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working from home

A-level tution can pay quite well - I think I was getting 35-40 an hour + travel costs. I had students come round to my place too. Very rewarding too, one of my students went from a B to an A in a particular subject and got their place at cambridge.

Just find a tution company and join up. Helps develop good communication skills - explaining ideas etc to people.

static in hair tips

Get a fabric softner sheet like bounce and rub that over your hair!


support for my viva in December

I basically read through my thesis, carefully annotating with either typos or where I felt I might have to clarify and what I could say.

I also was told to read recent papers of the external examiner and any related papers to my thesis subject.
I reread key papers.

My viva was quite long 3 hours (my thesis was very long though), I found it extremely boring and I was very tired from lack of sleep. The external kept making points that I though were only slightly related to my subject. Most of my corrections (minor) were due to gaps from literature dated 50's 60's - I wasn't impressed but was glad it was over and done with and fell asleep on the way home.

I wouldn't worry about not having a job yet, it's not that great. It took me so much longer to submit etc because I basically had a job before I had even finished writing up.

Good luck!

no powerpoint!!?

Overhead projector is a box with a lamp and possibly a fan. No computer. Guessing you wont have one of these either.....

no powerpoint!!?

Is there an overhead projector (yes - I still remember those) so you can make up transparencies. Or a white board - you can draw stuff?

Post-doctoral fellowship pay

Not sure what your field is but post-docs in industry normally get at least 30k.


postdoc and moving to USA

Dependents of H1B visa holders cannot apply for a work permit but I believe those of J1 holders can. However I don't know if a gf can be classed as dependent?


Have you tried just drinking water (or flavoured water/squash). I used to do this a lot - end up needing a wee every 15 mins but it stopped me snacking.

How do I start a Reading Group?

I'm guessing this is the same as a journal club?

I had to attend two. The first one took place every few weeks and one person from the rota had to find an "interesting" paper and create a powerpoint presentation to discuss the paper:aims, methods, discoveries, results, conclusions, crapness of methods etc. The person had to talk for an hour (including questions) - it's flipping hard to talk about someone else's work for an hour.

The other one was every few weeks too but about 6 people would find an "interesting" paper from the field and were limited to 5 slides and about 10 mins to discuss the paper - crapness or fantasticness of methods.

Things to organise (that I can think of): You need a room with a projector and a computer booked at a particular time slot (fortnightly/monthly).
You need willing participents (postgrads/postdocs) who are in the same field (or similar field) to both attend and also to present (possibly have a presentation rota too)
Set rules - similar to the 10 mins, 5 slides only.


Last on to post on this thread wins

I can't believe this thread is still alive.....


Ricecakes or Ryvita wholemeal crispbreads (not the cardboard ones) with a smear of peanut butter (or possibly nutella - if you don't manage to eat the whole jar with a spoon first).

Fruit (dried or fresh)

Am I an idiot?

Can I recommend an A-level (+) textbook - my bible for A-level and for tutoring chemistry:

Chemistry in Context by Graham Hill and John Holman (if you aren't already using it)

I would start by looking up a particular topic in this book and then moving up to the more complex literature.

Hang in there, you will get there with a little hard work. If you get desperate, consider private tuition from one of the chemistry postdocs/phd students.

Can anyone recommend good Laptop

Toshiba is the way to go, I've had a couple of them and they are extremely reliable and VERY durable. I've stomped, kicked, dropped etc and they have always survived. One died because I left some used waxing strips on it and the wax seeped it. The second one I had to get rid of for my new work laptop.

You also need to consider desktop replacement vs lightweight. Desktop replacement = heavy but useful if you are not going to lugg it around, can have high specs, dvd drive, large screen etc.

If you want to get a mac, there are various pieces of software that allow you to simulate different OS but this might be a faff for you.

Dell is ok, good after-sales services.

Sony laptop's are stunning but you pay a not-so pretty price for the brand.

HP or Compaq are about the same price as Toshiba's but not as good (IMO)

ACER are good for the price.

fujitsu siemens - absolute crap, stay away.

If you know anyone with a Costco card and you can get to a Costco, they do excellent prices on some of these laptops.


Plagiarism is attempting to pass off someone else's work as your own. You haven't done that here - agree it would be a correction.

I'm a Dr now and it's a bit weird, very nice though!!

Well done Rubyw!