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Viva day tommorow!

Hi Guys,

It's me, we had the viva yesterday, and it was a pass with minor corrections, not too many of them either. The internal said I could probably get them sorted for this year's congregation, and so get it all knocked on the head and be graduated next month.

More details to follow, probably monday, but am heading out again now, so will fill you all in at a later date

Viva day tommorow!

Hi guys, It's yet another viva thread.

Just posting to say that it's mine tommorrow, have done some preparation but not loads. Not feeling to nervous so far, but may kick in later. Wanted to say a big thanks to people, Walminski, badhaircut, sneaks, Eska, PhD_bug and countless others who have kept me entertained/comforted/from giving up altogether over this time.

I'm as avid a follower of the forum as ever, although I may not be an overly prolific poster, and hope to continue to peruse and post in future.

I shall let you know how things have gone on saturday


2 weeks in't caravan at cleethorpes for me

Not really, I'm of to Berlin for a week in August, should be good fun have been once before a long time ago, loved it then, swore I'd go back when I next had money to do so.

New government - research funding?

Hi Melsie

Not sure what conservative policy is on research funding etc, although if they are anything like previous tory governments, it means less public spending and therefore funding, plus encouragement of private, probably industry based research. If you think about it funding for the research councils is one of the easiest cuts to make, especially as the benefits probably won't be realised for years, by which time a new goverment is likely to be in place.

Think i might go for a peek in the tory manifesto.

Well seeing as you're all so good at relationship advice...

Sounds complicated, I'd of thought having 2 men in a relationship would make things much simpler.

Sounds to me like you'd be best off moving on, this person is way too selfish, If you do get involved, chances are you will probably end up getting hurt

Job applications

I made a total of 7 applications 2 industry, 4 Academia, one non science, got 0/2, 2/4 and 1/1 offers of interviews and took the first interview I got (Post-doctoral Academia, 2 and three quarter year contract) Think i got pretty lucky really.

PM me if you want advice, although i doubt theres much I can tell you that your uni careers person can't

Viva preparation, what, when and how much

Hi guys, Just wanted some advice on Viva prep, mine is 21st of May. Thus far I've read the thesis once and re-read briefly some of the key papers in the field. At present am reading my external's papers and planning to revise some of the difficult areas covered and look at possibly controversial areas of the thesis in good detail. Anybody got any other ideas/suggestions

Any contributions are welcome

I pulled an all nighter, and now I feel terrible

I'm a never man

I think the closest I've ever got to pulling all nighters is when I was doing undergrad finals reviosion, I was regularly up untill 2:30-3am but then sllept untill 11am most days. Generally I'd say they are not worth it as you must struggle to owrk the next day.... but if it works for you

How much weight have YOU gained since starting you PhD?

I've dropped a quarter of a stone from 12.5 to 12.25, i suspect this is muscle due to having less time to exercise, Generally my weight has remained at 12.25 for about 2 and a half years now.

General Election 2010

I'd also like to add that although I dislike the man, I am not in any way suggesting the David Cameron is anti-semitic/homophobic/denying climate change, I think he's just a bit desperate to enforce his Euro-sceptic agenda.

General Election 2010

4matt, with all due respect, I think you may be incorrect regarding Nick Clegg's supposed attempts to smear conservative european allies

An article, admittedly in the Guardian, published nearly a year ago about some of David Cameron's eurosceptic allies includes a section that I have pasted here for people to consider

"Global warming is a lie, homosexuality is a "pathology" and Europe is becoming a "neo-totalitarian" regime, according to one of David Cameron's new European allies.

Tory headquarters may never have heard of Urszula Krupa, a militant Roman Catholic and strong Polish nationalist, but at the weekend in Warsaw, Cameron sealed his new alliance in Europe with Krupa's rightwing party in Poland, the opposition Law and Justice party (PiS) run by twin brothers Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczy´nski.

Cameron went to the city's Palladium cinema to stand alongside Jaroslaw Kaczy´nski, the PiS leader, and Mirek Topolánek, leader of the Civic Democratic party (ODS) in the Czech Republic, to celebrate the foundation of a new league of Eurosceptics to be established in the European parliament after elections for the assembly this weekend.

The Tory leader waxed lyrical about the Battle of Britain and how Czech and Polish pilots did their bit in the blitz with the RAF.

"Together we fought for freedom," Cameron said.

"We are the modern conservatives," added Kaczy´nski.

Paranoia towards the outside world, ingrained prejudice and discrimination towards homosexuals, fundamentalist Roman Catholicism, climate change denial and hostility towards Germany are some of the views espoused by the Kaczy´nskis' party, which is out of sync with a dynamic, modernising Poland where 80% of people like the EU.

Krupa and several of her likeminded colleagues wrote an open letter to Polish voters ahead of this week's election.

"We protest against the rising wave of anti-Polishness and the falsifying of history in Europe," they wrote. Homosexuality was a "pathology" undermining the sanctity of the family. Christianity was the root of European greatness. "We will not tolerate the Germanisation of western and northern Polish territories under the mask of Europeanisation."

For the full article try http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/02/david-cameron-alliance-polish-nationalists

Please don't try to make sweeping statements that mask some rather inconvenient truths about the conservative party in future

Who has the highest number of references in EndNote?

Not sure how many references were in my endnote, I've finished PhD and moved to different topic.

Counted the number of references in my thesis last night, came to 330, I think the number of references you have is probably more an indicator of field size than any great demonstration of commitment to the research itself. I suspect if I did a PhD in my current field I would struggle to reach 150 references as it's aa whole lot smaller.

General Election 2010

Hi folks,

Intersting debate as per usual.

Personally my choices are quite simple, Lib dem, or spoil.

I would never vote conservative as it goes mostly against my principles, the leader is a sleazebag, and I believe their priorites are misplaced. A gonvernment's main responsibilities in my view are to keep it's people healthy, educate them, and provide them with job oppurtunities. Conservative priorites of cutting the national debt and making rich people richer don't really fit with that, not to mention the probable cuts in funding to the research councils upon which my livelihood pretty much depends.

However, I won't ever vote for labour as they took my country to war, pointlessly and have neither justified nor apologised for their decisions, I also vehmently disagree with their higher education policies regarding 50% in higher education and people having to pay for it all themselves. Universities should be an academic elite, we simply have no need for all the graduates we are generating, so why not massively streamline the system and save the govermnet and the individuals a significant sum of money?.

On a personal note, I find Gordon Brown far more tolerable as an individual than previous PM's I have known, for example, who would you rather have dinner with, Brown? or one of the last 3 incumbents of the post (Blair, Major, Thatcher)?, I know it's like asking if you prefer horse, cow, pig, or sheep's poo, but I have to speak up for Gordon on that one.

As far as outcomes go, it has to be anything but the tories, I'm with Walminski on that one. I think a liberal democrat-labour coalition would be the best possible outcome here.

An arts phD in 3 years

Hmmmm, getting a bit fruity here aren't we?

Back onto a more serious note. I don't know Arts PhDs that well so can't comment specifically.

I will say that wanting to get the whole project done in 3 years or less is perhaps the wrong attitude to research generally. Some PhDs will simply take longer, it all depends what situation you are in, whether you have a good supervisor/topic or both, or what other life events happen to take place during that time. My advice is not to set a time limit to something like this, simply accept that it will take as long as it takes................ if this seems like a somewhat unpleasant outcome, perhaps you don't have the essential level of dedication that is required here?, sounds harsh, but just something I think you should consider.

How many job applications till you got the job?

Hi Looking4job

As far as tips for job hunting go, there are a few things I can recommend, although these are quite general, and you have probably already thought of them. If you want I can send you a copy of my CV/covering letters, just pm me your email.

1. Use the facilities available. Most universities have a decent careers service, get them to take a look at your CV, even if these people know nothing of your subject, they can still ensure that your CV looks slick.

2. Make the most of your experiences. Do not lie, however you can make things sound perhaps a little more significant than they actually are. For example, I was using a piece of equipment regularly, as I was the only user of this piece of equipment I also cleaned/maintained/serviced this. You may think this is all part of your job as a lab based student, but I chose to list it as a "technical responsibility" thus showing ability to owrk independantly etc. Basically try to sell even the small things you have done.

3. Tailor your application, in academia, length is better, in the outside world, it is not. Also really push the envelope with the covering letter, this is your only chance to write down why you should get the job. 3 good bullet points should do it. Also tailor your CV, so if collaborations are mentioned, try and find some example of this in your work, even very small examples can be made to look useful.

4. If you get an interview, make sure you know your field inside out, back to front etc, assuming you don't already. This is the one key expectation I think interviewers will have of you. Ensure that you can communicate this to your interviewers effectively. Also try and judge character to a certain extent, would the odd wisecrack go down well? and more importantly is this somebody you could work with in future. Interviews work both ways.

5. Widen your search, if you see a job description that you like the look of, but don't have all the key requirements, then maybe contact the employer and explain, "i don't have X, but I do have Y and Z and am really excited by your advertisemnt etc" This may work in a number of ways. You may be the only applicant, or they may appreciate your initiative. Generally when you do decide to go slightly speculative, if they get back and say have a go, or "you have to be in it to win it" as one place did with me, it is good manners to email first, and remeber that no means no.

6. Don't restrict yourself geographically. London is a nightmare for academic jobs at present, the north, somewhat less so methinks. Obviously if you have family a move is probably not the way to go. If it's just a partner then I'd say go anywhere, if the relationship is meant to last it will, if it wasn't it won't and less time will be wasted.

Good luck, pm me if you want any more tips