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Submitting my thesis in a month with an 'alien' result

Hi that's awful to have something like that happen but it's not the end of the world!

It's hard to suggest much without hearing more details. What was the purpose of using the wood? How did you use the first 2 pieces to show climate and biosphere conditions? Can you do a comparsion study using the alien wood to compare the Cretaceous and the Neogene climate? It's a bit of a stretch but can you work on it into one of your hypotheses?

I had a similar problem with my data as I didn't think it was going to prove my hypotheses but luckily it did in the end but not as I had anticipated. Is there any other way you could use the results? A negative result is just as good as a postive one (which is satisfying to prove something) but not proving it is just as good! We have a perception of only positive results being good as nobody every talks about the negative ones so you could use your result to show that! It'd be original.

How are you getting on? I hope you are getting something sorted.

New forum design - what do you think? Any problems?

Hmm I'm not sure about it but I think Eska put her finger on it saying it's colder than the previous version. I don't find it very inviting to use and I can't seem to find anything. The top 100 posties and stars are also gone. I also agree with Starlight222.



PhD Students in Hong Kong

How are you settling in? It sounds like you've got a lovely location away from the hustle and bustle but still close enough to enjoy it. Yeah the attitude is very different over there to the west as supervisors are your superiors and you must treat them accordingly and show respect. That said they respect hard work and efficiency and will reward you for doing so. It is normal to address your supervisor using their title and not their first name as the culture is to show respect to your elders. Have fun. I'm sure it'll be worth the readjustment.

Which MSc course to Pick- UCL or Warwick

I agree with the others that it's a personal choice as it depends on which topic you prefer, the direction you'd like your career to take, what is necessary for your career choice. I'd suggest having a look at the the course structure and content to see which one you're more suited to and useful for your future. Good luck with your choice.

PhD by Publication

Go for it! That is definitely the way to do it as you don't have to repeat yourself - i.e. write your thesis and then turn it into papers afterwards when the last thing you want to do is look at your thesis again! It'll help with getting a job and make it so much easier when you have publications as that's what counts these days! Unfortunately that is not the system in the UK so we have to write a thesis which few people look at and then turn it into papers which is very tedious and extra work you don't need. Good luck.

Looming unemployment

So what has happened? Did you leave the post and have you been able to find something new? Good luck with that and I hope you have.

I would agree that you should write to postdoctoral affairs as this woman shouldn't be able to treat postdocs like that. If no one complains it gets swept under the carpet - you know what academia is like. If she is going through postdocs like that something should be done. As long as she brings in the grants no one will care about her quick staff turnover. I wonder how she does it - is she really good at writing grants or has big ideas? That would be something to learn! In return she needs to learn about treating staff properly!

Keep us updated.

CV Advice


I'm just curious as I'm not a social scientist but how can you submit the same work twice? If it's accepted and published then it wouldn't be original work for the second publisher? It seems to work differently in science as you can't publish the same article twice in different journals.

Thanks and best of luck,

How to start supervising PhDs?

======= Date Modified 18 Aug 2012 22:03:03 =======
Love your post Sneaks which sounds strangely familiar!!! ;-)

Don't forget - the promise of help is just that - it never materialises even though they have constantly said they'd get that data that is necessary to their student's project!!! Or saying that any problems were not their fault as they've had students before who complained about them and lack of supervisory skills! I know of one students that said she wanted to kill the supervisor by the end of it and I can understand why!!!! There is also the elusive meetings that you really have to chase the supervisor down the corridor to pin them down to a date which then turns out that you are not free on ...

The list is endless ... this should be enough to get you going ... :p

Guardian - advice for unemployed new PhD

It seems everyone is saying you've to publish to get anywhere in academia but how does anyone find the time (FT job) or motivation to do so when it's the last thing I want to do? Has anyone any tips as I clearly have issues with my thesis in that looking at it just makes me lose all interest - I've tried sitting down to write but that never gets very far! I'm getting hassled by my supervisors now as well! I just need to get some papers out but the thought of actually doing anything related to my PhD just puts me off as I want to move on from a particularly difficult time? I think that's the problem but I can't move on until I write these papers!!!!!!

How much stuff to throw away/recycle/keep?

Keep hold of all your data and notes just incase as you never know when you want to check something or to go thorough something again! I still haven't manage to chuck anything from my Ph.D yet though I'm tempted to delete earlier backups of data as I want the hard drive space! I can't bring myself to do it yet ... maybe after I publish ...

I've still got all my papers as I need to publish but I'm sure I don't need all my papers as I still have stuff I printed out but never read but you know how it goes ... they might be useful!

It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate that I should've a spring clean one day ... ;-)

Am I Good Enough for a PhD?

======= Date Modified 15 Aug 2012 00:28:56 =======
I totally agree with GSM and couldn't have put it better myself!

I understand where you are coming from as I had similar experiences myself. I'm not a particularly academic person in that I'm awful @ exams so I'm not a straight A student but I'm interested in research, like my subject, have loads of determination and motivation which you''ll need to get you through especially the tough times when it takes all your effort to go in and do it! Doing a Ph.D. is an emotional roller-coaster as many will say as "the highs are very high" when things are going well and the "lows are very low" when nothing seems to be working especially if you do lab work which is when you just want to give up, go home and go to bed and stay there!

I was having a bad week when I was writing up and got myself so worked up that I managed to convince myself that I had made a major error so all my results were wrong. I was really brooding about it so I didn't get much work done but the following week when I checked again things were not so bad as I had made a mistake but it was not the end of the world and it could be easily put right.

So you just need to believe in yourself especially as this lecturer who has supervised you is offering to write a funding bid for you! This is really something special and big as it doesn't happen everyday and they must see potential in you to do it as it takes up alot of their time to do it! And it's so much easier when you have somebody on your side helping you! I'm having enough problems trying to get somebody to help with writing funding proposals at the mo for further research having completed my Ph.D. so I'd jump at the chance of somebody actually offering to help! They're obviously interested and will make a good supervisor if they're offering to help before you've started! Hang onto them as they are gold dust and very rare indeed!

You can do it! Jump in with both feet and your eyes open - you should know what you've landed yourself in having done a summer studentship but it'll be much more intense as a Ph.D. student as they are a very insecure bunch. Everyone worries they are not good enough so that makes them on edge but once you get that out of the way you can have some fun! I still couldn't believe I was doing a Ph.D. for about 6 months after I had started and wondered how I got there! A lot of it is about managing and prioritising your time so you get everything done as 3 years passes very quickly!!!

I hope this helps and welcome to getting Permanent head Damage should you wish to accept the challenge?!!!

Good luck
:p (up)

Academic bullying

Egos .... putting others down who don't agree with them! Not helping their students who may have different ideas to them. Just being obnoxious! Not promoting discussion because their view is correct! You get the idea ... it's all about them. Of course the method they use depends on their personality and it can be unprofessional and not what one expects of a professor!!! They can be rather forthright or aggressive about their views!

Lack of confidence, need your advice.

======= Date Modified 14 Aug 2012 23:51:52 =======
I had a similar experience in the UK! My supervisor was not interested in my project despite the fact that the topic area was their suggestion!!!! I was constantly told that it wasn't their main research area which lay elsewhere and they resented having to spend any money on my project as it took it away from their precious research area! Talk about feeling wanted that I did wonder why on earth they wanted somebody to do the project!!! It was a really frustrating time and I was constantly fuming, pressured, stressed as I also had data problems and their promise of help was just that (it never came - they couldn't even be bothered to read most of my thesis!!!!) I had to spend most of my time getting data which was so time consuming that it just took over everything but I'm glad to say I survived!!! This so called supervisor is now very keen to write papers with me!!!!!!!!!!!

Whether you get a reference from your supervisor depends on your relationship with them. According to my German friend who did her Ph.D. at home people expect you to put your supervisor in Germany as she also had a similar supervisor so we used to complain about them! It really helped as we understood what the other was going through the way people with decent supervisors don't!!!

I used to use my supervisor as I thought I had no choice but then my friends suggested using my other supervisor as you can never be sure of what they will put down and you need good references!!! I thought it might look funny if I don't use them but apparently it doesn't matter in the UK.

How long is your Ph.D. for as my friend says they be indefinite? Can you get your 3 papers and leave? It's so much better doing your Ph.D. by publication as it's such a pain trying to write them afterwards when it's the last thing I want to do! It really pains me having to do them now as I just want to move on but I can't until I get them done! Finding time and motivation is a real problem!!! I really want to stay on academia so it's something I've got to do!!!!

As somebody else mentioned you could say you were doing a RA and ask your supervisor to verify that if anyone asks but can you stick it out so your supervisor doesn't win? It was a bit like that at the end - I refused to be beaten by my supervisor so I had to finish it even if it killed me!! They seem to be in much more of a jovial mood these days - maybe they doesn't have to avoid me or fob me off when I dared to ask for help which wasn't very often!

Good luck - you can do it!!!
(up) 8-)

PhD Students in Hong Kong


Lucky you as the food is lovely too! Unfortunately I'm not in HK either.

Good luck ;-)