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Nesrine87
Friday, 14 November 2014 at 9:52am
Wednesday, 1 August 2018 at 4:00pm
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page 1 of 8 recent posts

Thread: What to put in a funding cover letter?

posted
13-Aug-18, 12:06
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 6 days ago
Hi all,

I've written loads of cover letters for jobs but never one for funding. I'd really appreciate some feedback on what are the best things to put in it. The application is for research support funding and requires:

1) Cover letter
2) CV
3) 2000-word research proposal
4) written work

There are no details about what exactly should go in the cover letter or research proposal.

So far, I have three paragraphs in the cover letter:

1) brief info about me/my current position, brief outline of the project and why the funding is necessary ('I'm poor!')
2) how the research aligns closely with the funder's interests
3) highlighting why the project is a original/significant contribution to scholarship and some prizes awarded for previous stages of the project

Does that sound about right? Is there something important i'm forgetting? Thanks for your help! Couldn't find anything on Google!

Thread: British Academy / Leverhulme postdocs - sending more than one internal application?

posted
04-Aug-18, 09:13
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi, thanks for responding! Yes, you understand my question. Thanks a lot for your input!

Thread: British Academy / Leverhulme postdocs - sending more than one internal application?

posted
02-Aug-18, 13:15
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 2 weeks ago
Bump! Sorry - hopefully someone has some advice?

Thread: British Academy / Leverhulme postdocs - sending more than one internal application?

posted
01-Aug-18, 16:11
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi everyone,

I'm looking into applying for these postdoc schemes this and possibly next year (I'm a little late for the BA now I think).

I think in all(?) cases, the university at which you want to do your project has to nominate you as one of their candidates.

I managed to get nominated by a uni for the BA last year and ultimately wasn't successful in the main competition but was invited to apply again. I would still need to get through the internal competition though. For the Leverhulme, I didn't get past the internal stage. My research record is stronger now so I'm hoping for a better outcome!

My question is this: I want to maximise my chances of getting through the internal stage which is already very competitive. Would it be wise or possibly unethical to submit internal applications to a number of universities? Not dozens, maybe 2-3. I'm really don't know if this is common practice or whether it's very much frowned-upon.

I'm aware that I'd need to contact a mentor in each institution, so in the event that I managed to succeed in more than one internal application (hah), I'd have to contact those mentors and say I was going somewhere else (which could be awkward I guess).

Anyway, sorry if this is a stupid question - I'm a bit new to the world of postdocs, so any advice would be really helpful! Thanks for reading.

Thread: Networking? Tips for meeting a more senior person in the field...

posted
18-Jul-17, 19:33
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi Tudor_Queen,

Your initial ideas are all good and I think they'd get conversation going unless this senior person is super awkward and shy which hopefully won't be the case! If the conference is in an interesting location, you could also ask whether they're visited the place before and/or whether they'll have any time for sightseeing? I've had success with that in the past, as sometimes people do like to take a break from academic matters.

You could also ask about more 'technical' things like experience with fieldwork or whether they've been to a certain library/archives (sorry, I don't know what field you're in...but I'm guessing history from your username?). I have to access lots of collections for my field (art history) and people love trading 'war stories' about dealing with difficult staff! Asking for their opinion about specific conference presentations or papers you've found interesting might work too? This can stress me out a bit but if you're more confident than me, it could be a fruitful line of enquiry. Or maybe if you're thinking of submitting an article, they might be able to tell you about their experience with certain journals? Sorry, I'm rambling a bit but just trying to think of some options! Hope I helped!

Thread: Familiarising myself with examiners' work...?

posted
12-Jul-17, 10:09
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi chickpea,

Thanks a lot for this. I'll try to focus on where our work overlaps or where they have a strong POV rather than trying to skim read everything they've ever written...

It feels like I've forgotten everything in the three months since handing in my thesis but hopefully it'll all come back to me with the adrenaline rush!

Thread: Familiarising myself with examiners' work...?

posted
11-Jul-17, 12:48
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi everyone,

I'm preparing for my viva which is next Monday. I've read advice recommending that you should be familiar with your examiners' work, which makes sense.

However, I don't know exactly what that means in practical terms. I've referenced my examiners (both external by the way) several times in my thesis but I wouldn't say I know their work inside out. They're both pretty senior as well so I don't think I'll have time to read loads of article by both of them!

I'm also not sure how to translate what they've written about into potential questions they might ask. Maybe I'm over-thinking this? I just want to be prepared and not make a fool of myself.

I'm also 8 months pregnant so I feel like my brain is slowly turning to mush D:

Thanks for your help!

Thread: Asking examiners questions at the end of the viva

posted
06-Jul-17, 09:11
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Thanks everyone for your replies.

Yeah I thought it was a bit weird that I hadn't come across anything about asking the examiners questions...clearly I need to do a bit more reading!

Either way, it's good to know that I could have the opportunity to ask a couple of questions after the main discussion is over.

Thread: Asking examiners questions at the end of the viva

posted
05-Jul-17, 16:14
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
After the main discussion is finished, I was wondering whether it was normal for the examiners to ask the candidate whether they had any questions. Or, if they don't ask, whether the candidate could ask if it's okay to ask a few questions (assuming it hasn't gone terribly and I just want to run away and cry). I couldn't find any information on the internet/in books about this and wonder whether it's purely up to the examiners.

For example, since I'm being examined by two senior, respected scholars, I'd like to know their opinion on turning my thesis into a monograph and what advice they might have. I thought it would also be a good opportunity for some general careers advice from someone other than my supervisor. However, I don't know if it's inappropriate during the viva or whether they might think it's a bit weird.

Thanks for your help!

Thread: Mentioning difficult family members in thesis acknowledgements

posted
16-Mar-17, 10:16
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Great, thanks a lot Hugh!

Thread: Mentioning difficult family members in thesis acknowledgements

posted
15-Mar-17, 14:29
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi TreeofLife,

Thanks for this. I've started drafting in the meantime and have come up with this (not dissimilar to what you wrote):

"Thank you to my family for their love and support, particularly my brother (xxx), for (silly joke that I won't put online)."

I've thanked my mum on a separate dedication page.

Thread: Mentioning difficult family members in thesis acknowledgements

posted
15-Mar-17, 14:04
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi everyone,

I've read a few threads on here already about how people are planning on writing their acknowledgements. I have a specific question and would be grateful for any advice from someone who's been through something similar.

I don't have a problem thanking anybody except my father. We have a very difficult relationship and he was not a good father to me (I don't want to go into more details). We maintain a very limited amount of contact especially as he lives thousands of miles away.

Technically, he's not been unsupportive of the PhD process but rather uninterested. He asks 'how's it going?' once in a while and I say 'fine'. I don't feel the need to thank him as everyone I am thanking actually did help/support me in some way. However, I feel guilty as he has helped me financially prior to the PhD. I also know that he may lash out if he finds out that I didn't thank him (though part of me doesn't care as I'm not responsible for his reaction).

This is a bit silly I guess, but I also wonder what to say if people question why I didn't thank him. I will probably appear cold...

I am thanking my brother, who has been great, and dedicating the thesis to my mum who died 6 years ago.

I hope this makes sense. Sorry if not. Hopefully someone here knows what I'm talking about and can help me decide what to do. Thanks!

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
11-Jan-17, 10:40
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Thanks again for your responses!

I'm not exactly sure about their reputations as examiners - to be honest, I know very little about this aspect in relation to scholars from my field but my supervisor is on friendly terms with both examiners and has known them for a long time so I would hope that they would want to be 'on my side' if you know what I mean. My supervisor (and I) made a mistake in the past picking someone who was quite hostile for my upgrade which was a nightmare so I think we're both being very wary about that again.

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
10-Jan-17, 10:20
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your responses so far!

I have also heard that younger scholars can be harsher for the same reasons that you've already outlined but as awsoci said, I suppose this is mainly based on anecdotal evidence.

I am able to wait for a couple of extra months since after I hand in my thesis, I will be starting a part-time research assistant position with my supervisor. I could also spend time trying to get articles published.

After thinking about it and hearing your advice, I will probably go for the more experienced examiner in July. My SO (who's also a PhD student) pointed out that examiners can also act as academic references so it could be useful to have two 'big names' to ask if necessary.

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
09-Jan-17, 21:07
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 1 year ago
Hi everyone,

I'm on course to submit my thesis by the end of February (assuming nothing disastrous happens). Hopefully, this means I can have my viva in around May. In my uni, PhD candidates have two examiners.

One has already agreed. He is a leader in my subject area and would be a great examiner so I'm happy about that. My supervisor has just found out that the other proposed examiner unfortunately is on sabbatical in America (I'm in the U.K.) until July so if we picked her as the second examiner, my viva would be delayed until July. This potential examiner is very well respected professor and has a good publication record.

The alternate is a good scholar but she is younger and her publication record is understandably much shorter. I think she got her PhD in 2011. She is currently an assistant prof.

Do you think it is worth delaying the viva for the more well-established scholar? I almost never see 'examiners' mentioned on CVs etc so maybe it's not that much of a big deal? My supervisor knows both women personally and can vouch that both would be good examiners so it'd probably be fine to go for either but I'd be grateful for others' opinions. As you can imagine, I don't have much experience in this area!

Thanks a lot for your help!
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