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DrJeckyll
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 8:33am
Monday, 24 September 2018 at 8:31am
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page 1 of 28 recent posts

Thread: can you get a phd without the formal application process

posted
29-Apr-14, 22:40
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi beagles,

hope it all goes well with the funding application :)

My supervisors applied for funding for a specific project with my name included in the proposal. Once the scholarship was approved, the application process was a formality. But I almost went crazy waiting for the funding to be secured. I felt that my life was in a suspended animation for months.

Good luck.

Thread: Postdoc-Supervisor relationship problems

posted
06-Apr-14, 14:30
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posted about 5 years ago
And the worst part is, he threatened me by locking me up in his office and wouldn't release me unless I sign the letter that he wrote for me to quit.


Why didn't you call the police????

No, this behaviour is not common in the workplace, academic or domestic environment. This is abuse.

Thread: writing for publication

posted
06-Apr-14, 12:41
edited about 22 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Writing up for a publication can be very painful, especially if you don't have much experience.

It is a steep learning curve, and we all went through it. My suggestions are:
1. Work with a timer (25 minutes, 5 minutes break)
2. If possible attend a scientific writing workshop.
3. Select the journal you are submitting to, and see how the other papers are structured (how many words in the title, how many words in introductions etc). Do the abstract LAST
4. Start with the structure. Sections, subsections.
5. Summarise each paragraph in one bullet point. Each paragraph should be approximately 150 to 250 words. Make sure you stick to the word limit.
6. Move one by producing all the tables and figures of the analysis.
7. Then you can fill the paragraphs with sentences.

Good luck. As Fled said, academia is all about writing papers. It is crucial that you learn how to do it, after a few years it is a time-consuming routine. None of us was born knowing how to write papers, or has a special skill. Failure is part of the process of learning, and sometimes it happens even to senior academics. Get over it. Constructive criticism is the best thing that comes out of this process.

Thread: Rejected from conference in final year!

posted
02-Apr-14, 14:03
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi Boo,

I am also not convinced that conferences is the best networking environment for PhD students...

Apart from that, you need to take reviewers comments seriously. It might be that you didn't communicate your thoughts well, or that you have to adapt a new strategy...

Last year, I submitted a paper in a key conference in my field. One of the reviewers suggested rejection. It was partly my fault, as I went too broad presenting data rather than in depth discussing the findings (how much can you fit in 6 pages?). I had to do major revisions and resubmit. The good thing that came out of this experience was that my supervisor finally got convinced that uni-variate statistics are not suitable, and supported my decision to adopt a more complex statistical approach. Overall, it was a positive experience: it is not easy to get feedback from leading researchers in the field.

Keep going!

Thread: Advice Needed: Upset supervisor and submission of journal articles

posted
23-Mar-14, 19:48
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi caltech28,

well done for having the papers accepted!

I know how frustrating it can be waiting for feedback, thankfully my supervisor takes up to a month. It happened once that I submitted without my supervisors seeing the final draft. They were upset, as I didn't include a fairly important section in the methodology. However, the paper got accepted with minor revisions. In the second round I incorporated everybody's comments. I sent it to all authors saying that I have an imaginary deadline from the editor to speed things up.

As your supervisor has limited knowledge in your research area, maybe he feels really insecure about your papers. Hope that now that the papers are accepted this will cheer him up. Ask them for any comments now and incorporate with the reviewers comments.

Good luck with the PhD.

Thread: Submitted thesis- missing literature

posted
22-Mar-14, 23:25
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi Millymoo,

First of all don't panic! It's not big deal.

I started my lit review by describing how I selected the studies (systematic review). Among the criteria was year of publication (example from 2002 to 2012, last decade), then databases I searched in (targeted specific journals or databases like Sciencedirect) and categories (three categories: penguins, ice cream, publication).

If you are really worried, you can put down a page with your criteria just in case.

Thread: Pictures for Publication

posted
20-Mar-14, 17:45
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi,

It 's not very clear to me what you want to do... are these drawings like chemical reactions? Maybe you can use software tools like these:
http://openwetware.org/wiki/Chemical_structures_drawing_software

Photoshop is mostly for image editing. If you want to draw lines and shapes, Autocad is probably more suitable. But for both of them you need to invest some time to learn the basics.

Thread: Seeking advice regarding quitting decision

posted
10-Mar-14, 14:13
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 5 years ago
Hi ReluctantandNervous,

it seems that what happened to you after the first year is a " burn out". The PhD is a long distance run, not a sprint, so you need to find a rhythm of work that you can stick to it for a long time.

The burn out made you unable to work, which triggered guilt and insomnia, which made you even more inefficient and brought more guilt and insomnia. You might also suffer from depression. I would advice to arrange a meeting with support services in your university, and see if you can get support.

If I were you, I wouldn't quit, I would interrupt for a while, and try to pull myself together. On a practical level, I would try to structure my day better: wake up at the same time, sleep at the same time, eat well, aim to work for four hours a day, socialise, go to the gym. Live a normal life in short. If you feel too tired to do any work, take the day off.

Looking back at my PhD journey, I also had a burn out mid ways, as a result I suffered from insomnia for months. I was unable to fall asleep, I could not retain sleep and sleep was of bad quality. I was always waking up feeling battered. Of course I could not work efficiently. I did not realise what was happening to me. I wish I had taken some time off, gone to the GP and ask for some sleeping pills. It was a really bad period.

Thinking about the time you lost just makes it worse, as the stress is overwhelming. You can only aim to improve in the future. Set realistic small goals. Even small progress is better than none. Keep in mind that one of the challenges of the PhD is to stick to it and keep working on the same topic with a steady speed for years.

Good luck

Thread: A choice of two supervisors, need input.

posted
26-Feb-14, 14:17
edited about 22 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
I agree with HazyJane. And also Nochoice184 has a point too, the relationship with the supervisor is very important.

Get B as your primary supervisor. You need someone ambitious who pushes for publications, cares if you finish and when etc.

Get A as your secondary (or advisor). You need the old, experienced guy who knows when you 've done enough, can give advice on the structure and general research direction.


Good luck.

Thread: My engineering PhD experience is weird and very different from others'. Is this normal?

posted
23-Feb-14, 14:36
edited about 25 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi Ella,

1) It might vary in different departments, but in my department the research area is very broad, so we are divided in smaller "groups". Although I work alone on my individual project, I am part of a group that works under the same supervisor and/or under similar topic. I assume you don't have/use the PhD studying area/office, so you are not aware of the various groups.

2) hopefully in the second year you will define your topic further. I assume you are very familiar with the literature, so you have identified gaps. Well done for submitting peer-reviewed work already.

3) Part of the PhD experience, is to learn how to organise your time, and break down a large project into smaller achievable tasks. Very controlling supervisors that give such weekly tasks to students hinder their progress towards independence because they assume that without tight supervision they are incapable of delivering. It is also possible too that these students are used as research assistants rather than as students, which means they will finish their PhDs in a gazillion years and a half.

Seems like your progress is satisfactory and you are capable of developing your own research project without much supervisory involvement. I assume you feel isolated, so I would suggest if possible to work in the uni a few days per week

Thread: Partial scholarships and full time PhD study

posted
23-Feb-14, 00:09
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi John,

I agree with bewildered: Universities are businesses, and I don't think that the offer they make you is fair. They need someone to take all this work for very little money. It's not worth going into dept and driving yourself to exhaustion for a PhD. If I were you, I would keep applying for funding.

Keep in mind that every PhD project is different. I was involved in a very labor-intensive PhD. I was probably not doing hardcore "writing"- "thinking" research, but I spent at least 50 hours a week for two years doing fieldwork, transcribing questionnaires and organising massive databases, and there was no way around it.

Good luck!

Thread: Social Research Method

posted
20-Feb-14, 07:41
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
I come from the science, and I think that your sample is too small. This limits the generalisability of your findings.
Consult with a statistician early when planning out the fieldwork. In order to control for other factors, you need more schools ( level2 units), which might be more important than number of students (level 1 units).

Good luck

Thread: Taking 3 months to a year off to travel after science PhD - bad idea?

posted
19-Feb-14, 14:16
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi elflick,

If you can financially afford taking time off, then why not? Everyone makes their priorities.

As for the:

(after all, most women take time out to have kids - and I won't be doing that)


It seems like you automatically assume that childcare and career sacrifice is something that automatically falls on women! In some countries (and hopefully soon in the UK too) maternity and paternity leave can be equally divided between the partners. * Sigh*

Thread: Applying yourself for postdoc funding

posted
18-Feb-14, 23:20
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 5 years ago
Hi TreeofLife,

yes, try to apply for post-doc funding, as academic jobs are scarce.

I hope I will finish with the write-up in the next few months, and I plan to use the time waiting for the viva/ doing corrections to write at least one post-doc proposal jointly with my supervisor.

Good luck

Thread: how to find a problem for carrying out research???

posted
18-Feb-14, 13:58
Avatar for DrJeckyll
posted about 5 years ago
First you need to speak with your supervisor to define a wider area of work.

Then you need to conduct a systematic literature review to understand what has been done so far and how. Through the literature review you can identify gaps in knowledge: some areas might not be investigated or results might be contradictory.

Based on the above you organise your fieldwork/ data collection.

Hope this helps.
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