Overview of Mattfabb

Overview

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Mattfabb
Sunday, 21 February 2016 at 7:19pm
Sunday, 18 February 2018 at 11:14am
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page 1 of 3 recent posts

Thread: A report after 3 years of PhD without scholarship

posted
18-Feb-18, 11:13
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 2 days ago
Thank you Luca

Thread: Make writing fun

posted
27-Jan-18, 16:28
edited about 36 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Not sure what you mean by fun,

But I normally first write something down knowing its going to be crap, and that the real writing starts with rewriting.

It’s a bit like this: I dont feel daunted the first time because I expect it to be bad. Then the second time I go back to it I say to myself ‘does this make sense, can I argue against what I wrote here?’

So the game is trying to find faults with the things I wrote before. I am kind of criticising myself. I find it funny that my past self could be so wrong. “What was I thinking!’.

Thats my game.

Thread: Doing postdoctoral research in Japan

posted
27-Jan-18, 16:11
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Has anybody had the chance of doing postdoctoral reseach in Japan? How was your experience? What did you like/dislike?

Thread: Going mad?

posted
04-Apr-17, 07:27
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 10 months ago
A year into my PhD I was sick of reading about my initial topic. One day I opened the door to the PhD room and felt actually sick. I was ready to give up, but my super convinced me to change the focus of my project. It worked, and I got my PhD in 2014.

For me it got to the point where the I was just reading papers for the sake of reading them, not because I was looking for specific info. I now realised I was hoping to find some answers, some clues, because I had no idea of what interested me.

I think maybe it could be a sign? Maybe you're unhappy with you topic or the direction you're going and you need to re-evaluate it? It's nothing to be ashamed of, and it is normal to change your mind about stuff as you mature intellectually.

Thread: How brave were you in starting your PHD?

posted
29-Dec-16, 21:17
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 2 years ago
Quote From blocksof:
I completed the research for my Master's and been reading up in the area I'm interested in ever since, again the proposal is soo niche that it falls under sustainable energy, efficient buildings, micro generation & DNG and electrical engineering. To answer you question on no previous research, I thought PhD was to research new ideas and proposals?


If you want to know my opinion, the problem a lot of people have with their PhD (including me) is that they expect way to much of themselves. You are not supposed to revolutionise your field. You are just making a contribution to existing knowledge. A PhD research project in UK has to be doable in 3-4 years, and realistically speaking, in those 3-4 years you are also learning to become an academic, so you have to attend conferences and teach if possible. Think of the PhD as getting a driving licence. The PhD is just a piece of paper that proves you can do independent research. Your hypothesis must be original, of course, but you are not expected to create a new field of knowledge by yourself. Your examiners would eat you alive at the viva.

So, going back to your point, is there enough evidence out there for you to sink your teeth in? Do you already have enough material to be able to formulate an initial hypothesis? If so, that would be a good starting point!

Thread: How brave were you in starting your PHD?

posted
26-Dec-16, 08:18
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
No previous research? Or do you mean, you havent done any research yet?

Because if it's the former, then I dont think it's a good idea to do a PhD on it. If it's the latter, then you should start reading. I think in about 2-3 months you shoud be able to gain enough insight in the field to be able to put together a proposal.

Thread: Adjusting from commercial work to PhD

posted
26-Dec-16, 07:57
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posted about 2 years ago
I agree with pm133, research at the MA level doesent really count for the PhD. I was wondering: what do you mean about lack of response? And being ostracised? Can you make specific examples?

In my experience dept. Politics were not an issue for me. Make sure to be polite to all the secretaries and the admin people, because (maybe unlike in the commercial world?) if you make enemies with Uni admins you will be well and truly fucked. Apart for that, it seems to me you are taking this pretty badly, feeling insecure and projecting these insecurities onto others.

Thread: Mental health as a PhD student

posted
04-Dec-16, 13:36
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posted about 2 years ago
I didnt suffer from mental health issues but I went to see a consellor at my uni toward the end of my first year because I was hating my research project and wanted to change the direction of my research.

In my experience at the beginning if the PhD I was not clear about what was expected of me and what my thesis shoukd have looked like. Things changed for me when I started thinking 'fuck this, it doese not have to be great, it just needs to be good enough to graduate'. After that it became easier to write.

Most importnstnthing for your mental health is your super. Its important to have somebody supportive.

Thread: How much do doctoral gowns cost to buy?

posted
05-Nov-16, 07:19
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posted about 2 years ago
Yes, espensive and useless.

Thread: Advisor Stepped Down: Don't Really Know Why

posted
03-Nov-16, 12:34
edited about 36 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
You believed your computer was possessed? I think that is a clear sign of delusion. Something similar happened to friend of mine, and she also had to be hospitalized for some time because of that.

Sometimes the stress gets too much and its important to know when to switch off. People in academia may be odd in some ways but I also feel that people outside academia are even odder IMO. Nowadays in academia you need to be able to attract fundings and collaborate with others, and its unlikely to achieve either goal if you dont know how to get on with people.

One thing however: you speak of academia like its one big thing, but it's not! Academics are a varied bunch and universities are all different. Science deptartments are different from Humanities. Supers are individuals and unique. There is no such a thing as 'academia' - there is your super, there are examiners, there are secretaries who you deal with on a day to day basis. Everything else is irrelevant for a PhD student. You are not writing for academia, you are writing for 2 examiners. Nobody else will assess your thesis.

Hope this helps. I just wanted to say that you should not think about academics in too abstract terms at this point, or it may become another source of delusion.

Thread: Do you ever feel like people don't get what you do?

posted
24-Oct-16, 18:02
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 2 years ago
I started my PhD in 2011 and my son was born in 2012, so I was looking after him throughout my PhD. I think, to be fair, that if you are living with your family and are not paying them rent or food, at least you have to help out when you can. I dont know how old you are but as an adult, there's no way you can simply live off the back of others and not give anything back. If you dont like, you can always move out.

My advice is to sit down with your family and try to work out a routine so that you can plan ahead; for me, I found that knowing that I had a limited time to write really helped me to focus on writing a certain amounts of words every afternoon. Besides, I felt really lonely as a PhD student so being with my son really helped me.

Thread: 1 year after defense, still unemployed

posted
22-Oct-16, 19:02
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 2 years ago
Quote From Dunham:
Quote From Mattfabb:
But really, Wallace, 'ruined your life'? I may be technically unemployed, but I am so happy to have my PhD..


Why? I can totally relate to that thought. Maybe it makes it easier for you to accept that things didn't turn out as you planned if you keep telling yourself how great that PhD degree is but you must really be incredibly idealistic to not come to the conclusion that this was maybe not the best decision. Can still turn out alright, but the thought itself is pretty normal. Some people want things like a family, a house or vacation and none of them you get with a PhD. You get it with a paying job.


The point I was trying to make is that before the PhD, the best I could hope for was some rather badly paid job in my field. Now that I am looking for a lecturing position, the starting salaries are something else altogether. Of course I am still freelancing as I need to, but I know its only a matter of time before I get the position I want. In the meantime, I keep publishing and giving guest lectures. It's not idealistic, I feel, to be proud of your achievements.

Thread: 1 year after defense, still unemployed

posted
21-Oct-16, 17:41
edited about 34 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
I am in a similar position, finished my PhD last year, applied for lecturing jobs but nothing so far. There's however a reason for that I think: not enough publications, not enough teaching experience, no proven ability to attract external fundings. I am working on all 3; so things are getting better. But really, Wallace, 'ruined your life'? I may be technically unemployed, but I am so happy to have my PhD. I can give lectures and travel to conferences. I love speaking to people interested in my field. Try to be more positive! Besides, once you will get a job, you will still have to put up with stress and maybe lack of satisfaction, not to mention pressure to produce research and attract funding.

Thread: Can I please ask what you did within the first 6 months of your PhD? What did you achieve? Hours?etc

posted
16-Oct-16, 19:41
edited about 36 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
Quote From Maria212:
@ Mattfabb – Many thanks for your email. When you were reading about your topic did you used to read books from cover to cover or did you used to do selective reading…? And if you don’t mind me asking how many books did you used to read each week…? I am a part time student and do selective reading from about 5 books but I have found it exhausting and quite challenging as I like to spend more time understanding what I am reading as opposed to just reading for the sake of it but at the same time I feel as though I am not doing enough….!! Any insight you can give me on how you approached your literature review would be very useful to me. Hope you can help. I’m finding it a daunting task!!!


Hi Maria

I like reading and I think, to an extent, that I spent too much time reading at the beginning of my PhD. Always be selective with your reading. I think that you need to read stuff that is pertinent to your field, and try to see if there is anything that you can see that has not been addressed yet. You should be reading with a purpose: see what has been said, and, more importantly, where you can make a contribution.

So: read a whole book from cover to cover if you must, but only if you are looking for evidence that can lead you to think further about your topic.

The problem for me was that I kept reading without really knowing what I was looking for, so everytime I read something, I would get sidetracked, and it would take me a week to get back to what I was originally looking for. ALWAYS ask yourself, as you are reading "how is this useful for my project?". Can you use some quotes to strenghten your argument, or as a target against which you can aim your criticism?

Thread: Do any of you have a good supervisor? What is s/he like?

posted
12-Oct-16, 19:14
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
I had two good supers. One was young and I was her first PhD student. She read everything I wrote, gave me loads of feedback, and was overall very supportive. The other was my head of school, she was really experienced, and knew a lot about structure and how to finish a project on time. Together, they covered every angle.
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