Signup date: 11 Sep 2008 at 12:06pm
Last login: 16 Jul 2014 at 7:49am
Post count: 502
This is something which I'm always pondering. I've always wanted to be a scientist, and in terms of doing research to advance mankind's knowledge, nothing can beat academia. But unless you get to the very, very top - and it takes a phenomenal amount of hard work, and probably also a little bit of being in the right place at the right time - the pay and job security/stability are dire compared to that offered by other jobs which you could use a PhD to get. As such, I'm looking at other jobs, some heavily linked to science, some less so, all of which I could use my PhD to get a foothold in, and all of which are better paid and more stable. I still have a couple of years to go, but I don't want to get to retirement age and, despite having enjoyed my career, face 15-20 years of living on the breadline. And this doesn't even take into account how academics are meant to raise families!
But wait... I got this. I replied. We've been making small talk until the early hours. The dress has been hired, and the church booked. AND NOW THIS!! The cheap little floozy. I'll show her, with her "Oh 4Matt, you're soooo amazing". I'm going to take her to the cleaners for this. She'd better have Max Clifford hired, or she's going to be in big trouble. And as for you, Dafydd and JoJo, playing her game. Sick. She's mine, and hands off!
I'm naturally a pretty shy person, and don't have much confidence. However, I did quite a lot of voluntary work as an undergrad, which involved giving presentations to fairly large (up to 80ish) groups, and so I don't have much of a problem with it now. However, there are some tips which I think can really help:
1. Don't be underprepared. Make sure you know what you're talking about, to whom, and even what kind of facilities are available in terms of projector, microphone, etc.
2. Don't be overprepared. I think the worst kind of talks/presentations are those where someone has learned their speech off by heart. I usually find myself turning off once this becomes apparent, as learning something off by heart means that intonation and expressiveness, and also body language, disappear.
3. Keep it simple. Just my own opinion, but I think that presentations which use huge amounts of powerpoint animations, sounds, and other "jazz" are superficial and often try to cover up for lack of content. That's not to say animations aren't sometimes warranted, but these groovy ways of making words appear infuriates me. One of my lecturers as an undergrad once told me "Your slides should be your cue cards". Wise words indeed, I think
4. Finally, remember that you're the expert! Whatever anyone says about your presentation, you are the expert on the topic, and not your audience - otherwise, there would be no point in them being there. I remember so many contradictions between what different lecturers have said, that it's obvious that you don't need to be perfect. Just aim to inform as much as you can.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
I think the title of The Economist is a little misleading, as the majority of the news isn't really economics focused. Admittedly, it does have a more beefy economics section than the other two magazines, but it contains a lot of other content too.
The student subscription service is a website which offers subscriptions to a large number of periodicals (mainly non-adacemic) for reduced prices, but only available to students. It's been online for ages as I remember looking at it a while ago, but I'm wondering if their offers are too good to be true and if there must be a catch.
I'm thinking of subscribing to a news magazine, and was wondering if anyone has read, more than once, Time, The Economist, or Newsweek, and whether they could recommend one or another. Time seems thinner, but is a lot cheaper than the Economist, and I don't know that much about Newsweek.
Also, has anyone used student-subscription-service.co.uk to subscribe to anything?
Claudia, we're using a plant extract, and it's of a different lot number to that used by the postdoc. I've tested it and it seems to have a similar activity, although that's only one parameter and, being a biological extract, it could be quite different. I've email the results to the postdoc anyway, and she's going to let me know what she thinks...
Thanks for your replies.
I think the quirky bits are included, but the problem is that I work with cells which can be unpredictable, and even my supervisor says they often "misbehave". Added to that the fact that I'm exposing them to something else of biological origin, and which itself is a little bit temperamental, and perhaps it becomes a bit more understandable.
My supervisors knows about the problems we're having, as I see her every week, and I'd much rather be open rather than spend 10 weeks pretending something is working when it sometimes isn't.
I'm currently finishing up some work started by a postdoc who left a couple of months ago, so that we can get a publication, but I'm really worried that my experiment, which is running at the moment, won't work. My experiments of late have only been working about 75% of the time, which normally wouldn't be too bad, but the fact that someone else has managed to do them, and that I'm following their protocol, means that if I tell my supervisor that, for whatever reason, the results aren't how they should be, and that something has clearly gone wrong, then I feel incompetent. I have no idea why things aren't working, and obviously if I did, I could rectify it, but it feels like I'm pouring time and money down the drain and I have only myself to blame.
There, rant over :(
I think it's easy to get disheartened in first year (and second and third too!) about time, workload etc. For what it's worth, I'm in my first year of PhD proper, although it's the second year of a 1+3. I generally get to work at about 9.15, and stay until about 6ish. Depending on the day, I may be in the lab a lot, or at my desk most of the time, and when I'm at my desk, I sometimes mess around on the internet etc. I also usually work one last morning/afternoon at the weekend, at home. I reckon, then, that I'm either at work or in "work mode" for about 48-50 hours a week, although I'm not actually doiing proper work all this time.
I don't see why you can't put "Funding from studentship or research council (ESRC)". To put something else, especially if untrue, would be a bit strange. If you intend to fund yourself, fine, but I can't see how else you could state this - "By printing money in my bedroom" would be on alternative, although they certainly wouldn't like that...
I'm currently looking for a way to back up my work. I already use dropbox, but I'm thinking of getting a removable hard disk. Can anyone recommend something portable, reliable, not too expensive, probably around the 500GB range, maybe 1TB depending on cost?
Thanks very much.
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