A Good Place to Start

A day after we unveiled the Ph.D. Placement Project, we’ve received more questions than we have answers. But that was the point. The Chronicle’s Ph.D. Placement Project is, at this moment, still in the planning phase. We appreciate the more than 600 e-mails and comments we’ve received. They raise good questions about how we should proceed and offer good advice and suggestions. Keep them coming!

When we expressed our interest in figuring out a way to gather reliable data about job placements for Ph.D.’s, we were not simply referring to a crowdsourced project. The crowd is a good place to start, however. If you have ideas for how we could collect placement information by department and university, we want to hear them. But we’re not stopping there.

Similarly, the survey we’ve posted is only a starting point. We intend to use it to collect ideas and advice that will help us determine how best to proceed in collecting detailed, accurate placement information.

When we publish placement information about individual Ph.D. programs, it will be based on a formal research project, not on a Google survey.

In short, if you’re interested in the issue of placement rates and Ph.D. programs, please keep communicating with us. Tell your friends, tell your colleagues, and help us turn the Ph.D. Placement Project into a valuable source of information.

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