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Cookyy2k
Saturday, 3 November 2018 at 1:46am
Friday, 9 November 2018 at 9:33pm
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Thread: PhD or job offer

posted
09-Nov-18, 21:52
Avatar for Cookyy2k
posted about 1 week ago
My personal story (your milage may vary)

I had both when I graduated. I took the job offer because it was a permanent contract at a relevant job that interested me. After 6 months I regretted not doing the PhD though, the job had zero "research" components in and I just did the same day in day out while the PhDs in our department got all the actual research (which added to that regret). I started applying to PhDs again and left after 2 years in industry. The thing I didn't expect is being very glad of those 2 years during my PhD. My boredom in that job was a great motivator but the things I learnt there like planning and delivering a project to time etc were invaluable.

I would certainly advise people in a similar position to seriously consider the job in industry as the skills you develop will be invaluable if you decide to go back to a PhD. The industry experience is also a bonus on PhD and job applications afterwards. The big downside to that though is you will be starting your career later by having deferred starting your PhD.

Thread: PhD or job offer

posted
09-Nov-18, 21:51
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for Cookyy2k
posted about 1 week ago
My personal story (your milage may vary)

I had both when I graduated. I took the job offer because it was a permanent contract at a relevant job that interested me. After 6 months I regretted not doing the PhD though, the job had zero "research" components in and I just did the same day in day out while the PhDs in our department got all the actual research (which added to that regret). I started applying to PhDs again and left after 2 years in industry. The thing I didn't expect is being very glad of those 2 years during my PhD. My boredom in that job was a great motivator but the things I learnt there like planning and delivering a project to time etc were invaluable.

I would certainly advise people in a similar position to seriously consider the job in industry as the skills you develop will be invaluable if you decide to go back to a PhD. The industry experience is also a bonus on PhD and job applications afterwards. The big downside to that though is you will be starting your career later by having deferred starting your PhD.

Thread: Thoughts of a PhD student at his wit's end

posted
09-Nov-18, 21:44
edited about 50 seconds later
Avatar for Cookyy2k
posted about 1 week ago
Unfortunately I think it is par for the course with a PhD (certainly for a STEM PhD). It really shouldn't be but it does push people to the limit for a prolonged period which we are just not built for. As you'll know with your background a little stress for a short time is there to drive you, but for a prolonged period anxiety and depression are the all too predictable results. I had never suffered from anxiety or depression in my life before my PhD, 3 years in an panic attacks had become a regular thing. We were pretty open between the students in our lab and we'd semi-jokingly compare our breakdowns that week. There was no real official support structure unfortunately and our supevision was fairly unsympathetic. My lab has a 56% non-completion rate, everyone but one of those who left while I was there was due to the mental health demands.

Only you can decided if it is "worth it". Though as you say it is a prestigious position (which comes with added stress to perform) and you are a good chunk of the way through. I found that sitting down and writing a pro/con list worked amazingly for me when I felt like quitting because I always came up with significantly more pros. That is a good one to do alone as you can see not only the reasoning but also are you more positive or negative about completing your research.

Thread: Finding an Editor

posted
05-Nov-18, 10:50
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for Cookyy2k
posted about 2 weeks ago
A word of warning on editing/proofreading services my University expressly forbid anyone from using paid services for proofing/editing of assessed work with it being held the same as plagarism for the purpose of thier regulations so definitely check with the uni regards before you pay for one.

Thread: Submitted thesis, now dreading viva

posted
03-Nov-18, 02:18
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Cookyy2k
posted about 2 weeks ago
I submitted my thesis last week and far from being a relief I am now getting less sleep and feeling more anxious than at any time during my research. I don't even have a viva date yet.

I submitted my thesis a day before my absolute deadline and for a number of reasons was unable to get any comments on it from my supervisor. I was happy with it and confident to submit but the next day the doubts began.

A little background, my PhD was industry funded and so had requirements from them along with the academic requirements. My "getting up to speed" with the industry group and helping with their initial project used a good 18 months at the start which yielded me no results for my work, just got me into the way the industrial sponsor did things.

Then I spent another 6 months tracking down a dead end in the lab meaning I had 2 years to gather data, analyse it and write it up. At the same time certain parts of the research were covered by nda. This has left me with no 1st author publications, 1 patent as a "co-inventor" and a thesis that I think feels light on results to show for 4 years worth of work.

Another problem I feel is that the only novelty comes from the fact that the piece of equipment I worked with is patented so no one else worked with it, this makes the novelty seem less of a "contribution to knowledge" and more of a development of an instrument.

The examiners could focus on my lack of publications, lack of results and the niche nature of the "novelty", then I have no real way to defend that. Saying I was working on something else for half my time for my sponsor doesn't feel exactly valid and I can't say how my thesis has contributed to knowledge in my area other than to develop an instrument.

Any advice or words of encouragement are welcome...
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