The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D.

via Open Culture by Dan Colman,

Matthew Might, a computer science professor at the University of Utah, writes: “Every fall, I explain to a fresh batch of Ph.D. students what a Ph.D. is. It’s hard to describe it in words. So, I use pictures.” It’s September 26. That means fall is here again, and it’s time to bring you an encore presentation of Matt’s Illustrated Guide to the PhD. Have a look, and you’ll see the whole undertaking in a less hubristic way:

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:

By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:

By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:

With a bachelor’s degree, you gain a specialty:

A master’s degree deepens that specialty:

Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:

Once you’re at the boundary, you focus:

You push at the boundary for a few years:

Until one day, the boundary gives way:

And, that dent you’ve made is called a Ph.D.:

Of course, the world looks different to you now:

So, don’t forget the bigger picture:

You can find Matt’s Illustrated Guide hosted on his web site. This guide/reality check is published under a Creative Commons License. You can also buy a print version for $6.50. (The money goes to charity.) Matt offers more insights for Ph.D. students here.

The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D. is a post from: Open Culture.

PhD position in Economics, Ghent Univ., Belgium

Ghent University
Image via Wikipedia

Ghent University
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
has a vacancy for
In the field of Micro-Econometrics Applied to Labour Economics

To start in January 2012

Job Description
• The candidate writes a doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Bart Cockx on the research project entitled “Evaluating Active Labour Market Policies in Flanders”. This project will be realized within the Policy Research Centre Work and Social Economy (“Steunpunt Werk en Sociale Economie”) financed by the Flemish Government. The project consists in two main research topics:
(i) A Simple Monitoring Instrument for the Effectiveness of Active Labor Market Policies;
(ii) Public Procurement of Employment Services: Long-Run Effectiveness and the Role of the Service Provider.

The description of the research project can be downloaded from
• The competencies and research interests of the promoter are described onhttp://users.
• In addition to performing the tasks described in the research project, the PhD candidate will improve his/her research skills by completing a doctoral training programme. This includes advanced courses within the Belgian Graduate School in Economics, and attending and presenting research in seminars and international conferences. A description of the rules of the PhD programme are downloadable from

• You are holder of a Master degree in Economics, which you should have completed with honours.
• You can work independently, accurately and systematically
• You have an interest in quantitative methods

• A doctoral research fellowship for up to 4 years.
• A dynamic research environment with interactions with other research centres, in particular with IRES at UCLouvain and also IZA and CESifo, research centres to which Bart Cockx is affiliated.

Send a letter of motivation and your CV to prof. Bart Cockx bart.cockx@ugent. be as soon as possible and not later than December 15, 2011. Do not hesitate to send a mail for more info.