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bewildered 4 star member
Sunday, 8 June 2008 at 6:52pm
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 at 8:13pm
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page 1 of 56 recent posts

Thread: Not-to-be-mentioned-option post-PhD

posted
13-Sep-17, 20:18
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posted about 1 week ago
I am in a field where getting any lectureship is a big achievement these days. Some junior staff at ex-92s are truly excellent. My eyebrows would be raised at the OP's statement but largely because most people apply for any job in our sub-field regardless of the institution and it would seem a bit clueless to assume getting a job at a post-92 was a walk in the park.
I would be wary about lumping all the former polys in one group by the way, some expect research much more than others. They have diverged quite a bit as a group.

Thread: Applying for PostDoc Research - choosing an institution close by?

posted
30-Aug-17, 22:44
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posted about 3 weeks ago
No it's not heavily based on teaching. The host institution though will need to be able to provide career development for you e.g. courses or other training, involvement in the activities of a research group and if they are investing in you, the BA will want you to be an active member of the department, rather than someone who will put in occasional appearances. You need to think of it really as a full-time job with occasional work at home possibilities - it is a bit different in terms of expectations to the PhD if you've been used to doing as you please more or less. Have you talked to your supervisor about what institutions might be a good fit?

Thread: Changing University after Starting a PhD?

posted
29-Aug-17, 22:32
edited about 12 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
It sounds from what you say as if doing the masters either as a stand-alone or as a 1+3 programme might be helpful in building up your experience of research design and thus confidence. If it's funded, don't worry too much about the extra time. Candidates without that can really struggle with defining their PhD project, finding a viable gap in the literature etc and so end up spending longer than they hoped with the upgrade process. It might therefore be a time-saver in the end.

Thread: Applying for PostDoc Research - choosing an institution close by?

posted
29-Aug-17, 22:26
edited about 27 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
The BA postdocs are about the institution providing you with training and experience to make it more likely you could get a lectureship at the end. They look for fit on this between you and the host department / mentor and so I don't think the kind of p/t association you suggest would fly, as it would limit the case for support to an non-viable extent. The host institution also has to agree to sponsor your application as it has costs for them, so they will want something from you in return (so again p/t residency isn't likely to make them keen). Have you made contact with any depts yet? Some are only allowed to put one candidate per year to an internal competition and then only the best overall candidates can apply so you really need an academic on board, who is going to push for you. There's only 45 nationally per year so rationing applications internally is a strategy that's increasingly used.

Thread: Masters without honours

posted
29-Aug-17, 22:15
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posted about 3 weeks ago
It depends why you haven't a honours degree. If you studied in Scotland and didn't bother to do the honours year, there are probably routes in (scottish universities are likely to be more understanding & to have pathways). If you have a pass degree because you failed final year, then it will be difficult if not impossible to do what you want. Even the Open university only lets you transfer so many credits.

Thread: University teacher only, without research

posted
16-Aug-17, 16:14
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posted about 1 month 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 month 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 month 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 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.
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