Signup date: 29 Jan 2006 at 12:50pm
Last login: 18 Sep 2011 at 1:00pm
Post count: 178
Thanks for the replies. My feeling is 'don't do it' so that's what I am going to do (or not do:p). I think as much as anything it is complete naivety on the part of the department. To be honest, in my field there is almost nothing published so almost anything done by an undergrad is novel but I that doesn't mean I want to publish u/g standard research of average quality that I haven't had anything to do with.
Hi, thanks for the reply. The person keen for the publications is my line manager who is teaching focussed and not research focussed (did a PhD c20yrs ago, never published to my knowledge and has not been research active - other than supervising unpublished undergrad dissertations ever since). I wouldn't be repeating the research (usually field work) just writing it up (or touching up dependent on quality). The supervisors and student's name would be on the paper and the reason that the work hasn't been written up is mostly the supervisors are not research active or had any research training other than provided at undergrad level (i.e. not got an msc, mphil or a phd). I would have no way of verifying that the data has not been fabricated, etc and can only take the word of the student/supervisor. The journal that they want me to "aim" for has an impact factor of 0 as it has just been launched. I feel this is utterly insane!
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Hi, it seems to be common to publish undergrad work but I don't know how closely linked these scientists are to the work they publish. Closer to home there was one other research assistant and they had published one piece of work in a peer-reviewed journal - they had nothing to to do with the research itself (I think they may even have been an undergrad themselves at the time the research carried out) and were handed the dissertation to write up for publication upon being employed in this role. They were also encouraged to submit another undergraduate dissertation for an oral conference proceeding (despite not being involved in the research at all and knowing nothing about the topic). I nearly died of embarrassment the other day after I was introduced to a new cohort of students by a colleague as the person whose job it was to get student dissertations published! I was horrified - I didn't do my PhD to end up doing this. My feeling is that it will kill my research career dead in the water.
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Hello, I was looking for some opinions here from other postdocs. I have a job at a teaching led university that wants to be more research active. They employed me as a research assistant (I am on the brink of submitting my PhD). My brief was to add to the evidence base of the field I work in. However, there seems to be a general belief among staff in the department that I should be taking undergraduate dissertations (maninly students I have never met, supervised, etc) and essays/reports and write them up for publication in peer-reviewed journals. I am unhappy to do this as a) the quality is not very good b) I think it is unethical to put my name on stuff I have had nothing to do with and c) if I don't put my name on I am just a ghost writer (I have not trained as a scientist to end up as a ghost writer of undergrad publications). How common is it for researchers to find themselves in this position?
Hi Ruby, the key feature that we require as I understand it is that the tool should enable reflective analysis of skills by each student. Is that the kind of thing that the training that your uni provided offered is a less informal setting? The idea is that each student can quantify (with help as needed) their current skill level, where there are deficits, identify ways to remedy this (ditto ways to simply 'develop' as a postgrad) and some way of recording and reflecting on what they have learnt along the way, etc. There are loads of packages available now from what I can tell. Something called Pebblepad seems popular, there is also something called Skills Forge and loads of other versions of these things. All, as far as I can (but I am very new to this so finding me feet TBH), are basically a formal e-based way of achieving the above. I never did anything like this. I simply kept an excel spreadsheet with the relevant info on but unis seem to be driving more towards this format post the 2010 Smith report.
Hi, I have just been appointed the postgrad development personal advisor at my uni. We are looking to bring in an e-portfolio for the PhD students to use for the purporse of defining learning needs, recording learning and reflecting on this learning. At the moment we don't have a formal system in place. I have started searching through the options but I really would appreciate some feedback from PhD students that use these e-portfolios. I have to be honest and say that I never used anything like that through my phd studies (which are not finished yet, cursed write up phase!) so any feedback from any body who has/does would be really useful.
1. which e-portfolio system does your uni use? e.g. pebblepad, skills forge, etc
2. Do you find it useful?
3. If yes, why?
4. If no, why?
Thanks ever so in advance!:-)
Hey, you sound like me a year ago. I was so unhappy on my phd (and remained so for most of the three years) and ended up being signed off with mental health issues for 2 months. My main supervisor managed to make me feel like I was lazy and afraid of hard work (which I am not and anyone who has worked alongside me and not sat in an office pontificating from afar will confirm) and showed little interest in my ideas/discussions. I very much have felt for most of this time that I was a worthless piece of s**t in the scientific community. This was reinforced even by some of the other postgrads who, to be honest, seemed to enjoy my freefall in the pit of failure.
Then, this year I had some data (nothing that I thought was good, amazing, etc - it was pretty average really) so I gave several oral presentations (i.e. outwith the department) at conferences - including the biggest in my field. I also took part in loads of public engagement stuff. I found that I was really good at engaging with the public (children) and then I found that at all the conferences I got loads of questions and 'big names' following me out the door to ask more questions! The difference in my self-confidence has been amazing and I have gone from feeling like I am just wasting everyone's time to feeling that I have something to contribute. What I am saying really is several things:
A) No all PIs are good people and yours might be making your depression worse by her lack of ability to give you reinforcement
B) Your PI is unlikely to change
C) You need to find your own reinforcement - why not look for opportunities outside of the department that involve science in some way and try volunteering on those - you can find ways to bring your science to the public and it is such a buzz when they like it, etc. You are welcome to PM me and I'll help you further there if you like as I know quite a few possibilities.
D) Look for external reinforcement - network!
Goodluck with what ever you decide to do. You are welcome to PM me if you want. I am in the middle of a house move so it might be a few days (i.e. after wednesday before I reply) but I will dig out some public engagement stuff/links for you if you like. I promise it helped me loads so even though it seems like extra, unpaid work the rewards in terms of self-confidence were, for me, worth it!
Could you temporarily borrow a dog? I know you are not keen on animals in the flat but a few days with a dog in the house and the cat will get the message. I had a similar problem with a neighbour's cat and it drove me mad - especially when it started terrorising my cats, causing my cats to spray in the house and sleeping in my bedroom. Basically, if you want to stop it coming in you need it to associate your place with unpleasant consequences - ideally directly with entering the property than with you per se (otherwise it might just learn to avoid you and enter when you are not about). The more unpleasant the circumstances, the quicker it will learn. In my case, I shut a cat-hating terrier in the kitchen and set the catflap to let the cat in but not out (where the cat was entering overnight) so that the cat entered, got a tremendous fright and then was trapped in the room with the dog (it could get away from the dog by sitting on the worksurface but it couldn't escape the barking dog). This worked very well. Obviously this is not going to work for you but this might: try getting a metal tray and place it under the window that the cat comes in, on the window set up some sort of contraption e.g. stacks on 1p coins if the cat has to jump high, cannot see these in advance and will definitely knock them over and onto the trap and it lands on the window sill. As it does, they will scatter onto the metal tray and make a god awful noise which will be very aversive.
Out of interest, is the cat entering because the neighbour kicks her cat out for the day and doesn't provide a way for the cat to get back into her own home? This is often a reason why cats go into neighbouring properties. If so, it might be worth broaching the topic with her.
Cheeky sod very poor! Actually, I have put the hours in precisely because I am very passionate about this area of work and wanted to 'prove' myself. But students do not have to work a 60 hour week to demonstrate committment to their work. Infact, I believe it is counterproductive. And, in my case, it has led to me feeling ill. Today I was signed off for two weeks with work stress. Any phd culture that leads supervisors expecting students to work these hours should be challenged.
This weekend I go in an find the tech not even following my protocol and his reponse was my animals were not his priority, he had too many animals to look after, needed a teabreak and he suggested that I set my alarm for 6am sat & sun and come in and do them myself. I felt ill by this stage with tiredness. I woke up at 3am this morning crying at the thought of going in to work/phd and when I wnt in today my equipment failed. I told my supervisor that I had had enough, that I would be embarressed to present my research at conference, that the workload was unacceptable, there was inadequate support and zero time for reflection on findings, that this phd was my own personal hell and should never have been offered to a student as it was not a one person job. I then told her I felt ill and I was going home. Aned I did.
Just need to find a job now!
Well - my day has probably got better or worse depending upon how you view it. I have been posting about my work levels here for the last few weeks but this weekend brought it to a head. I am working 60+ hour weeks and have managed to get animal tech help to lessen the workload at the weekends.
I am sure there is still room for someone passionate and hardworking - the real question.... "will you still be after 3 years?"
I was soooo fresh faced and innocent just 8 long months ago and now I am grumpy, canterkerous, evil, etc....
I pity the world when I emerge as a fully-fledged post-doc in 21/2 yrs
Sorry - got a bit carried away there - having a bad day - oh, advice was what you wanted wasn't it? Sorry, cannot help you there!
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