Friday, June 6, 2014

Questions To Consider In Selecting A Dissertation Advisor

Questions To Consider In Selecting A Dissertation Advisor
These questions have been adapted from a document prepared by the Graduate School, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  • .....Is the advisor an expert in the area of research or scholarship that you intend to pursue? Is his/her critical or theoretical orientation consistent with yours?
  • ..... How much freedom will you have in your choice of dissertation topic with this advisor?
  • .....What is the reputation of the advisor within the discipline?
  • .....How responsive is the advisor? How long does it take him/her to return written material with comments?
  • .....How accessible is the advisor for discussion?
  • .....Is the advisor likely to remain on the faculty for the duration of your degree work?
  • .....How many students does he/she advise? If none, why? If a large number, does this affect the attention that he/she pays to individual students?
  • .....How much time does he/she spend away from campus? Is he/she available during the summer?
  • .....How long do students take to complete their degrees with this advisor?
  • .....What proportion of this advisor's students successfully complete the program?
  • .....What is the placement record of this advisor's students? Where do they get jobs?
  • .....Does the advisor publish with his/her students as first author?
  • .....How many publications does the typical student accumulate with this advisor?
  • .....Do the advisor's students go to disciplinary or professional conferences?
  • .....Do the advisor's students make presentations of their own work at conferences? Do they make presentations of joint work with the advisor?
  • .....How much interaction is there with other advisees of this faculty member? Does he/she direct a research group or rather a series of individuals?
  • .....How much of the research is collaborative with the advisor and/or other advisees?
  • .....How much involvement is expected in "group" research projects that are not appropriate for inclusion in your dissertation? How much of this contributes to your professional development and marketability?
  • .....How is credit for collaborative work assigned?
  • .....Is the advisor engaged in patentable or saleable work? If so, how does he/she assign credit to the student? Does this work get published promptly?
  • .....Is the advisor's work funded? What are the guarantees of funding for the advisor's students? Do the advisor's students get summer support?
  • .....Does the advisor assist his/her students in obtaining their own funding from outside sources such as fellowship programs?
  • .....Does the advisor have good relations with other faculty in the program?
  • .....Does the advisor have a reputation for ethical behavior?
  • .....Are the advisor's work habits compatible with your own?

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