Overview of Dunham

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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: Can you refuse some revisions after viva?

posted
20-May-15, 13:11
edited about 1 minute later
by Dunham
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posted about 5 years ago
In most other countries you have no minor/major corrections. You submitted your thesis, defend it in public and pass or fail. Maybe that is the reason why you call it viva in the UK and not PhD defense like most other countries :) I also think it's strange. Never heard of that process before I found this forum.

I think you can't really negotiate. A thesis usually has to have a certain structure. I would just change it in that way and then publish the other version as a book. If you negotiate that examiner might get even more pissed. I would just do it and get rid of it ;)

Thread: I chose the wrong institute for my PhD, what now?

posted
20-May-15, 07:26
by Dunham
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posted about 5 years ago
I'm German and already read the article ;) It is definitely a step in the right direction. Personally, I think the funding should be sufficient to finance 4 years of Phd (including the writing), as this is what i takes most of the natural scientists to finish their thesis.

I have to say that the two post docs I know that did their PhD work at a max planck institute weren't really happy either. One got no first author paper out of it and the other one had a extremely pushy "junior" group leader and had a really hard time but maybe that is just a coincidence. Usually the standards are really high and the reputation of the institutes is good, so I don't expect it to be everywhere like this. There should be a contact person for PhD studets. Maybe you can ask around...might be a way to discuss such a manner discreetly and get a neutral second opinion.

I think you can apply for other positions but don't rush into that and try to talk to therespective "PhD authority" at the institute. I bet there is someone assigned for PhD students and they can probably give you the best advice in a situation like this. Talking to your supervisor might help to clarify things. A future supervisor will definitely call him and ask about the situation, so you'll somehow rely on what he says about your performance and the reasons you quit.

Thread: I chose the wrong institute for my PhD, what now?

posted
19-May-15, 20:00
edited about 29 seconds later
by Dunham
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posted about 5 years ago
Are you sure that you fail after two and a half years? Usually your funding ends, but you don't get fired. In my opinion, starting to write after 2 years is completely unrealistic and the people I know that were employed at a max planck institute (2, but not chemists) took 3 to 3.5 years for the lab work and then did another 6 months writing. Maybe that is different in chemistry but it sounds a bit strange to me.

I think quitting always looks better than failing. You just have to "sell" it, which is a bit difficult in this case. You are already working on that topic for 1.5 years, so people will assume that you expected to fail or that you were not capable of mastering the subject. If the topic or the group were the cause for problems, one would expect that you quit after 6 months or at least a shorter period. Of course we all know that it is much more difficult if there is absolutely no input but strictly speaking, that is also one of the challenges of a PhD. It should be your scientific accomplishment. But of course some support and advice is often necessary for success.

I would talk to the supervisor again and tell him/her that you are thinking about quitting your position. Maybe they don't realize the seriousness of the situation. Otherwise, apply for other PhD positions if you are sure that you can't make it.

Thread: Older PhD students and funding.

posted
19-May-15, 17:29
edited about 2 seconds later
by Dunham
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posted about 5 years ago
Do you get no funding at all or would you at least get the tuition fees paid by the NERC? If so, you could still ask the professor if there are other possibilities for additional funding. You could maybe write a proposal together to apply for scholarships. It depends a bit on the competition. If you are a good fit for the position and there are no other suitable candidates then it is an option. If there are many candidates nobody will go that extra mile, because others fit exactly the NERC criteria.
Nevertheless DON'T finance a PhD with your savings. You do important work and the university and professor benefit from that. There is no reason to work for free, no matter if you want to do a PhD or not. There are always better options.

Thread: Older PhD students and funding.

posted
19-May-15, 09:26
edited about 3 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Is there a reason why you want to do that in UK? I found it almost impossible to find projects that are accesible for EU citizens. If they write that it is accesible for EU citizens, then they actually mean if you lived in the UK for 3 years, which excludes 99% of the EU citizens ;)
Depending on what you have done in the company it might be really easy or really hard to get a PhD position but definitely not completely unusual. As a natural scientists it is easy to find a PhD position if you worked in Research and Development but rather hard if you did something non-related to your field and science in general (sales or consulting in case of chemists or biologists for instance). Then they might think that you are out of science for too long. That does not mean that it is impossible, but it would make it harder.

Thread: Partner studying PhD for a second time- Stressful!

posted
18-May-15, 16:54
edited about 27 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Well, you can't force it. If she is not capable of doing it, then that's just how it is. Why does she need a PhD so badly?

Thread: I've the feeling that my PI doesn't trust/respect me

posted
17-May-15, 19:10
by Dunham
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posted about 5 years ago
Wow, you sound like a joy to work with...

Thread: Should I stop applying for PhD?

posted
17-May-15, 13:40
edited about 24 seconds later
by Dunham
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posted about 5 years ago
I think that it is just strange to me to define yourself so extreme as a PhD student. I sometimes really get the feeling that this is like the most important thing to people in this forum in life :D That seems completely irrational to me, even though I'll also apply for PhD positions and would be happy to get one. In the end, it's an experience and two letters in front of my name. I don't think I would be willing to do almost everything imaginable and possibly sacrifice every career opportunity just for this. From the beginning of my bachelor degree on, it was relatively clear to me that I want to do a PhD after my masters, which has not changed and of course it would be hard to give up on that but in the end I have to make a living in the next decades. If there is no good opportunity, then it is like that. I know that I would be also unhappy if I still live a student lifestyle when I'm 45 without any chances for permanent jobs and so on. But people are different and I respect that :)

Thread: Should I stop applying for PhD?

posted
16-May-15, 10:00
edited about 4 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
But you know enough about their situation to encourage them? I think this is basically the same situation. The important point is that we are not talking about a job but about a temporary Phd position. Even if he gets a random Phd position after another year, where will it lead to? Of course nobody knows for sure, but the chances that you end up unemployed or badly paid in a job completely out of your field are extremely high. For me, that is enough to give someone the advice above. One post doc in a lab I did an internship in got advised by the supervisors to better look for positions in industry because his publication record was (in their opinion) to weak to have a real chance in academia. Of course they could not know that for sure. Nobody can. Of course they did not like that because he wanted to be a PI some day but things like that are just honest. If you still want to try you have the possibility but I would feel bad to encourage people in situations like that, just to be positive. It is always easy to encourage anonymous people in a forum but imagine it is a friend or a family member. Would you really encourage them even though you know about the odds?

Thread: Should I stop applying for PhD?

posted
15-May-15, 16:55
edited about 31 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
He/She is not working. "No luck with phd or employment". This is simply a gap and not the decision to achieve a Phd after working in this field for a while.

I appreciate this encouraging, all-time positive mood in this forum, but in cases like this it is just irresponsible. How long shall he/she continue trying? 1, 2, 5 years? And what if it never works out ? Who hires you 5 years after graduation without relevant work experience? Even it is somehow sad if people give up on their dreams, sometimes it is just not meant to be and at some point one should look for better alternatives.

Thread: Should I stop applying for PhD?

posted
15-May-15, 14:01
edited about 24 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Quote From Dunham:


Well, at one point you also have to be realistic and may have to abandon dreams. Even if you get a Phd position at some point, your chances to do research or teach afterwards are almost non existent. The competition is just too high to make it with major gaps in your CV .


That is not true. I've got a 5 year science 'gap' in my CV and it's done me no harm. In fact, working in that job transformed my personality and it's what helped me do so well in my PhD... and beyond, in my new research position.


I don't mean this in any way offensive but let's see when it comes to applications for permanent positions in academia ;) It may not be harmful for temporary phd and post doc jobs but if it comes to PI/assistant professor/ associate professor etc. and leading your own group then you are facing competition that is far beyond the one you have for phd or post doc positions with applicants from all over the world and usually really strong CVs. Then you either have connections or a truly impressive publication list, which is, let's be honest, something that you can only influence to a certain degree.
Of course it is your own decision but after 2 years of struggle for a phd position it is just reasonable to advice someone to search for alternatives and not to further encourage them to a point when there is no turning back.

Thread: Who is supervising the PhD supervisors?

posted
15-May-15, 10:56
edited about 8 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
5 years of university (BSc + MSc) should give you the tools you need to do your own research. If you are not able to do so, you are not a suitable Phd candidate. It sounds like you search for someone who looks over your shoulder while you work in the lab but that is not how it should be. You perform your own research and you discuss the results with your supervisor and discuss strategies and directions. At least that is what I expect.

What is a Phd worth if you just follow the instructions of a supervisor and how will you be able to do good science after a Phd?

PS : Of course there are bad supervisors but in my opinion more in a way that they demand too much and put too much pressure on the student.

Thread: Should I stop applying for PhD?

posted
15-May-15, 09:52
edited about 10 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From lude:

But, if you feel that it is your calling in life (as I do) - then at the end of the day, you don't really have a choice. You HAVE to keep trying.


Well, at one point you also have to be realistic and may have to abandon dreams. Even if you get a Phd position at some point, your chances to do research or teach afterwards are almost non existent. The competition is just too high to make it with major gaps in your CV and you also have to consider that there is a reason why you got rejected so many times. It is maybe just not meant to be. I don't want to discourage people but you have to think about what will come afterwards and if you already struggle to get a Phd position, I hardly see a chance how you should get a permanent position as a lecturer afterwards. This is just unrealistic. You should also consider that life is not just about work and your job. There are probably other things that are important to you and almost everything demands a certain amount of money, no matter if we talk about kids, traveling, hobbys etc.
Find a compromise between a job you love and one that gives a realistic chance to make a living. But that's just my opinion on this.

For the OP :
I think you have not so much to lose. You already have a job so just keep on trying. If you get a position and can't make it in research after the completion of a hypothetical Phd position, you can probably always start a private practice. Just make sure that there is a backup plan if research does not work out.

Thread: Going to be demoted from PhD to Masters. Please help

posted
13-May-15, 15:10
edited about 2 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
I think in the long run that won't help. Academia is highly competetive so you have to ask yourself the question if this is the right working environment for your condition. I don't mean this in any way offensive, but even with a Phd you still have no relevant internships or work experience and if your supervisor sees no real potential in your work then this might not be the way to go. Try to get the master (which is not so bad, nobody needs to know that you were phd student) and then look for something else.

Thread: How do you juggle...

posted
12-May-15, 09:41
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 5 years ago
Funny to see the differences. In most other countries teaching is a minor task and your supervisor would never "allow" to spend so much time on this, if it means that you do less work for the project. You may supervise a bachelor/master student or a practical course from time to time but never to that extend.

If it is like that I would just accept it and not try to work 60 hours + each week. You will most likely burn out after a while if you overdo it and that won't be beneficial for neither project, nor teaching
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