Signup date: 25 May 2006 at 3:26pm
Last login: 08 Aug 2008 at 4:34pm
Post count: 846
I know postdocs who have gone into industry. They tend to go for jobs based on their experience i.e. they have excellent lab skills which are directly applicable. Other ways in (pharma) seem to be trainee positions. I'm temped to say go for industry if that is what you want, rather than holding off. There are also industry postdocs.
I think you need some more concrete advice as to the viability of your project from your supervisor and maybe someone else as well. It sounds like it will be hard for you on a personal level, so it's down to whether you want to put yourself through that.
It might be worth completing an MPhil so it hasn't beaten you. Your supervisor sounds great!
I finished my PhD, but feel I couldn't cope with academia as a career and have lost a lot of confidence.
Maybe be less hard on yourself? You know the exercise has slipped, but you said that you'd been having a tough time, and there's only so much one person can do. I can sympathise a bit as I started my PhD as size 12 and now size 14 with the fat rolls and old clothes don't fit. You won't necessarily put all the weight back on though. Maybe aim to be as healthy as you can manage?
It sounds like it is just down to individual funding/your supervisor. I had to prepare all my laboratory materials as a PhD, but in other labs this would be done by a technician for me, but my supervisor wouldn't pay the money to have someone do this. Well, our technician ended up doing research, eventually registered as a PhD and wasn't really a technician. My friend who worked with animals assisted a postdoc and sounded like she had less animal work, athough was doing immunology not studying the animals directly.
Have you read your MRC booklet of guidelines (I got one when I started), or contacted them?
You could contact the students union for advice maybe. I really doubt they could claim back 3 years money if you were actually using the money and working on a PhD. Having students not finish means funding may not be awarded to the supervisor/department in the future i.e. big financial repurcussions for the department. No money, no research, no reputation. That is your supervisor's/department's fault to some degree as they should monitor your progress and flag up any problems. You do not have the benefit of years of academic experience to know what will pass for a PhD.
P.S. my MRC funding went on a completely different project to the one they funded and it wasn't an issue.
There are pros and cons, there is not one overriding decision, which probably makes it a lot harder.
I think future career and happiness are big deciding factors. I chose to stick it out as didn't want to have failed to have completed it. It took 4 years to hand in, then 5 month wait for viva, then 3 months corrections so wasn't easy as really dragged out and I was miserable and wanted to leave academia.
It is disheartening looking at jobs someone with a lesser qualification (degree/Msc) could get, but I feel justified in asking for the higher end of the pay scale. A lot of it can be experience and personality and how well you can do the job, but PhDs can unlock some higher level positions depending on job title.
Drink makes me wake up early, and is not necessarily good for quality sleep. Do you exercise? That might relive some of the stress, although ironically if too late at night can keep you awake! I'd say cut out caffeine after about 4pm. Eating late can affect sleeping too. It sounds like you need to wind down and relax for even an hour before bed. Could you even finish earlier and start early as you are up so early anyway? Is there someone that can help with your child?
You could try things like relaxation at home e.g. buy a CD or yoga (DVD/book or class) or a warm bath, or the Simpsons...
The irony is diet, exercise, sleep go out of the window when you most need it to cope with the extra stress. You could also just accept that the extra work is temporary.
That is just for printing. The university binds but does not print and referred me to the 40p a sheet people. I have a black laser printer, but may just have to go back into uni to print (free)-I did leave in September. I hoped to avoid printing out each individual page on an inkjet as so much of my thesis is colour. I didn't know how much it would cost at a printers though! I'm still seeing if I can call in some favours from friends who have printing at work. Middle option is to just send just the colour pages to the printers I suppose, but then I could almost print myself if faffing with pages.
How did other people cope with printing a thesis with a large number of colour diagrams mixed in with the text? Has anyone had it done professionally-did you get a good quote? I'm considering reprinting on a colour laser printer but my best quote is £138+vat for 3 copies (20p per sheet). Another quote is 40p sheet.
I chose to wait until after the PhD. Still waiting though and we've been together 7 years. It took a year to get on a PhD after my degree, then 4 years to hand in, and I'm still looking for a permament job over 6 months later-compounded by not wanting to move away from my boyfriend!
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