Overview of doctor_soul

Recent Posts

Are you enjoying your PhD?

The first 6 months or so, I actually didn't like it so much. I thought things were progressing (if at all) at a snail's pace, I was constantly confused and found myself clock-watching alot. In recent months things are coming on OK. I'm actually bus,y which I like, and I'm ACTUALLY GENERATING DATA! I have my enthusiastic weeks where I'm in the lab at all hours just because I want to, and then the weeks where I'm just counting down to Friday 5pm as soon as I get in on Monday morning. So I do enjoy the challenge, despite the inevitable frustrations of things not working or dealing with slightly mad professors. I think I can get through my PhD, but I do still have serious reservations about whether I want this life beyond my PhD, but that's a whole different topic!

Been offered a phd studentship - should i take it?!

Quote From delta:

Only you can make the decision, as you'll have to live with it. I would say aside from the aspect of travel, my situation was exactly like yours three years ago and I could quite easily have written your post!!!

I really wanted a job but couldn't get one. I really wanted to do a PhD in a certain area but couldn't get funding for it but was offered funding for a set project (I applied through panic - I really needed the studentship money as I was in debt and wanted to get out of the cycle of unemployment and I took it because I felt we were in recession and it was only going to get worse). I took on the PhD and am nearing the end of the three years. For ME, it was the right decision as it allowed me to clear my debts and has allowed me to live more comfortably for three years. Doing the PhD itself, apart from some supervisor issues (trying to get feedback) proved to be far less stressful than I anticipated. I've never felt emotionally connected to the project but have viewed it as a job and just tried to get on with it.

I can see reasons as to why you should go travelling now and I can see reasons as to why you should do the PhD (mainly practical reasons like me and for the reasons suggested by your family). However, I'm a play safe kind of person (my nature which I cannot change) and that can make for a boring life and life is short...

I hope you make the right decision for you!

Wow so many of the reasons you've stated are very similar to why I find myself doing a PhD!

I certainly know that if I had the means I would have gone travelling before coming home to sort a some kind of a career out. If you're all set to go, and you don't have an absolute burning passion to do this particular project, then I'd say go. You're only young once (up). Having said that I can relate to your family's advice since I got the exact same.

To the laboratory based PhDs

Has anyone experienced or heard of a situation where a PhD student has not been able to grasp/get to work the 'bread and butter' techniques of their project, even after 6/7 months and beyond? What happens to such people if they have no data by the MPhil/PhD transfer? Do they get asked to leave, for example?

I must admit I'm a lot more comfortable in dealing with the theory (reading, writing, presenting) than the lab. It really isn't my natural environment. I'm not panicking yet but just interested in other experiences.



Unemployed for 18 months
Studentship with a decent stipend (for a single 20-something) and industrial placement comes along in an area of interest
Here I am

Passed my Viva yesterday :)

Congrats! So what's next for Dr. Littlestar after corrections and a well deserved xmas break?

How many hours per week ? (1st year)

On reflection, it looks like I'll be using up my Saturdays to catch up with work now :-(. That's (Ph.D.) life.

How many hours per week ? (1st year)

I'm also a new starter! I tend to do the bulk of my lab work between 9am and 2pm. Then I try (emphasis on the word try) to do some reading in the afternoon, although I have been known to just browse facebook or this forum when nobody of importance is looking. Afternoons aren't good for me :$. I then catch up with reading and writing for at least a couple of hours in the evening (except Fridays). Weekends, I tend not to do much apart from planning my week ahead on a Sunday evening. My supervisor is happy with me so far but I know that I need to put in a lot more hours/effort in the future. I'm just easing into this thing.

WHat if................

1) I'd be unemployed like I was for nearly 2 years previous to starting my PhD or I would have enrolled on some other course - another master's or maybe something like pharmacy or radiography.

2) I'm glad that I'm not unemployed. But sometimes when considering my future options I ask myself whether I wouldn't have been better off doing something with an almost guaranteed (and stable) job/profession at the end, something that can't be said about academia. But on balance, I enjoy my project and I've got good funding so we'll see.

Just about to start a PhD...doubts already?

======= Date Modified 27 Sep 2010 23:21:51 =======
I've had many worries and doubts too. Will I be good enough? Will I be able to overcome my chronic condition know as procrastination? Am I doing the right thing given the apparently dire employment prospects at the end? Will I enjoy my new city where I don't know a single person and which is very different from home? And so on...

I've just come out of one of many freak-outs I've had over the last few weeks and months. I'm calm now and excited about starting. I move tomorrow and start on Friday.

Sorry I have no helpful advice but we're all in this together (high school musical anyone...?) and good luck to all!

Studying Routines

Quote From stressed:

A lot of us here swear by my tomatoes - 25 mins studying and 5 mins break - many of the drs here got their PhD working that way :-)

I may try this tomorrow. I can only concentrate for about 20-30 minutes at a time anyway, before I have to get up.

Endnote virgin here

I've downloaded a trial version of Endnote (lasts 30 days) just to see how it works. I think that my new uni will have Endnote on its network. Is there a way of saving all that I've collected on my trial version and then being able to use it on the university package when I get there?

Sorry, I know what I'm trying to ask in my head but don't know whether it's clear. :$

standing at the base of the mountain

Wow Cornflower, you really are pushing on! Good for you! I don't officially start until October but have been trying to get some papers together, reveiw them and plan a lit review. I was doing very well before then I've just had a very unproductive week :$. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

standing at the base of the mountain

Some really useful advice here. Thanks (even though it's not even my thread :-))

So when I was told about 3 months ago that I'd got the studentship, it was nothing but euphoria. I'd finally made it!

Now with 4/5 weeks to go until I move hundreds of miles away to start my PhD, reality has set in and I am bricking it. The subject area IS genuinely interesting but I ask myself whether I'm really getting the point when trying to review a paper or whether I should have a lit review ready before October. Sometimes I worry about whether I'll be creative enough to take this project in a particular direction independently (it's an advertised science PhD).

Then there're the normal social fears of whether I'll make friends or find a decent place to live (I probably sound like a 4 year old right now lol).

I suppose only time (and effort) will tell.

PhD Acceptance

Haha exactly the same with me. I was offered a place 6 weeks ago. My official letter won't come through until next month. These things take AGES (!!!) but I'm told it's just a formality. I do wonder sometimes what would happen in the (very very unlikely) event of them reversing their decision. It would destroy me but hopefully this won't happen. *knocks on wood*

Changing supervisor or quitting

It's probably a huge coincidence but everything you say in these posts really reminds me of a research group I worked in during my MSc. I hope you're able to sort out your problems.