Choosing an Advisor
What to do and consider when choosing an advisor and research group:
- Be sure to talk to several different faculty members whose research you find interesting based on your search of their websites, literature, and suggestions from others.
- Come to your meetings prepared with questions.
- How do your research interests fit with that of the faculty member? Will they pick your research project or can you decide the direction your project will take?
- What types of mentoring and professional development activities do they offer or require of students?
- What are their expectations or quidelines for students in their group?
- Does their management or mentoring style fit with how you best learn and work?
- It is important to consider research interests when choosing an advisor, but don’t forget to talk to group members about the questions you asked the faculty member as they can provide additional insight for making your decision.
- You want to choose an advisor, and a group, considering how you would be able to work and communicate with fellow members in addition to sharing research interests.
- 2-5 years can be a long time if you are unable to work effectively with your advisor or group members because you aren’t communicating or collaborating successfully.