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TreeofLife
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 at 3:58pm
Saturday, 12 November 2016 at 3:24pm
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page 1 of 137 recent posts

Thread: Need general advice on returning to studies

posted
16-Jan-17, 15:16
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posted about 13 hours ago
Only you can make this decision. I left a career to pursue a PhD and I have never looked back. I was financially secure at the time, with a mortgage, car and nice things, so it was fine for me to take a pay cut for a few years. Now after my PhD I am finally making decent money again (in academia) so I can start spending for things I need (new car, new clothes etc) that I couldn't buy when I was student on £14k per year. But it could have easily gone the other way and I could be earning £10-15k less than I am now.

I wouldn't do it unfunded, especially not the PhD. Career opportunities in academia are few and far between and may involve movement of city and countries for several years (10?) before the minute chance of landing a permanent position.

Thread: Honest Advice on my situation

posted
16-Jan-17, 14:29
edited about 23 seconds later
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posted about 14 hours ago
Have you tried talking to anyone else in your department about this? Have you got an email trail of evidence?

Thread: Supervisors who are being unfair

posted
16-Jan-17, 14:28
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posted about 14 hours ago
It's a bit hard to understand what you are trying to say. Have you told your supervisors that you are struggling and they have said you are under performing?

It's quite common for supervisors to not answer questions and expect you to think about it. Have you tried asking the question and giving them a list of options and saying that you're not sure which one it is? If they still tell you to read more after this, then insist that they tell you the answer because you can't find out. Don't forget that half the time they don't know the answer (but they don't want to tell you this) or there may not be one!

Don't agree to complete tasks that you know you can't do! You need to be more assertive. You could take someone else into one of your meetings with you maybe? Have you tried talking to the pastoral support in your department? It's usually another academic.

These problems are caused by poor communication. Your supervisors don't understand why you are not doing what they want you to do, and you aren't able to make them understand. That's why explaining it to someone else and having them discuss this with supervisors is probably better that you trying to manage this alone.

Thread: Thinking of changing supervisors - is this a bad idea?

posted
16-Jan-17, 14:19
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 14 hours ago
Ah ok, I see. Doing work and not being credited for it is obviously not ok.

Also if optional modules are very similar to compulsory ones then there's no point in doing this. You might need to be firmer about this type of stuff because your supervisor probably doesn't realise the content of the modules.

And in general you should be working 40 hours a week, more sometimes and less sometimes depending on what else is on. Are you working effectively ie is most of this time spent on work and not chatting to others/seminars/viva celebrations/coffee breaks etc?

For your meeting, you should prepare a timetable, showing how much time you have been spending on each activity over the last week or month, so that he can see how hard you have been working and you can say it's unreasonable to expect all this and more.

Thread: Thinking of changing supervisors - is this a bad idea?

posted
16-Jan-17, 13:17
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posted about 15 hours ago
It's hard to say whether this is unreasonable or not to be honest. I mean, if you're doing extra research then you will get papers from it, so what's the problem? Also, students need to be full up to date with information they need so doing optional modules should only be a benefit really. But of course we don't have all the hours in the world to work and we need to be doing other stuff outside of the PhD too. How many hours are you spending working at the moment?

Thread: Looking for advice for a postgraduate engineering degree

posted
16-Jan-17, 13:11
edited a moment later
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posted about 15 hours ago
I don't know anything about that degree or university, sorry. Can anyone else on here help?

Thread: Sick of 2.2 haunting me. Please read and help me understand what I have to do!

posted
13-Jan-17, 10:14
edited about 25 seconds later
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posted about 3 days ago
You need to stop dwelling on your 2.2. There's nothing you can do about it. If your personal circumstances weren't considered at the time to be a reason for not passing a unit, and if the rest of your grades weren't high enough to counteract your 40% unit, then you got a 2.2. You need to accept this.

On the plus side, you have a research MSc. It doesn't have a grade - so what? No-one cares what grade people get at a MSc. If you could say MSc - Distinction, this still doesn't change your 2.2.

PhDs can be difficult to get on to, depending on the field and location of institute. It's possible that your 2.2 may be holding you back, but it's probably not, because you have a MSc. How many PhDs have you applied for? Have you had someone look over your CV and cover letter or application?

Thread: The Postgraduate Moans Thread

posted
12-Jan-17, 17:52
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posted about 4 days ago
<------ Happy to have been the internal candidate with the sham interview...

Thread: The Postgraduate Moans Thread

posted
12-Jan-17, 10:51
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 4 days ago
Recent lecturer positions in my department got 50 applications per post.

Thread: Research Assistant/Associate Conundrum

posted
11-Jan-17, 11:43
edited about 2 minutes later
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posted about 5 days ago
Assistant. You need to have had your PhD awarded at the exam board first (after thesis has been submitted and any corrections have been approved by examiners), after which your university sends an official letter confirming this. This is usually sufficient for most places, although some places might want the actual certificate, which you only get after graduation.

In my postdoc, I hadn't had my viva when I started so I was employed as an assistant and they didn't have a policy of increasing grade or salary after PhD completion either - I always resented them for that. [And for many other things, hence one of the many reasons I left].

Thread: PhD Topic Help

posted
11-Jan-17, 10:42
edited about 28 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
We can't really help with topic choices. You need to develop this by talking to other people in your area (supervisor?) and reading the background literature.

Thread: Advice Staff to Faculty

posted
11-Jan-17, 10:39
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
At my university there are three academic or faculty routes: teaching, research or both. So, for a teaching position you need more teaching experience, for a research position you need publications and an active research portfolio. At this stage of your career, it's best to pursue both so that you can take advantage of whichever career path may come your way in the future. Plus, they often let you teach with no experience but you won't get a research position with no research... So, I'd say 2 is your best option here.

Thread: 3 months into my PhD and I'm already thinking about quitting. Am I screwed?

posted
10-Jan-17, 15:45
edited about 28 seconds later
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posted about 6 days ago
Sounds like you're a bit home sick to me. Personally, I would give it a few more months, make a concerted effort though with the work and friendships, but do this whilst applying for jobs. The feelings may pass, plus you don't have many other options at the moment.

Thread: Architect to PHD?

posted
10-Jan-17, 15:28
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posted about 6 days ago
Not sure. Do you have a BSc or MSc? Email university admissions to check.

Thread: Opportunities for researchers in their 50s

posted
10-Jan-17, 15:27
edited about 22 seconds later
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posted about 6 days ago
Hard to say. I know some older postdocs that I assume have transferred recently back into academia, but I'm not sure of their background or their past experience that qualified them for the post. Make some applications and find out? They often only ask for a CV and cover letter so they are not too arduous.

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