Welcome to the Ph.D. Placement Project

In his latest column, William Pannapacker tackles the issue of job-placement rates in doctoral programs and decries the lack of solid data.

“Advisers and prospective students need something more than a scattered helping of infrequently updated best-case scenarios,” he writes. “We need externally verified, reasonably comprehensive data about individual programs and maybe even individual advisers.”

The Chronicle wants to take Mr. Pannapacker up on his challenge. We would like to figure out a way to gather reliable data about job placements for Ph.D.’s. Who’s getting jobs? Where are they? Which doctoral programs are doing well at placing their Ph.D.’s in tenure-track positions? Which are doing poorly? Are many colleges making an effort to help their Ph.D.’s land nonacademic jobs?

We don’t know what form the data will take, but for now we’re calling it the Ph.D. Placement Project.

We believe prospective graduate students, current students, and departments themselves would love to know the answers to those questions. We know this isn’t going to be easy. And we don’t have all the answers about how to proceed. That’s why we need your help and your stories.

Here are a few ways you can get involved.

SHARE: We need to know what we don’t know. If you have a Ph.D., please consider sharing some basic information about your job-placement experience here. (Don’t worry, it’s anonymous.)

CONTRIBUTE: Whether or not you have a Ph.D., we want to hear your ideas on how we can collect and publish good data in a way that would be most helpful. Leave those ideas in the comments of this post, or e-mail us.

STAY POSTED: Get on the Project’s e-mail list and start following our Twitter.

And, finally, keep checking this page, where Mr. Pannapacker and others will be chiming in.

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