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Taking time off after PhD

I am an international as well and I know how you feel. Pragmatically, I wouldn't take a year off. I would take a job immediately with a decent salary in Europe. I would try to visit my family at my home country whenever I get the chance (Christmas, annual leave, Easter etc). I would even try to bring my father to spend a few days/weeks/months with me in Europe because hey I can afford it with the decent job I have. But if I went home and stayed jobless I would feel depressed very soon even if I had the money and I would be an extra burden on my family. and who knows what my chances would be like after a year off. After all, that is my opinion and you have to know what is best for you depending on so many other factors. You always gain something by sacrificing another and it is up to you to decide how to balance your gain/loss.

Email etiquette... how would you reply to this person?

You should address people in a way that reflects your personality and manners no matter what. Don't let other's style affect your classy way of crafting an e-mail. I would still use (Dear/ first name) in my first e-mail regardless how I was addressed. I hold myself to certain standards and I don't expect others to hold the same standards as mine.

Every time I hear Elon Musk I feel a pity about PhD

Very few people on earth are capable of doing what Elon Musk is doing. He is also making a lot of sacrifices in every aspect of his personal life to get that career success. Also the guy has had enormous failures throughout his career that a few human beings can bear. So it is really not helping to compare yourself to him in a destructive manner. Yes take inspirations from him and his way of thinking and try to implement some of his wisdom for the progression of your career and that's it. However, that does not mean by age of 28 (or any age milestone for that matter) we all have to have started our businesses and making lots of money because this isn't how it works for the majority of people. The only one you should compare yourself to is yourself in the past. Are you today a better version of yourself? if yes then you are fine if not see what aspects you can improve so that tomorrow you can be better.

what this means?

He/She does not have ensured funding at the moment to take you in. Apply somewhere else as you may wait a year and things may not change.

I would reply something like that. " thank you for getting back to me and informing me of the situation.I shall get in touch again next year......."

to brush up on basics or not

In my opinion the basics are really crucial. Very often knowledge of basics can make you extract data out of some results you would have binned otherwise. eng77 suggestion is spot on. I would suggest to read one comprehensive textbook in your field. that would provide you with a solid base you can build upon.

A really steep learning curve and I'm stressed :( Help!

This is normal. I never saw my supervisor in the lab. Almost everything is done independently during a phD. There is no reason to be ashamed at all if you fail an experiment or 100s as long as you learn from the previous mistakes. In fact, your supervisors make mistakes more than you think. A good supervisor will introduce you to a few people (postdocs/technicians/phD students) who are good at different areas so you can pester them and learn how they do their stuff. Some of them will be helpful so embrace them and learn as much as you can, and others won't be as helpful so you need to persevere to extract knowledge from them if they have what you need. It also serves you well to be prepared theoretically (reading manuals/protocols/troubleshooting) before you enter the lab at all. An hour on your computer will save you 10 hours in the lab.

PhD research position

yes it is possible to study a PhD in economics even if your background is in something else (e.g math or computer science). After all you have to know why you wanna do a PhD in either fields and if you have the right skill set to do so. what are your goals and is a phD necessary to achieve them?

Reassure me- I’m about to quit!

You have not said why you want to quit and why "it's just not for you". Some perspective may help others give sound advice.

what are my chances of getting a funding for my phd

The more applications you make, the higher your chances will be. Of course these applications should be of acceptable standard and tailored to each position.
Since you are an international, limit your applications only to positions that offer funding to overseas students. FindaPhD is a good starting point t. I am an international and I got my PhD scholarship through it.

Best of luck

Is it possible to link your phD to industry scheme after staring?

I am an international PhD student in biomedical sciences in UK at the end of my first year. I am funded for my phD by the university except for the tuition fees difference between UK and international rate (difference = £9000 per year). I am wondering if it is somehow possible to link my project to industry so that they can fund me for the rest of the following years and assuming my supervisor has no problem with that. I understand that this will also have effect on intellectual property and such things but I am just curious to see if someone has done this before or similar approaches.


3rd yeard PhD and I feel hopeless

Quote From pm133:
What worked for me was designing my thesis into chapters to get the overall "plot". I then subdivided each chapter into a series of headings, subheadings etc until each chunk required no more than 3 to 6 pages and was a self contained unit. I did all of this without writing a single word. Each chunk of a few pages was easier to manage and writing was easy. An additional benefit of doing this was that I kept the plot intact and everything flowed seamlessly. My further drafts were then fairly easy as well. This is a trick I learned as a software engineer. You dont write a line of code until you have broken everything down into manageable pieces. I have seen countless people broken by the experience of writing and thinking as you write. The job becomes overwhelming and the result is an absolute mess.

This is the best advice in my opinion. thanks pm133

Will I be too old to apply for Ph.D. at the age of 30

I have several PhD colleagues who are in their late 30s and 40s, so as others already have said age isn't an issue. However, just because your colleagues are going for a PhD doesn't mean that they are going to be better off. Each path has its own pros and cons depending on your circumstances. Go for a PhD if you think that it will benefit you in the end (whether going into academia or getting positions in industry that necessitate having one).
Best Wishes

Supervisor Question

Normally PhD students are not advised to teach in the first year of their studies to focus on their projects. I am a first year phD student and that is what I was told when I asked. So I think it is normal.

How much reading did you do in your first year?

If you carefully read one paper/day (in my field papers are normally 7-10 pages) that will amount to more than 360 papers a year which I suppose will be more than enough. Quality reading and consistency is the key here.
Imagine having fairly understood almost 1000 papers (more or less) after 3 years. I guess that would make you an expert in the field and worthy of a PhD in the end.