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Dunham
Sunday, 19 April 2015 at 2:12pm
Sunday, 10 June 2018 at 7:25am
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page 1 of 21 recent posts

Thread: Ph.d Overrun Funding?

posted
10-Jul-15, 10:49
edited about 22 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
People do tend to take a year to write up and submit. I think if I wasn't working and still doing lab work, the earliest I would have finished would be within 6 months. As it is, it has taken me 9 months. I think 70,000 words over 270 pages in 9 months, plus one paper and finding a postdoc whilst working 10 hours a week and 1 day of lab work a week is pretty good going to be honest.


The PhD students I know had about 6 months for writing. Of course they can concentrate just on their thesis, so 6 month of full time writing seem to be okay for them. There is also no such a thing as a word limit, while it seems to be pretty important to have a lot of words or pages in the UK. Saw theses which were only 100 pages long. If the content is appropriate nobody seems to care.

Quote From TreeofLife:
Of course it would be nice to be funded and stroll through my 4th year, and of course then I would have taken 12 months to submit, but on the other hand, I have had to do a lot of work in my department and hence now have a load of teaching experience on my CV so it's not all bad. Plus, it's been hard, so I feel it's more of an achievement.


Teaching seems to be highly valued in the UK, so you really benefit from that. I have the feeling that this is not everywhere the case. All PhD students have to supervise interns in the lab, correct their project reports and such things, but it is rather considered as experience that you gain over time. If you apply for e.g. a Post Doc, then nobody cared if you have been teaching. They just expect that you can organize a practical course for students. It seems to be exclusively about reasearch. For a professorship you probably have to proof teaching experience. But that's always super country dependent. I heard that they have to teach a lot in France too.

Might feel more of an achievement, but still. I would assume that not everyone deals so well with a long term high stress level and too much work. Not everyone has parents who are willing to give financial support or a partner who helps out. By reading here I get the impression that a lot of people are burned out after their PhD and need comparably long phases to recover from that, while in Germany nobody would take a longer break after a PhD (especially because it would be deadly in terms of a future job). I think it should not be that hard for the average PhD student.

Thread: Ph.d Overrun Funding?

posted
10-Jul-15, 07:16
edited about 2 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
I'm not questioning your motives. What else would you do except quitting the PhD and this way discarding three years of research...
I'm more startled that this seems to be considered as normal. As a foreigner you somehow expect certain standards of a country like UK regarding the working conditions. Not everybody has a partner or parents who are willing to finance them for so long. If it is just writing up, it is probably managable but usually people don't need one year to write up. As I already said, why do other countries manage that so much better? Of course countries like Denmark or Netherlands are much smaller than Germany or England but still....

Thread: Ph.d Overrun Funding?

posted
09-Jul-15, 18:14
edited about 11 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Is their a debate about this in the UK (remember some protests regarding fees a few years ago)?

I truly can't believe that a majority of students accepts these conditions. I also knew some PhD students who had to write their thesis while getting social support of the state but using up all your savings (even your parent's savings), working 24/7 with no private life for a year or even end in high debt is another level.
I don't understand why they have such a fucked up system, when countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and so on manage to have a tuition-free and fee-free education (neither for undergrad, nor postgrad degrees) and pay 100% positions with at least 1400 pounds a month (usually even increasing with every year of your PhD) for 4 full years. Somehow other countries seem to handle this.
We have quite a lot of debate about this in Germany and there are more and more 65% positions coming due to the public pressure, but the UK system sounds so much worse.
Considering the job perspective for Post Docs in academia and industry it is almost amazing that they find people who actually do a PhD in Humanities or other risky subjects.

You guys should definitely go abroad for a PhD :) Living in the Netherlands right now and they sound much more positive about their PhDs and actually enjoyed this time, while the average UK student seems to describe it more like a period of destitution in a "what ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" way :D

Really hope they'll change something about that. That is definitely unacceptable.

But I agree with you TreeofLife, not really something you could do about it when you are already in the system. Quitting is no option...

Thread: Ph.d Overrun Funding?

posted
09-Jul-15, 12:27
edited about 58 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From clairaN:
I haven't been funded for any of my studies since my undergrad, I've paid all the fees and worked full time to keep the house ticking over. It's hard work but it's do-able, you should be able to work the submission pending year as long as you manage your time effectively.


But how do you do a full time PhD and full time working in parallel? That is not only hard but rather impossible if you consider sleep or food as necessities. The only way this could work is if you reduce your PhD work to a few hours a day, which in return means that it would take me not only the 4th but probably also a 5th year due to highly inefficient working. I don't get how that should work in chemistry, physics or life sciences :/

Thread: Ph.d Overrun Funding?

posted
09-Jul-15, 12:05
edited about 55 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Is this common in UK or was it just bad luck that you couldn't make it in 3 years? I guess most people don't have enough savings to finance themselves for a whole year (especially as you have to pay tuiton and fees too I guess). I also think it's a matter of principle to not use your savings to conduct research for a professor.

Thread: PhD in Germany

posted
07-Jul-15, 09:45
edited about 54 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From alaahosny:
Can i take a PhD from Germany after taking a M.Sc in drug delivery (taught) from the UK. Can someone please tell me if that is available. Is the M.Sc taught from the UK equivalent to a masters from Germany??


If you tell me what kind of masters you have in the UK and what the differences are, then I could probably answer the question or compare it to our German one

Thread: HELP: Failing first year PhD Viva

posted
07-Jul-15, 08:20
edited about 25 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From mentalgoatmilk:
@awsoci Yes you are right. I underestimated what viva is all about. I only prepared myself for the presentation part (10 minutes) and did not prepare for the defending part (Q&A with panels). That's why I was a bit shocked with their provoking questions. They said my presentation was fluent but not Q&A. So now I know what I have to tackle, my defending skills.

I've never presented at any conferences, not even the local ones, just at small classes. I was asked to teach undergraduates twice, but that's about it.

Thank you for bringing up Toastmasters Club. I came across their name not long time ago. I just contacted them so I can join their classes.

Thank you @awsoci


On the other hand this is not really something you can prepare. You can know your subject well but that's basically it. Some questions can be maybe expected but in general it is pretty hard to prepare for questions you don't know in advance ;)

Thread: Need a kick!

posted
07-Jul-15, 07:14
edited about 1 minute later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From wowzers:
Beware the list as a substitute form of procrastination lol. I have developed an excellent skill for having about 10 tabs open in the PC. My document, Facebook, LinkedIn, mendeley etc and happily flit between them all. I find having children has made me (1) an excellent multi tasker, (2) get everything done way way way before deadline in case chicken pox, tummy bug or some other illness apocalypse decends on the house for a month (3) stops perfectionism- have I written lots of words (check), is it making some kind of point (check), yeah that'll do. Yes that's me advocating parenting as an excellent way to get things done and not stress over it :D what I'm trying to say is you need to find something that balances the stress of writing. My kids stress me more hence writing is a breeze in comparison. What do you find de stresses you? Can you treat yourself with that before or after a writing session?


I think you made a good point. Thinking of myself, I sometimes sit an hour in front of a 10 line passage to make it, in my eyes, perfect. In the end, an examiner will probably not even notice the difference or sees it completely differently :D

If you have all relevant literature on your computer/mendeley/endnote/whatever, then cutting the wifi can help a lot. That's what I do when I need to be productive

Thread: sailing through the turbulence of a dissertation

posted
05-Jul-15, 15:47
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
ok

Thread: To accept a PhD in Chemistry offer or not?

posted
03-Jul-15, 14:55
edited about 24 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
If the staff in the group is experienced and the labs look good, why not? Was their a special reason for closure/re-opening?

Thread: Anyone else feeling a little frustrated about the current funding situation?

posted
03-Jul-15, 11:12
edited about 4 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From RinaL:
Yeah, the problem is really linked to not enough money to fund all interesting projects. Here, when we submit a project and don't get full points from both reviewers, we won't get funded. Makes the situation a little bit tricky - some reviewers don't give full points at all because of cultural differences - if you get one of these you are officially f..ed up.

@TreeofLife: We actually have this: We have the "funded projects", then the" projects that are excellent but too few money" , then we have "very good but too few money" and then there is average (major revisions) and declined. Its really sad to see the current state of research - a lab partner of mine is trying to achieve his Habilitation - but without his own funded project he can't get it. And a chance for a funded project is around 5-10 % even when the funding body tells us its actually at 30 % (but over all projects - we in life sciences are competing with medicine, social science and everything else over the same amount of money)


I guess it is especially hard when you are unknown and at the beginning of your career. We have several professors at my old university who always get there funding. They had some really nice discoveries in the past and are authorities in their field. They even admit that they don't have to try very hard for funding. The reviewer just sees the name and it is more or less funded. We are talking about projects where you sometimes really ask yourself if it is necessary to investigate this...often just for the sake of knowing more and probably without any relevant future application. But that's how it is, when too many people want to do research. I don't think that the funding was cut so extreme.... the more competitors, the less chance to be successful with your proposal. You will be never able to prvide enough funding for all good projects I guess.

Thread: Anyone else feeling a little frustrated about the current funding situation?

posted
03-Jul-15, 07:12
edited about 40 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
I feel really sorry for you. Sounds a bit lunatic that not even high impact journals like nature comm or biotech guarantee some funding. Maybe the proposal itself can be improved an you just didn't present it in the optimal way? However, this could also be a result of the tons of proposals they receive for grants. There is probably always someone slightly superior in terms of publications. Topic 2 sounds like a great way to prevent any kind of discovery :D

Thread: what would you do

posted
02-Jul-15, 10:59
edited about 6 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From pd1598:
Not sure why previous poster was so vicious? .


Because the text is just confusing? Are they even living together ? She writes that he lost a place to stay. Does not sound like she lost her place to stay too.

Find a new job, get a new appartment -> problem solved. What else would you do? There are no real alternatives

Thread: Applying for a postdoc - no reference from supervisor

posted
01-Jul-15, 10:30
edited about 3 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
I think it is really a pity that you rely so hard on the references. Even for PhD positions they sometimes demand 3 references.Brings you in a position, where you have to kiss ass all the time because every reference counts. If you had a bad relationship to your supervisor and he is not willing to recommend you then you are sometimes pretty much fucked...

Sadly I have no good solution to this. Try to talk to your supervisor again and tell him that this is unfair as you won't find something new without his reference....it will look really suspicious if you have no recommendation from your PhD supervisor, no matter if you find other references or not. It is as if he/she would blackmail you..."work for me or in an institution I approve or you won't get a reference"

Thread: Question about postgrad research application

posted
01-Jul-15, 07:20
edited about 8 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Well, there are of course still promising fields like computer science, where know how is needed. Big Data is a hot topic at the moment and I heard for instance that many physicists try to get in there after their PhD in less applied fields like particle- or astrophysics. However, this is not representative and does not really show what the average PhD student can do.
The more programming you do, the better. People in bio-, neuro-, whatever-informatics usually find something appropriate. Significantly harder if you hold a PhD in humanities, protein biochemistry or physical chemistry) ;)
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