Coming up with a thesis topic, developing the novel contribution, proposing it and writing it is challenging. There are a number of resources available that describe the process. Here are some examples:
- Kung’s talk on Useful Things to Know about PhD Thesis Research
- Toby Walsh’s presentations:
- Jim Kajiya’s (1993) paper on How to Get Your SIGGRAPH Paper Rejected
- Phil Agre’s paper (2002) on Networking on the Network: A Guide to Professional Skills for PhD Students
- Olin Shiver’s Dissertation Advise
- David Chapman (Editor) on How to do Research at the MIT AI Lab
- Robert Axelrod’s Tips For An Academic Job Talk
- Riesbeck’s What is a Thesis
- Riesbeck’s page for Students
- Good website on more resources
- American Scientist on the science of writing science papers
Other relevant sources (also useful for new faculty)
- Gray, P., & Drew, D. E. (2008). What they didn’t teach you in graduate school: 199 helpful hints for success in your academic career. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
- Darley, J. M., Zanna, M. P., & Roediger, H. L. (Eds.). (2003). The complete academic: A practical guide for the beginning social scientist / Edition 2. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Boice, R. (2000). Advice for new faculty members: Nihil nimus. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
- Peter Feibelman: A PhD IS NOT ENOUGH! A Guide to Survival in Science
- Agre, Peter: Networking on the Network: A Guide to Professional Skills for PhD Students
The list above is adapted from the PLAIT website, Northeastern University, and various colleagues.
Research Design and Research Report Templates
This is a broadly applicable, generic template for writing a proposal for an empirical research project.
This is a broadly applicable template for writing reports based on empirical work.
Postgraduate Research Student Supervision Guidelines
These are the guidelines I operate under as a supervisor. I expect students to familiarise themselves with, and approve, these before signing a supervision contract.
General FAQ For Students
Are you looking for graduate students?
Yes, I am always seeking ambitious, talented and motivated graduate students to join various projects. Send me a brief application. Please be precise and interesting in your application if you want to hear back from me. I am not arrogant, entitled, or have a shiny beard,but I do have a high volume of work and not enough time to respond to everyone.
I am an undergraduate or graduate student taking one of your classes, what is the best way to get in contact with you?
Please use email: anders [dot] drachen [at] york [dot] ac [dot] uk
Can you be my job reference?
The answer is very likely “no” if you were one of my undergraduate students – mostly because I have limited time – but it is “yes” if you worked for me or you are one of my graduate students (or you were an excellent student in many of my classes).
Can I work for you (as an undergraduate or graduate) in the Summer or other period?
I need to see your work first and need to have funding available. Talk to me as early as possible (e.g. in February) and not just when the semester ends. We have Summer Internship programmes and unpaid opportunities, but irrespective there is an application process. I am always happy to talk to you and explore opportunities.
To all the prospective PhD students who contact me about positions
Please consider the below before contacting me about a PhD position:
1) DO NOT spam thousands of profs
2) Brainstorm topic areas you’re interested in
3) Make a short list of profs in those areas – check if I am actually working with the areas you are interested in
4) Read some of their papers …
5) Email them one at a time:
a) say what you read and why you liked it (be specific)
b) explain how you might extend their work
c) describe your qualifications
d) ask if they have funded positions available, and
e) if they’re open to a more detailed proposal
Also: be aware that in many European countries faculty cannot simply “make” a PhD or post doc position even if a student is promising. All positions are openly announced so when there is no announcement it rarely pays to mail profs. The onus is on you, the interested, to know this and check, not blindly mail people. On the upside the announced positions are paid and you are employed during your project.
For more on the Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence PhD program, go to: http://www.iggi.org.uk