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  • Sep 21, 2020

Choosing Your Fate: Finding the right PhD mentor

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

By Michael Whaby

find a phd mentor

Undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions for a graduate student—especially PhD students—is choosing a mentor. Indeed, they come in all shapes and sizes. But unfortunately, the choice is not as simple as finding a mentor that does research that interests you. As this decision largely determines the direction of your graduate work, I figured it's worth discussing.

A graduate mentor—often referred to as a principle investigator (PI) in the sciences—is a professor that one does research under to complete a thesis or dissertation. These mentors are the graduate students’ guides, “bosses”, wisdom-providers—the list goes on; you name it. Mentors, along with other sub -mentors that make up a committee, not only help students finish their graduate work, but also help them prepare for their next steps in their careers. Accordingly, they also determine whether said graduate students are ready to defend their theses and graduate. They’re important.

Below, we’ll walk through some questions you may want to consider when choosing a graduate mentor. I will surely bias this in the perception of a STEM-related graduate student, as I am a biomedical PhD student. However, these questions should be of use to graduate students in other fields, too. Throughout this post, keep in mind what your intentions and goals are in pursuing a graduate degree.

Shall we begin?

Where to begin?

Simple answer: Begin well before you start the program. You should know of potential mentors for each program that you will be applying to (see post on PhD applications ). Reach out to these mentors ahead of time (via email) and succinctly tell them of your interest in the program itself and their research. Then, try to set up a call or meeting—which could easily be virtual, especially given the current state of the world. Make sure to do your research on the potential mentor and the program before meeting with them. This will make the meeting much more efficient.

These are the initial stages that will not only help you decide which program is best for you, but also help you find the right mentor and make connections before even starting the program. But still, just based off of these initial connections and conversations, do not yet put all of your eggs into one basket.

Use me as an example, I came to the Medical University of South Carolina to pursue a PhD in biomedicine. During the first year, we had to complete 3 lab rotations with 3 different mentors and labs. I came here with a good idea of which labs I would rotate with. When I got here, however, I ended up rotating in 3 labs different than those I had anticipated. Thankfully, I still fared well—as I still utilized the proceeding questions—but it’s best to try avoiding situations that make you improvise.

Tip: Even after talking with potential mentors, talk with the Dean of the graduate school and ask of any restrictions that might prevent you from having a certain mentor (we will learn more about this issue below).

What is the funding situation?

Something that is especially important for PhD students: You have to find a mentor who can afford you —or a school that funds you even if the mentor can’t. Some programs will provide funding for their students in the case that the PI does not have sufficient funding; however, the majority of programs do not offer this luxury. You will often have to be wary of the funding status of a potential mentor.

Tip: I used NIH RePORTER to “investigate” the funding status (from the NIH, at least) of potential mentors.

I talked with potential mentors before starting my PhD program that, by the time I started, were no longer able to take students because they lacked funding. This is why I added the side note above: Talk to the Dean, too. Know exactly which professors are most likely suited to take on graduate students.

Who do you learn well from?

As a graduate student, you must learn to think independently about your research and topics in your field. Your mentor will play a major role in helping you gather the tools necessary to do this. A quality that I searched for in a mentor was the level of communication they had with me. When we talked about research, I asked myself: 1) Did I learn well from this mentor? 2) How did they act if I didn’t understand something? 3) Were my ideas considered and not just tossed away?

To that last point, you want to be able to learn well from your mentor, but it is also important that your mentor can learn from you as well . As you grow as an academic and professional, you will bring more and more ideas to the table. Having these ideas heard, and not just in a passive manner, will add even more value to your training, your professional confidence, and your voice.

What is the rest of the lab like?

Labs can be very diverse environments. There can be other grad students, undergrads, postdocs, staff scientists, lab technicians, etc. You have to figure out which type of environment is most fitting for you. Maybe it’s a larger lab with multiple people at many stages in their career. A larger lab might indicate that you’ll have less one-on-one time with your mentor. And some people actually enjoy this “freedom”. In smaller labs, however, you tend to get more attention from the mentor.

The lab that I work in, for instance, consists of 3 staff scientists and 1 postdoc. I am the only graduate student. At first, this was kind of intimidating because everyone had so much experience on me. But the benefits to this were that I had tons of experienced people all around me. Most of the help I continue to receive comes from the other lab members, and yet I still have the luxury of being able to meet one-on-one with my mentor.

Tip: A good way to get a sense of what the lab and mentor are like is to join in on a few lab meetings. Here, you will get insights on how the lab functions and communicates with one another, and also will see some of the expectations that the mentor has of the lab.

Lastly, Talk to current and former graduate students of the lab. They will have the best, and hopefully unbiased, insights about the mentor and lab. You will never know exactly what a mentor is like through just a couple interactions with them, so it couldn’t hurt to hear another’s perspective.

What are their values vs yours?

As a graduate student, you will always encounter the dilemma of a work-life balance. Between self-guilt and pressure from peers or even your mentor, striking a good work-life balance is one of the hardest feats of graduate school.

Everyone’s ideal work-life balance is unique to them, but too much of either is risky. Again, with just a straightforward approach, ask potential mentors what they do to encourage a healthy work-life balance.

This plays into what mentors expect of their graduate students. Different mentors will have different expectations of their students and other lab members. Some mentors are more relaxed and flexible, while others are strict and more upfront about their expectations. It is best to openly ask them this question. No beating around the bush here; these are the conversations that need to happen early on.

Yet again, sadly, there are no “right" answers here; there are no single answers to the questions above that would be fitting for everyone. It would be wrong of me, though, to downplay the importance of this decision. So, I’ll leave you with this: If you’re lucky, you will have a hard time choosing between a few different great mentors. Good luck!

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Michael, I nice topic and some good advice. I also liked the Chronicles of Giving and Receiving Criticism. You are doing a great job of staying on track with the blogging schedule.

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How to Find, Approach, and Interview Potential Faculty Mentors

Postdoc appointments at Stanford are initiated by an offer from a faculty member. Selecting the best faculty mentor requires thought and investigation. Consider the following guidelines:

Start with your research interests and career aspirations.

What are your research interests? Your career aspirations? What excites you in your research field? Can you identify a productive research area that fits your values and career plans? Who is engaged in research that is complementary to your interests? Do you have geographical limitations?

What kind of mentor best fits your needs?

Famous mentors have connections and resources but may travel a lot and have big labs. Up-and-coming mentors may be in the lab every day but may still be developing resources. Do you prefer hands-on guidance or a more removed mentoring approach? Are they nurturing? Is that important to you? Are they collaborative? Competitive? What kind of connections do they have in academia? In industry? Where have former postdocs from that lab ended up? Read their work and work from their lab widely and critically.

Approaching potential mentors:

Introduce yourself via a succinct cover letter or email.

  • The story of your current research (question, approach, results, and significance)
  • Your career goals, your plan to achieve them, and how a postdoc position in that lab fits into that plan
  • Your postdoc project interests (be creative!) and proposed approach
  • A description of how this collaboration is a great match

Preparing for the interview:

Read up on the field in general, read the last several papers from the group, and research their current interests and projects. Think about the lab’s ongoing work. Conceive of complementary projects that aren’t in their current inventory. Prepare a 30-minute talk in advance; in this talk make it clear why you did what you did and the foundation of that work. Be prepared to answer some hard questions - don’t be defensive; discussing and defending your work is part of the process.

Questions to ask current/past group members (be selective, the focus should be on your science):

About them: Ask about their science and the lab environment.

About the PI:

  • Is the PI a micro-manager?
  • How often do you meet?
  • Are they available for guidance?
  • Do they play favorites?
  • Are lab meetings confrontational or supportive?
  • How responsive are they with manuscripts and deadlines?
  • How is authorship/project ownership handled?
  • About opportunities: Are there opportunities to teach/mentor? Leadership development?
  • About the lab environment: What is the lab work ethic? What is the time off with pay policy in practice? Is there encouragement/financial support to attend major meetings? Who represents the groups at department functions? Is there formalized, regular feedback? How long do postdocs usually stay?

Questions to ask the faculty mentor:

What are the mentor’s expectations of a postdoc? How is a postdoc’s research program determined? How many postdocs has the mentor had? Where did they go? How many others are in the lab (grad students, staff, etc.)? How many papers are being published, and where? What is the mentor’s policy on travel to meetings? Are there opportunities for practice in grant writing, teaching and mentoring, oral presentations, and reviewing manuscripts? How long is financial support guaranteed? On what does renewal depend? Are there adequate research funds to support the proposed research? What is the mentor’s approach to help in finding a next position? How are projects shared?

Adapted from John Boothroyd’s “Finding the Right Postdoc for YOU,” Preparing for Faculty Careers, and “Questions to Ask When Choosing a Postdoc Advisor,” Pathways to Science.

Other Resources:

  • How to Find a Mentor and Lab (Stanford Biosciences)
  • Advising and Mentoring : the value of multiple mentors (Stanford Biosciences)
  • Quintessential Careers : how to find a good mentor
  • Council of Graduate Schools : mentoring topics for each stage of training
  • How to get the mentoring you want  (University of Michigan)
  • How to obtain the mentoring you need : links to other resources and guides (University of Washington)
  • Stanford T32 Institutional Awards for Postdocs
  • Postdoc Benefits
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  • Diversity in Postdoctoral Scholar Training
  • Postdoc Emergency Resources
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Campus location, find a mentor.

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is a flexible place to study. As a student, you’re free to select any Mayo mentor, regardless of which track you choose. You’re also able to follow your mentor throughout the course of their research, no matter what direction it takes.

The faculty members below are eligible to host a student. Additional mentors may be available; please discuss with your program director.

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Teaching and Mentoring Resources for PhD Students

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As you embark on your doctoral journey, it is crucial to recognize that your expertise and impact extend beyond your research. As future academics, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of scholars.

UB has the tools to enhance your mentoring skills, hone your teaching abilities, and cultivate a foundation for successful academic careers. Through the exploration of mentoring techniques, teaching skill development and strategies for effective instruction, these resources will empower you to excel both inside and outside the classroom.

  • Teaching Assistantships (TA) are typically assigned by departments to current graduate students in their department, primarily to doctoral students. Being a TA allows you to develop teaching skills while being responsible for a lab, recitation or teaching a course by yourself. Discuss teaching opportunities with your faculty mentor or director of graduate studies. Even if you don't intend to enter an academic career path, teaching is an important professional skill to develop.
  • The  Preparing for Academic Careers Seminar Series  is held during the spring semester and is offered to postdoctoral scholars and graduate students on various topics in teaching and learning. This series covers topics on engaging and motivating students, developing a teaching philosophy statement for academic job applications, and more.
  • TA Orientation is a free virtual event for teaching assistants, held virtually every August by the Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation (CATT). This orientation helps prepare graduate teaching assistants for success in their teaching roles at UB and in the future. Whether you are a new TA or have previous instructional role experience, this orientation is for you! 
  • Fall Into Teaching is an annual teaching support series hosted by the Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation (CATT). Each year the series covers important teaching topics and strategies. These sessions are free and virtual.
  • The Office of Inclusive Excellence offers tips, resources and events for Inclusive Pedagogy . Find recordings of past events, and view upcoming webinars and self-paced online courses. 

The Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation (CATT) provides leadership and support for delivery and assessment of 21st century instruction across physical and digital learning environments.

Offered by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Effective Teaching micro-credential will prepare participants to be more effective educators. This micro-credential is free and open to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

  • The Network for Enriched Academic Relationships (NEAR) is a transdisciplinary online mentoring directory for students to find faculty mentors and allies beyond their substantive research areas. Students can connect with current faculty members in various departments to receive guidance and support around many topics and issues of importance.
  • The  National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) is an independent professional development, training and mentoring community dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers. UB's institutional membership offers an array of resources to you.
  • The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is a national network platform that offers professional development programs designed to hone your practices and deepen your connection to the diverse scientific community.
  • School of Social Work Mentor Program  links current students with alumni.
  • Finding a Career Mentor (in Addition to an Academic One)  is a useful article on Inside Higher Ed.
  • One mentor isn't enough. Here's how I built a network of mentors  article on

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The graduate brief.

Every Wednesday during the semester, the Graduate School emails the "Graduate Brief" to all graduate and professional students, which is a weekly selection of news and happenings within the Graduate School and its partnering offices. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact [email protected] .

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How to Find an Academic Mentor

It can be challenging as a PhD student or postdoc to start building a successful academic career. Having someone who can share their wisdom with you and offer encouragement is an invaluable asset. While your supervisor can fulfil some of these functions, many PhD students and postdocs also choose to seek out an academic mentor.

There are several benefits to having a mentor. They can, first and foremost, help you achieve your professional and personal goals. A mentor can act as a sounding board and offer advice when you are facing a challenge. As someone in a more senior position, a mentor can share valuable insights about the profession. Your mentor can also facilitate important networking opportunities.

Before you start looking for a mentor, spend some time thinking about what you want to get out the mentorship experience. Why do you want a mentor? What are your career goals? A mentor can be particularly useful when you are transitioning to the next phase of your career. Also think about what sort of skills would you like to learn. Mentorship is a great way to fill essential gaps in both technical and soft skills.            

Once you have established why you want a mentor, it’s time to start thinking about who you want as your mentor. Try to find someone who can help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Your collaborators are often a good place to start as you already have a professional relationship with them. Your colleagues might also be able to suggest researchers they think you would get along with. Here are some tips to keep in mind when seeking out potential mentors:            

  • Your mentor shouldn’t be someone who directly manages you. Your supervisor will undoubtedly fill some of the functions of a mentor, but you should also seek out someone external.
  • While not as established as a more senior professor, junior faculty can be incredible mentors because they have been in your position more recently.
  • Don’t limit yourself by only seeking out mentors at your university. Consider mentors from other institutions who will have a completely different network than you.
  • Consider mentors working outside of your current research area. They can bring a valuable new perspective to your work.
  • If you are a member of a group that is underrepresented is academia, such as a queer person, a person of colour, a person with a disability, or a woman, you may want to seek out a mentor who will share your perspective.

Now that you have some potential mentors in mind, reach out to them and see if they are open to meeting with you, ideally in person. Contact a couple different people You want to have multiple mentors who can each support you in different, complementary ways. Invite your potential mentors to an informational interview so you can decide if the two of you are a good fit. While you might be a good match on paper, your personalities may clash in real life. After your meeting, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do they understand your goals?
  • How often are they available to meet?
  • Do they have the same philosophy towards work/life balance as you?
  • Have they been a successful mentor in the past?
  • What is their mentorship philosophy?
  • Do they seem supportive?
  • Do you get along?
  • Would you feel comfortable coming to them with a problem?

If you determine that you’re a good fit, make a personal development plan together. Identify areas and competencies you want to work on and determine what steps you are going to take to improve. Decide how often the two of you will check in on your progress. You should maintain regular contact with your mentor so that you stay on track, but also to cultivate your relationship. Don’t forget that mentorship isn’t a one-way street. You should also be adding value to the relationship by sharing your skills and expertise with your mentor. Even though you have less experience, you can still bring a new perspective.

Good luck in your search for an academic mentor!

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Open Access

Ten simple rules for choosing a PhD supervisor

Contributed equally to this work with: Loay Jabre, Catherine Bannon, J. Scott P. McCain, Yana Eglit

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliation Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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  • Loay Jabre, 
  • Catherine Bannon, 
  • J. Scott P. McCain, 


Published: September 30, 2021

  • Reader Comments

Fig 1

Citation: Jabre L, Bannon C, McCain JSP, Eglit Y (2021) Ten simple rules for choosing a PhD supervisor. PLoS Comput Biol 17(9): e1009330.

Editor: Scott Markel, Dassault Systemes BIOVIA, UNITED STATES

Copyright: © 2021 Jabre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


The PhD beckons. You thought long and hard about why you want to do it, you understand the sacrifices and commitments it entails, and you have decided that it is the right thing for you. Congratulations! Undertaking a doctoral degree can be an extremely rewarding experience, greatly enhancing your personal, intellectual, and professional development. If you are still on the fence about whether or not you want to pursue a PhD, see [ 1 , 2 ] and others to help you decide.

As a PhD student in the making, you will have many important decisions to consider. Several of them will depend on your chosen discipline and research topic, the institution you want to attend, and even the country where you will undertake your degree. However, one of the earliest and most critical decisions you will need to make transcends most other decisions: choosing your PhD thesis supervisor. Your PhD supervisor will strongly influence the success and quality of your degree as well as your general well-being throughout the program. It is therefore vital to choose the right supervisor for you. A wrong choice or poor fit can be disastrous on both a personal and professional levels—something you obviously want to avoid. Unfortunately, however, most PhD students go through the process of choosing a supervisor only once and thus do not get the opportunity to learn from previous experiences. Additionally, many prospective PhD students do not have access to resources and proper guidance to rely on when making important academic decisions such as those involved in choosing a PhD supervisor.

In this short guide, we—a group of PhD students with varied backgrounds, research disciplines, and academic journeys—share our collective experiences with choosing our own PhD supervisors. We provide tips and advice to help prospective students in various disciplines, including computational biology, in their quest to find a suitable PhD supervisor. Despite procedural differences across countries, institutions, and programs, the following rules and discussions should remain helpful for guiding one’s approach to selecting their future PhD supervisor. These guidelines mostly address how to evaluate a potential PhD supervisor and do not include details on how you might find a supervisor. In brief, you can find a supervisor anywhere: seminars, a class you were taught, internet search of interesting research topics, departmental pages, etc. After reading about a group’s research and convincing yourself it seems interesting, get in touch! Make sure to craft an e-mail carefully, demonstrating you have thought about their research and what you might do in their group. After finding one or several supervisors of interest, we hope that the rules bellow will help you choose the right supervisor for you.

Rule 1: Align research interests

You need to make sure that a prospective supervisor studies, or at the very least, has an interest in what you want to study. A good starting point would be to browse their personal and research group websites (though those are often outdated), their publication profile, and their students’ theses, if possible. Keep in mind that the publication process can be slow, so recent publications may not necessarily reflect current research in that group. Pay special attention to publications where the supervisor is senior author—in life sciences, their name would typically be last. This would help you construct a mental map of where the group interests are going, in addition to where they have been.

Be proactive about pursuing your research interests, but also flexible: Your dream research topic might not currently be conducted in a particular group, but perhaps the supervisor is open to exploring new ideas and research avenues with you. Check that the group or institution of interest has the facilities and resources appropriate for your research, and/or be prepared to establish collaborations to access those resources elsewhere. Make sure you like not only the research topic, but also the “grunt work” it requires, as a topic you find interesting may not be suitable for you in terms of day-to-day work. You can look at the “Methods” sections of published papers to get a sense for what this is like—for example, if you do not like resolving cryptic error messages, programming is probably not for you, and you might want to consider a wet lab–based project. Lastly, any research can be made interesting, and interests change. Perhaps your favorite topic today is difficult to work with now, and you might cut your teeth on a different project.

Rule 2: Seek trusted sources

Discussing your plans with experienced and trustworthy people is a great way to learn more about the reputation of potential supervisors, their research group dynamics, and exciting projects in your field of interest. Your current supervisor, if you have one, could be aware of position openings that are compatible with your interests and time frame and is likely to know talented supervisors with good reputations in their fields. Professors you admire, reliable student advisors, and colleagues might also know your prospective supervisor on various professional or personal levels and could have additional insight about working with them. Listen carefully to what these trusted sources have to say, as they can provide a wealth of insider information (e.g., personality, reputation, interpersonal relationships, and supervisory styles) that might not be readily accessible to you.

Rule 3: Expectations, expectations, expectations

A considerable portion of PhD students feel that their program does not meet original expectations [ 3 ]. To avoid being part of this group, we stress the importance of aligning your expectations with the supervisor’s expectations before joining a research group or PhD program. Also, remember that one person’s dream supervisor can be another’s worst nightmare and vice versa—it is about a good fit for you. Identifying what a “good fit” looks like requires a serious self-appraisal of your goals (see Rule 1 ), working style (see Rule 5 ), and what you expect in a mentor (see Rule 4 ). One way to conduct this self-appraisal is to work in a research lab to get experiences similar to a PhD student (if this is possible).

Money!—Many people have been conditioned to avoid the subject of finances at all costs, but setting financial expectations early is crucial for maintaining your well-being inside and outside the lab. Inside the lab, funding will provide chemicals and equipment required for you to do cool research. It is also important to know if there will be sufficient funding for your potential projects to be completed. Outside the lab, you deserve to get paid a reasonable, livable stipend. What is the minimum required take-home stipend, or does that even exist at the institution you are interested in? Are there hard cutoffs for funding once your time runs out, or does the institution have support for students who take longer than anticipated? If the supervisor supplies the funding, do they end up cutting off students when funds run low, or do they have contingency plans? ( Fig 1 ).


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Professional development opportunities—A key aspect of graduate school training is professional development. In some research groups, it is normal for PhD students to mentor undergraduate students or take a semester to work in industry to get more diverse experiences. Other research groups have clear links with government entities, which is helpful for going into policy or government-based research. These opportunities (and others) are critical for your career and next steps. What are the career development opportunities and expectations of a potential supervisor? Is a potential supervisor happy to send students to workshops to learn new skills? Are they supportive of public outreach activities? If you are looking at joining a newer group, these sorts of questions will have to be part of the larger set of conversations about expectations. Ask: “What sort of professional development opportunities are there at the institution?”

Publications—Some PhD programs have minimum requirements for finishing a thesis (i.e., you must publish a certain number of papers prior to defending), while other programs leave it up to the student and supervisor to decide on this. A simple and important topic to discuss is: How many publications are expected from your PhD and when will you publish them? If you are keen to publish in high-impact journals, does your prospective supervisor share that aim? (Although question why you are so keen to do so, see the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment ( ) to learn about the pitfalls of journal impact factor.)

Rule 4: It takes two to tango

Sooner or later, you will get to meet and interview with a prospective PhD supervisor. This should go both ways: Interview them just as much as they are interviewing you. Prepare questions and pay close attention to how they respond. For example, ask them about their “lab culture,” research interests (especially for the future/long term), and what they are looking for in a graduate student. Do you feel like you need to “put on an act” to go along with the supervisor (beyond just the standard interview mode)? Represent yourself, and not the person you think they are looking for. All of us will have some interviews go badly. Remember that discovering a poor fit during the interview has way fewer consequences than the incompatibility that could arise once you have committed to a position.

To come up with good questions for the prospective supervisor, first ask yourself questions. What are you looking for in a mentor? People differ in their optimal levels of supervision, and there is nothing wrong with wanting more or less than your peers. How much career guidance do you expect and does the potential supervisor respect your interests, particularly if your long-term goals do not include academia? What kind of student might not thrive in this research group?

Treat the PhD position like a partnership: What do you seek to get out of it? Keep in mind that a large portion of research is conducted by PhD students [ 4 ], so you are also an asset. Your supervisor will provide guidance, but the PhD is your work. Make sure you and your mentor are on the same page before committing to what is fundamentally a professional contract akin to an apprenticeship (see “ Rule 3 ”).

Rule 5: Workstyle compatibility

Sharing interests with a supervisor does not necessarily guarantee you would work well together, and just because you enjoyed a course by a certain professor does not mean they are the right PhD supervisor for you. Make sure your expectations for work and work–life approaches are compatible. Do you thrive on structure, or do you need freedom to proceed at your own pace? Do they expect you to be in the lab from 6:00 AM to midnight on a regular basis (red flag!)? Are they comfortable with you working from home when you can? Are they around the lab enough for it to work for you? Are they supportive of alternative work hours if you have other obligations (e.g., childcare, other employment, extracurriculars)? How is the group itself organized? Is there a lab manager or are the logistics shared (fairly?) between the group members? Discuss this before you commit!

Two key attributes of a research group are the supervisor’s career stage and number of people in the group. A supervisor in a later career stage may have more established research connections and protocols. An earlier career stage supervisor comes with more opportunities to shape the research direction of the lab, but less access to academic political power and less certainty in what their supervision style will be (even to themselves). Joining new research groups provides a great opportunity to learn how to build a lab if you are considering that career path but may take away time and energy from your thesis project. Similarly, be aware of pros and cons of different lab sizes. While big labs provide more opportunity for collaborations and learning from fellow lab members, their supervisors generally have less time available for each trainee. Smaller labs tend to have better access to the supervisor but may be more isolating [ 5 , 6 ]. Also note that large research groups tend to be better for developing extant research topics further, while small groups can conduct more disruptive research [ 7 ].

Rule 6: Be sure to meet current students

Meeting with current students is one of the most important steps prior to joining a lab. Current students will give you the most direct and complete sense of what working with a certain supervisor is actually like. They can also give you a valuable sense of departmental culture and nonacademic life. You could also ask to meet with other students in the department to get a broader sense of the latter. However, if current students are not happy with their current supervisor, they are unlikely to tell you directly. Try to ask specific questions: “How often do you meet with your supervisor?”, “What are the typical turnaround times for a paper draft?”, “How would you describe the lab culture?”, “How does your supervisor react to mistakes or unexpected results?”, “How does your supervisor react to interruptions to research from, e.g., personal life?”, and yes, even “What would you say is the biggest weakness of your supervisor?”

Rule 7: But also try to meet past students

While not always possible, meeting with past students can be very informative. Past students give you information on career outcomes (i.e., what are they doing now?) and can provide insight into what the lab was like when they were in it. Previous students will provide a unique perspective because they have gone through the entire process, from start to finish—and, in some cases, no longer feel obligated to speak well of their now former supervisor. It can also be helpful to look at previous students’ experiences by reading the acknowledgement section in their theses.

Rule 8: Consider the entire experience

Your PhD supervisor is only one—albeit large—piece of your PhD puzzle. It is therefore essential to consider your PhD experience as whole when deciding on a supervisor. One important aspect to contemplate is your mental health. Graduate students have disproportionately higher rates of depression and anxiety compared to the general population [ 8 ], so your mental health will be tested greatly throughout your PhD experience. We suggest taking the time to reflect on what factors would enable you to do your best work while maintaining a healthy work–life balance. Does your happiness depend on surfing regularly? Check out coastal areas. Do you despise being cold? Consider being closer to the equator. Do you have a deep-rooted phobia of koalas? Maybe avoid Australia. Consider these potentially even more important questions like: Do you want to be close to your friends and family? Will there be adequate childcare support? Are you comfortable with studying abroad? How does the potential university treat international or underrepresented students? When thinking about your next steps, keep in mind that although obtaining your PhD will come with many challenges, you will be at your most productive when you are well rested, financially stable, nourished, and enjoying your experience.

Rule 9: Trust your gut

You have made it to our most “hand-wavy” rule! As academics, we understand the desire for quantifiable data and some sort of statistic to make logical decisions. If this is more your style, consider every interaction with a prospective supervisor, from the first e-mail onwards, as a piece of data.

However, there is considerable value in trusting gut instincts. One way to trust your gut is to listen to your internal dialogue while making your decision on a PhD supervisor. For example, if your internal dialogue includes such phrases as “it will be different for me,” “I’ll just put my head down and work hard,” or “maybe their students were exaggerating,” you might want to proceed with caution. If you are saying “Wow! How are they so kind and intelligent?” or “I cannot wait to start!”, then you might have found a winner ( Fig 2 ).


Rule 10: Wash, rinse, repeat

The last piece of advice we give you is to do this lengthy process all over again. Comparing your options is a key step during the search for a PhD supervisor. By screening multiple different groups, you ultimately learn more about what red flags to look for, compatible work styles, your personal expectations, and group atmospheres. Repeat this entire process with another supervisor, another university, or even another country. We suggest you reject the notion that you would be “wasting someone’s time.” You deserve to take your time and inform yourself to choose a PhD supervisor wisely. The time and energy invested in a “failed” supervisor search would still be far less than what is consumed by a bad PhD experience ( Fig 3 ).


The more supervisors your interview and the more advice you get from peers, the more apparent these red flags will become.


Pursuing a PhD can be an extremely rewarding endeavor and a time of immense personal growth. The relationship you have with your PhD supervisor can make or break an entire experience, so make this choice carefully. Above, we have outlined some key points to think about while making this decision. Clarifying your own expectations is a particularly important step, as conflicts can arise when there are expectation mismatches. In outlining these topics, we hope to share pieces of advice that sometimes require “insider” knowledge and experience.

After thoroughly evaluating your options, go ahead and tackle the PhD! In our own experiences, carefully choosing a supervisor has led to relationships that morph from mentor to mentee into a collaborative partnership where we can pose new questions and construct novel approaches to answer them. Science is hard enough by itself. If you choose your supervisor well and end up developing a positive relationship with them and their group, you will be better suited for sound and enjoyable science.

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  • 5. Smith D. The big benefits of working in a small lab. University Affairs. 2013. Available from:

How to Find a Research Mentor

find a phd mentor

As a budding scientist, you are excited, curious and maybe even a bit overwhelmed by the world of science. Yet, you are eager to learn and contribute.  How do you acquire the skills needed to be a prolific independent researcher? How do you find someone who can mentor you?

Your research mentor will be the critical person to help launch your independent career. For PhD candidates, the mentor can impact your ability to complete a PhD program and career trajectory for years to come. Outside of academia, mentors can impact your ability to grow and excel. A “good fit” mentor not only offers training for you to be a productive and independent scientist but also serves as a coach — providing inspiration, helping you navigate difficulties, advising on career choices and ultimately building you up.

My goal as a mentor is to train my students to be better than me. I hope that my trainees can develop the necessary skills and also insights to excel in a career that best fits them.

However, not all senior investigators are the right fit for every trainee or considered a good mentor, despite their career excellence. The wrong mentor can delay your career, dampen your enthusiasm, or potentially drive you out of science altogether. This happens more often than one might know. So how do you find a mentor who is right for you?

1. Examine your research interests and personal habits closely.

It takes two for a “right fit.”  Before going on the hunt to find a mentor, you must first examine yourself. Be honest.

First, what area of research do you want to go into? And don’t just focus on the cool factor. “Artificial Intelligence technology is all the rage now, so I need to get into that” is not a good enough reason. A research career is a very long path that takes dedication and grit. Research trends also go in and out of fashion. Instead, think about whether you find yourself enjoying studying small scale, like molecular biology, or more of the bigger picture, such as systems or physiology? Or do you want to develop tangible products rather than understanding how a disease develops?  Do you enjoy coding (which includes troubleshooting!) for hours?  Do you like figuring things out with your hands in a lab?  If so, what sort of things? Do you like animal work or would you rather optimize the imagery of cells or tissues by microscopy?  If you don’t know, you may consider gaining some experience through volunteering in labs or doing short internships. Having direct experience, even for a few hours, will often give you much more insight than reading about a field.

Next, be honest with yourself about your personal habits. For learning, do you prefer a hands-on mentor who tells you what to do and checks on your progress often? Or do you find that a bit overbearing and prefer having freedom to test out your own approach with infrequent check-ins?  Are you very regimented or do you find yourself more laid back?  If the latter, do you need someone to help you become more regimented, or do you want to continue having a more laid-back approach? If you are a rigid thinker, do you want a mentor to help you think out of the box? These are only a small fraction of questions you should ask yourself before you go on a path to selecting a mentor.

2. Narrow down a list of potential mentors in your selected field(s) of interest and don’t hesitate to reach out to them directly.

Identifying the right research institution for you is beyond the scope of this blog but assuming you have identified your field of interest and looked through research programs on institutional webpages, you should do some digging to learn about individual labs. Many principal investigators have websites where you can learn about the research and the people working in the lab.

After you have compiled a list of potential labs you may want to join, you should contact the principal investigator via email (usually listed on the lab or institutional website) to inform them of your interest.  Usually people are very busy so it is important to keep the email to-the-point and professional. Address the email with “Professor or Dr.” and introduce yourself briefly, why you are interested in their research, indicate any previous research experiences you’ve obtained, and inquire if you may speak on the phone or in person further to learn more. You may consider attaching your resume or CV as well.

It is important to reach out sooner rather than later (but only after you’ve gained a good understanding of the lab through online research) because you do not know whether the investigator has the capacity to take you on as a trainee. They may have already taken on a few students and do not have a vacancy in the lab. Or maybe the lab is more computational than you think, which you can only know through conversation. These things are important to find out as early as possible.


3. In addition to meeting with the potential mentor, ask to meet other personnel in the laboratory.

Getting to know other people in the lab will help you learn more about the culture, as well as gain insights into all the different projects everyone is working on. You will also learn about how lab responsibilities are broken down. For example, is everyone managing their own animal colonies or is there a designated animal person?  Does everyone manage their own purchasing or lab supply inventory or is there a designated lab manager for these responsibilities? Are there multiple people working on the same project, or does everyone run their own projects? Are the roles hierarchical? Are technicians or staff scientists available for technical help, or does it seem like everyone learns their own set of skills necessary for their projects?  Do individuals specialize in the lab?  Do students serve mainly as “hands” or do they also play an active role in designing experiments?

The above questions are only a fraction of the type of questions you should be wondering about when observing a lab.  Other inquiries may be: what professional development activities do trainees engage in?  For example, do trainees have opportunities to write training grant applications? What about attending scientific conferences or seminars? How often are trainees expected to give presentations and in what format — in front of the lab, department, retreats or conferences? When you are trying to find a research mentor, you should look for someone who is keen to help you develop yourself as a scientist holistically.

Finally, you should find out where previous trainees went on for their careers after leaving the lab. Have PhD students gone off to do academic postdocs, obtained industry positions or other types of jobs? Have postdocs succeeded in obtaining an independent faculty position or their desired scientist position in industry? Importantly, do you sense any potential red flags from previous trainees, such as conflicts or perhaps a lack of support from the mentor?  If so, it might be helpful to seek more understanding about that.  You want to make sure you can succeed in the laboratory and not end up in the same position as someone else who may have had a less than desirable experience.

4. Finally, assess the resources (size of lab, equipment, institution, grant funding) and determine potential fit.

By now, you probably have narrowed down your list to less than three potential mentors. You probably already had good conversations with your potential mentor(s) as well as their lab members. You may have even been invited to give a presentation or have gone through a more formal interview process. Your feelings are developing, and now you are wondering if you should trust your gut instinct or your thoughts.

Aside from the top three exercises, you should step back and assess the resources that would be available to you to conduct your research. Is the lab big or small?  If the lab is small, do lab members have access to common or “core” facilities for technical help?  Do they collaborate?  If not, has the lab been sufficient enough? For example, some labs or fields do not need to be big to be productive. What about equipment? Is research limited to the lab’s equipment or are there shared resources?  If shared, is the sharing easy to manage or plan for?  What about the institution?  If you would like to conduct clinical research sometime in your training, does the institution have clinical trial capabilities in your particular research interest?  Is the institution as a whole reputable in research?  What about funding?  Does the potential mentor have enough money to sponsor you for several years?  You do not want to be in a position where the lab runs out of money after you have joined for only a year. Are you expected to obtain your own funding for research as a trainee?

After you have assessed all these factors, you are now more informed about the fit of the potential mentor and lab. There are probably many more factors not mentioned in this blog article that you may need to consider. However, you can now see that not all mentors, labs, institutions, or even research topics are a good fit for every emerging scientist. Finding the right research mentor actually takes a lot of self-understanding, exploration, and reaching out to others before beginning this journey. However, the effort is well worth it because once you have found a research mentor that is willing to sponsor you and help develop you as a scientist, your career will only gain momentum and you will have a great feeling of fulfillment.

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What’s the Right Way to Find a Mentor?

  • Janet T. Phan

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76% of people say that mentors are important, but only 37% actually have one.

Mentorship can be life changing. Staying in the driver’s seat and being proactive about your relationship with your mentor is key to its success. These simple principles will help develop strong mentoring relationships, no matter where you are in your career.

  • Ask for the first meeting. A coffee or video call is low commitment for your target mentor and will give you an opportunity to better understand them and see if they’re the right fit for you.
  • Nurture the relationship. Don’t just focus the discussion on work. Take the time to really connect with the other person. After your meeting, send a thank-you note to show gratitude for their time.
  • Maintain the relationship. Demonstrate a return on their investment — their time — by keeping them updated on your progress, offering to help and showing them that you appreciate the time and guidance they are giving to you.

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In the summer of 2004, I was 18 years old, preparing for my first year of college and looking for ways to fund my education. I was working double shifts at KFC and late nights at Hollywood Video, and yet, one day, I found myself at a gas station without enough money to fill up my tank.

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  • Janet T. Phan is a global technology consultant and the founder of Thriving Elements , a global nonprofit that connects underserved, underrepresented girls with STEM mentors. Janet’s TEDx talk is entitled 3 Key Elements to a Thriving Mentorship .

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How to Find Mentors and Be a Mentor as a Postdoc

  • By Shawn Bates, PhD

A man has a discussion with two women at the Neuroscience 2019 Graduate School Fair.

As a postdoc, you've likely had several mentors you can point to who have shaped your career path. You may be at a point where you're also starting to become a mentor.

Through networking, Shawn Bates, a postdoc in Seema Bhatnagar's lab at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), has met mentors who have introduced him to opportunities and from whom he's taken inspiration for mentoring others. He has also received a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity at CHOP, which aims to increase the diversity of the community of scholars devoted to academic research there and at the University of Pennsylvania.

In this interview, he reflects on how mentors have helped him in his career so far and takes a forward look at applying those lessons to mentoring others.

Considerations for Connecting With Mentors

What roles have mentoring relationships played in your career growth to date?

They've been invaluable to my career growth. For example, during my master's program, a mentor identified my curiosity about neuroscience and suggested that I pursue a doctorate. That mentor and I are still very close. He also helped me to develop the skills I needed to be successful in a PhD program.

Mentors have given me access to opportunities , they've sponsored me, and they've helped me with intellectual development and training - learning how to design experiments and be critical about the questions I ask and the papers I read. A mentor in my PhD program, whom I met at SfN's annual meeting, told me about the opportunity at CHOP.

They've also served as role models. They've helped me understand the culture of science, so I know how to present myself - to cultivate professionalism - and how to be a scientist.

In what ways have you found mentors?

I learned early in my career that networking is key. I'm shy, so I've had to step outside of myself to talk to people who might be potential mentors. Now that I'm a postdoc and I've had that experience, I'll talk to undergrads or grad students, because everybody has an interesting perspective.

I have also met several of my mentors through programs like They've helped me understand the culture of science, so I know... how to be a scientist. SfN's Neuroscience Scholars Program , the Summer Program in Neuroscience, Excellence and Success (SPINES), at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in Neuroscience (BRAINS), at the University of Washington. These mentors provided me with perspective on what effective mentoring looks like.

I'm also co-chair of the Biomedical Postdoc Council Diversity Committee at the University of Pennsylvania, and through that I've met a lot of mentors at the University of Pennsylvania, including individuals who have a personal interest in diversity.

SfN's meeting and smaller conferences have also been great for finding scientific mentors, and talking to grad students, postdocs, and senior faculty about their science.

What's your advice for finding mentors?

Most important is taking the initiative to find potential mentors. I've been fortunate to have the mentors I've had, who have given me access to a wide range of opportunities, but I've also had to pursue opportunities on my own.

For example, I've forged relationships with mentors through informational interviewing. I've sent messages on LinkedIn or found people's emails and asked them to meet because I was interested in their careers.

During the first year of my postdoc, I've been fortunate to have the mentors I've had... but I've also had to pursue opportunities on my own. I went to career exploration panels and workshops to see what excited me, and then I would follow up with some of those panelists or the people at those sessions to learn more about their work.

And once you've found someone who you think could be a mentor, you have to establish and maintain contact with them. It was not enough to identify mentors. It was also important to discuss what I was hoping to get out of our conversations.

Now that I have a better idea of what I want to do, I've reached out to people who are currently in those positions. I'll ask them questions like, "What's a day in your life like?" and "How did you take the skills you learned as a graduate student, or as a postdoc, and translate them to what you're doing now?"

What is important to learn about a potential mentor when you're a postdoc?

First you have to decide what your focus is. If you're focused on research, find out if your research interests match with those of your potential mentors and if you see yourself doing those experiments day in and day out.

It was important for me to find somebody I felt like I had a collegial relationship with, someone I could talk to, and who I felt comfortable going to about the research and about my career goals. I needed to have a good feeling about the person and the rest of the lab, too.

Also important is that they have funds to support you if you don't have your own funding.

Advice for Mentoring Students

What mentoring activities are you a part of?

I'm a part of programs like CHOP Rises , and I've gotten involved with programs in the Greater Philadelphia area. There's one in which we work with underrepresented high school students and show them how to apply to colleges.

I am also co-chair of the Biomedical Postdoc Council Diversity Committee. One of our initiatives to try to increase representation in the sciences is through mentoring circles, composed of postdocs, grad students, and undergrads from underrepresented groups. The idea is to connect an undergrad with a grad student and a grad student with a postdoc, so everyone receives the support they need.

Most of our initiatives involve working with people who are still finding their way and trying to keep them encouraged so they make it through. Especially at the undergraduate level, impostor syndrome and stereotype threat can cause people who are interested in science to not want to pursue it or to complete their studies.

How have your mentors informed your approach to mentoring others?

One characteristic that I feel made my mentors effective was that they were caring and put major effort into their programs and into each of us, through either one-on-one meetings or group mentoring sessions.

Similarly, in the work that I do with undergrads and high school students, I've found it's important to be supportive, patient, and willing to put in the time for them.

For example, one of the high school students that I mentored has started college now. She reached out to me and said that one of the things she was most grateful for was the effort I put in to help her when she was applying for college and trying to figure out her financial aid.

Another aspect of mentoring is being attuned to what your mentee's needs are so you can help them. Most helpful for me has been sponsorship and encouragement. I've had mentors who have encouraged me to continue pursuing a scientific question. Some people need other kinds of support, though, and some people just need space.

Open communication between mentors and mentees, where each person feels comfortable when talking to the other, is an important part of knowing what your mentee's needs are. One way to establish this is to have conversations around an Individual Development Plan, where you make a contract saying what you need from your mentor and what your mentor needs from you, and then as a mentor, you're willing to adjust if necessary.

What are your goals as a mentor?

A goal of mine is to encourage young people, including those from underrepresented groups, to pursue their goals. It's important for everyone to have role models that give you the ability to say, "If that person who has a similar background to mine made it, I can, too."

Serving as a role model is important to me because I come from a background where I never really considered this career for myself, mostly because I didn't know about it. Even when I was taking a neuroscience class in undergrad and voraciously reading - I would basically camp out in my professor's office hours to the point where he'd say, "You have to leave. I have other things to do" - I still asked myself, "How are people figuring this out?" I had no idea you could do science and be at the forefront of discovery. It was all a mystery.

My career goal is to work at a primarily undergraduate institution so I can have a lab of my own where I can train students. Role models of mine have shown me that that's one way to really effect change in representation in science.

About the Contributor

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PhD Mentors

We ask that each of your CURVE students be assigned a PhD mentor from your lab. The role of the PhD mentor is to provide guidance in the lab, help prepare for the end-of-year symposium and to approve monthly progress reports for students. Having a PhD mentor also contributes to building a community of researchers in Viterbi.

PhD mentors are awarded $250 per student per semester. PhD students are able to mentor more than one CURVE student at a time. 

In special cases where a PhD mentor is not available, project assistants or other roles can mentor CURVE students. 

Faculty can also choose to mentor students directly but will not be awarded the mentoring stipend. 

Published on March 29th, 2021

Last updated on March 30th, 2021

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Universities in Moscow, Russia - Rankings & Reviews -

For business studies see our separate ranking of business schools in Moscow, Russia

  • 06 Mar, 2024: Publication of Scimago Institutions Rankings . National Research University Higher School of Economics with highest ranking among universities in Moscow ranked #649.
  • 19 Dec, 2023: URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance updated with Moscow State University M. V. Lomonosov ranked highest among 13 listed universities in Moscow.
  • 05 Dec, 2023: British Quacquarelli Symonds, UK published most recent results of QS World University Rankings: Sustainability . Includes 8 universities from Moscow.
  • 27 Oct, 2023: Latest GRAS Global Ranking of Academic Subjects - ShanghaiRanking (Textile Science and Engineering) from ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. 39 universities from Moscow appear in this ranking.

Rankings of universities in Moscow, Russia 2024


Moscow State University M. V. Lomonosov

  • University rankings (19)


Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

  • University rankings (20)


National Research University Higher School of Economics

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  • University rankings (17)

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National Research Nuclear University MEPI


Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

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Bauman Moscow State Technical University


Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University

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  • University rankings (14)


National University of Science and Technology "MISIS"

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  • University rankings (16)


Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation

  • University rankings (11)


Plekhanov Russian University of Economics

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  • University rankings (15)


National Research University Moscow Power Engineering Institute

  • University rankings (8)


MGIMO University

  • University rankings (6)


Russian National Research Medical University

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  • University rankings (7)


Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia

  • University rankings (10)


Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)


Skolkovo Institute of Science & Technology

Russian presidential academy of national economy and public administration.


Russian State University for the Humanities

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Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology


Moscow State University of Civil Engineering

  • University rankings (9)

Moscow School of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University

  • University rankings (1)


Moscow State Pedagogical University


Russian Technological University MIREA

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  • University rankings (12)


Russian State Agricultural University

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Russian State University of Oil and Gas


Moscow Polytech


Moscow City Teachers' Training University

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  • University rankings (4)


Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics

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  • University rankings (5)


New Economic School

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Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

  • University rankings (2)


Moscow State Technological University "Stankin"


Moscow State Regional University

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Russian New University


Russian State Social University


Moscow State University of Railway Engineering


Moscow State University of Food Production

  • University rankings (3)


Pushkin State Russian Language Institute


Moscow State Technical University of Civil Aviation


Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography


Moscow University for the Humanities


Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory


Saint Tikhon's Orthodox University


State University of Land Management


Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy


Modern University for the Humanities


Moscow International Higher Business School


Moscow State University of Design and Technology


Moscow State Linguistic University


Russian State Geological Prospecting University


Moscow State University of Technology and Management

Highest subject rankings of universities in moscow, moscow key facts for international students.

50 out of 69 Universities in Moscow Ranked in at least one ranking

24 Different Rankings list Universities in Moscow (18 institution and 6 subject rankings)

16 Global Rankings rank Universities in Moscow Among TOP 200

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What university in moscow is listed in most university rankings, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying business, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying languages & literature, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying natural sciences, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying mathematics, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying education, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying social studies & humanities, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying engineering, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying law, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying computer science, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying medicine & health, what university in moscow is best ranked for studying agriculture, ranking publishers, british quacquarelli symonds, uk, qs world university rankings  (published: 27 june, 2023).

Academic Reputation 40% Employer Reputation 10% Faculty/Student Ratio 20% Citations per faculty 20% International Faculty Ratio 5% International Student Ratio 5%

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QS Employability Rankings  (Published: 23 September, 2021)

Employer reputation 30% Alumni outcomes 25% Partnerships with Employers per Faculty 25% Employer/Student Connections 10% Graduate employment rate 10%

QS 50 under 50  (Published: 24 June, 2020)

Based on the QS World University rankings methodology, the top 50 universities that are under 50 years old.

QS University Rankings: EECA Emerging Europe & Central Asia  (Published: 15 December, 2021)

Academic reputation 30% Employer reputation 20% Faculty/student ratio 10% Papers per faculty 10% International research network 10%

QS University Rankings BRICS  (Published: 06 May, 2019)

Academic reputation 30% Employer reputation 20% Faculty/student ratio 20% Staff with a PhD 10% Papers per faculty 10%

QS World University Rankings: Sustainability  (Published: 05 December, 2023)

Cwur center for world university rankings, cwur center for world university rankings  (published: 25 april, 2022).

Research Performance: 40%

  • Research Output: 10%
  • High-Quality Publications: 10%
  • Influence: 10%
  • Citations: 10%

Quality of Education: 25%

Alumni Employment: 25%

Quality of Faculty: 10%

Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands

Cwts leiden ranking  (published: 22 june, 2022).

Scientific Impact Number of Publications Collaboration Open Access Gender Diversity

NTU ranking

Ntu performance ranking of scientific papers  (published: 11 july, 2023).

Research Productivity: 25%

  • # Articles last 11 years: 10%
  • # Articles current year: 15%

Research Impact: 35%

  • # Citations last 11 years: 15%
  • # Citations last 2 years: 10%
  • Average # citations last 11 years: 10%

Research Excellence: 40%

  • H-index last 2 years: 10%
  • # Highly cited papers last 11 years: 15%
  • # Articles current year in high-impact journals: 15%

Nature Index

Nature index - young universities  (published: 08 december, 2021), rur ranking agency (moscow, russia), rur world university rankings  (published: 25 may, 2023).

Teaching: 40%

  • Ratio Faculty/Student: 8%
  • Ratio Faculty/Bachelor Degrees Awarded: 8%
  • Ratio Faculty/Doctoral Degrees Awarded: 8%
  • Ratio Doctoral Degrees Awarded/Bachelor Degrees Awarded: 8%
  • World Teaching Reputation: 8%

Research: 40%

  • Citations per Academic/Research Staff: 8%
  • Doctoral Degrees per Accepted PhD: 8%
  • Normalized Citation Impact: 8%
  • Papers per Academic/Research Staff: 8%
  • World Research Reputation: 8%

International Diversity: 10%

  • International Faculty: 2%
  • International Students: 2%
  • International Co-Authored Papers: 2%
  • Reputation Outside Geographical Region: 2%
  • International Level: 2%

Financial Sustainability: 10%

  • Institutional Income per Faculty: 2%
  • Institutional Income per Student: 2%
  • Papers per Research Income: 2%
  • Research Income per Academic/Research Staff: 2%
  • Research Income per Institutional Income: 2%

RUR Academic Rankings  (Published: 25 May, 2023)

Normalized citation impact (Citations of research publications from all university authors compared with world averages) 20% Citation per papers 20% Papers per academic and research staff 20% International research reputation 20% Share of research publications written in international co-authorship 20%

RUR Reputation Ranking  (Published: 25 May, 2023)

Teaching Reputation 50% Research Reputation 50%

Scimago Institutions

Scimago institutions rankings  (published: 06 march, 2024).

Research 50% Innovation 30% Societal 20%

ShanghaiRanking Consultancy

Arwu academic ranking of world universities - shanghairanking  (published: 15 august, 2023).

Quality of Education 10%

  • Alumni winning Nobel Prizes/Field Medals 10%

Quality of Faculty 40%

  • Staff winning Nobel Prizes/Field Medals 20%
  • Highly Cited Researchers 20%

Research Output 40%

  • Papers published in Nature and Science 20%
  • Papers indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded & Social Science Citation Index 20%

Per Capita Performance 10%

THE Times Higher Education, UK

The world university rankings  (published: 27 september, 2023).

30% Teaching (the Learning Environment)

  • Reputation survey: 15%
  • Staff-to-student ratio: 4.5%
  • Doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio: 2.25%
  • Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio: 6%
  • Institutional income: 2.25%

30% Research (Volume, Income and Reputation)

  • Reputation survey: 18%
  • Research income: 6%
  • Research productivity: 6%

30% Citations (Research Influence)

7.5% International Outlook (Staff, Students and Research)

  • Proportion of international students: 2.5%
  • Proportion of international staff: 2.5%
  • International collaboration: 2.5%

2.5% Industry Income (Knowledge Transfer)"

THE World Reputation Rankings  (Published: 27 July, 2023)

Research Reputation 66,6% Teaching Reputation 33,3%

THE Emerging Economies University Ranking - Times Higher Education  (Published: 19 October, 2021)

Teaching 30% Research (volume, income and reputation) 30% Citations 20% International outlook (staff, students, research) 10% Industry income (knowledge transfer) 10%

THE Young University Rankings  (Published: 03 July, 2023)

Teaching 30% Research (volume, income and reputation) 30% Citations 30% International outlook (staff, students, research) 7.5% Industry income (knowledge transfer) 2.5%

THE World University Impact Rankings - Overall  (Published: 01 June, 2023)

The china subject ratings overall  (published: 11 may, 2022), urap world ranking - university ranking by academic performance  (published: 19 december, 2023), us news: best global universities  (published: 24 october, 2022), webometrics, webometrics ranking web of universities  (published: 31 july, 2023).

Visibility 50% Excellence 35% Transparency 10% Presence 5%



  1. How to Find a Mentor

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  1. Mastering Your Ph.D.: Mentors, Leadership, and Community

    Mastering Your Ph.D.: Mentors, Leadership, and Community. 31 Aug 2007. By Patricia Gosling, Bart Noordam. Share: O ne of the best things you can do at the start of your scientific career is find a mentor. A wise and caring mentor can mean the difference between wandering around aimlessly and striding purposefully down the path of academic life ...

  2. How to Find a PhD Mentor That Works for You

    2. Identify the mentorship style that works best for you. Once you have identified the kind of research you want to do, I recommend using your rotations to determine the kind of mentor that works best for you. You can also draw on prior experiences, including previous mentoring relationships from working in labs.

  3. Choosing Your Fate: Finding the right PhD mentor

    A graduate mentor—often referred to as a principle investigator (PI) in the sciences—is a professor that one does research under to complete a thesis or dissertation. These mentors are the graduate students' guides, "bosses", wisdom-providers—the list goes on; you name it. Mentors, along with other sub-mentors that make up a ...

  4. How to Find, Approach, and Interview Potential Faculty Mentors

    Preparing for the interview: Read up on the field in general, read the last several papers from the group, and research their current interests and projects. Think about the lab's ongoing work. Conceive of complementary projects that aren't in their current inventory. Prepare a 30-minute talk in advance; in this talk make it clear why you ...

  5. How to Find Your Ideal PhD Supervisor Using Google Scholar

    Step 3: Identify papers of interest. You'll find that the papers returned in this search will be on topics related to your subject of interest, or not. Identify the ones that appear to overlap with the research you would like to do. If you find yourself drawn to a particular sub-topic within the papers returned, you can also re-do your search ...

  6. Ph.D. Program Find a Mentor

    Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is a flexible place to study. As a student, you're free to select any Mayo mentor, regardless of which track you choose. You're also able to follow your mentor throughout the course of their research, no matter what direction it takes. The faculty members below are eligible to host a student.

  7. Teaching and Mentoring Resources for PhD Students

    The Network for Enriched Academic Relationships (NEAR) is a transdisciplinary online mentoring directory for students to find faculty mentors and allies beyond their substantive research areas. Students can connect with current faculty members in various departments to receive guidance and support around many topics and issues of importance.

  8. How to Find a Good Mentor for Your Online Doctoral Program

    Dr. Krista K. Laursen, a Walden Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) graduate, knows the real difference a good doctoral mentor can make: "As soon as my chair, Dr. Kenneth Gossett, was assigned to me, we had a phone conversation that set the tone of our relationship for years," she says. "He wanted to understand my passions and why I ...

  9. How to Find a Research Mentor: Tips and Strategies

    1. Identify your research interests. Be the first to add your personal experience. 2. Research potential mentors. Be the first to add your personal experience. 3. Contact potential mentors. Be the ...

  10. How to Find an Academic Mentor

    Contact a couple different people You want to have multiple mentors who can each support you in different, complementary ways. Invite your potential mentors to an informational interview so you can decide if the two of you are a good fit. While you might be a good match on paper, your personalities may clash in real life.

  11. How to Pick a Graduate Advisor

    NeuroView. In this NeuroView, I provide a guide for young scientists on how to select a graduate advisor or postdoctoral advisor. Good mentorship is not only pivotal for career success, but it is pivotal for driving innovation and for the health of our universities. Universities need to do much more to teach faculty how to mentor and to ensure ...

  12. The Ideal PhD Mentor--A Student's Perspective

    Between the supervisor and the student, there should be completely open communications, mutual respect, understanding, and empathy. Ideally, the supervisor should be an expert teacher, a mentor, and a facilitator to catalyze the student's professional growth, such that the student's accomplishment is limited only by the extent of his or her ...

  13. Ten simple rules for choosing a PhD supervisor

    In some research groups, it is normal for PhD students to mentor undergraduate students or take a semester to work in industry to get more diverse experiences. Other research groups have clear links with government entities, which is helpful for going into policy or government-based research. These opportunities (and others) are critical for ...

  14. How to Find a Research Mentor

    Finding the right research mentor actually takes a lot of self-understanding, exploration, and reaching out to others before beginning this journey. However, the effort is well worth it because once you have found a research mentor that is willing to sponsor you and help develop you as a scientist, your career will only gain momentum and you ...

  15. What's the Right Way to Find a Mentor?

    Mentorship can be life changing. Staying in the driver's seat and being proactive about your relationship with your mentor is key to its success. These simple principles will help develop strong ...

  16. Research Mentors: How to Find One, Keep One, and Reap the Rewards

    Finding a research mentor, let alone a good one, is a daunting task that few students know how to approach effectively. ... but those seeking to learn rigorous research fundamentals should always consider the benefits of working with a PhD. As an added perk, the relationship may be easier to maintain, since physicians can be notoriously hard to ...

  17. How to Find Mentors and Be a Mentor as a Postdoc

    One of our initiatives to try to increase representation in the sciences is through mentoring circles, composed of postdocs, grad students, and undergrads from underrepresented groups. The idea is to connect an undergrad with a grad student and a grad student with a postdoc, so everyone receives the support they need.

  18. PhD Mentors

    PhD mentors are awarded $250 per student per semester. PhD students are able to mentor more than one CURVE student at a time. In special cases where a PhD mentor is not available, project assistants or other roles can mentor CURVE students. Faculty can also choose to mentor students directly but will not be awarded the mentoring stipend ...

  19. How To Find A Mentor As A College Student Or Recent Grad

    Consider people you have interacted with regularly. A sizable number of people in the Gallup-Amazon poll—19%— said they received effective mentorship from teachers, professors or educators ...

  20. Doctoral School of Economics

    The Economics PhD programme is designed to prepare professionals in economic research and education of the highest academic calibre in Russia, as well as the global academia. The Doctoral School of Economics offers training in the following fields: Economic Theory. Mathematical, Statistical and Instrumental Methods of Economics.

  21. Moscow City Teachers Training University

    MCU offers a wide range of educational opportunities 57 Bachelor's and 100 Master's degree programs, as well as PhD and continuing education programs.At MCU you can practice over 40 athletic disciplines in more than 20 sports clubs, including schools of martial arts and water sports. Moscow City University is Russia's leading pedagogical ...

  22. All 69 Universities in Moscow

    06 Mar, 2024: Publication of Scimago Institutions Rankings. National Research University Higher School of Economics with highest ranking among universities in Moscow ranked #649. 19 Dec, 2023: URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance updated with Moscow State University M. V. Lomonosov ranked highest among 13 listed ...