UW Graduate School

Ask the Grad School Guru


November 16, 2017

Advice on an advisor

I am a second-year doctoral student, and have not been able to build a positive relationship with my advisor. My emails go unanswered and our meetings are infrequent, short, and brisk. I feel that this person is unhelpful and even detrimental to my progress. I have tried communicating my discomfort with this relationship to my…


November 2, 2017

What’s a bike/walk/run commuter to do? (Showers, lockers, and other necessities)

I commute by bike and spend most of my day in a shared lab space. What are my options for showering and storing my stuff? —Anonymous This post was first published October 2015, it has been updated for relevancy.  First of all, good on ya for biking! Don’t forget November is Bike in the Rain Month*!…


October 19, 2017

Navigating Licensing Options for a Thesis or Dissertation

Which license(s) should I use or create when publishing my doctoral dissertation?  – Anonymous  This week’s answer is courtesy of Elizabeth Bedford, scholarly publishing outreach librarian, Electronic Theses and Dissertations Congratulations on getting to the home stretch of your dissertation! As part of your degree requirements, you will be depositing your dissertation into ResearchWorks, UW’s…


October 5, 2017

Graduating soon, and what next?

“I am a fifth-year doctoral student and will be graduating soon. I’m at the point in my graduate education where I am thinking about possible careers. What are some simple steps I can take to start my career planning?” –Anonymous Lucky you, grad student, you get two answers to your question! One is from Catherine…


September 21, 2017

Fostering Inclusive Classrooms as a TA

How do we, as TAs or RAs, work to include all students we work with, given the difficult times the nation is in? — Anonymous  This week’s answer is courtesy of Gonzalo Guzman, pre-doctoral instructor in American Ethnic Studies and the College of Education.  To say we live in “difficult times” would be an understatement. This is…


May 29, 2017

Summer Lovin’ for your resume

Don’t have a summer gig lined up? Or maybe you’ve secured work unrelated to your field, and want to stay mentally sharp during the next few months? Here are 10 tips for professional and career development – a few of which will even get you outdoors! And, as Dylan High, student experience coordinator for Museology reminds us: “No matter…


April 20, 2017

From an Overworked TA

The class I am a TA for requires 12 hours of student interaction and about half a day of preparing materials. Every week. This is way more than the 20 hours/week that I am paid to do. The instructor knows this and had originally requested twice as many TAs as we have, but the department, being…


April 6, 2017

Funding options for Master’s students

Why are most RA/TA positions open to Masters AND PhD students? Unless you’re an exceptional Masters student, it’s almost impossible to compete against PhD students for positions that are open to both, as PhD students usually have more experience/education. Why not have RA/TA positions that are only for Masters students so they can reduce the…


March 23, 2017

Dread and Taxes

This Guru post has been updated from a previous inquiry. Happy filing! Filing taxes seems more complicated than it should be, and there seems to be no help from the university, despite the fact that many graduate students have very similar tax situations. What’s the best way to file to maximize our return (where do…


March 9, 2017

Friends Wanted

How do you make friends in grad school? I feel like I missed a crucial seminar where everyone else got paired up. I hear about things that happened on the weekend in passing and the middle schooler in me that followed me all the way up to graduate education is so hurt. Part of what…



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