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Keenbean 5 star member
Friday, 30 January 2009 at 10:33pm
Monday, 15 July 2013 at 9:45pm
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Thread: searching for advices/tips for postdoc interview

posted
11-Jul-13, 08:39
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hey! Well I didn't do a normal presentation, I did this task/experiment thing, so I used handouts for that. I do normally use powerpoint for interview presentations, but if you reckon you can do better without, then do it without! At post-doc level I would think they'll be perfectly happy for you to use your initiative and do whatever works best for you :)

Good luck! KB

Thread: searching for advices/tips for postdoc interview

posted
09-Jul-13, 11:32
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Terry!

Don't stress about the experiment- they pre-warned me, so I had a week to prepare what I was going to do, it wasn't just on the spur of the moment! (else I would've crashed and burned!)

My new work is designing, testing & evaluating assistive technology for people with dementia. My background is in dementia research, but absolutely nothing to do with technology whatsoever! But the thing about the multidisciplinary team is that they won't expect you to know everything...that's why they have a range of people. I have psychological input into the work (i.e. communicating with people with dementia, finding out what they would like, working out how we can evaluate the product's success and market it etc), but obviously there are software engineers etc who do the programming and build the prototypes! So even though you're looking at something different, in reality I would think that although you'll need to pick some new stuff up, there will be plenty of other people who will be good on the finance side of things, and they will most likely make use of your psychology background. I have had to go on some courses and do a lot of background work to get up to speed, but this hasn't been a problem really. I've been there for 10 weeks and have written two review papers, which is a good way to get your head around the literature.

I think willingness to learn and enthusiasm go a long way. I was very surprised to get an interview and even more surprised to get the job, but now I'm there, things are falling into place very well and I'm not being left to do things that I have absolutely no clue about!

Best of luck- it's a great way to learn new skills and broaden your experiences, I don't regret doing it now even though I was a little scared about it to start with!

Best, KB

Thread: Help - what do I do?

posted
08-Jul-13, 18:25
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hey Echo.

Sorry to hear things are tough. I finished my PhD a couple of years back now, but my viva was brought forwards very suddenly, giving me just 6 weeks left to submit instead of 12! Long story, but I also had a fellowship application with the same deadline, which had been the reason for my submission and viva to be brought forwards.

You say you think you can't do it- not that you can't. I reckon it's worth a shot. You've got 7 weeks, and maybe 8 or 9 chapters? That's nearly 1 week per chapter, and you can do a lot in one week, especially if lots of it is just editing. Even if it's writing from scratch, you'd still be amazed how much you can get done. I would get your head around what is essential and what is desirable. If one chapter isn't quite perfect, but it's not a disaster, then move on to bigger things and come back to it at the end if you get time. You won't get failed for missing out a paragraph on topic x or dodgy formatting on a couple of tables, a chapter that could have been structured better etc. I wrote my thesis discussion and conclusion from scratch in 2 days, and to be honest, it wasn't amazing, but they're not going to be massively interested in the intro and the waffle in the discussion- they'll really want to know what you've done and what you've found out. For me, passing my PhD was essential, the fellowship application was just desirable, so in the end I chucked it to make sure I got my PhD.

I have bipolar, so I know how crappy depression is. If possible, see if an extension is an option- it's not worth throwing away 4 years of work when you're possibly not thinking as clearly as you might be. At least you would have more time to decide then.

Lots of luck, KB xx

Thread: searching for advices/tips for postdoc interview

posted
08-Jul-13, 18:09
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hey TerryCH.

I just started my second post-doc a couple of months ago- like you, my PhD was psychology, and like you my new position is in a multidisciplinary team that I don't know much about (technology-oriented)! I was very surprised to get an interview. I didn't have to do a presentation, but they ask me to develop a task/experiment and perform it at the interview with the interview panel as participants (eeek!), and then asked questions about the task, followed by a normal interview. I admit, I had to do quite a lot of background reading to put in a decent performance! Long story short, aside from testing usual background knowledge, they seemed especially interested in:
1) Why I was interested in changing topic to come to this position?
2) my enthusiasm and ideas for the project (if you could develop any technology for people with X condition, what would it be?)
3) they asked about the highlight of my PhD (my new boss later told me that she needed to see someone who could get excited by their work, as she does!)
4) did I think my lack of expertise in technology would be a barrier to me doing well in the job?
5) my thoughts for where I wanted to combine my knowledge and expertise with theirs and take this forwards for new projects
6) my experiences with collaborating with people from various disciplines and across different timezones: how to manage this

So there were quite a few bits around managing input from different disciplines and how my own research background would fit with theirs and where we would want to go from there- definitely do a bit of background research on your interview panel and have a think about it! Hope that helps a little- good luck!

KB

Thread: Research Fellow interview!

posted
08-Jul-13, 17:46
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hey Pineapple, I don't stop by much here any more but came across this and had to say a HUGE congrats! Your whole slog is finally paying off- you deserve this so much!!! Loads of luck with it! I've just moved onto my second post-doc and really loving it, after a crappy first post-doc I've fallen in love with research all over again! Big hugs & take time to celebrate! KB xx

Thread: Another job app rejection letter

posted
17-May-13, 12:59
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hey Satchi!

Not been on here for a while!

The job thing does seem to be really tough right now. After my PhD I got a postdoc at a UK university, but was really unhappy there, and quit a few months ago without having anything else to go to. It was a scary time but I couldn't carry on doing something that was causing me so much grief. I have got another postdoc now at a different university, which I started a month ago, and it's going well, but I had a total panic between posts. One thing I would recommend is sending your CV around to relevant people- I looked up a few teams that do research in my field and emailed the team leader with my CV attached, just in case there were any posts coming up that hadn't been advertised yet. Two people from different teams emailed back and told me that they had a post-doc coming up and that I should apply. As it happened, I got a job in the meantime and didn't end up applying for those, but it's a good way to get your name around and an excuse to make personal contact with people. Might be worth a shot? So much seems to rest on who you know...

Good luck with it, you'll get there! Best, KB

Thread: PhD and Mental Illness

posted
17-May-13, 12:44
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hi thumbelina!

I finished my PhD a couple of years ago and don't come on the forum much now, but dropped by today and saw your post. I also have bipolar disorder and have battled with it for 15 years now, trying new medications, having ECT, and have been admitted to hospital lots of times now....it sure makes life more complicated.

I think the best source of support when I was doing my PhD was student services- I saw a counsellor there twice per week and also a mental health advisor if I was struggling (on top of the usual NHS care). If you're not getting this support already it might be worth checking out the services where you are. Does your sup know about your difficulties? Mine did and she was pretty good about it.

I am still in research- on my second post-doc now, and am doing fairly well at the moment. It's tough, and my general approach is to be quite open with my managers about my condition, and ask for flexibility if required, and so far that has worked okay. Research can be stressful (which isn't too good for bipolar) but the plus side is it can be quite flexible too- I am able to adjust my hours, work from home etc if I want to. I am in psychology anyway so I suppose you would expect people to be reasonably understanding.

I don't know what field you're in, but one thing I would say is to steer clear of anything too close to home. My last post-doc was in a bipolar disorder research centre and it was awful- the most frustrating experience of my life and it made me quite poorly as well. I eventually quit that post a few months back and have started a new post-doc now at a different uni which is soooo much better for my health!

The only other thing- your bipolar will in some ways make you better at what you do. Hard to believe that sometimes (especially for a pessimist like me!), but it will give you qualities that other people will never have, and that will be valuable and your personal and professional life.

PM me if you want to ask anything! Head up chick ;)
KB

Thread: Got my paper reviewed... but..

posted
28-Jan-13, 22:07
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hi there!

I wouldn't stress over this- it seems to be really common (even with top profs from what I can gather) and the main thing is the overall outcome. I've had reviews which seem to contradict each other, simply because reviewers are coming at the topic from different places- different backgrounds, training, experience, preferred theories, differing loyalties, familiarity with different literature, varying levels of perfectionism, good versus bad day in the office etc!

I think the best way to deal with it is to attend to as many of the suggestions as you feasibly can, within reason. I always try to make changes to address each point (even if I think it's a bit irrelevant/redundant), unless I really disagree with it, in which case I argue against it in my response to reviewers' comments. There have been a few occasions where I have argued against making particular changes, and this has never gone against me- i.e. my arguments have generally been accepted by the editor and refusing to make a particular change hasn't resulted in any change regarding the acceptance of the paper. Having said that, if I know I am going to refuse to make a particular change, I make sure I address all of the others extra-thoroughly, so it doesn't just look like I'm being really dismissive/arrogant/just plain grumpy!

Reviewers will most likely always have differing feedback- I think I would be more weirded out by two or three lots of identical comments lol! Great it's accepted anyway, well done :)

Best, keenie

Thread: Bachelors, Masters and PhD from same university - would this make a bad impression?

posted
17-Jan-13, 11:12
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hey there!

I can only speak from my own experiences, but I did my BSc, MSc and PhD at the same university and it hasn't been a problem. It was one of the top departments in the country for my subject, but overall the uni is pretty average. I got a post-doc immediately after my PhD at a different university which has a much better reputation (UK top 10) than the uni I studied at but to be honest the actual department I work in probably isn't as good as the one at the average uni!

So it hasn't been a problem for me- the main thing post-doc positions seemed to be interested in is publications. Also don't stress too much about the uni- it's more the department and who you're working with that will matter. Personally I wouldn't have taken a post-doc where I did my degrees because I do think it's important to get experience elsewhere, but certainly BSc MSc, PhD hasn't been an issue.

Best, KB

Thread: Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

posted
16-Jan-13, 13:13
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
OMG! That's amazing news Pineapple, I'm so so happy for you! You must be over the moon.....well done, you've done so well to hang in there all this time. Now have a damn good celebration and get some rest!!!
Huge congratulations! KB

Thread: Psychology?

posted
02-Jan-13, 12:03
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
"i wish both of u all the best and please be extra kind to ur patients. i've been to the psychiatric ward to accompany a few of my troubled friends. u wouldn't believe how *mechanical* some of these shrinks can be"

Hey Pikirkool, no danger here. I have bipolar disorder and have spent a lot of time on various psychiatric wards (including 4 months of 2012). So I know how cold and mechanical some of these people can be- this was behind my move into psychology (from biology) 10 years ago and is still the main reason that I wish to pursue clinical psychology. It is hard to isolate empathy, and I don't do that very well, because I can deeply feel everything that my participants say to me. But I have learnt ways to cope with this and am still learning. I am trying to use my experiences to make me a better psychologist, otherwise it would be a waste of my time spending all those months in hospital!

Best, KB

Thread: Psychology?

posted
01-Jan-13, 20:01
edited about 29 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Pikirkool!

Yeah you definitely have to have done a medical degree to train as a psychiatrist. With a BSc in psychology you aren't really qualified to do anything until you have done some sort of further training, whether that is a doctorate or some other course. To be a clinical psychologist you need to do a doctorate in clinical psychology (although this used to be a masters degree, so some older clinical psychologists do not have a doctorate). Then you can get involved in lots of things, including therapy, but in the UK are not allowed to prescribe medication- it is the psychiatrists who do this. Psychiatrists tend to concentrate purely on prescribing medication- not many are involved in therapy any more, or at least not in the NHS- that's usually done by a psychologist or equivalent. I believe in other countries clinical psychologists are allowed to prescribe medication, and there is a debate over that here in the UK, but I digress! It is confusing, because both psychiatrists and psychologists are often referred to as 'shrinks' and various other things!

I have just applied for clinical psychology training for the first time and it's super-competitive, as Pineapple said. I am not massively optimistic about getting onto the course this year, but I've given it a shot! Applications have shot up in recent years because once on the course, you are paid a decent salary by the NHS for the three years, whereas many other professional doctorates are not funded. It's complicated!!!

Anyway, all the best for 2013!
KB

Thread: Psychology?

posted
29-Dec-12, 22:21
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 5 years ago
Hi there,

I've done a BSc, MSc, and PhD in clinical psychology and am now working as a research associate on a research team who do work with people with bipolar. Many people who do psychology do not continue in a psychology profession as you need a least a doctorate to really get anywhere. I have just applied for clinical psychology training, which trains you to be a practitioner, i.e. work more directly with people with mental health difficulties doing therapy and delivering interventions etc. It is very tough to get onto this course and I am not optimistic really, but that's what so many psych students want to do. You cannot become a psychiatrist after doing a degree in psych. Psychiatrists have all been trained through medical school and gone on to specialise in psychiatry- they tend to concentrate on dealing with medication, whilst the psychologists are not allowed to prescribe medication (at least in the UK) and therefore concentrate on psychological/social interventions/treatments. You can also do a professional doctorate in health psychology, educational psychology etc. All of my friends who have done PhDs are now doing clinical training or working as research psychologists.

My friends who just did a BSc in psychology have gone on to many other things- some have gone into occupational psychology, a couple work as assistant psychologists, research assistants, health care assistant on psychiatric wards etc. Many others have gone onto graduate schemes to do something completely different. Most people who do a BSc in psychology do not end up working in psychology due to the competition, but it's a really interesting career if you stick it out! Try looking on the British Psychological Society website for ideas about careers in psychology.

Best, KB

Thread: Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

posted
21-Dec-12, 17:14
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Pineapple! There really isn't much I can add except to tell you we're all thinking of you and I hope you manage to enjoy yourself over the holidays. Can't believe you're still waiting, but every extra day you wait you're a day closer to having your celebration. Big hugs KB

Thread: stress and eating psychopathology research

posted
03-Dec-12, 19:28
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 5 years ago
Done- good luck!
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