Signup date: 20 May 2008 at 1:05pm
Last login: 21 Mar 2014 at 11:54am
Post count: 370
I finished my PhD mid last year, I frequently wondered if my PhD project was any good at all, and in fact it probably wasn't. It was based on flawed data that was in fact made up and fundamentally wrong, and the supporting literature all used different models, so also not much good. If it had been sent to a proper research council for funding, i don't think it would have got funded, even before the recession, it got funded because it was paid for by a charity that my ex supervisor had a long association with. It was essentially a poorly designed project, then again a lot of PhDs are. I still got through in 3.5 years, currently i have 1 paper (2nd author) from it, the best I can hope for if everything gets accepted is 4 2nd authorships and a 1st authorship.
If you consider your project usesless, maybe think about why you think it is useless and push it in a direction of making it not useless would be my advice ,you never quite know where this may take you
PierreR that really sums up the way I think I got into my current line of work I am now in, without essentially explaining any of it, good post.
And the rest of you, many thanks for your responses, they are all interesting, really not sure I agree with the notion of being in it for the title, that has never really appealed to me, and I never use it outside of work either.
Anyways, its all intersting stuff, keep it coming.
Quite a philosophical thread here, the main question i want to ask is Why are you doing your PhD? and what motivates you to do so?. Any awnsers are welcome, i'm just curious as to why people are putting themselves through this.
Personally I don't really know, I'm in biomedical research, I never thought I would even go to university so it was never a childhood ambition. I sort of fell into my degree, found I could do it and liked it, took it further to PhD level, and am now a post-doc of nearly one year.
As to what motivates me to keep going? I'm not sure. I'm not here out of any altruistic reasons, peoples health would be improved so much more by taking better care of themselves than anything i will ever discover, and i just don't care that much. I am however highly competitive, academia gives me a good outlet for that. Whilst i think I am interested in what I am doing, to an extent it all feels like a bit of a game i'm playing here in terms of trying to get papers published etc. I just wonder if there is, or should be something deeper that drives me onwards.
All opinions and contributions are welcome
Not my field,
In spite of this, I would say always use the past tense when referring to methodologies. In my area all methods are described in the past tense only, eg "resuspended cell cultures were seeded at a density of 10,000 cells per coverslip" or "slices were incubated at 37 degrees for one hour"
Hope this is vaguely useful
Can you talk to other students whom he has worked with for a similar amount of time and see if they were ever invited out to his place for meetings?, this would probably give you a definitive awnser. Another thing to consider, his health hasn't taken a turn for the worst lately has it?, that be a perfectly innocent recent for the change of venue
Either way, I think you did the right thing by saying that his place is very difficult for you to get to, by merely talking in terms of practicality it diffuses what may or may not be an awkward situation quite well
Congratulations on the submission, you are now on the way to regaining your life, it takes a bit of time, but you will be ultimately be mighty relieved to have time to do all the stuff that makes life good again.
Not wanting to put a downer on things, how is job hunting going, any luck with that yet?
Personally i'm staggered that an instituion will charge any fees during the write up year, virtually nobody gets done and handed in after exactly 3 years these days. Surely charging someone the extra dosh when money is going to be tight anyway, and trying to earn money will distract from the job in hand must be counter productive to what the university wants - all its students done in 4 years.
My old instituion charged no fees, although you were placed in "registration only mode" which meant no access to facilities such as the sports centre or joining of societies was allowed, but you were allowed access to your department and the library. They also didn't stop me visiting the bar and shops on campus though, strange that.
This seems to me like a really stupid routine.
Compare this to my own.
Get to work at about 9-9:30.
maybe have the occasional 10 minute tea break, often whilst reading research papers
Half an hour for lunch between 12:00 and 1:00
work in afternoon, occasional 10 minute tea break, often whilst reading research papers
6-7:00 go home, mostly I can't really concentrate much after this anyway.
Why don't you simply tell your gf to just re-structure her time according to what is required to get the job done? and still leaves time for you to spend some time together. Her current routine both consumes all her time, and achieves very little productive output from what I can see.
I appreciate you are living in a very diffrent culture, but you could point out that by not taking 1h 30 minutes for lunch, playing tennis with professors, or arseing around/sleeping in the afternoon she could do 9-5 and have time for other stuff. Also i don't like the whole idea of her dad "arranging" fo her to be a professor after 3 years of this. University is about finding your own way, not simply jumping through hoops and relying on family connections.
I'd simply walk away from this relationship, you have every right to be angry
You could probably get it done cheaper at a commercial printers eg prontaprint, or just do it in a uni computer cluster, I seem to recall that was about 4-5p per black and white sheet in my days, if you have the time to spare farting around with all that.
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