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bewildered
Sunday, 8 June 2008 at 6:52pm
Monday, 17 February 2020 at 7:28pm
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Thread: Concerned I made the right choice of university...

posted
17-Feb-20, 19:48
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posted about 1 month ago
I think there's several reasons, some with more merit than others.
1) There are so few jobs in the humanities that you have to be extremely good to stand a chance. It's very different to the sciences where it's relatively easy to get a postdoc. This means there will be lots of very appointable people applying for each job, and any imperfection rules you out. If you've not been socialised to understand the market as you've not got supervisors who are particularly well-networked themselves, you're at an immediate disadvantage. Most PhDs from ex-polys have that disadvantage unless they've been savvy enough to spot knowledge gaps and get advice.
2) There are fewer PhD students in the ex-poly departments (again talking humanities here), so they tend to get swamped with teaching that they're told is a career necessity, and offered less exposure to cutting edge research through visiting speakers etc. They are also often disadvantaged in access to methods training courses. There is quite simply less money floating around to pay for those things. This means their skill set may be less well-aligned with what research-focused universities are looking for.
3) Some not all humanities subjects are very stratified. There is a firm belief that the best go to Oxford/Cambridge/UCL and therefore that's where you should recruit from. It's not quite as bad as in the US where pedigree as they call it there, and recommendations from top names are more important than what's on the cv, but it's getting there.
There are plenty of good humanities academics working in ex-polys, and like I say I think some subjects are more open-minded that others. But the OP is going to have to work that little bit harder to stand out, which is why I think her concern that her project isn't strong, is actually the stronger reason to consider moving.

Thread: Concerned I made the right choice of university...

posted
17-Feb-20, 17:01
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posted about 1 month ago
I think this might depend on what subject. I'm a social scientist but from talking to colleagues, I have been given the impression that this matters a lot in philosophy but not at all in media studies. I'd be more worried though about your description of your project as not strong - if there's not much chance of good publications because the methods or theory are flawed then I think that would scupper you.
If you stay put, make sure you understand how your subject works - which associations should you join, what conferences are best to go to, what does a strong job candidate in your field look like. If you are in a not very research active department, the staff may not know this themselves, so you might have to be proactive in seeking 'professionalisation' training. In my subject, the main associations have postgrad networks that offer lots of this - you might find the same.

Thread: I might have been terminated from uni [anxiety disorder]

posted
20-Jan-20, 20:57
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posted about 2 months ago
I'm sorry that this has happened. I would prioritise two things. Check in with your supervisor and ask where you stand with the uni. And talk to the university visa team asap- if you're on a tier 4 visa you really need to know if you've been reported to UKBA for non-attendance, so if necessary you can get legal advice.

Thread: Post-doc at Imperial - Sports societies and working schedule

posted
21-Dec-19, 20:34
edited about 9 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
I would imagine non-student members might be an issue for insurance. I'd advise against tbh as you're no longer a student. Students don't necessarily want staff hanging around their leisure activities and it could create conflicts of interest especially if you are teaching.
In terms of working patterns I'd imagine it will depend on the culture of that lab and any local access rules. You'll just have to play it by ear.

Thread: I think I’m ph**ked

posted
12-Dec-19, 12:44
edited about 13 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
I think most people come out of their viva fixated on the negative bits and forgetting the positive bits, which if you got minor corrections there must be a lot of and I suspect your report will reflect that. It is just stressful to be on the spot like that and that is a natural reaction - it's like getting teaching evaluations and obsessing about the only nasty remark in a sea of good things. They can't ask you to do any major revisions in three months as it has to be doable. Relax, celebrate, talk to your supervisors if they had chance to speak with the examiners but really you've done well.

Thread: US PhD system has an edge over UK PhD system

posted
09-Dec-19, 22:28
edited about 6 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
A US PhD in my subject takes on average 8 years. Most do not get academic jobs. It's not easy to find non-academic jobs when you've spent the last 12 years in education (BA + PhD).

Thread: Why does a mismatch between a supervisor and a research scholar takes place???

posted
03-Dec-19, 16:33
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posted about 3 months ago
I also think that very few prospective PhD students can foresee what doing a PhD is really like. Doing well on a taught course doesn't mean that you'll necessarily thrive on or enjoy doing a PhD. Supervisors can't change the realities of it, and it does mean some who are unsuited to independent research will fail upgrades. If that happens, it's easier psychologically to blame everyone but yourself. Similarly, students' situations change - ill-health, interests, career ideas - there are many things that prevent completion however good the supervisory relationship is. In other words attrition rates are also if not more about student performance and circumstances, as you can change supervisors but it's not so easy to fix other things.

Thread: To get to know a PhD supervisor signing up under him

posted
28-Nov-19, 14:56
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posted about 4 months ago
I think you forgot to evaluate yourself! It sounds like you thought that a very successful lab was what you wanted but actually you prefer something more nurturing than that kind of environment.

Thread: Looking for advice

posted
28-Nov-19, 14:54
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posted about 4 months ago
I had a postdoc in Belgium. You will find pay/conditions a bad shock after Switzerland. the system is very much about personal contacts so suggest networking via seminar series etc asap. There is one major funding scheme through which you apply for individual fellowships to be held at a host uni - the FNRS https://www.frs-fnrs.be/fr/ - some info is in English. Most others work a stream of very p/t teaching jobs at different universities even 0.1 FT ones - if you don't speak French/flemish you are limited there but check Vesalius College in Brussels also College of Europe and united Nations university where things are done more in English. It will though be quite hard to break into the Belgian university system.
The good news though is if you are open to non university jobs there are many think tanks and organisations in Brussels to work for.

Thread: Concerned about Thesis (Submitted)

posted
31-Oct-19, 16:49
edited about 8 seconds later
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posted about 5 months ago
Don't panic. Usually each examiner has to submit a preliminary report about a week before the viva indicating areas of concern and what's good. They meet beforehand and discuss to agree what areas the viva should cover but they only make a decision after the viva, so your viva performance can take items off the list they had at the start for corrections. Don't get too hung up on minor v major corrections - you don't have to take the full amount of time to do them anyway and often examiners will be cautious and offer longer because they know many people have a slump just afterwards and need more time.

Thread: Transferring from UK to France (Funding)

posted
21-Oct-19, 19:39
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posted about 5 months ago
See if your UK university has any agreements with France on joint PhDs or 'co-tutelle' - some do and it could solve the problem.

Thread: Research Council Funding: +3.5 or 1+3?

posted
13-Oct-19, 15:48
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 5 months ago
It's 3.5 years of funding. It is unusual to complete a PhD in exactly 3 years by the way most people are closer to 4. It's not like a taught course where everyone ends on the same date.

Thread: Research Council Funding: +3.5 or 1+3?

posted
12-Oct-19, 17:32
edited about 5 seconds later
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posted about 5 months ago
Social scientist here - I'd suggest you ask your questions directly to the university as what is and isn't included in the different pathways does vary (assuming the information isn't on the DTP website). The DTP my university is part of does offer a 3.5 track for those with a Masters without sufficient methods training so your situation. You have to complete 60 credits of methods modules in the first year. But I know other DTPs that insist on 1+3 in that scenario.
Unlike it seems, from what Rewt says, in the sciences, to maximise your employability as a social scientist, you are best getting as broad a methods training as you can and then specialising in what you need for the thesis. Even if you're not using certain methods you need to be able to understand research that does use them, and having a decent knowledge of quant methods does open up a lot of job possibilities both within and outside academia.

Thread: Working whilst doing PhD

posted
25-Sep-19, 21:46
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 6 months ago
The solution for those I know in that position has been a professional doctorate programme rather than a PhD. But I'd agree with others that your scenario looks unfeasible.

Thread: Certain odd jobs vs potential 'real' position

posted
12-Sep-19, 15:39
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posted about 6 months ago
Check the contract - there will probably be a notice period. But personally in your shoes I would absolutely apply for f/t jobs, take anything offered and quit.
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