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Phormulater
Friday, 25 April 2014 at 12:07am
Friday, 13 January 2017 at 10:41pm
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Thread: Post doc- an adventure abroad?!

posted
13-Jan-17, 22:46
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
Thanks for the replies. I will be sure to check out the link provided. Ah yes....Brexit...(face in hands whilst nodding sadly)
bewildered- Do you work in the UK now?

Thread: Post doc- an adventure abroad?!

posted
07-Jan-17, 12:19
edited about 10 seconds later
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posted about 1 year ago
Hi All
So I tried searching and couldn't find anything similar. I was looking to hear from people who had gone from an English speaking country to Europe or another non English speaking country (ie other than Aus, Can,USA,NZ) to do a Post Doc. Particularly I'm looking to hear from those who did a PhD in the UK-which is where I am now. I am giving serious thought to this as I like learning languages and learning about new cultures. My field is cellular immunology. Also if you know of anyone who had gone over, I'd appreciate an introduction/being put in contact as I'd be fascinated to hear about their ups and downs. Doesnt matter id its academic or industry. All experiences would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading
Mi

Blog: Rocks for Tea

posted
21-Jun-15, 00:40
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posted about 3 years ago
I'm curious to know what your responses are. What do you think of what happened to the Prof? Do you have any similar? Thanks for reading!

Blog: Rocks for Tea

posted
21-Jun-15, 00:39
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posted about 3 years ago
When a man or women makes a contribution as great as Sir Tim Hunt’s, it’s not right that a couple of sentences should destroy their reputation and legacy.



For those of you who have been living under a pile of sedimentary rocks, Sir Tim was forced to resign from University College London last week. Otherwise, he would have been sacked for making the following comment at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry.” This statement was the catalyst of a shameful furore stirred up by social media, poorly researched editorials and universities.



Now, we can all agree what he said was an ill-advised joke that bears little resemblance to real life in a lab. While I'm sure many of you know ‘intralabular’ couples, most men and women working in science are not star-crossed lovers. Firstly, because we’re in a lab and that sort of astrological tosh would be best left at the handwash basin. But also because there are better places to bond than over a petri dish full of bugs and the hum of a -80˚C freezer.



While the response was (pardon the cliché) political correctness gone mad, my concern with the backlash from the media and various organisations is what it says about the public’s view of science. In my opinion, this is far more dangerous and regressive than what Sir Tim said.



It appears the public doesn’t appreciate or acknowledge scientific research. This is a sad fact that I, as a trained pharmacist and young scientist, have discovered in my short time in the lab and it pains me to admit it.



If the public placed any value on science, they would not want Sir Tim to resign. Imagine you were offended and he had apologised to you – what would you do? Would you allow him to stay researching cancer and biology if he made, for example, a public apology? Or would you choose turn your back on him and his astonishing scientific record simply to make an example of him? You decide. The media is now the metaphorical Sword of Damocles and this time it has come down on the wrong side.



Before this happened, nobody knew much about Sir Tim or his work, which made him deserving of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001. In 1982, he discovered cyclin in fertilised sea urchin eggs, and the work was published in the highly respected research journal Cell the following year.



Sir Tim, along with Paul Nurse and Leland Hartwell, made a discovery that underpins cell division in all plant and animal life. It is why he received the highest accolade in science. He has featured in more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, his work has been cited more than 20,000 times and he has supervised dozens of PhD students. These are numbers that many of us could only dream of achieving. Yet no-one is taking these achievements into account in this media storm. It’s not that people are discrediting his work; it’s far worse than that – they don’t care about it. If they did, they would realise what a loss to the scientific community his resignation represents.



The BBC ran an excellent series called Beautiful Minds in 2010, with one episode dedicated to Professor Hunt. It’s a one-hour documentary about his academic life and how he came to discover cyclin. It’s a great watch and the whole series is available on YouTube. It shows you what he’s really like. That particular episode has been viewed 2,500 times since being put up in 2010. In contrast, the 1:15 min video of women in ‘#distractinglysexy’ poses in response to his comments notched up 15,000 views in two days. Exactly.



Whenever I’m asked what I do for a living, to keep it simple, I say I’m a PhD student in biology and then rattle off the layman’s description. Half the time I get an “OK” accompanied by a quizzical look and a shake of the head. The other half? You guessed it – a “better you than me” response that is, without fail, accompanied by a sense of superiority. I’ve heard it word for word from my old boss, current flatmate and the taxi driver last week, to name but a few. I can’t remember anyone actually saying something encouraging.



The public is apathetic towards research scientists and the work we do. They care when a physician is on the morning news discussing a new therapy, because that will impact their lives. But they never see people such as Sir Tim, who do the far more important and difficult groundbreaking work.



Those who are lambasting him see a gnarled old dinosaur and have reduced this situation to ‘man in white coat + bad comment = off with his head’. They’re not seeing a distinguished research scientist. They’re not seeing a giant of biology. They’re not seeing somebody who’s spent hours and hours in the lab alone suffering for their art. Or someone who's supervised, collaborated with and inspired dozens of PhD students, post doctoral students and investigators and added to the pool of human knowledge in a monumental way.



And what about everyone in the erroneously named ‘#distractinglysexy’ response? (His comments were about colleagues falling in love in the lab, and had nothing to do with how sexy they were.) Their responses brought a smile to my face, but are these fellow scientists going to turn their back on him too?



If they have any appreciation for the perseverance required to win a Nobel Prize, becoming a member of the Royal Society and his current work, they should sign the petition calling for him to be reinstated rather than removed. I hardly think his comments “threaten the civil liberties and credibility of every woman” as one of these silly petitions suggests. Sir Tim’s behaviour suggests he does quite the contrary. Not only did he leave the lab to help set up the European Research Council, he sat on the board that made huge strides towards funding, awarding and promoting women in science. But, again, nobody seems to care about this.



He didn't hurt any individual. There were no personal attacks. Throughout his life, he has supported women in science – as the testimonials from former colleagues and students have shown. I’m not defending his comment. It’s not exactly a great stride towards gender equality, but neither is putting his head on a spike. I care about women doing science.



I think we should do everything we can to promote women pursuing science as a career. But as we get an increasing number of women scaling the tree of knowledge and adding to its fruit, I hope they don’t lose faith in research. Because not only will they have had to overcome the gender gap, but they will be faced by a far more demoralising reality – that the wider public won’t actually give a damn, as one Nobel laureate found out last week.

Thread: Finding a phd

posted
15-Feb-15, 17:36
edited about 8 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
Search the forum. There are loads of threads on this

Thread: Unsupportive parent.

posted
29-Dec-14, 18:25
edited about 19 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Hi All
I was wondering if anyone has had a bit of opposition from your parents about doing a PhD? Any advice would be most welcome.
Bit of background- I graduated in 2011 and qualified as a pharmacist in 2012. I then worked at a pharmaceutical company in an office based job for about 18months. Half way through the job I realised that my passion lay in science and I started applying for PhD's in Jan 2014, and well, here I am now 3 months in.

The problem is that my mum whilst not outrightly against it, thinks that it's not the best decision and that if I wanted to do further studies, I should have gone back to do dentistry or medicine. The other day we were in the car and she wanted to know when the research stops. I said it's when I have enough data to write a thesis, but then it can go on after that etc. Her response was that 'I should have done a proper degree' in a quiet, slightly disappointed tone. She doesn't know that a PhD is the most merit-able qualification one can get. This is just one example, there are many others.

It's difficult because I'm from a British Asian background and there is this pressure to go to uni, get a job, get married and have kids. The fact that I've gone back to uni is a bit of an odd route for her and she doesn't know many people who have done a PhD, whereas we know loads of dentists, doctors, pharmacists etc.

I don't want my decision to be seen as second rate, and it does get annoying knowing that one of my parents isn't really behind me.
Any similar situations? Any advice or comments welcome.
Thanks

Thread: In need of 30 participants for my survey for my dissertation re attitudes to scottish prisons :)

posted
29-Dec-14, 17:51
edited about 14 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
done

Thread: Someone is harassing me!!! Help!!

posted
29-Dec-14, 17:41
edited about 23 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
This is a sad story indeed. This clearly violates any sort of equal opportunity policy for both students and staff. Report him and blow this creep out of the water. Find out who his line manager is too. Hopefully your university is less bureaucrat than mine and will actually do something.

Thread: Another rejection...how many did you guys get?

posted
19-Jun-14, 20:55
edited about 4 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Alexandria:
Phormulater, What excellent advice did your colleague give you?


The advice that I got was really just CV advice. It must have worked as I got three interviews from the three applications I sent off. If you PM me I'll be happy to help- if you're still looking.

Thread: Accomodation experiences for PhD

posted
27-Apr-14, 12:40
edited about 45 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Hi everyone.
I'm due to start a PhD a in October. I was wondering if I could get some insights into halls/flat-shares, what your experiences are and whether you think one is better then the other. During my undergrad I lived a few halls and private flats with friends. While working I've lived in a few flat-shares. I'm familiar with undergrad halls, but I don't really know much about post-grad halls.
The flat shares are significantly cheaper (judging by spare room). (£3.5K+/year compared to 4.5K+ upward for halls). It will be in Cardiff btw.

Any advice, experiences, amusing anecdotes, lessons learnt etc would be welcome!
Thanks

Thread: Another rejection...how many did you guys get?

posted
27-Apr-14, 02:02
Avatar for Phormulater
posted about 4 years ago
Hello all.
Well I graduated in 2011 with an MPharm degree. Whilst I was doing my pre-registration year in 2012 (training year to become qualified), I applied for three PhD's, but was told for one (didn't bother with feedback for the others) that I didn't have the experience, and truthfully I don't think my heart was in it. Cut to 2014, after some jobs in between, I realised I wanted to give it another shot, and this time my heart was in it. I applied to two or three, but the applications, particularly the CV's, were rubbish. I knew that I wasn't getting anywhere so I spoke to a colleague, who dropped out of their PhD, who gave me excellent advice.
My fortune changed. I applied for three PhD's and got three interviews. I found out I was successful for the first interview before my other two.
The short answer to the above post is 6/7.
We interviewed for the funding and the two successful candidates got to pick their projects. Compared to the rival candidates I think I had much less research experience, however I had read around the topic and my job and clinical background helped me retain and display a 'worldly' outlook in the interview, which helped.

Thread: New forum design - what do you think? Any problems?

posted
27-Apr-14, 01:24
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Phormulater
posted about 4 years ago
At the moment its just a list of threads which you can search through.
I think general CV/cover letter advice should definitely be a sticky. There are far too many people who start new threads for these when they could have a sticky as their first port of call and then if they need more specific advice then they post in the subject areas- my next suggestion.
The only categories I could see are in the top right hand corner which splits threads into Phd, Masters and off topic.
I think it would be really helpful if there were also breakdowns for different topic- There don't have to be many. It could be something like
-Natural/health sciences
-Engineering/IT
-Arts
-Humanities.

Finally a section for non academic stuff- because people do post about topics such as relationships, work/life balance, money etc. For example if I want to (and I will shortly as Im due to begin in October) start a thread on accomodation, then after a few days of no activity, the thread will go on to the second page and wont be seen as often.
I'm not one for change for change sake, so I really I think these could reduce the duplication of topics, and make it easier to find the relevant topics

Thread: New forum design - what do you think? Any problems?

posted
25-Apr-14, 00:16
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Phormulater
posted about 4 years ago
Hi All
This is my first of many posts hopefully.
I think there definitely needs to be a restructure of the home page and how threads are organised. I know that there is a filter for topics but I think that there should be structure such as the student room or http://www.new-606.co.uk/, which is a sports forum. There are just so many threads about cover letters and CV's, that these should be sticky topics (parden my ignorance if you have this already).
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