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Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 8:33am
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page 1 of 28 recent posts

Thread: The ex-poly curse

13-Feb-15, 17:35
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posted about 4 years ago
Hi cloudofash,

I was lucky enough to do my PhD with a scholarship. The reason I got the scholarship was that I had a journal publication at the time.

I would suggest, if possible to publish your master's dissertation, it would greatly improve your chances.

Take care

Thread: Applying for jobs while still doing my PhD

12-Feb-15, 12:08
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posted about 4 years ago
Having a PhD would be beneficial in pursuing a consultancy career, so don't quit your PhD just yet.

Especially for engineering, there is an option for an EngD, where research from the PhD is linked to an industrial application. Candidates are expecting to spend 3 days in the office and 2 days in the uni (or similar arrangement). I am not sure if you can switch now, but I suspect this would suit you better.

Thread: getting ready for the viva makes me stressed!

12-Feb-15, 11:55
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posted about 4 years ago
Yeah, me too. Can't even re-read the thesis without a panic attack, and also forgot half of it as I submitted 6 months ago. I can't guess whta the examiners might ask me. The mock viva didn't go well either.

Thread: I'm a new PhD... but I also may have a severe medical condition.

12-Feb-15, 11:50
edited about 26 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Hi JSchae,

I also may have a hereditary genetic defect. There is no cure, and judging from my mum's condition, I doubt the treatment had any effect at all in delaying the progress of the disease or improving her quality of life.

Anyway, I decided not to get tested because even if I know I have it, there is nothing I can do to prevent it or slow it down.

Besides that, no one knows when they will die or how. For all I know, a lorry might run me over tomorrow, or some other freaking accident involving me a tortoise and an eagle might happen. In that sense, I live my life as I would die tomorrow, and always clear my browsing history :)

I did the PhD because I wanted to do a PhD. Don't let fear shape your future. Enjoy this fraction of the second that you exist.

Thread: Handing in journal articles with PhD thesis?

27-Jan-15, 17:29
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
I put the references in a section as "academic outputs of the thesis" , and then included the actual papers in the appendices.
Hope it helps.

Thread: Phd moms (and everyone else)...need some advice!

27-Jan-15, 17:25
edited about 22 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago

Now, my questions:

1. Has any one done full time with kids?
2. How many hours do I need to put?. I have NO IDEA of how to get a topic or anything as of now
3. I am I insane to even think about taking up phd
4. How sharp do you need to be to complete in 3 years, my funds end after 3 years...

First of all: CONGATULATIONS for getting full funding!

Now, to come down to the specifics:

1. Yes, I have some friends who did, I have no clue how... They generally took a bit longer. As wowzers said, people with children tend to be more focused. I didn't have commitments, so I could generally spent time getting involved with teaching and other departmental responsibilities.
2. It's not quantifiable... so it's not after 3000 hours you get a PhD. It depends a lot on your topic. For example, I had a good 20 weeks of fieldwork in the second year, which was typically from 7:00 in the morning until 19:00 at night. It was followed by months of transcribing and clearing data.
3. Yes, we are all insane to do a PhD. The biggest hit I took was financial, in the sense that in the last year I ran out of funding and had to work. It was bad.
4. Completing on time is also a matter of external parameters, like a well-organised project/supervisor, lab equipment/ data that is available.

I agree with Satchi, that it affects your relationship with the world and humans, as it becomes priority over food, friends and sleep. We become boring talking about the PhD a lot (because we get obsessed).

A PhD doesn't guarantee a job.... many years of postdoc (if you are lucky to get one) are normally required before a lectureship. Some postdocs or lectureships require relocation...(ouch).

Thread: 4th unfunded year, bills to pay and need a job!

08-Nov-14, 13:55
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posted about 5 years ago

I also was not funded in the last and final year.

I did some consultancy/ RA jobs (which pay very little), but I really suffered, as I had less and less time to write-up, so I entered a vicious cycle that I would have to work for 4 weeks to afford to take two weeks off for the PhD. The last few months, it was almost there, and I hardly had any time to give the final push.

It was absolutely miserable, as I didn't have any money and couldn't afford dinner everyday. I am not joking, I lost about 10% of my body weight because of skipping meal. My supervisor wouldn't agree for me going back to my parents for the last few months. Proofreading service, printing and binding the PhD.... that was the last stroke that broke the camel's back.

Even now, after submitting the PhD, things are not much better, as I had to push out the last two publications (which were almost there), apply for academic jobs (which takes ages to do a decent cover letter) and write a research proposal (a chance in cats hell). My non-academic friends did not understand why I don't just get ANY job. I am in no position to give advice, but in MY case, working in consultancy/RA jobs, (although poorly paid) gave a boost to my CV. I am quite proud of the side publications that came out of it.

Thread: The moaning thread

24-Oct-14, 11:28
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi PhDefault,

I think that all of us can relate to your feelings to some extend. Some of us have been treated unfair in a previous job/university/ relationship etc. I generally want to make justice, so if there is anything I can do to stop this behaviour, I will do it. I believe that if you let people go, they will find the next victim and do the same thing again.

Anyway, apart from how you deal with the whole situation in a practical level, you need to deal with it in an emotional level too. The fact that this is intoxicating your life is adding more damage to what is already being done. So, my advice is first start exercising, swimming, running and generally exercise that relishes energy might be particularly helpful. Do whatever it takes to get over this experience; for me it helps stop talking/ thinking about it.
Keep applying for jobs, something will come up.

Good luck.

Thread: Second PhD after failed first one?

10-Oct-14, 11:25
edited about 13 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
at my first year she constantly told me that I am stupid

That's really bad. Not acceptable.

I agree with Caro, wait to see what happens in the Viva.

Even if you are not awarded a PhD, you may still be able to get a job as a research assistant (especially with a Nature publication). I strongly believe that a PhD by publication is a better option for both the scientific community (your output is out there instead of a shelf in the library), and also for the researcher (you are a member of staff rather than a low paid dog's body).

Thread: Feeling out my depth.... BIG TIME!

10-Oct-14, 11:07
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Catnip,

I have just submitted my PhD after 4 years of hard work. Similarly to you, I did a PhD that was out of my depth. I found myself in desperation in many stages of the project, especially in the first few months when I had to build up my knowledge. It is doable with the right support, and also be smart when you define the aims and objectives of the PhD. In your case you need to stress that the main contribution to knowledge is the interdisciplinary nature of your work in the sense that you can pull chemistry and biology together.

You need to be very careful when choosing examiners or when choosing journals to publish. You won't aim for a pure chemist or a pure biologist because they definitely know more than you in their discipline. You should find someone with a similar background that understands the novelty of your work.

I do think that this kind of PhDs are increasingly common.

Keep reading and keep learning.
Good luck :)

Thread: Big funders

07-Oct-14, 18:28
edited about 7 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
I wish I could help... Generally speaking the chances are 1 in 5 (or even less). It is so much effort, I am not sure it is worth it. I am currently writing a proposal, but only because I am stubborn.

Good luck,

Thread: feeling lost

07-Oct-14, 18:16
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi skyhoo,

there is a sweet spot in every PhD, when you feel that your PhD is stupid, any child in the nursery school could have done it better, and that there is still so much one could write about the topic. There are still so many ways the data could be analysed, there are new models that can be created. Ah! The joys of being a young researcher!

So, listen to me: WRAP IT UP. Stop reading, stop doing further analysis. Just write what you know so far. If you have time, polish it at the end. PhDs don't finish, they are abandoned. Enough is enough at some point, and there is real life out there (or at least this is what other people say).

Thread: How to tell parents I'm quitting my Phd?!

07-Oct-14, 18:06
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Loulou

when I was 17, I had to choose a school for my undergrad degree. I still don't know who I am, but back then I was even less sure. I was accepted in the school of engineering purely by luck (in my home country, the educational system is somewhat different). My father was thrilled! Apparently, it was his dream to become a civil engineering, so he was going around his workplace and friends boasting about me.

I moved to a new city to attend the new school, only I was not happy. I would wake up and throw up almost everyday. I attended less and less, and joined a theatrical team instead. I started making the scenery for plays and advertisements. And then I quit the school. You should see my father: I think he went grey overnight, just like in the movies. Of course, I am pure evil and incapable of empathy, so I didn't even care. Best decision I ever made.

Thread: Upset

03-Oct-14, 11:15
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posted about 5 years ago
As long as your supervisor provides feedback on your written work and some guidance when you have difficulties, you shouldn't let perceived differences interfere with your work.

Maybe the supervisor has worked with the other students for longer periods of time, so they are more confident around each other, or, maybe this is how you perceive their relationship without this necessarily being true.

In any case, you should concentrate on producing good quality work (that's why you are doing a PhD, not to make friends with your supervisor).

Thread: My teaching is average

03-Oct-14, 09:46
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi marasp,

do you teach undergrads or postgrads?

What I would definitely recommend is to start with the structure of the lecture.

Today we will talk about 1, 2 and 3. I make a list and cross them off during the lecture, so I give them hope that this torture will end eventually.

Don't go into too much detail. Just mention the most important aspects, and give them references "If you think I am boring, wait until you read the 500 pages handbook! HA HA". Most of them are only interested in the exams rather than learn, so try to be clear about the "hot" topics.

Also, you might wake them up if you ask them to participate in groups, and do something.

You can't do change your accent into BBC -accent, just talk loud and clear. I don't understand half of the natives who mumble through their teeth.

Anyway, we are not supposed to be entertaining. Being structured, concise and clear is the best they can hope for.
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