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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: Supervisor Mistake Leaves me with No PhD After 4 years

posted
16-Sep-15, 12:30
edited about 9 seconds later
by Dunham
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posted about 4 years ago
So the problem is just that you don't know which material it is? In case you would find out, you could publish the papers?

Thread: Supervisor Mistake Leaves me with No PhD After 4 years

posted
16-Sep-15, 10:16
edited about 2 minutes later
by Dunham
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posted about 4 years ago
Really sorry to read that. I can't imagine how that must feel.

The question is if a new PhD will help. I can't really imagine that you have any chance to get tenure or any research position at a university with a history that includes almost 5 years of failed PhD without any publications. Depending on the field you are working in, it might be better to look for job opportunities outside of academia instead of investing another 4 years in a PhD. Anyway, hats off for considering that after such a frustrating PhD experience.

I think you are right that there is not much you could do. In the end it is your responsibility that the material produced is definitely the one you thought, even though I can understand that one does not double check it after the supervisor's approval. Things like that happen in biology too, were people sometimes receive mutant lines from other renowned labs and in the end it turns out it was something completely different....always your responsibility to confirm the line...some learn it the hard way

How did your supervisor reacted? Does not cast positive light on him....

Thread: Which PhDs to pursue and which ones not to pursue in the next 20 years!

posted
15-Sep-15, 09:28
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Chococake:
robots can't do research, or can they ;)


Most people don't end up in research after their PhD ;)

Thread: Which PhD offer to take?

posted
15-Sep-15, 07:51
edited about 4 minutes later
by Dunham
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posted about 4 years ago
Quote From KimWipes:
The obvious answer should be Eindhoven University of Technology! People hardly heard of Boise State University! But thats because most of people writing in here are from Europe and except for few big cities in the US, they never visit anywhere else in the continent and think the rest is just filled up with many many hillbillies!

In fact one of the biggest name in electronics and microelectronics is "Micron Technology" which is one of the top five high-tech microelectronics and solid states companies in the world (physical assets over 22 billion dollars), based in Boise, Idaho with strong ties to BSU. Most likely even the computer you reading this message has few parts from them(i.e. SDRAM, solid state drive or even the flash memory you are using). Many of the electronics in computers are invented in Boise, Idaho! Who would of thought of that!

If you think that your supervisor can define some innovative industrial project for you, Silicon Valley or Intel wont be too far! I would not hesitate to pick BSU over any other hyped european names.

But be warned, Boise is a small midwest town, can be extremely cold in winter and is relatively far from main American cities that europeans like to visit and certainly you cannot find many european cultural things over there (including over crowded coffee shops or men dressed in skinny jeans + crakow shoes and women in Sinbad pantaloons if I remember correctly) but if you are an outdoorsy person, lots of thing to do! ;)


To be fair, most people didn't say anything against Boise State University ;) As there is an incredible amount of universities in the US (varying in quality like everywhere), I think it is okay to never have heard of Boise State. I don't really think this is European arrogance. I am pretty sure I could name some good German universities you never heard of ;)

Even though Boise State might be good for microelectronics, it does not mean that Eindhoven is bad. We already talked about some advantages of being a PhD student in the Netherlands (which is btw nothing that applies to whole Europe). Maybe it's the same for Boise State...no information about funding or duration of funding.

Thread: Which PhD offer to take?

posted
14-Sep-15, 11:12
by Dunham
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posted about 4 years ago
The conditions for PhD students in the Netherlands are really nice. As janjansen already told you are considered as an employee and paid according to that. What I heard so far, this is not always the case for the US. You should consider the reputation of the group and the university. The standard in the Netherlands is really high, personally, I never heard of a Boise State University, so I can't say anything about that, but I would check if the reputation/funding/publications are comparable. An important part is of course if you want to live in the NL for 4 years. Nice country but completely different to the US. Some people have no problem with that, others might. Generally, a long stay abroad can be a nice new experience and is usually really beneficial for your CV.

Thread: 2:2 BSc and MSc, should I not bother to apply to Oxbridge at all?

posted
13-Sep-15, 11:53
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Not sure if that is supposed to be ironic.

Thread: 2:2 BSc and MSc, should I not bother to apply to Oxbridge at all?

posted
13-Sep-15, 10:45
edited about 9 minutes later
by Dunham
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posted about 4 years ago
Is there a reason why British students only consider the UK? There are quite good places over Europe that are maybe not as renowned as Oxbridge but still really high ranked and with much better funding compared to the average UK uni. You barely see any UK students outside of the UK. I wonder why that is, especially as the conditions for PhD students are so far from good. You meet Spanish, French, Swiss, Polish, Scandinavian and so on but I never met a UK student (Well, 1 or 2 Irish)
Maybe that would be an option for you :)

Thread: Postgraduate in Australia

posted
09-Sep-15, 09:22
edited about 3 minutes later
by Dunham
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posted about 4 years ago
I think your open options are all not really suitable. Where is the point in doing a MRes or MPhil if you already hold a Master Degree? If you plan to settle in 2-3 years a PhD is also no option. I think in the ideal case you can maybe finish in 3 years but there are only a few students who do so. Most take rather 4 years.

Why don't you just find a job now? I don't think that a PhD is so beneficial for an engineer ...career-vise

For the last part: Just apply for funded PhD positions that are available for internationals. If you get a position, they will tell you how the procedure at the university works. I don't see any other options. Personally, I would never do a non-funded PhD or something part-time that I have to fund by working and I think that is also not an option for you, as part-time would take you up to 8 years

Thread: PhD vs job opportunity

posted
09-Sep-15, 07:47
edited about 1 minute later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From clairaN:
I do really want to finish the PhD and I'm excited about my research but I am so worried about finishing it and been stuck in a job that I could have done without ever going to uni in the first place.

The job would be permanent and there is a hell of a lot of work to do to raise the standards of the company, however, once I had done the bulk of the work and done the management course I think I would be in a better position to do the job and the PhD. I've worked full time up to now but not in the same role and a few years of that job would be great on my cv for the job that I want.


I think that is relatively normal in the humanities. Many people end up in marketing, advertising or other relatively unrelated fields, where you would not need a PhD. It's like with these sales-jobs in science for chemists and biologists. They often prefer PhDs but what you do in your daily routine could be done by every bachelor student with a few weeks training. Out of academia and the few senior R&D jobs, the PhD is rarely beneficial or useful....except maybe some areas where it is important to show off.... :D

I would also say : Just do it, if there is a way to pause your PhD work. I highly doubt that your PhD will help you to get a better job. This is rather the exception.

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
31-Aug-15, 14:32
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
I'm talking about when someone is doing a PhD at a university or working at a university, they are surrounded by academics.

For people with degrees, it's the same in the UK, 50% of people these days go to university. But, there may be 50% of people under 30 with a degree but that isn't 50% of the population as whole and it's not evenly spread across the country. So, if think of my family and friends from home, the percentage with a degree is more like 20%.


Well, that is of course a process. That's why I wrote that it is decreasing and will decrease in the future. People who think of a PhD as something special and extraordinarily getting fewer, while coming generations have a completely altered view on that. When my grandma was young, there were maybe one or two pupils of each school getting the chance to study. Completely different times :)

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
31-Aug-15, 12:48
edited about 21 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:


Yes, if you surround yourself with academics obviously it seems like no big deal to have a PhD as everyone has one, but that's what happens when one occupies that part of society. It becomes normalised. Reality is different. Less than 1% of the US population has a PhD and it's probably a similar figure elsewhere.


What do you mean with surround yourself by academics? That sounds a bit as if I would talk about a circle of chosen scholars in my ivory tower....You are writing as if the majority of our countries are uneducated workers. I don't know the british school system but in Germany over 50% of the same age group are getting the permission to study at a university and if you include the people who are allowed to study at universities of applied sciences, this percentage even increases. That is not a minority of super educated people but a majority of our society I am talking about. That is not some extraordinary education that is limited to a few. If this is something normal for over 60% of our society how can it be so privileged?? If you always compare it to the least educated people in our society it might be, but not for the average of people in their mid 20s to mid 30s. For them it is not a privilege but one valid option out of many that you consider in terms of career goals. There is even a significant amount of people in humanities who mainly pursue a PhD because of a lack of job opportunities in industry, as companies are not really begging for social scientists or history graduates. They simply hope that the title will enhance job opportunities. I could link some articles but they would be in German ;)

In the end, education in general is of course a privilege, but not the PhD in particular. You don't need to belong to the 1% with a PhD to see it that way. That is not really an indicator of a privilege.

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
31-Aug-15, 10:59
edited about 3 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:


Quote From Ganesha:
[quote]Phd in mainland Europe is announced as a job vacancy precisely for this reason. It is not treated as a previlege and helps to maintain equality in all spheres of their society.


Really? Doing a PhD is an immense privilege anywhere. In general, it means one has had a decent upbringing to enable them to achieve academically, they probably have a bit of financial stability, probably got some emotional support coming in from somewhere. It's definitely not about equality - if it was, everyone who wanted to do could do it - and that's not the case.


It has been an immense privilege in the past. Nowadays, with a myriad of PhD students, it is not that much of a big deal as it was 50 years ago and it is also differently perceived by society. It is often just seen as an additional qualification like an MBA or sometimes just like a normal degree that consists of 3 instead of the usual 2 (bachelor + master) parts. People don't associate it with an exceptionally bright person anymore. This becomes especially clear if you compare the reactions of younger generations and elderly. While people like my grandma are still incredibly impressed by a PhD and see it as a huge accomplishment, most people in industry and almost all younger people with an academic degree value it far lower. "You are a chemist and have a PhD? Well, who hasn't?" Somehow like this, of course a bit dramatized ;) It is just not that special anymore and in many subjects like chemistry or physics you can pursue a PhD without having exceptional grades or outstanding merit. In many subjects like chemistry or biology it became a standard part of the education with far over 80% of graduates pursuing a PhD.

On the one hand, if you compare it to working class people that never saw a university from inside, it is of course still a privilege. On the other hand there is such a huge amount of people who have the ability to pursue a PhD after their master (if they would want to) that I am it is not more of a privilege than doing a masters or go to university at all. As I said, exceptionally good performance with distinction is only needed in a few competitive fields. Everyone else maybe needs to make a compromise in terms of project preferences and institution but could get a PhD in general. I am of course just talking about the chance to start one. If you are able to finish it successfully is a whole other story :)

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
29-Aug-15, 18:50
edited about 7 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Well, I did not want to deny that people like this exist, but more that there is a huge amount of people out there who are familiar with these topics, so finding a partner shoud not be that hard.

Quote From TreeofLife:


Women in the sciences and in many high flying careers are childless because work is inflexible. What I should do, therefore, is forget that I have a PhD, and be grateful for any old Tom, Dick or Harry that looks in my direction. Yes, let's get rid of highly educated women and get them back in the kitchen where they belong. Which, incidentally, is where I am going now because I'm hungry and I've finally finished writing my manuscript.


Yeah, men....the root of all evil :D

Asking highly educated women showed that many of them are childless because they can't find the appropriate partner and NOT because work is inflexible. That is what the women asked in the questionnaire stated. It just takes two to get pregnant, if we limit it to the natural process. So flexible working hours and women won't receive a child together. Nobody says that you have to take the next guy hanging around but don't you think it is strange that it is perfectly okay for a man to have a wife that is lower educated on paper, while this seems to be undeniably a huge deal for women? Why is that, when we assume that men also want a partner that is capable of an intelligent conversation? I don't believe that it is because all men are scared of woman with a career, even though a lot of people seem to like to put it that way. My dad has a PhD in engineering and my mom didn't went to university. I highly doubt that this exists the other way around, even though it has been over 25 years since they married. There are certainly some things that have to change in the heads of women, which does NOT mean that women shouldn't aim for the same career as everyone else who wants to..

but probably that is also not true and somebody will tell me soon that women would love that constellation but that it is actually men who can't accept a woman that is making more money or making a better career ;)

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
29-Aug-15, 17:57
edited about 10 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Do you really think that, i.


Do you really think that career is solely based on intelligence? There are tons of other factors that are influencing how sucessfull you are. How many people who pursued a PhD in humanities are now working in minimum wage jobs ? They are maybe not cleaning toilets, but they are definitely working way lower than their academic background would suggest. There's not a nice position waiting for everyone.

Of course it is more likely that you find intelligent people among Post Docs compared to factory workers but there are literally millions that are working between minimum wage jobs and academia. This is the majority of our societies. The people I grew up with, the people I went to university with. Nowadays, up to 50% of people enter university. Do you really want to tell me that it is hard to find an intelligent person among so many people? So I don't see why it should be harder for PhD students compared to any other graduate. I don't know you, so I can't tell how intelligent and educated you are. Maybe you are the kind of person that really needs an extraordinarily bright partner. However, with all my friends who started working after there undergrad studies, you can talk about topics ranging from Higgs Boson particle to refugees, Gaza conflict and GMOs. The rest is just personal preference. Some topics they enjoy more than others. Some people like to go to a museum, others hate it. Some people enjoy to discuss astronomy, other well educated people prefer to gossip. I am not saying that you should look for your future husband in the next factory or at the harbor but there are literally millions of people who went to university and are educated. I don't see why that should be hard. It might be hard, if you are biased and subconsciously think that this person is probably not equal to you on an intellectual level ;)

It has of course nothing to do with you in particular but it is one of the reasons why it is hard to find a partner as a highly educated woman and it is also one of the reasons why many women in sciences stay childless. There are studies that investigated this. A high amount of highly educated women don't have problems to manage family and job but rather state that it is hard to find a partner who matches their social expectations. If a key criterium is that he has at least the same status as you and you are professor or CEO of a company, then the search for a partner will be tough.

I just don't believe that there is such a huge intelligence gap between normal graduates and PhD students. If we agree on that, then there are literally millions of potential partners and finding a partner is for a PhD student basically as hard as it is for every graduate.

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
29-Aug-15, 16:14
edited about 13 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:

Personally, I tend to have less .....


The description sounds as if people outside of academia were all completely dull, not interested in anything, never saw a museum from inside....where do you get such a strange impression?? My mom works at a hospital and never studied at a university. Most of her friends didn't study either. Still she's into art, you can talk with her about politics and million other things. My father has a PhD and not a single (good) friend of him has one. Some of his closest friends didn't even study at a university. Never bothered him.

Well, I follow the "never fuck the company" rule and wouldn't want to have a partner at my work place, but that you have the same background does not mean that you have to talk about it all the time. One of my ex girlfriends was more or less in the same area (neurobiology vs plant genetics) and we barely talked about that. I would go crazy if there would be nothing else to talk about. All day life science and then I come home to a person to whom I only talk about life science. That sounds horrible. Life is not just work and if nothing else happens in your life or you are not interested in other stuff then I tend to be less interested. I'd rather like to talk about hobbies, movies, music, travels, politics whatever. I have to admit that of all my friends who started PhDs in the last years, there is just one person where I could say something detailed about the topic. I know in which department the others work and could maybe sum up the topic in a sentence, but not really details about the research. When we go out we talk about a million things, but not work. I see nothing wrong with that.

I think the barriers are more in the heads of people.
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