Overview of Claire_Rhino

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Waiting for Offers -How Long?!?!

======= Date Modified 05 May 2009 17:13:05 =======
Hmm.. similar topic so I thought I'd post here rather than starting a new one unnecessarily. The last I heard from a PhD application was "I will contact you about interviews." but I've not heard anything since. I know its just after the easter holiday but I'm starting to wonder if the supervisors have changed their minds. How long is too long to wait? For jobs, I assume that after a month of silence, they're not interested but what about PhDs?

What to do if your neighbour's cat enters in your flat?

Ahh, they are buggers for wandering. A really evil gnarly looking cat keeps coming into our house: if you have no cats of your own, you can get a "Cat-Off" spray which you can use around the doors and windows, maybe your plants if its using them as a toilet! :D Or you could just try chasing it off with a broom! Haha!

Going for PhD later in life

If you have the qualifications and some industry experience, why not? As long as your family are allright with it and I'm sure if you explained to your spouse that you want to do a PhD, they would support your decision? It's not something I have looked at seeing as I don't have children but don't some Universities offer childcare facilities to their students? Would that be worth looking into?

Some Advice is welcome Thanks!

======= Date Modified 08 Apr 2009 10:08:51 =======
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======= Date Modified 07 Apr 2009 20:22:36 =======

Quote From Markus:

Now here are my doubts:

I have around 6,14 from my Biotechnological career in Spain (4 years) plus I expect around 60-65% for my MSc.

Is it a good background for a PhD possition?

How does it counts when I am applying for a PhD? Are they enought marks? are they good enought?

Also, for applying, its is really important that i have not finish the MSc yet?

And when applyining, do yo recomend to contact the supervisor previosly? What I should say.....

(Oops..sorry I did not read the bit about you coming to the UK to study! Doi!), If your University's marking scheme is similar to mine, 60-65% will get you the equivalent of a Merit so yes I would say thats good enough to apply! The final choice is down to the supervisor of course. However I have no idea what a 6, 14 correlates to so please forgive my ignorance! >.< If you look at the projects offered on findaphd.com, the adverts should stipulate the backgrounds that they would prefer in a student, for example my background is Medical Science and Toxicology and I am applying for cancer/DNA repair related projects, so most I have applied for said they want a student who has a background in "biological" or "life" sciences.

From my experience, I started applying for PhDs when I was still studying for my MRes: it shouldn't matter that you haven't finished yet, a lot of students on my Masters course went straight through to a PhD but do keep up the good work... and yes, absolutely contact the supervisors whose projects and research areas you are interested in! And start off by telling them what you have told us: your background, likely result of your MSc, explain why you want to do a PhD etc etc..

Part-time Masters (Pros and Cons)

For starters, what subject area are you interested in? Because I doubt you will find many science Masters that are part time, especially if a large chunk of it is in the lab.

Second, I have a few friends who have done a Masters part time; in the case of one person they needed to work to suppport themselves as well as study. As far as I could tell, it wore her out and made her very stressed! Having said that, doing a Masters fullltime is just as stressful and if its not funded, with the extra pressure of funding your studies. In my opinion a part time Masters makes it much more stretched out which personally for me would have been a bad thing but it depends on your situation. Do YOU feel after weighing up the pros and cons that you would like to take less time over the masters in terms of years, or in hours per week?

Study in France

======= Date Modified 06 Apr 2009 15:12:59 =======
Ahh brilliant stuff, thankyou so much for your replies!

Quote From smoobles:

you're in luck - i did an erasmus year in france, at the universite de paris sud! i believe they have different campuses though, i was based south of paris in a town called orsay, don't know if you'll be at the same one?

Yep, its the Orsay campus. AFAIK its where most of their biological sciences students are based and it's a fairly important institute for international science. It's brilliant because its just outside of Paris, so it should be cheaper to rent in than being right in the centre of the city. The only thing that worries me is if its near the dodgy areas of the Parisian suburbs! :S Maybe I'm just thinking of La Haine! Haha!

1) Language

I do speak a little French but with a terrible English accent! So I hope the language barrier won't be too strong: I have been to Paris before, tried to use what little French I can manage and often I would get a response in fluent English! That's the tourist industry for you... I assume that actually living there would be different. I hope to continue learning French anyway, regardless of whether I get an interview or the place. I reckon that speaking another language is a skill most people could use!

3) Lab work

The universite de paris sud was horrendously badly equipped when i was there (2003-2004), but this doesn't seem to cause any major problems. coming from a uk uni, the labs seemed shockingly old fashioned and basic, so don't be expecting any high-tech equipment! if you get to go over there for an interview, ask to be shown round and you can have a look and see what you think. it wasn;t just the labs - the whole of the campus was pretty old fashioned, and you didn't even get a student card, just a folded piece of card with your name on!

Ahh, it sounds like Birmingham Uni's Medical School! :D It looked like it was stuck in the '70s! Although it's been refurbished since I studied there... the last lab I was working in during my MRes had some new equipment (the group were working on a project with a microscope which also shot lasers at cells. Someone there managed to write "DNA" in a nucleus!) but the basic equipment such as the spectrophotometer was a bit dated. I suppose when it comes to student cards I'd probably have to get an international student's registration card... although I did read that French Universities don't distinguish between home and international students as much as UK ones.

Am I too old?

If you're studying to further your professional development, I don't think you could ever be "too old". I hope to be starting a PhD this year and I am 25, so I wil be nearly 30 by the time I'm finished. I've always been told not to worry about my age with reference to such things. As for your "odd jobs here and there", surely if you are ever asked about these, you must have gained some transferable skills: especially from the teaching courses! Personally, I wouldn't worry: if further study is what you want to do and you have the motivation to do it, I don't see why you shouldn't go for it! (up)

Looking for a PhD post abroad

I don't know much about applying for study in the US: except that it is done on a "milkround" but if you want to look for projects in Europe I would recommend the Euraxess website. Just type it into google and it should come up with the correct site. Sorry I can't recall the URL.

Use of Rat IgG

What an odd question.. were you asked this at interview or something?! :P Hehe!

Sounds to me like a method of showing non-specific binding or agglutination, as someone else has said....

Study in France

I have applied for a PhD position with the Institut Curie/Universite Paris-Sud. For a while I have been considering a PhD, the ideal situation I washoping for was to do a PhD in the UK and then do a postdoc in France,possibly with the Institut Curie so I couldn't believe my luck that theyare not only advertising for a PhD student but the project is one which is right in my area of interest! I couldn't not apply for it and the supervisor seems to be interested in my CV. I get really nervous at interviews, so to make sure I don't mess up again, I've done a lot of reading on how the French education system works and since I have a Masters, I have been reassured that I am eligible to apply. The supervisor of the project has generously given me a reading list of the group's work, I've done some background reading on the group's webpage and I feel pretty confident that if I was offered an interview I could discuss their project well and bring in my ideas for my future career. So I think I'm pretty well prepared in that sense.

However, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience of study in France itself, such as a placement, ERASMUS year etc just so, if they ask, I comprehend completely what I would be getting myself into, should I be successful? For example, I realise that one has to get on top of the administrative side of things very quickly for starters and that the libraries need some serious navigational skills! :D Or better yet, are there any French students here who could tell me what studying for them has been like? Any tips would be very much appreciated!

Merci beaucoup! XD

Applying abroad

======= Date Modified 15 May 2009 17:16:59 =======
I've been considering studying abroad: I've seen an advert for a PhD in Orsay (near Paris) that seems very interesting to me! Luckily, they seem to want the applicant to be an English speaker so as far as I can see it, the language barrier will be related to every day stuff rather than study itself. It may be worth learning at least some of the language to get by, and you will pick it up as you go along: also I have a feeling that some Universities will offer intensive language courses before you start?

application troubles

Greetings, fellow Claire who knows how to spell it correctly! :P Hehe! Try this book, I've been reading it as I have been making my applications:


As for your former supervisors: could you try asking someone in their department for their new contact details?

Personal statements for phds

======= Date Modified 24 Feb 2009 22:55:31 =======
If you write about your honest intention and motivation to study at a higher level, surely you won't come off as sounding fake?! :S Everyone has their reasons. I may not have a place yet but I've been getting a lot of interview offers since last summer. I tend to not mention my pre-University education, as others have said here. There's about a sentence on my CV showing the name of my school and the fact that I did A Levels at the same school and thats about it, the rest goes on Uni stuff and experience. Focus more on what you are doing now and towards the future. For example you could state what you want to use the PhD for.

Also, I hope this isn't rude but are your job roles relevant to research?

Oxford Interviews

Well, I heard from them and I wasn't offered a place. :(

I've been to several interviews now and I seem to keep making the same mistake: getting nervous and making a complete tit of myself when it comes to talking about issues that I feel I know a great deal about: in a way, I know what supervisors are looking for but its my nerves that are holding me back. Its getting very frustrating that I'm letting myself down and robbing myself of being given a chance at something which, in the end, I feel I would be good at. When it comes to being nervous or trying to appear not nervous at all(!) :D would anyone have any advice?

Oxford Interviews

Thankyou for your replies and advice!

I'm not an Oxford alumnus and that kind of favour is what I am worried about! I still think I am a strong candidate but I have often been told "Its who not what you know!". :S

It's the presentation that concerns me the most so thankyou very much.