Overview of Tudor_Queen

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Tudor_Queen
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 11:56am
Friday, 22 November 2019 at 9:24am
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Thread: Lab / group size

posted
14-Sep-19, 17:31
edited about 45 seconds later
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posted about 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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
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posted about 2 months 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
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posted about 2 months 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 months 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 3 months 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
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posted about 3 months 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!

Thread: Tips on applying for post-docs in UK, potentially in slightly different field

posted
23-Aug-19, 22:41
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 months ago
Totally agree with Rewt! That famous professor wanted you as a post doc then so he will want you now - or be willing to recommend you. And that carries more weight than any personal statement or anything! I have a postdoc through knowing someone I met at a conference! Good luck Jamie! Your plans sound exciting!

Thread: I want to quit, but will regre the work I've put in

posted
17-Aug-19, 13:54
edited about 9 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
From what you've shared, I can't think of a single reason to continue. I mean, the main thing is do you WANT to continue? The only incentive for continuing I can find in what you have said is...

Quote From Ignorance_Bete_Noir:

I'm hesitant to leave because of all the effort I've already put in, and the reality that the work will be just be discarded.


And actually that's a disincentive for quitting, not an incentive for continuing!

As pm133 says, knowing when to quit/cut your losses and move on is a skill.

Words like unfulfilling are screaming out alarm bells to me. Quit while you're so early on would be my advice! And I would also add that if you decided to do a PhD later, this would not hinder you from doing so. In fact, you'd be better equipped to choose the right project because of this experience.

Hope you manage to make a decision you feel OK with!

All the best
Tudor

Thread: Terrified of viva and supervisor making things worse

posted
15-Aug-19, 17:26
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Hey!

Just take an hour or so learn the basic background of where those equations come from. It may or may not come up, but you'd feel better if you had written up couple of a4 sheets with bullet points giving you more info on them. You can even bring those pieces of paper to the viva and refer to them if you need to (but more for reassurance). Your supervisor is probably just being a d*ck at this stage because he wants to be able to show off his student... how you perform in the viva reflects somewhat on the supervisor. So if you really know your stuff, then he looks good (not sure what the connection is personally).

If he is really stressing you out then don't check your emails from now till the viva. Prepare yourself and do your best. It's all you can do at this stage.

It helped me when I told myself that nothing I could do at this stage would probably change the outcome. Either the thesis is worthy of a PhD and I can defend it, or not. I am not sure if that helps everyone. Logically, your thesis IS good enough and you CAN defend it, otherwise your supervisor would not have approved it for submission. So believe in yourself, forget about him.

Looking forward to hearing a positive outcome in a few weeks!

Thread: 1) PhD re-advertised, do I assume I am unsuccessful? 2) Advice on finding a PhD

posted
14-Aug-19, 13:20
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 months ago
Sorry to hear this. I think I would email again and ask directly so you can have closure and a proper explanation. That's your right and only basic courtesy (from them). Might be useful for future applications. Might be that they decided to advertise for another and you will still be made an offer. Just email to find out, I reckon.

There are other options. I'm just trying to find an old thread where people had shared ideas about getting PhD funding. It can take a while to get funding. I'll post the thread here if I can find it.

Good luck.

Thread: Pros and cons of doing a PhD?

posted
14-Aug-19, 13:13
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 3 months ago
Off the top of my head, some pros and cons (just my opinion of course)...

+ ideally - you are free to do what you want to do and pursue what you want, how you want, while also learning new skills and acquiring more knowledge - with appropriate level of guidance from more experienced person (supervisor)
+ ideally - flexible, free, working from home etc - accountable to yourself
+ get to attend conferences, write papers etc - very rewarding

- can be tough financially
- can be an isolating experience, and things like imposters' syndrome can happen especially when things go wrong as they do from time to time in research
- a lot of the pros depend on your supervisors and/or the quality of your relationship with them; things can be very tricky if you don't get on well with your supervisors for whatever reason - I imagine that supervisory issues is the biggest reason for drop out, so pick your supervisors well and you are more than half way there already
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