Eszter's Tips on Academic Professionalization

UPDATE (Summer, 2009):

I have started a column at Inside Higher Ed called Ph.Do whose purpose is to address related matters on a regular basis.

Welcome to academia.
Please write a dissertation.
Once you're done, perhaps you can be a prof.

That's about all some people have to go on when they start graduate school. Clearly, that's not enough. There's quite a maze out there regarding the particularities of conferences, journal submissions, dissertation stages, etc. The tiniest things can become big hurdles for students that prevent them from getting their work out there and meeting people. Explaining and discussing the specifics can help navigate the jungle. I've been extremely lucky with the mentoring I've gotten at Princeton (and at NYU and Smith) but it shouldn't have to be based on one's luck with having great advisors.

I've collected the following resources as helpful pointers on how to navigate the academic landscape while you're still a student, and beyond.

Some specifics will be different based on one's particular discipline, but experience tells me that many things are quite generalizable across fields. (I discovered this through conversations with lots of friends in a wide range of disciplines. I found discussions with my friend Beverley in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering especially illuminating.)

I'd be happy to add other resources, please do send me (at eszter -at- princeton -dot- edu) additional pointers.

Networking on the Network: A Guide to Professional Skills for PhD Students

PhD - First Thoughts to Finished Writing

Dissertation Proposal Writing

Tips for Successful Writing Groups

Guidelines for Writing Abstracts (for conference submissions)

Advice for Undergraduates Considering Graduate School

Notes on Organizing Conferences

How to submit papers to journals

And for some fun:
11 Reasons Why Writing A Dissertation Is Harder Than Having A Baby
150 Things Not To Do (Or Say) At (Or For) Your Thesis Defense

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Last updated: June, 2002

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