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Unemployed postdoc

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post removed - advertising

Was it worth it now I need a job?

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Not sure if anyone here attended the webinar before Easter by Elizabeth Wilkinson, the Postgraduate Careers advisor at Manchester University but it was a great session.

We'll post the recording on YouTube soon but the main points are here....


Life after a PhD

Just a heads up for forum members. This afternoon the Guardian are having a live Q&A session on life after a PhD.


External wanted me to review a paper

This has happened now, but I wanted to share this story in case it helps anyone in the future.

While I was waiting for my viva I got a request from a journal to review a paper that was written by my external examiner. It turns out that he is also an editor of that journal - coincidence? I think not.

This put me in a difficult position because I felt like it was a pre-viva test. Not in terms of having to give it a good review, but in terms of my comment quality being monitored very closely.

It took me about a week to thoroughly read the paper and draft my comments as I was so paranoid about what the reaction to them would be.

Should I have declined the request?

Finished PhD but still unemployed

I have been a passive forum member for some time (and recently started posting) - but this is one of the hardest threads to read I have seen on here.

The post by BadHairCut was spot on in my opinion. A PhD is a marketable qualification but it has to be packaged correctly for jobs outside of academia. If you have read the "What do Postgraduates Do" series from Vitae you may know that only about 30-40% of PhDs are working in academia 3 years after finishing their thesis. The number who go on to find tenured positions will obviously be lower.

The truth is that most PhDs do leave academia, even though most of them say they want to be an academic when asked in my experience.

Outside of academia there are many types of employers and jobs that you can apply for, but there are 2 basic types. Jobs that need your specific skills (RnD Jobs) and those that don't (business, marketing, fmanagement....) where you have to focus on transferable skills. I'm sure you know all of this already.

The best thing to do is get down to your university careers service and talk about your options with them.

Conference dinner outfit?

Conferences are a great chance to network and I think business wear is best for that. Perhaps a smart top with smart trouser or skirt?

Job Prospects

Hi Kammani,

I wouldn't recommend taking a PhD unless you are sure that you want to stay in academia, especially with an infant. There are lots of great resources to help you make that decision and since you posted Manchester University launched a new one. Might be worth a look. www.manchester.ac.uk/academiccareer

I want to publish & my supervisor is stopping me

Have there been any developments in the past 2 weeks.

I want to echo Patricks sentiments. His list of motivations is fairly comprehensive. However, I would try to warn you off just publishing without them anyway unless you are certain that they don't have a network that can impact on you later on. The importance of network when it comes to career cannot be overstated, especially within academia.

I would recommend the diplomatic approach first.

External cancelled my viva :(

Hi Pineapple,

This situation is awful and compounded by the registry issuing that letter so soon. I know I can't say much to add to the comments below, but I wanted to 100% echo the sentiments of Woof below - you shouldn't take the blame for this. Any problems in length should have been flagged a long, long time ago!

Do your supervisors show any interest in your future?

Hi Delta,

You obviously know your supervisor best, but you shouldn't have to express an interest in academia just to get them to care about your future career. Long term this could be counter productive. If you do want to work outside academia then your supervisor probably has connections in companies that might suit you.

I was fortunate and had a supervisor who actively encouraged us to look widely and considered staying in his group as a negative thing as it wouldn't broaden our experience, especially if people wanted to stay in academia.

Posters for scientists

I read a paper over the weekend that suggested that posters were primarily used in the sciences but that Arts and Humanities didn't see them as a popular means of communications, instead preferring the more rigorous publication of peer reviewed journals.

As a scientist I don't know if this is true or not, but it does seems a bit foolish. Posters are like a hook, to get people interested. Just because they are not as rigorous or peer reviewed does not make them any less crucial to the research process.

Font for conference poster

Century Gothic is always my favourite