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bewildered 4 star member
Sunday, 8 June 2008 at 6:52pm
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 at 3:56pm
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page 1 of 55 recent posts

Thread: University teacher only, without research

posted
16-Aug-17, 16:14
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posted about 6 days ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Quote From bewildered:
In both the UK and USA student numbers are in fact falling at the moment


I think applications are falling, but attendees are staying the same because unis reduce the grades and requirements to get on the course. At least, that's what my department is doing to maintain student numbers...


Not according to the stats for either country I'm afraid. Think about it - you accept applications are falling and you say that your department drops entry standards to keep its numbers steady, so it's taking people who would have gone to a lower ranked university. And so on down the rankings - that's why numbers have collapsed at the lower end of the market e.g. London Met has shrunk from 28,000 students to a target of 10,000 for 2017). You can only drop entry standards so far without ending with un-viably high dropout rates and the bottom ranked institutions were already there. Some institutions in the UK are now in danger of failing (and govt policy on Brexit and immigration are increasing that risk) - and in the US small and poor colleges are just shutting down.

The TEF doesn't actually measure teaching - and is a bad joke (not bitter either as I work for a gold institution that absolutely shouldn't be). The teaching only posts in the RG are about cutting costs by increasing the amount of teaching each postholder does and reducing those academics' bargaining power. You can only really move institutions through research outputs so teaching only staff are basically trapped. That leaves very little leverage on promotion/ pay/ conditions for teaching only staff, and certainly where I work you need a nationally recognised teaching profile to get promoted by that route - which in turn requires grant income and publications but on teaching i.e. not it seems what the OP really wants to do.

Thread: University teacher only, without research

posted
15-Aug-17, 16:03
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posted about 1 week ago
In both the UK and USA student numbers are in fact falling at the moment, so unfortunately a lot of the wholly teaching focused jobs are rather insecure, and unions in both countries are fighting to try to stop casualisation. You have to really be very careful about considering whether it's viable as a long-term career. I know a couple of people who have had to move city most years for some time now chasing one year teaching fellowships - it's not a life I'd fancy myself.
How resistant are you to research? In both countries there are teaching focused institutions, where the majority of a role for a permanent contract would be teaching and admin but there would be some expectations of research (but much less than the more prestigious universities). If you for example don't want to do lab research, could you consider researching teaching biology and publishing on that? Or perhaps something very applied rather than blue skies research? One other possibility are jobs that involve you running degree programmes or another large administrative role alongside teaching - they tend though not to be entry level jobs but worth checking adverts to see what sort of experience they look for.
If teaching itself is what really excites you, you could also try qualifying to teach in secondary schools or colleges?

Thread: Academic Job Mobility in the European Context

posted
10-Aug-17, 16:00
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posted about 1 week ago
Even with schemes to aid mobility like Marie Curie postdocs etc, the European academic job market is very variable in how willing each country is to hire PhDs from elsewhere. And so what your chances are post-PhD also vary (there will also be things like % of graduates doing a PhD and whether international PhD graduates have the same chances as home students that make a difference to your chances).
I think though there are considerable differences between those countries. Some i.e. Denmark / Switzerland seem to have far more international staff - I think this is because a lot is taught in English in Denmark and the main Swiss languages are widely spoken by other Europeans so the markets are more open, and so there seems to be less of a guarantee of an academic job post PhD. In contrast I have yet to meet a Norwegian PhD who wanted to stay in academia and wasn't found something - however unexciting - but maybe my sample could be very skewed. But I see jobs advertised internationally in Denmark / Switzerland and don't for Norway. Sweden / Finland are I think somewhere inbetween. You might want to have a look at the European University Institute's Academic Career Observatory site - there's some interesting info there on all of this.

Thread: Funding for Masters when you already have a PhD

posted
29-Jul-17, 20:49
edited about 26 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Could you ask the admissions team to put you in touch with one of the university's student finance advisors to get an informed opinion? They tend to be rather better informed than the people in the student loans call centres. You say you can't find work but I'm guessing you mean in your field - if the loan is not possible, might you be able to earn enough in a not so great job to let you do the course part-time. Universities are often quite accommodating in agreeing instalment plans for paying p/g fees.
I'm guessing you might already know about this but many people don't realise that 6 month post-graduation employment data is also available for Masters courses and PhDs. If you haven't already looked, definitely ask about it to see whether the course you want to do delivers in terms of employment outcomes you want (DLHE data is what to ask for).

Thread: Is R&R experience a bomb for potential employer in academia?

posted
27-Jul-17, 17:39
edited about 27 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
I don't see a) why anyone needs to know or b) why you feel ashamed about it. I've never seen an application form that asks about this, and on your cv you only need to say the date each degree was actually awarded. PhDs from the UK are not graded so unless you tell them, why would anyone know? And there are many reasons why a PhD could take longer, so I doubt anyone would assume anything. And tbh getting 12 or 6 months corrections is far more normal an outcome than the impression you get from this forum. It really isn't the catastrophe scenario you imagine. You have the degree that's what matters. What you will be judged on in the academic job market is primarily your publications honestly.
I also don't think it's the norm to be just given a job in your PhD department as you seem to think it is - people will try to help out new PhDs with part-time / temporary work, if something is available, but often there's nothing to offer. It's not personal. I think you're perhaps reading negative signals into things that aren't really there, which is understandable as being unemployed is not fun, but please don't fret about the R&R. It really won't matter - get that paper out to a journal and start feeling proud of what you've achieved.

Thread: Books about publishing

posted
26-Jul-17, 21:07
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
No book suggestions but the main disciplinary association in your field might well have links to advice tailored to your subject.

Thread: What would you do?

posted
26-Jul-17, 17:41
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
I'd agree that transferring might substantially lengthen your time to PhD completion not just because of rules on the minimum period of registration, but because you wouldn't necessarily be able to use your current data etc (depending on your current university's intellectual property rules and what sort of funding you've had). A postdoc would be much better for you really.

Thread: Post-PhD Jobs

posted
26-Jul-17, 17:38
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posted about 3 weeks ago
It might be worth looking at jobs.ac.uk to see what sort of jobs are available in your area and what exactly they are looking for. There are some research-orientated media / film departments but a lot of courses in your field seem more practically orientated and so industry experience and technical skills might be seen as beneficial too. And yes ToL is rightly pessimistic about the academic job market - you need a plan B like everyone else, so it's worth thinking about what you'd get out of a PhD irrespective of jobs and whether that really appeals to you. Also check into the reality of academia if you haven't already - many jobs are poorly paid / precarious and it's a long hours / high pressure field.

Thread: PhD thesis and fake results on papers

posted
24-Jul-17, 21:02
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posted about 1 month ago
I would ensure that your thesis does not include anything faked. If there is any subsequent investigation into these papers then it's hard to make the case to take away your PhD if it's based on only the legitimate data.

On the papers, frankly, if what you report is 100% accurate then there's a good chance, it's not the first time your supervisor has engaged in research misconduct. It seems pretty blatant for a first offence. Does your discipline make use of PubPeer? https://pubpeer.com/ It might be worth checking to see whether queries have been raised about any of these three papers or any other articles by him. Serial cheats tend to get found out, and then you risk being dragged in. So I'd consider once you have your PhD being that whistle-blower yourself. With that possibility in mind, you might want to consider whether there are ways to correct the scientific record without full retraction e.g. through a correction. It depends how egregious the fraud is. Even if you decide not to, make sure now that any email evidence / early versions of the papers, anything you have that points to your innocence is stored somewhere off the university network, so you can always access it.

Final thought, if these papers have any potential to cause harm by not being retracted e.g. this is a Macchiarini type of issue http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37311038 then I do think you have a moral duty to set the record straight.

Thread: Job applications without affiliation after graduation

posted
20-Jun-17, 19:46
edited about 29 seconds later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 2 months ago
The letterhead is something that only matters in the US. Really don't worry. I've just been on a hiring committee and to be honest in my subject at least there are too many applications to bother about anything that petty (150 for a lectureship). Those advising you that having the PhD in hand will help are correct. We didn't interview anyone without that.
Most people get corrections of some sort, so there's probably a while before you lose email / library rights but you might want to ask your supervisor if there's any way you could hold a visiting / honorary unpaid fellowship or research centre membership to keep access to journals / library resources. We tend to offer that to recent PhDs without jobs for a year at least so they can keep publishing. That also keeps your affiliation going. I have yet to meet a historian who got a permanent job without several years of short-term research contracts or hourly paid teaching first usually with patches of temping inbetween (they seemed to think it was publishing their first book that made the difference in their competitiveness). Everyone knows the market is dire, so treeoflife is quite right to say that no-one will judge you for employment gaps / other work so long as your cv is improving.

Thread: Studying in Germany

posted
09-Jun-17, 17:49
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posted about 2 months ago
Or yes au pair / other job plus German classes at your local Volkshochschule. The classes aren't free but very reasonably priced. Studenkollegs do give you subject specific vocab though so may be better.

Thread: Studying in Germany

posted
09-Jun-17, 17:47
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 2 months ago
You need the cheap /free state-run not the private Studienkollegs - list here: http://www.studienkollegs.de/Studienkollegs.html

Thread: Supervisor wants to submit in too high journal

posted
26-May-17, 17:13
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
There are good reasons for aiming high. The quality of review is often higher (as reviewers are much more likely to do a thorough job when it's for a journal that is desirable for them too) and then having a publication in a high impact factor journal is useful for career purposes. If your article is so far off the expected norm then it's likely to be a desk reject, which at least is quick, and you never know, you might stand a chance, so my inclination would be to follow her advice.
If though you deal with rejection badly and a desk reject would throw you off course, then what about making the objective case that you suggest about why not that journal, but ask her where else she would suggest. Her dismissal of your preferred journal sounds to be rooted in a reasonable enough feeling around falling quality, so I'd take that message seriously. There's a good chance she knows something you don't. Perhaps a third journal might be the compromise here?

Thread: Great project, mediocre uni...

posted
18-May-17, 17:41
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posted about 3 months ago
I think the Oxbridge JRFs are rather a closed shop for everyone who didn't do their PhD at Oxbridge or one of the very few universities globally they consider their equal... Not very meritocratic. Other jobs (RG included) I think for education and sociology (assuming one of the other is your subject) there's not a lot of snobbishness about what institution you did your PhD at as for both subjects there are really strong researchers at lower ranked institutions. (I do think it seems to matter more in eg History, philosophy or English Lit). Getting a job is more about what you have achieved in terms of publication etc. So what matters more in your assessment of Edge Hill than the ranking, is whether the supervisors of the project are publishing in the highly ranked journals, you need to target to be competitive for jobs. If they are, then they will almost certainly be able to give you the professional skills training you need to stand a decent chance.
I think the only other real concern (more for sociology than education) is research methods training. Depending on how much you've already had, this may be less of a worry, but you might want to check a) what Edge Hill offers and b) if they have any connections to ESRC Northwest DTC to help you access any specialist training you need. Unfortunately social sciences are so method heavy these days that not having strong methods skills makes it hard to get into the better journals, and this can be disadvantageous career-wise.

Thread: Research assistant/ Postdoc

posted
11-May-17, 20:15
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 3 months ago
I think the others are right - an MD unless you've also spent multiple years in a lab doing original research is not the right preparation for a postdoc. Why not try for the clinical positions you have the experience for?
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