About PI Review

The Website

Founded in July 2021, PI Review is designed for graduate students to write reviews for their academic advisors or Principal Investigators (PIs). Our goal is to help future graduate students to choose their PhD advisor.

Anyone who has been doing research with the PI is welcomed to write a review. However, if you are a student who only takes classes with the professor, you are not encouraged to write a review on this website. You can use other websites such as “Rate My Professors” instead.

This is a nonprofit website. You don’t need to pay for accessing our website, creating an account and posting contents. You also own the copyright of the reviews you write on our website.

The Team

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Jingning Zhang
Founder & Full Stack Web Developer

Jingning is a graduate student in NanoEngineering at UC San Diego (UCSD). She obtained her B.S. in Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). Jingning is also a Co-Founder of USTC iCourse.club, a popular course rating website in China, which has more than 5,000 users and 12,000 reviews as of July 2021.

Jingning has spent more than 300 hours developing this website since May 2021. She is responsible for the product design, front-end and back-end development, also the website content (like this page).

Hao's avatar
Hao Cui
IT Operations/Systems Administrator

Hao Cui is a Ph.D. student in Networked Systems at the University of California, Irvine. He has a solid background in system administration, C++ and Python programming. He is responsible for server operation and maintenance.

The Motivation

In 2019, Jingning was admitted as a PhD student by UCSD. However, her PhD study didn’t go very smoothly. After the first year, her PI didn’t have enough funding to support PhD students and her department did not provide her with a promised TAship. She had to switch to a new lab. Even though she did a lot of research about the new PI and tried very hard to get into the new lab, things just didn’t work out for her. During the last two years at UCSD, she knew a lot of PhD students who have been struggling like her because they didn’t get enough support from their PIs or their departments. Many of them eventually had to quit their PhD. Therefore, she believes choosing a good and matched PI is the most important thing for PhD students. That’s why she built this website to help prospective graduate students.