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Don't think I will be awarded a PhD

Hi Moomin

This reminds me of a chap we had here a while ago, obviously shouldn't name names. He took 4 years to complete his PhD with very minimal results indeed. As long as your supervisor knows what he or she is doing, and you passed all the upgrades etc, you should not be in a position to fail having got this far. You could say that failure would represent a failure of the system.

Where you may have a problem is if your boss does not know what he or she is doing. In that case you could get somebody who does to have a look, but as is say, if you've been allowed to get this far, it should probably pass.

As for publications, if your in biological sciences like me, they help, but you can pass without them. It isn't necessarily your fault things did not work because it was probably your boss who designed the project and applied for the funding. This isn't to say you can blame them for everything, but it is why no positive data should be no barrier.

Good luck

Christmas Scroogeness

I'm with Heifer

Christmas is alright, but not on the 4th of December. My lab xmas do is next wednesday, i think people are going out drinking in the afternoon as opposed to working, but i really cannot get into that kind of spirit untill at least the 15th of December. Having said that i'll probably go along like a sheep anyway.

Not particularly into Christmas myself, but am looking forward to spending some time with the family and getting a much needed week of work, so all in all it's a good thing. Presents wise, i'm fully funded with an ok living expenses grant, so better off than many on this forum. Family aren't big on presents anyway. My biggest problem is probably finding the time for shopping.

All the best, shan't issue seasons greeting till i feel christmassy

Job/Postdoc Application Hell

Hi Again

Just to clarify, I'm not ageist, the 47 year old in question is perfectly capable of lecturing, as indeed are those older than him, not to mention probably more capable than myself. It's just that a lot of the time people get left on the shelf after 2 post-docs as they can be dismissed as being to old. If they had the great publishing record required to lecture, they would have made it by now also, not to mention facing a possible pay cut to become a junior lecturer

Job/Postdoc Application Hell

Hi People

Sorry to hear you are having troubles finding work Actually_no, I'm probably going to be looking for jobs/post-docs pretty soon and am not looking forward to it one bit

Just wanted to set Miss Spacey straight, it's not 1-2 years of being a post-doc in science, it's more like a minimum of six these days. Seriously, the fortunate and the excellent get a 5 year career development fellowship type thingy which more or less guarantees a lecturer's post somewhere at the end. If you can't get that, scientists simply bounce between 3 year post-doc placements untill they can get something permanent. A fair number never make it, or spend their entire working lives on 2-3 year contracts with no guarantee of renewal.

Seriously, my lab has a 47 year old post-doc who is essentially trapped, he is too old to become a lecturer, and also probably too old to start a fresh career, so what does he do exactly?. He's been a post-doc since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, and needs money this summer to continue, and is becoming increasingly expensive to employ due to pay scales etc.

Anyway, rant over, my advice is get out while your young

Hopefully that's what i shall do

us election results

Great news on the elections

Personally i'm just feeling very relieved, this should mean an end to military action in Iraq, and hopefully a much less agressive approach to foreign policy. I should also add that these elections are a whole load more interesting than British ones, here there's very little difference between the major parties, the politicians are all so dull.

Pretty much every American i know wanted Obama to win, which begs the question how did Mccain win so many votes? I'm thinking many Mccain supporters don't travel to the UK so much. Or maybe people who voted for him never say so, a little like thatcher supporters in the 80's

Anyway, best stop rambling

Congrats to the democrats, from the cakeman, working in an Obama wonderland

10,000 hours to success?

Hi Guys

I think this whole 10,000 hours business varies between individuals and subjects, besides I would'nt believe anything you read in the daily mail anyway.

Let's have a forum meet: Episode II

Has to be London, it's easiest to get to from everywhere else

What do you do...

I've just voted

I'm a scientist doing retinal cell biology

Four Letter Word--Change one letter


why are there so many hurdles?

Hi Joyce

I know exactly what you mean

A lot of the time i just find myself doing fiddly little organisational things just to tick the right boxes, as opposed to getting on with meaningful research. What gets on my nerves the most at the moment is my second year report. It's a progress report, nothing more than that and is assessed internally by my supervisory team. Having not told me what to do regarding what was expected, i put together a briefish report............ a week later supervisor throws it back at me and gets angry.

She never told me it had to be thesis standard. As things are i'm behind with research due to a bad first year, and now i am still correcting my pointless little report to the thesis standard she expects. As well as this she gives me really fiddly stuff to do for corrections, and censors aspects of the truth in my report which might make the project look bad when it's the truth. I can never win, and now my boss thinks i'm thick as well.

Either way, whether you wanted to hear that or not is up to you, but i know how you feel

All the best

Doing a PhD, does it make you ugly?

Hi Folks

No weight gain for me to report, although am naturally very thin and do lots of exercise.

The other signs are all there though, I'm starting to find grey hairs now........ I'm 24 at the end of the month

Also am only sleeping about 5-6 hours a night which does'nt help.

I should also add, my daily routines have slipped a bit, i now shave weekly not daily, also haven't bought any new clothes since last december

Must admit i've never been terribly concerned about my appearance, but i would agree that this whole PhD situation is'nt helping

I have left phd and a tiny bit of me regrets it


I very nearly quit my PhD (cell biology) after 1 year. Most of the time these days i think i would have been best doing that, it's just that being a proud so and so made me feel obliged to see it through. With a year to go now, i probably just about have the motivation to see it through, more through not wanting to let people down and fear of failure than desire to suceed.

My biggest problems with academia are the conditions and especially the people. I generally find most of them to be so far up their own backsides it's not even funny. Most of them bore me to tears as well. Perhaps you have to be to be dull and self obsessed to enjoy any success in such an environment.

Anyway, be grateful you got out, i envy you for having the balls to do what i could'nt do

Usain Bolt

Hi Guys

On drugs, or not on drugs, what an athlete!

Personally i think probably not taking anything illegal. I think he may just be that good

For example, when asked about his preparation on the day of the 100m final

He said: he woke up around 11, did'nt have breakfast (never does), watched some TV, had some nuggets (presumably chicken), had an afternoon nap, had some more nuggets then went to the track.

This does'nt strike me as a man taking illegal drugs, if your going to go down that road, you might as well go for a really scientific diet as well.

So I believe Bolt is clean, though i can understand those who don't

Political Compass--check it out!

Hi, the website's interesting, i got

Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.00

Quite a reliaf to know i have the opposite views to most of the world's fruitcake dictators, though i suspect most people on this site will come up with something similar

PhD suitable for surgeons

Btw, on the supervisor issue, best thing is to talk to people who have worked for your potential supervisor in the past, even the most published proffessors etc are not essentially the best supervisors. For a start they may hardly ever be there due to conferences etc and they may be quite hard on their students to try and get the most out of them.