered, and would no longer be able to serve in that capacity. So I'd be on my own, at the beginning of my second year, trying to manage and design a project with little input from anyone. Could work, might work, but probably wouldn't work.

Option 3: Stay at my current university, and find new funding and a new advisor.
Without intending to be crass about it, this came down quite neatly to money. My graduate programs have always been funded, and I have no student debt from undergraduate study. I was not willing to take on debt to continue my Ph.D. -- a decision I still feel strongly about. And my university didn't offer much in the way of support or assurances; a lot of things were changing, and they just weren't yet sure how all the pieces would fit together.

Fortunately for me, this all came at the end of several months of feeling that the program probably wasn't the right fit for me; a growing belief that I'd be happier elsewhere; and mounting concerns about the feasibility of a proposed project. And if I had to find all new funding, and a new advisor, and basically go through the entire grad school application process all over again...would I really choose to put myself back into the same situation?

After my professor's announcement, I decided to take a Thinking Day. I walked outside, crossed the train tracks, stood in the sunlight, and just knew.

I was leaving my Ph.D. program.

Everyone didn't make the same choice I did -- one 6th-year student with less than a year left chose to stay and work remotely; two 2nd-year students with research interests more closely aligned to my professor chose to follow to the new university; and I left.

I moved back home to the East Coast, worked in D.C. for a few years, and I'm now entering my third year at a different university, with a program and an advisor who's a much better fit for me. I get to do the badass stuff I really wanted when I started my Ph.D. in the first place, I've got incredible scientific and financial resources at my disposal, and I have a playground in which to exercise all my intellectual curiosity.

So that's what happens to you.


Now, about risk: every advisor is a risk.

They're human beings, and life is unpredictable. Even happy, tenured professors sometimes go on a vacation to Tahiti, have a sudden moment of clarity, and quit their jobs to become painters. Universities have catastrophic budget issues and lose accreditation. Advisors have heart attacks and are forced into sudden, early retirement.

And sometimes the changes/risks aren't catastrophic, but rather serendipitous -- I know of students who took a gamble on a young, untenured professor at a small, third-tier state school and ended up graduating three years later from top-in-the-field Ivies thanks to their advisor's career growth.

Don't worry so much about the risk on their end, because it's tiny compared to the risk on yours. If you're committed to your field, your success, and to the questions of your Ph.D., then you'll be fine. You'll figure something out and land on your feet, no matter what your advisor does.

If you're doing your Ph.D. to fill time, to avoid the job market, because of parental pressure, because you're afraid to try to be successful in another field, or whatever other insufficient reason, then you're probably making a bad bet. And if you're doing a Ph.D. to achieve some sort of certainty about career/life and to avoid the risk of change or failure, then you may want to gamble elsewhere.


原文作者:wang_come_on
原文链接:http://bbs.gter.net/thread-1773135-1-1.html
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