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despoxcam
Saturday, 27 July 2019 at 10:08am
Friday, 2 August 2019 at 11:37pm
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Thread: Is my PhD ready to implode?

posted
02-Aug-19, 23:36
edited about 3 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Thanks for your response. My supervisor avoided answering whether he thinks I can produce a thesis (two yrs down the line from now), but he did say that we need a plan and maybe adjustments are required--be it a change in project focus, adding a secondary supervisor or, just meeting once at the end of the month instead of twice a month. He reiterated that none of my data in my first year is publishable and asked for my opinion. I suggested that rather than giving me one protein to Gibson clone, he should give me more so that if other proteins work out I can make progress on those other experiments rather than sticking with one for 3+months. He didn't respond to my suggestion and said that I was trained by one of his best postdocs and he doesn't understand why I couldn't accomplish his objectives. The issue is that his postdoc had her own busy work and taught me PRINCIPLES of certain experiments, not troubleshooting. The latter part I had to learn on my own. He drove the conversation back to how in some careers having a PhD won't actually help. He then talked about how a postdoc from the neighboring lab went on to be a salesperson for GE and loved her job and said that if I went on the academia route I need to be prepared to live for a ten years without a large income.

I realized we were at an impasse and I told him I'll consider what he said but my opinion of staying committed to a PhD is unlikely to change.

What are your thoughts?

Thread: Is my PhD ready to implode?

posted
30-Jul-19, 20:10
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Basically I have four figures of data and my supervisor said that after my first year I should have everything needed for my first chapter by now. Perhaps you're right; working as hard as I can is my only way out of this mess.

Thread: Is my PhD ready to implode?

posted
27-Jul-19, 10:23
edited about 19 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi,

I started my PhD in Sept. at a UK university and at the start I was trained under a postdoc. After this postdoc left, I found myself unable to produce as good results as she was in some of my experiments. In the past 3 months I've been having some trouble with Gibson cloning a construct but the rest of my experiments were progressing smoothly. I submitted my transfer essay earlier this month and my professor remarked it was "quite thin". This week when met one on one he started asking weird questions about what I wanted to do after Oxford (this was barely 1 year in)--I didn't know the answer and soon the conversation steered towards how he felt I will not pass my transfer of status. He thought I needed to consider all options among which he suggested I just settle for a master's.

I really love the research I'm doing, even amidst its ups and downs. Before this conversation I felt he was patient and fine with my progress. I'm caught by shock because I work hard and other students who've had to start on a new project or stopped coming to lab have never received this conversation. I still have the heart for my PhD but this really felt like a vote of no confidence. I also keep hearing students from other labs passing their transfer vivas with even less experimental data than I have. What should I do next? For those of you who have encountered something similar, what did you do?
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