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chemistrystudent2401
Saturday, 23 November 2019 at 11:46pm
Saturday, 25 July 2020 at 8:23pm
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Thread: approaching potential phd supervisors and emailing them

posted
25-Jul-20, 20:33
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 2 weeks ago
I recently sent an email to two supervisors expressing interest in their phd positions, I sent these on the 19th and haven't heard anything back, how long should I wait for a reply? and if I don't get a response should I still send an application? I'm quite anxious to send these applications off, there was no deadline attached to these positions so I wanted to send it off ASAP. For context, I emailed stating what degree I got and the grade, my research interests and why I was interested in their phd position, mentioned some papers of theirs that I read and that i'd hope to hear from them soon..is this the right way to email them? I also send the email through some form attached on the advert on findaphd, i'm not even sure if it was reliable to send my email that way as i'm not 100% sure it would have got to them, should I have emailed them directly? I didn't email any proposal as most chemistry phd's have a proposal already laid out, I did attach my CV though

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
22-Jan-20, 13:32
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From pm133:
A 2:1 is not ideal but it will depend on the number of competing students who apply for the same post but you should get something without too much trouble. You might struggle to get the ideal position but you won't know until you try applying.


Quote From rewt:
To add to pm133's point, a good mark in your dissertation can partially make up for 2:1 grade.


thanks. Any advice on making a good dissertation?

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
21-Jan-20, 22:29
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Wanting to take a break from academia is understandable but you'll be giving up a £25k job for one at £14k when you come back to the PhD so bear that in mind.

If you go for industry you should try and find a job which gives you the skills you think you are missing.
PhD supervisors are less interested in you having this experience and more interested in your academic record and availability.

You can make this decision knowing it's going to make no difference to your chances of securing a PhD position a year or two down the road.

thanks.

ok thanks for the information.
Would supervisors look down on a low 2.1? Its where I am at currently however i'm confident i can pull this up to a high 2.1

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
21-Jan-20, 22:26
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From rewt:
What are you getting out of the year in industry? I don't think you will gain that much other than a year of life experience. You can learn most lab techniques with a small bit of effort and there is no guarantee working in industry will give you the relevant lab experience. PhD application processes look more for ability than experience, as they can teach what you need. So if you want to do a PhD, I would apply now rather than gaining experience beforehand.

Also, if you want a gap year, take a gap year

PS: Experimental Chemical Engineer


sorry should have been more clear in my original post.
I might take a gap year, whether i want to work in a chemitry related job while taking that gap year i'm not sure, for the most part i just want a break from education and then jump back in after a year, i'm not sure what my plan would be, probably work for a bit in some part time job and travel maybe but would this look bad on an application?

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
10-Jan-20, 14:14
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From pm133:
I've done plenty of both practical research lab Chemistry (almost 2 years between summer breaks and a years industrial synthesis placement) and theoretical Chemistry during my PhD so I can advise.

What would be the purpose of the year out in industry?
If it's to get lab experience I honestly wouldn't worry about that.
I'm not a big fan of doing a PhD without gaining a 1st or a very good 2:1 because having a solid theoretical background really is essential but that's just my own view. You should have few problems getting a position.

Personally, I think that if you really want to do a PhD you should go ahead and apply. If you agree to start in September you have a few months to fill any gaps in your knowledge and do some literature reviewing before you really get going.


a break from academia really, i’ve never taken a gap year and i feel like this year would be a good time to take one. I want to do a phd but i’m not 100% sure i wanna start a few months after graduating. So would you say that i wouldn’t need to worry about getting more lab experience? i’m confident in the lab but i’m just worried any supervisor would look at the amount of lab experience i have and say i’d need to get more.

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
08-Jan-20, 13:16
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 7 months ago
hey all

a while ago i posted about whether it would be worst applying for phds in the chemistry field given that i'm most likely going to achieve an 2.1 mchem this year
i decided i would but i'm having doubts because of other things
the only research experience i have is from my masters research project, i dont have research experience outside of uni, i have other work experience from internships but theyre not related to chemistry, do you think this would be a setback?
I was thinking of applying for other jobs this year, hopefully chemistry related and do a phd next year rather than start this year, would this be a good idea? taking a year out doing something else?
are there any chemistry phd students here? if so could i have a chat with you directly?

Thread: any point applying for phd positions with a 2.1?

posted
26-Nov-19, 19:08
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From bob86:
Quote From chemistrystudent2401:
Quote From bob86:
I also went into a PhD with a 2:1 (Engineering) but wouldn't recommend it. Try to do a Masters by Research (or a taught Masters with a significant research element) in between if you can. Bit of a long shot you might be thinking but it will better prepare you for the jump from the undergrad to PhD level. Ideally you need a solid (theoretical) foundation as well as some exposure to research before tackling a PhD and in my experience a good (2:1) undergraduate degree alone just doesn’t provide that.


I’m doing a masters which is 50% research right now if that counts?


Sorry I didn't read your initial post properly. At my institution (UK) if you apply to do a PhD and only have an undergraduate/integrated Masters they usually enrol you on an MRes (Masters by Research) degree to start off with the option to upgrade to PhD status providing you pass a review/mini-viva at the 9-month stage. Once you are upgraded you continue the project you were doing on the MRes but with the revised goal of now submitting a more substantial thesis at the 3/3.5 years mark. This way you get a better idea of what the PhD involves and at the same time the supervisor gets a chance to gauge whether you are worth investing the additional 2/2.5 years of his/her hard earned funding! Good luck in whatever you decide.


I did come across a few positions where it starts off with MRss first then goes onto phd, sounds interesting so i’ll look more into that, thanks!

Thread: any point applying for phd positions with a 2.1?

posted
26-Nov-19, 13:25
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From pm133:
I certainly wouldn't advise you saying anything about losing motivation as a reason for poorer grades in 3rd year. I also wouldn't go with a defence of "if I had studied harder I would have got a 1st" because anyone can say it. If asked, you may need to satisfy the supervisor that your lack of motivation was a one-off due to exceptional circumstances which won't happen again. This is your biggest problem I think because during the middle years of your PhD you will have no shortage of things to feel demotivated about. How can you guarantee you won't suffer a similar fate? You need to be able to answer that question.


i wasn’t planning on saying that. I meant explaining my mitigating circumstances if the conversation came up. I think it’s fair to say that losing someone close to me did affect my grades quite a bit, are you suggesting it’s not a fair reason?

Thread: any point applying for phd positions with a 2.1?

posted
25-Nov-19, 19:58
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From rewt:
I personally got a 2:1 and many many other PhD students also achieved 2:1s at undergraduate level. So a 2:1 does not rule you out.


Well done on getting the phd position!

Quote From kenziebob:
I got a 2:1 as well and don't have a masters. I got on to my PhD due to relevant experience.


I don’t specifically have research experience outside of uni but i am doing a masters with 50% being research...would that be enough?

Thread: any point applying for phd positions with a 2.1?

posted
25-Nov-19, 19:56
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From pm133:
You might find that you struggle to get the PhD position you want with a 2:1 if you are in competition with those with a 1st but you will probably find something. If your 2:1 is very low I would seriously recommend you take a step back and consider whether your academic background is strong enough to make the journey without you fixing whatever needs fixing. It's hard enough without having the undergraduate principles secured.

By the way, if I can provide one piece of advice it would be to drop the "genius postdoc" thing. It's absolutely not true (there is no such thing as a genius) and it's potentially highly damaging to your confidence to be thinking that way. A PhD is no longer just about being academically brilliant. Yes you need to be smart but it's about hard work and an independent attitude more than anything else. It might be worth considering that this "genius" has not even secured their first permanent job yet and may yet find it hard to do so. Leave them to their own difficult life journey and just focus on yours.


I think my academic background is pretty good, i normally get good grades however i mostly felt demotivated during third year and didn’t study as hard as i could have. I know if i studied a bit harder i would have easily gotten a first, i know it’s probably silly to think about the what ifs at this point but do you think it would be worth explaining my circumstances if i was asked about them?

Thread: any point applying for phd positions with a 2.1?

posted
25-Nov-19, 19:51
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From bob86:
I also went into a PhD with a 2:1 (Engineering) but wouldn't recommend it. Try to do a Masters by Research (or a taught Masters with a significant research element) in between if you can. Bit of a long shot you might be thinking but it will better prepare you for the jump from the undergrad to PhD level. Ideally you need a solid (theoretical) foundation as well as some exposure to research before tackling a PhD and in my experience a good (2:1) undergraduate degree alone just doesn’t provide that.


I’m doing a masters which is 50% research right now if that counts?

Thread: any point applying for phd positions with a 2.1?

posted
24-Nov-19, 00:04
Avatar for chemistrystudent2401
posted about 9 months ago
I'm not sure if people on here are from different places so I'll give some background. I'm a chemistry student on an integrated masters scheme in the uk, and I'm in my final year. Before I started my final year I could never see myself doing a phd, mainly because I thought I was not smart enough or had the grades however now I've started my final year and have begun my research project, I am enjoying the whole research side (despite loads of my reactions failing) and would love to be doing research rather than working in an office all day. I've been really hesitant to apply to any phd positions for many reasons.

Im on a 2.1 right now and will most likely being graduating with a 2.1, I am definitely gonna try my hardest to get a 1st but my low 2.1 in third year has pulled my average down. I did have some mitigating circumstances but I didn't end up applying for it as for some reason I felt it would be wrong to do so, do you guys think maybe I could still explain these if the topic came up?

I feel like I still don't know a lot to be doing a phd, the post doc I work with is insanely genius, I know he's been doing this research stuff for a while so thats probably why he knows so much but I feel like even if I reached his stage I won't know as much as he does.

And finally I'm kind of hesitant to ask my academic advisor and supervisor for references, they're both incredibly nice but do you think they'll give me one for a phd application given what my current grades are right now?
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