Overview of Cakeman

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University League Research

But does this take into account teaching quality, ie how good they are at teaching the students. Of course the UK will be good value because we have probably the shortest bachelor's degrees available anywhere, but what of the quality of graduates that we produce?

BTW, if you are going to plagiarise an article, I would'nt put the link at the bottom, take time to formulate your own arguements would be my advice

Feeling lonely at work

One way of breaking the ice is to go out and get steaming drunk with your fellow PhD students! Worked for me.

Assuming that's not an option, then I would probably agree with the other posts, look for shared interest groups etc, and don't go thinking you are particularly uninteresting or short on social skills, It can easily be the opposite that is true. Remeber these kids were probably the geeky unpopular ones who nobody liked at school, so perhaps they see it as some kind of safety in numbers. PhD students do tend to like having a clique as well.

Graduate Tax

Is'nt a graduate tax more or less what we have now?

in that you pay the dosh back afterwards, if earning over a threshold (£21k I think?), or are you saying we should be paying on top of what a graduate pays back for their fees, that would be harsh, especially now of all times.

Whilst I take your point the UK may not know what it is doing, but does anywhere else at the moment?, personally I prefer UK to Great Britain as the latter sounds a bit imperialist

As for politicians, I think they've been like that for a while now, Tony Blair anyone? just like David Cameron only in better economic times is my view of the man.

My thoughts on politicians is that there are too many in it for a career, I think maybe a re-think on the basis of 2-terms only for any constituency MP would be good.

Would discuss further but must go now,

Maybe catch you later

authorship with supervisor


Not normal at all in my field (biosciences). In fact supervisors are usually looking for last authorships when they reach that career stage, so no, not really. No idea what's going on here, but i suggest you stand firm on this, especially if you are writing up research that you have done.

Paper writing question

Hi folks

Rick, Laney thanks for your input, i'm not really worrying too much about the patent side as I know my boss has it covered, he has been recieving regular advice from a commercialisation team that we have attached to the institution and are very used to handling this stuff, I think maybe the patent goes on just before the publication, so we have that aspect covered, but i personally am not really involved.

I think they have already approved our idea and run a patent search to ensure anything like it is'nt already out there, i'm just told i need to produce this paper. Still not got much hope for the article doing anything great, although your advice to emphasize the novel finding etc seems sound enough.

single cell analysis

Hi Ruth84,

I can give you more information eg protocols and references on the techniques. If you want more specific advice, then maybe you could give me some idea what you are trying to do with your single cell? Although it should be said that these are fairly standard techniques, most biomedical science type journals contain descriptions of various sorts that you could probably read and follow.

If you don't want to disclose this information to everyone, then remember you can use the personal message option to contact me only.

ATB cakeman

Paper writing question


Yes, we are trying to patent the same idea, the approach we are taking is to get the patent application done at the same time as releasing the paper, this way you release proof that it is your work, it may even be that patent requires a publication or some sort of proof. Apologies if this was not clear.

You are quite right about releasing information earlier than this into the public domain because this constitutes disclosure, hence i've been deiberately vague with my description.


Paper writing question

Hi People

I have a question about journal writing to ask. I have some experience of writing papers etc, but can't say i'm an expert. At the moment i'm trying to write a paper on a novel in-vivo imaging probe for a certain neurological disease.

My boss and colaborators want this finished off reasonably soon so they can patent the idea, the study itself is based upon the lead molecule and in-vitro testing of this. The problem is the lead molecule has far too low an affinity to be useful in itself, but is representative of what could be achieved with a few tweaks to the structure.

I think it's a good idea and would probably be of interest to people in the field, trouble is I can't see how it's going to get published because the data shows it is'nt very good. I'm going to emphasize that we have many options available regarding re-design and re-synthesis which we do, and are currently re-designing.

Has anyone else come across a paper that has managed to do this: essentially selling the study on the basis of the idea, and promising improvements to come. I know it seems unlikely but i'm not really sure what approach to take here.

All opinions welcome, Cakeman

single cell analysis

One cell, Why would you?

Do you mean you have several isolated cells, or simply one cell in a dish/on a coverslip.

My first piece of advice might be: can you produce more cells, as most cells don't survive very well entirely on their own

Failing that, you have some techniques available to you still. You could image it (load with fluorescent indicator dye), and you could immunostain it. I don't think PCR or anything that involves extractions would be possible with a cell (so no western blotting, RNA analysis etc).

If you need more info on live cell imaging or immunostaining then just ask

All the best, Cakeman

what to do?

Thanks Ady

I'm sure you can do many things right really, it's just that you are stressed and probably tired.

Let us know how you get on, and remember it's ultimately your project and your decision, be firm.

what to do?

Hi Ady

Sounds to me like it's time to just give it in. I think most PhD thesii reach a point where ok, you can keep changeing and maybe slightly improving things, but actually not make a whole load of difference. I got to this stage, my fussy supervisor wanted to read more of it, I gave it in. I think when to hand in should be your decision anyways. I think most people when they hand in feel to an extent as if they are cutting their losses- they could make it better, but for a document that size, perfection is very hard to achieve, you may get a few more minors, that's likely to be the worst that could happen though.

My advice is to go with your original deadline, ignore your supervisor on this, these people can be quite insensitive.

Horrible Viva Experience

hi ZoePhD

Firstly, congratulations on passing

I'm sorry to hear that Viva day was such a bad experience for you.

I think many PhD thesii that are passed have major weaknesses, it just depends whether the people doing the viva deem this to be acceptable or not I suppose. I remember thinking before my viva just how much I was at the mercy of the people giving the viva and their opinions of how a viva should be. Sure enough, it does'nt say anywhere that these people have to be nice, although I think the majority are quite reasonable, it seems you ended up with a couple of examiners who aren't so reasonable.

This is perhaps where i have a problem with academia, there are very few strict regualtions on what constitutes "reasonable behaviour" and not many good guidelines for procedures such as a viva.

All I can really suggest is to simply move on, get the corrections done, and get on with life, you still passed and in reasonably standard time, which is much better than what happens to some people.

Wake-up call (post viva)


I would'nt try to compare yourself with anybody else, just try and do the best you can. Perhaps these other people who are finishing before you had a much smoother ride through the PhD process, better superviser or are just luckier, or are simply better at it. I would concentrate upon doing the best you can, not worrying about what other people have done/are doing.

There will always be someone better than you, and someone who is worse than you, that's how it goes

good luck with the writing up

Is it too early to be worried about publication record?

Hi Ellain

Good for you for taking the initiative. I'd quite like to have done this with my boss, but she never would have accepted it from the likes of me, we had a very difficult and quite dysfunctional relationship.

Regarding your supervisor, and her having gone from PhD student to lecturer in under 5 years sort of resonates with my old situation. My old boss was basically given several years of post-doc funding on a plate after finishing her PhD, as a result she seems to have no idea of the need for urgency with these things. Maybe yours is the same.

My situation now is that i'm a postdoc, with one second authorship from my PhD and a load of other stuff currently upublished from my old institution (could be 5 pubs total if all get published). Trouble is now I worry that they won't be out in time for applying for my second postdoc. I would write them and submit myself, but as I say my boss would not like that, and most are second authorships, so not entirely my own work.

A bit of a whinge here I know, but in short I would'nt worry too much about publishing yet, so long as you think you or your boss definitely can get stuff published soonish.

I am going to stay away from facebook and chocolates until I submit my thesis!

Totally agree with the giving up chocolate, I found during my writing up I became incredibly unfit. Luckily I don't have the type of metabolism that puts on weight, but you should definitely think about trying to eat a bit less if you are less active. I only really noticed how bad it had got after i resumed exercise again, post submission.

As far as facebook goes, you still do have to be having fun, remember the whole process of thesis writing can take months, sometimes even more than a year for some people. I don't know how close to finishing you are, so if it's a couple of weeks with a tight deadline, then maybe go for it, but remember thesis writing must not be allowed to take up all of your waking hours, such a situation is probably counter productive.