Fourth Floor Studio

September 19, 2006


Filed under: scientists, web — chris @ 11:58 pm

Old news, I know, but I’ve just found out: a graduate student at UW had their thesis offer rescinded after the PI found their blog. Oh, and yes, doocing is a word.

For non-US readers, graduate students here generally start of taking one or two years of advanced, research-level classes and rotating through a couple of short projects a year in research labs, prior to choosing a thesis topic and lab. So, unlike the british system where you basically need to choose a supervisor before being accepted into the program, here you can percolate for a few years until a project comes up that you like in a lab that will take you.

via evolgen



  1. I guess it’s always best to check with the boss if you think blogging might be a problem. Not that I did, but I write about myself rather than my workplace and would certainly refrain from using the blog to criticise my uni or colleagues. There are more constructive ways of dealing with work problems – leaving is a good one, I found!

    On the other hand, blogging as grounds for thesis offer rejection strikes me as rather harsh and perhaps not even legal, depending on the laws of the institute.

    Comment by nsaunders — September 20, 2006 @ 12:36 am

  2. The given reason went along the lines of “based on statements on your blog, I [the PI] don’t think you’re serious about completing a PhD”. I suspect the fact that blogs tend to be a release mechanism for many people, and therefore overly whiny, is lost on many people.

    The (former) grad student comes across as rather gruesomly cheerful about the whole business, though.

    Comment by chris — September 20, 2006 @ 12:45 am

  3. I found it a bit harsh as well. I read some of the previous posts that the student posted and he did question his own will to do the PhD but the PI should have talked to him about it.
    Even if I don’t talk about the lab, I will probably talk about it with any future boss just in case.

    Comment by Pedro Beltrao — September 20, 2006 @ 9:27 am

  4. Some people have also lost their job offers because of blogging and twitting…

    Comment by Academic Career Links — April 1, 2009 @ 10:04 am

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