Overview of Nead

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Advice for 1st year conference abstract

I would write one/two lines on the background of the study. A line or two on the research question. A few lines on the methods you plan to use. Finally, end with a few line on teh potenial impact of the study.

Concerned I made the right choice of university...

TBH I find this frustrating.
It similar to Ireland with IoTs and NUI. It shouldn't matter where you do your PhD. It what you get out of it, that important. You could go to a top uni and struggle to get employed post PhD, have a horrible PhD experience and not enjoy it. Likewise, this could happen at a "lesser" uni.
I think you need you to look at the bigger picture, what are the pro and cons of where ever you decided to do your research, will you have the opportunity to published etc? How many students will your supervisor have? Do they have the facilities you need?
Just because you go to a poly-tech doesn't mean you have to stay at one, your cv, skills and publication will speak for themself.
Personally, I went to an IoT (like a poly-tech) and now work as a post-doc in a NUI ("seen" as the top uni in Ireland), nobody judged me on getting my PhD in a IoT !

Going from Level 6 or Level 7 to Masters Degree

Hi Andrew,

I'm unsure what country you in. Generally, if you looking at levels in NFQ system, you need to go level 6 to 7 to 8 and then masters, or level 6 to 8 to master. This can also depend on how much experience you have in the area as well. But from my understanding, you need a Level 8 to start a master, but I could be wrong.
Personally, I would find the master course you want to do, and email the uni and get there advice. They should be able to give you help and the correct answer

Article Request

I have access to the paper, how will I send it to you ?

Tips on time management

When I was doing my correction, I was also working full time. I would leave for work at 6 am and would not get home until 8 pm, after cooking dinner I was in no mood to look at corrections. I had an hour lunch break in work, I would grab something quick to eat and then do by correction for 45 mins, within two weeks I had them done. Can you do the on a lunch break .. not ideal but might help ?

Job woes

Hi Sciencegirl

Try to get down on this. I was applying for jobs for 6 months in both industry and academia, before I got a job offer. I was applying to about 4 jobs a week. I started applying before submitting my thesis. I found industry telling me I had no relevant experience after multiple interviews. I eventually got a job as a contract researcher for in a field completely different from my PhD, but using some of the same skill set. I took it and continue to apply to other roles, and within 3 months of that, I was offered a post-doc (related to my PhD) by a prof, who is well known in the area (Didn't think I stood a chance of getting it). I don't know where you're from, but where I live the last quarter of the year sucks applying for jobs, company and academic are at the end of their yearly budget, money tight, and admin staff are being pulled in a different direction, and hiring new staff isn't top of the list.

My tips
1. Change your CV to suit every job application- make sure the skills they want you to have are clearly shown in your CV.
2. Keep a list of jobs you have applied to - you don't want to send your CV to them twice
3. Try applying for roles that you have skills for- they don't have to be in the same area as your PhD.
4. Send speculative CV to wear you'd like to work
5. In interviews make sure you asked question at the end- The question I found a lot of people like is - How does your company/dept measure the KPI of the personal ? or in research goals, what target do you see your lab achieving over the next 6 months to a year.
6. Look up salary and make sure when they ask you what you're looking for you don't over or underprice yourself out of the competition.

In terms of thesis correction, remember there is a deadline in which they have to be submitted. When you do get a job it will be harder to get them done. I had my job a month, took time off for my viva and then had to do correction in the evening. It was tough after a long day in work.

Anyone here use Linux?

Hi Tudor Queen,
I used Linux on my laptop, mainly for computational biology and stats. I run it as a virtual machine. When I'm running codes (some can take 30 mins to run depending on data sizes) I browse the web, edit documents, read papers, etc. It quite straight forward and I personally find it grand to use. However, I know some of my friends hate it and will make sure they have other stuff to do when running programs on it. I run my VM on an HP laptop which has 8 GB RAM, 1TB HDD and has intel 1 core i3 processor ( this was bought for my PhD- and has lasted very well).
You should be able to transition easily. However, in saying that, if I was buying a new laptop I would personally stick with Windows, and only used Linux if software needed. In my new job they supplied me with a new laptop, I haven't bother with a virtual machine for Linux on it yet, and will more than likely just keep using my own laptop for that work.
In terms of laptop spec.. any should work.

Is it common to pay for binding and printing yourself or does the lab normally pay?

My copies for examiner were printed from my college account and I paid the binding, it was like ten euro. When it came to hard copies, in the college I was in, the student pays. It is also customary to offer hardback to your supervisors. Four supervisors, 5 copies (1 is required for the colleges' library, and muct be given to graduate) of the thesis, set be back just let than 400 euro. Expensive, but I was told of this in my first year so I had put money aside.

Mistakes early on and new place and culture

It is a lot to move halfway across the world and start a PhD. We all make mistakes when we start, for instance for two weeks I was incubating my plates the wrong side up and couldn't figure out why nothing was grown. Keep with it though. I always found writing out the step to experiment before I started beneficial, as well as having everything I would need organised and laid out in the order they are needed. I am presuming you are doing a lot of molecular work, which can be very temperamental. Make sure if you're stuck you ask for help or seek guidance. We have all been there before. I have help new PhD student in the lab and much prefer when the come looking for help, to take notes and ask as many questions as they like and come back to me if they're still confused/stuck. A PhD is a learning experience, you'll have highs and lows and its all about finding the right balance.

Postdoc reference

I get that, but it's also understandable for them to look for the latest employer. Two years with any employer is a long time, and it's understandable that they want yo ask them .
If I'm been honest, id want to ask them to. I'd find it weird if someone was working with someone for two years and wasn't willing for them to be contacted. Maybe email HR asking is it a necessary and explain you don't want to my your current role in jeperody. For HR , looking for references is a tick the box job. Could you even ask your current job for a written reference for your records and pass that on to them ? Alternatively could you ask a manger to give the references rather that a senior staff or director ?
Alternatively you don't give them permission to get the reference and could end up losing a job offer

Postdoc reference

I don't thinks it's odd that they are asking this. I've just accepted a post doc and due to start in two weeks. I was asked for references and a copy of my thesis before I was given a job offer. I'm my experience they won't give you a formal offer until your references check out. I'm currently working as a research assistant. For that job they also checked my references before any offer.

Personally, I would give them the reference, but kindly make it know that you only want your current employer contacted if a job offer is being considered.
By asking your current job for a reference shouldn't effect your current job. They should be honest in there references. They other side is do you want to work for a company that offer little progression ?

I know it hard call, but I'd give the reference information. At least if you do get the job offer, your current employer will have an idea that your looking elsewhere. Which should make handing in a notice a slight bit easier

Post doc tips ?

Hi all,
I am due to start a post doc in the coming weeks. I never taught I'd get this position in this uni. If I'm been honest even my PhD PI was slightly shocked too ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Imposter syndrome has started. Had anyone got any useful tips on starting as a post doc in a new research group in a new city ?
Thanks in advance

Too early to prepare for the viva?

I submitted in May and my viva was in July. I began a job in the middle of June. I had prep in May in knowing about the job but still ended up spending a week prepping before the day. If I was to go back I wouldn't of doing anything in May and doing it all in July. Prepping to early did make me anxious and more nervous

How Long Did you Wait for your Viva?

I submitted my thesis early May. I received an email about two weeks later, stating the week the examiners were thinking. The following week I got the date. From submitting to viva day it was ten weeks (viva was last week). There no harm in following up your examination office /dept/ or supervisor. They should be able to give an expect timeframe on when you might hear !

dyslexia and MA -is it possible?

I'm dyslexic..drafts took a bit longer to write and re read before sending to supervisors..it's very doable.. passed my viva today and enjoy the whole PhD process