The irony of the word 'student'

posted
13-Sep-17, 04:00
by iwan
Avatar for iwan
posted about 1 week ago
the term 'student' is meant to describe someone who generally is not on the 'same level' as you. In my lab at least, the postdocs would refer phd candidates as students. They will go like, ''ahh its normal for him to make a mistake, because he is still a student'. But between PhD candidates, a student is an undergrad.

Does this thing only occur in my lab?
posted
13-Sep-17, 09:20
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
Yeh, but the thing is we are PhD students. Postdocs have graduated and earned their doctorate, whereas we are still in the process. So that does make us students! I tend to refer to undergraduate students as "undergrads", but then I'm a bit particular! Just out of curiosity - how do you refer to yourself and fellow PhD students? On some forms at my uni I know it says "doctorate researcher".
posted
13-Sep-17, 11:46
edited about 45 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Actually, I consider postdocs to be students as well. I know some academics do so too.
Until you have a permanent academic job, you havent proven yourself to those who matter for your career and therefore undergrads, postgrads and postdocs are all on the same spectrum in my eyes.
Others may disagree.

I wouldnt let any of this bother you to be honest.
posted
13-Sep-17, 13:18
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
That's interesting pm133. I wasn't aware that view existed. In my department, some PhD students have gone straight on to a permanent lectureship. But the postdocs are very highly respected because of their research. Guess it is different everywhere.
posted
13-Sep-17, 15:42
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
That's interesting pm133. I wasn't aware that view existed. In my department, some PhD students have gone straight on to a permanent lectureship. But the postdocs are very highly respected because of their research. Guess it is different everywhere.


In my experience only a few postdocs I can think of stood out head and shoulders above the best PhD students. I only recall two of them who I thought were genuinely exceptional. Most of them are simply, paraphrasing the words of a German academic who posted this on a blog, "haunting universities the length and breadth of the world with no hope of ever securing a permanent position". His advice is that you should do a few years as postdoc and then leave if you don't have a permanent place. Mind you he also thinks too many people do PhDs in the first place. I can't agree with anyone who thinks increasing your knowledge and skills base is a negative thing. Personally I think people should be left alone to work out what is best for them. I know many people who did exactly this and were in their early 40s before getting their first permanent job. That sends a shiver down my spine but for some people this lifestyle works.

You know what it's like though - too many people with waaaaaaay too much to say about too many people, without being asked for their opinion :-D
posted
13-Sep-17, 18:28
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 1 week ago
According to universities, anyone doing a BSc, MSc or PhD is a student in the UK. These people do not have contracts of employment, so they are not employees. We are all called students at my uni - usually "undergrads" and "postgrads". Postdocs on the other hand, are not students, they are employees. They may be trainees, but they are not students.

The hierarchy of knowledge is obvious once you make the transition - of course I know more than undergrads and MSc/PhD students about my particular field now, so it's easy to think of them as students with a lot to learn, after all, I spend a lot of time training and advising them. I'm sure my former PhD supervisors think the same about me and about their postdocs and junior colleagues. When I think back to how little I knew in the first year of my PhD compared to now...

This is a useful infographic:
http://www.labspaces.net/blog/1444/How_people_in_science_see_each_other_
posted
13-Sep-17, 18:36
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
I can so easily identify myself without reading the labels... ok, my hair isn't like that, but still... I pull it out daily.
posted
16-Sep-17, 00:30
Avatar for blocksof
posted about 5 days ago
I just identify myself as the horrible decomposing material found on the the sole of your foot as you walk thorough a Romany mine field.

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