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I hope in a positive answer

Hi Alisadixan

There is a reason why UK universities insist on an English language criteria as PhDs are not easy, and have to be written entirely in good English. Clearly you are very close to meeting the language criteria, so my advice would be quite simple, try again in a few months and you should be just fine. You say your English is improving day by day, so you should pass the test easily in a few months. I can see this being a problem if there are time limits being imposed by something eg contracts or visas and stuff, but really I would say just keep trying.

PhD to research assistant instead of Post-Doc?

Hi Uncutlateralus

Try putting someone else in your shoes (ie a succesful PhD person) , and maybe try and think how they would have fared in such a situation. It's quite possible that over the course of your PhD that you've acquired more skills and abilities than someone in a PhD that has worked superbly. The one thing you presumably do not have is papers, but not all top research groups junior post-docs to have papers. I would suggest you pay very close attention to your CV and brush up on interviewing skills, (that is once you are a fair way into wrting up and have a submission date).

For the record, i got my job (post-doc in lab at Russel group university medical school) after a PhD in a fairly average university. I did'nt have a particularly fab time of my PhD and haven't got any first authorships. I am on 2 second authorships and maybe more to follow, but at time of interview I was unpublished, so there is more to getting a post-doc position than a stellar publication record, although that helps. if your not too fussed re where and what I think you'll have a fair chance of landing something.

Good luck with the applications and writing up

Used & Abused - My Name Is Mud...

Hi Mud

Sorry to hear about such an awful situation. Have you considered going to the journal with your evidence and asking for a retraction on the grounds of plagiarism? I know it's not a great thing to do, but it does protect you from accusations of plagiarising your second supervisor when you go to hand in your thesis, as presumably your lit review will be in there, especially if it is basically publication quality.

You could also consider going to the press, the universities hate this sort of thing getting out, and it looks to me like they are just trying to brush it under the carpet, I would try speaking to times higher education to begin with, not just about the plagiarism but also about the response to it. This doesn't have to stop here, and by acting now, you'll probably save future students from suffering your fate.

Don't be afraid to go higher than the senior academic you spoke to either, get in touch with a students union rep, and take it to the VC is my advice.

who do you share your work with?

I'll happily have a bash if you want Sneaks,

My areas of interest are neuroscience/neuorpharmacology, but will happily turn my hand to most things. Whether i'll be any good for your stuff I don't know, but am willing to try if it's general stuff eg punctuation, grammer etc. I can probably manage a turnaround time of about a week for documents under 30 pages, but as I say, if any field specific expertise is required, i'll probably be fairly useless

My supervisor nicked my final thesis

Dude, calm down

Firsty, i'm assuming the presentation was internal, ie given within the university itself. If this was the case, then his name would appear on the presentation, and your contribution would probably be acknowledged at the end. While it's not great that he was presenting your data, supervisors do this all the time. What else are they supposed to do, they have to give presentations but they don't do lab work themselves -so they borrow someone else's stuff.

It does'nt mean you won't publish any of this, and you can still get it done after you have left your institution, you know how to use emails right?, so this should be sufficient contact to allow drafts, etc to be finalised.

I think you shouldtalk to your supervisor, if you don't like ome of the stuff he/she is doing then tell them this, but do not be angry, you have no reason to suspect this was done for malicious reasons as such.

Are my applications being read or what??

One thing to consider is perhaps trying outside of London?

I'm not sure if realistically this is an option, not knowing your domestic circumstances etc, but I do know that post-doc positions in London are harder to come by than elsehwere, for whatever reason there seems to be more competition. Maybe this is the same with PhD positions as well. Certainly the University I went to was not that competitive, almost all the PhD students there had 2:1's no masters, and no papers. Generally I would suggest you cast the net a little wider.

Dreaming about PhD

I'm not saying women over the age of 45 are past it, however I should point out that being 23 at the timeo f this particular incident, My supervisor was technically old enough to be my mother. Would'nt most people find this a bit weird?

Dreaming about PhD

oh dear, I had an awful PhD related dream once.

I once dreamt that I was having some kind of romantic involvement with my(female) old PhD supervisor. Now don't get me wrong, my supervisor was an ok woman of about 45, fairly well dressed, mostly good natured if a little stroppy when stressed, which was actually a lot of the time, and probaly a reasonable catch for someone back in the late 80s/ early 90s.

In spite of this it scared the life out of me. I had never even considered my supervisor in such a way, and never would, just NO! not to mention the fact that she has a husband with 2 children. I woke up, felt absolutely mortified, shocked, bewildered, and mortified again. And the worst of it is that this is about the only dream (or should that be nightmare?, during the dream everything seemed fine, only afterwards did I hate myself, so probably a dream)that I can remember particularly well.

this is the first time i've told anyone, I still feel embarassed now even though this was 3.5 years ago.

too young to do a PhD?


I started my PhD on my 22nd Birthday, straight out of a 3 year undergraduate degree, no masters, which is commonplace in my subject. Most of my fellow PhD students were in their 20's but had dropped a year or two here or there ie gone out to work, or taken gap years etc. Although I don't reget doing my PhD at that age (26 now, currently a post-doc), and you can certainly make the most of it, as pointed out by Stressed, I think there was a little animosity from my fellows and maybe I had a little trouble fitting in at first, but then I was kind of forced to grow up, so became more like them, and that was that really.

One negative side of doing a PhD at a youngish age I suppose is that you would normally be meeting a future partner etc then, and it can be difficult to meet people whilst doing a PhD, I found this to be the case for a year or so. I was involved in a few clubs/societies and managed to meet my gf (now of about 3 years) in one of those, so I was fortunate in that respect.

Over worked, under paid: quality of phd life?


I feel quite sorry for you, this structured PhD thing sounds fairly rubbish, however there is another way............................. If you and enough fellow PhD people feel sufficiently unhappy with this situation, you simply need to unionise so that you all just don't do the modules. If enough of you, ie over half the cohort simply does not attend, and expresses its reasons for non attendance ie lack of quality time for spending on research/thesis writing to the detriment of both your overall research output and quality of life in general then you can probably force the department to drop it. No department would simply allow half of it's PhD cohort ( especially if most are research council funded) to pack it all in and walk out, think of how bad that would look.

Failing that you could just do the barest minimum, but I quite like the idea of the first option.

Journal article request

Just got it, many thanks for your help SBCC

a beginners question........

Don't know, are you sure you don't mean Ma or Msc as these mean master of arts or master of sciences respectively. Ms, I have never heard of and don't know what it means, could be the same as a masters degree though.

Journal article request

Hi People, does anyone have a PDF copy of this, or access to brain research bulletin to get said PDF copy?

Alm P, On the autonomic innervation of human vas deferens. 1982. Brain Research Bulletin. Jul-Dec,9(1-6):673-7.

Many thanks

Econ/Philosophy major interested in science PhD

Hi Curious

Intersting question you have here. Obviously you are in the American system, and I can only really handle your question from a UK perspective, but here goes.

I suspect if you aimed to pursue physics or computing as a PhD, you would probably need some kind of qualification beforhand, at least in the UK, unless you decided to self fund, which in sciences can get really expensive. I would assume your school grades in maths and sciences are pretty good at least seeing as you are at a top US university.

I suspect the quickest and easiest way to pull of a change of direction like this would be to do a taught masters degree in physical or computational sciences. In the UK these are usually for one year, that should tell you whether you are up for the change of direction, and will prove to a potential PhD sponsor that you can do the job.

A one year masters in the UK (i think) has higher tuition fees than undergrad, so will probably cost you somwehere in the region of £12,000 a year, plus whatever living expenses you require, not sure what the US equivalent of this qualification would be. One other thing to bear in mind, you can do a PhD in 3 years here, whilst in the US it often takes twice that long.

Viva date!

Hi Wal,

I think it could well be a good thing that the viva is so soon after submission, less chance to forget everything, just read a few key publications, think about the obvious weaknesses of your thesis, but don't do too much. I managed just fine on doing a bit of extra reading at weekends plus a read through of the thesis the night before on the train, in many ways having started work bfore viva day helped me quite a bit as I was not able to think about it too much