Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Motivation in Academia

From the perspective of extrinsic motivation, academia can be the most demotivating place to work in.

It's not uncommon for newly hired faculty members to get paid more than faculty who has been with the department for many years. This is the kind of reward you get for giving your whole life to the school.

PhD students experience this too. In fact, it's even worse in their case. Unlike professors, doctoral students do not get annual pay raises, so the difference is often even more drastic. I remember when I joined the PhD program, I was making twice as much as doctoral students who had been with the department for 3-4 years. The irony here is that a senior doctoral student not only deserves to get paid more by most human standards, he or she has a much greater objective need for money. After spending several years in the program most PhD students are usually broke and in desperate need for money. After I spend several years in the program, I discovered that new PhD students were paid 50% more than I was making....

So I've been on the serving as well as receiving end of this wonderful motivation scheme. Does miracles to your motivation and loyalty to the department!

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