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Tudor_Queen
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 11:56am
Saturday, 21 September 2019 at 6:34pm
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Thread: If I drop out of my PhD do I auto get a masters??

posted
17-Sep-19, 18:41
edited about 7 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
I am also sorry to hear about your experiences. I don't think it is an automatic process. You would need to formally discuss and submit it as an MPhil in order to be awarded one. Have you considered doing what you can and submitting it anyway - on the off-chance that it is enough to get the award of PhD? Maybe you would have nothing to lose that way, as if the supervisors thought it wasn't good enough for a PhD, they would be suggesting MPhil, and guide you down that route. Or if it got to viva stage and the examiners decided it was worthy of an MPhil and not a PhD, ditto.

To find out about the ins and outs - I would suggest to talking to your supervisors. Or you could try talking with the relevant team at your uni (at my uni it was called "the doctoral academy" and there were advisors who you could talk to about this kind of thing to help you decide what to do and understand the ins and outs of things).

I really would suggest talking to them because it sounds like you are (understandably) on a huge downer, and this means you could be seeing things more negatively than you might otherwise, and than they might. I left writing up till late. Also a few months prior, I had been on the verge of quitting (or rather, downgrading to an MPhil). I thought my thesis was crap and wouldn't be awarded a PhD. In the end, I felt happier with it once it was written (though still not over-joyed) and passed with minor corrections. It's probably better than you think. And you can do way more than you think in a short amount of time. And if needed you could always extend your deadline (I did mine several times!).

Hope this is somewhat informative / encouraging. Don't give up (unless you seriously do want to), and go for the PhD Award - it will be behind you forever soon.

Best
Tudor

Thread: PhD Acceptance

posted
16-Sep-19, 13:31
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 6 days ago
I think having a Distinction at Masters (very rare from what I hear) will overwrite the 2:2 at Undergrad. They will probably assume you were not fully engaged until you really got into what you are passionate about (and then you got a Distinction). And logically, Masters is a higher level of study. I wouldn't be concerned about someone GCSE reults if they got all As at A-level, for example. Good luck! :)

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
16-Sep-19, 13:28
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posted about 6 days ago
Eng, that is exactly the sort of thing I want to avoid!!! I am visiting the lab next week and will try get a sense of things then and possibly ask the very few lab members some questions! I am hoping I will just be able to get a sense of things - having had experience in a lab where the PI was great and the lab members happy and productive. Why don't they sell metal detectors for this sort of thing? Then again, I suppose that is what instinct is for...

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
16-Sep-19, 11:56
edited about 8 seconds later
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posted about 6 days ago
I don't agree - I've had a collaboration before which then led to a job offer (postdoc) - in my experience it's a great way to get to know whether you would want to work with / for someone in the long term or not.

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
14-Sep-19, 17:34
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posted about 1 week ago
Ooh, my reply to you has actually given me an idea...! I guess I could start a collaboration with them and see how that goes and whether I would actually want to do a postdoc with them... now there's an idea!

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
14-Sep-19, 17:31
edited about 45 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Thanks for your reply pm133. And I like your phrasing of whether "they are a good match" for me. That is another aspect. There are some PIs who I think would be decent people, but not necessarily a good match. I agree that asking questions and "interviewing" them would help me to discover this. But I wonder how to find out what kind of person they are - how they regard and treat others being the primary thing.

I don't want to start working with someone only to discover that they are someone who I don't think has many principles - e.g., someone who engages in bullying or treating with less respect of those who are perceived as in a position of lesser power, etc etc. I just can't stand that kind of thing. And now I've had a taste of working with folks who seem decent and respectful, and it has made me set that as a bit of a red line myself - that is what I value right now. I wonder how I could find out what kind of person they are - short of just getting to know them and interacting with them over a period of time... it's not really something you can probe by questioning...

Thread: Post Doc interview - WRITTEN TEST?!

posted
14-Sep-19, 12:16
edited about 4 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Congrats on getting interview! Two friends of mine had postdoc interviews where they had to analyse some data. Not sure if it would have been described as written or not (it was computer based - using specialised software). Try not to sweat about this. Part of what they'll be looking at is probably how you handle the uncertainty / stress of the situation. And certainly what will be the deciding factor on whether you get the job is you as a whole package, not a test performance. Good luck!

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
14-Sep-19, 12:00
edited about 12 minutes later
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posted about 1 week ago
Cheers both! I think I asked my question in a confusing way. My question isn't - is a big / small lab inherently good / bad? It is - could it possibly be any indicator on the personality / style of the PI? Or - could a small lab despite success (as I judge it - through high quality research that I enjoy reading - plus lots of grants and things) be indicative of them being a d*ck? I've come to realise that there are two types of people in academia (and maybe a third group who haven't quite yet decided), and I am very keen to avoid the latter type. But I realise, I may be being a bit paranoid / speculating too much here as I wonder, hmm, why such a small lab... are you a d*ck and no one wants to work with you and everyone ends up leaving...?!

That's my question :-) I don't care one bit about whether a lab is big or small or metrics on how others judge people's research. I want to know how I can find out what kind of person this PI is before I get myself trapped in something like I was in during my PhD (my supervisors... never again... please...). I am visiting the lab in a few weeks... but is it really possible to make a judgement through an initial meeting? Argh... help... any tips / advice on things to look out for (subtle signs of someone being a d*ck?) would be appreciated.

Hope it makes more sense now.

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
13-Sep-19, 08:45
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi there,

I know that the size of a PI's lab is probably contingent on several factors - like funding, experience, what the norm is in the department, field etc. But all those things held constant, could a very small lab be indicative of anything else - e.g., not a good PI to work with? I am curious because I've come across a PI/lab whose work I am really interested in, and I'm thinking I might like to join them if an opportunity arises. But I am kind of surprised at how few students/postdocs are in the lab (two or three at most), when the PI is super successful in terms of high quality published research, chapters, etc. Should I have warning bells or am I being paranoid?

I have good reason to be a bit paranoid / cautious after my PhD experience - so just thought I'd seek opinions on here to balance me out a bit, hopefully! I've decided that working with people I regard as decent is more important than anything else (when it comes to joining a lab).

A second question - is there a way to find out what a PI is like? Would postdocs / PhDs likely be honest if I asked them what it was like to work with such and such? There may be no definitive answer to these questions but I'd love to hear what people think / have experienced.

Thanks,
Tudor

Thread: Certain odd jobs vs potential 'real' position

posted
12-Sep-19, 12:40
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi Lalalup

Could you rephrase the final question you ask, as I don't quite follow. Thanks!

Tudor

Thread: Dealing with generalised anxiety disorder/depression at the start of PhD

posted
11-Sep-19, 19:44
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
You're welcome and I hope it was a tiny but helpful. It sounds like you know what is going on (i.e,, that you are experiencing some mental ill health and that this is a temporary thing) and I think that this is the most important thing there is. You know what it is and that you are going to come out of it. I don't want to sound like I am undermining how crap you are feeling, so I hope this doesn't... but sometimes I have found it helpful to scrawl on big letters on my whiteboard, "it'll pass" - just to remind me that the low mood or whatever else I am experiencing is not a permanent thing - it will get better - and so it kind of stops that downward spiral of thoughts and behaviours. Maybe something like this could help you too.

I know what you mean about it still ticking over in your mind. All I can suggest is keeping up the strategies. Maybe writing in a journal now and then to get the stuff out of your head and on to the page? And then perhaps reframing the situation as well - document any achievements - no matter how small and insignificant it may seem to others? Just some ideas!

I know what you mean about ruts... sometimes again I think it's just a matter of waiting for that difficult time to pass, and then suddenly you realise, oh I'm not in that rut anymore! PhDs have a way of being sort of one rut after another though... so know that you are not alone in this! And, it will get better for sure.

In terms of the actual PhD work - how is it going? Are you in the literature reviewing stage? That can feel so overwhelming at the start. Will you have to do a summary / report thing at the end of the first year? That can be helpful in helping frame your ideas and making you feel less lost and like you do have some kind of plan!

Good luck!

Thread: Dealing with generalised anxiety disorder/depression at the start of PhD

posted
10-Sep-19, 17:17
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through.

It is completely understandable that you would feel stressed after moving, especially having moved abroad... and starting a PhD on top of that plus all of life's other issues. I think all the stress you are experiencing is to be expected.

My only advice would be not to make any hasty decisions while not feeling so great. I totally agree with what you say about headspace and needing to be in a better one to know better how you really feel about the PhD versus the bad headspace. Oh and I suppose you've already thought of this, but do you have some strategies for dealing with certain things? Can be as simple as watching a movie to distract yourself when times are tough.

I hope others have some good thoughts to share with you.

Best
Tudor

Thread: Minor revisions - editor decision taking ages

posted
26-Aug-19, 19:36
edited about 6 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Conditionally accepted today subject to two small changes! Grrrr and yayyy at the same time!! (Grr b/c how long will have to wait again to hear back....)

Thread: Minor revisions - editor decision taking ages

posted
25-Aug-19, 10:00
edited about 3 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
Haha! Good point! I vow not to check the website any more from this moment on but just to await *the email*. Will keep you posted! :D

Thread: Minor revisions - editor decision taking ages

posted
23-Aug-19, 22:43
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 month ago
Thanks for sharing J_W! That makes me feel grateful that mine hasn't taken quite SO long. But can you believe it - I am still waiting to hear! Grumble grumble!
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