Overview of eng77

Recent Posts

Thinking of quitting two days before submission deadline

Do as much as you can. Getting revise and resubmit is not bad for this particular case. Just work as hard as possible to provide a thesis (whatever its shape).

Is it possible to have an academic career after self-funded PhD?

Quote From stressedwelldressed:
With the academic job market being as difficult as it is, will being self-funded for my PhD massively inhibit my ability to enter an academic career? (I am a humanities student btw).

The propects employer does not ask (or should not) how your PhD is funded. More important is to show you have developed a good understanding of the subject, hopefully with one publication or more.

PhD viva recommendation appeal help!

Quote From NatashaIsaiah:
Hi guys,

I have to 10 days to write an appeal and I’m reaching out for help. I had my viva back in April and the recommendation the examiners made was 12 months corrections for an Mphil.

I submitted my PhD in October last year and it took 6 months for me to get a viva date.

It transpired during the viva that my university sent the examiners an incorrect copy of my thesis in error, as what my examiners had before them was not my final submitted draft. This mistake was only discovered part way during the viva examination.

The examination was abandoned and the university quickly remedy the mishap and sent the examiners the correct final version of my thesis, that same day.

Two days later I was contacted to set a new date for my viva (less than a week later).

The second viva commenced.

The viva was not a pleasant experience and the questioning was very confrontational. I was interrupted constantly while providing my answers and was unable to give full answers at times as I was being interrupted mid sentence.

The examiners made the recommendation of an Mphil.

Are there any suggestions on how to go about writing and making an appeal?


I am sorry for this terrible experience. They might have judged the incorrect version and reached a conclusion already before they received the right version. You might argue that the examiners did not have enough time to revise the thesis (less than a week). Moreover, their decision was definitely influenced by the eirlier version of the thesis which they took time to examine. I would suggest that you ask for new examination panel that know nothing about your thesis. You can talk with the faculty and ask politely for this as they owe you because it is their fault. Otherwise, a formal appeal is not uncommon when the examiners recommend to award a lower degree. Just do not give up. It can take years but it is worth. You deserve at least a fair chance of a regular thesis examination and a regular viva even if this takes a half year more. I wish everything goes well.

Paralyzed by choice

Quote From giveittomestraight:
Hey there,

I'm coming to the end of my PhD and I'm in the very fortunate position of having several good options. Unfortunately, the fanciest options are clashing with the options that I think are best for me personally, and it would be good to get some advice. For context, I did my PhD overseas and I found the experience pretty brutal. It's been lonely and isolating, especially during the pandemic. I decided to start applying for some jobs back in my home city, near family and friends. I have a couple of offers, including one that is really attractive (right in my field, great mission, very talented employees), although it would unfortunately not leave much room for pure research. I raised this with my supervisor and he thought that I could do better. He has started setting up a possible postdoc with a solid group at [very fancy university], and offered to fund me himself if that falls through. This university is in a different country, although much closer to home than where I did my PhD.

I'm torn. On the one hand, I want to go home and settle down near my family. On the other hand, I worry I'm being an idiot for thinking about turning down a fantastic academic placement. It could set me up for getting an academic position back home if I can stomach it for a few more years. I'm just so tired from the PhD experience and I don't know if I have it in me emotionally...

Living in a comfort place where you call home is something. It is not all about fancy work or research. In academia, you might find yourself running where the fund is available. On the other side, if you sepnd 2-3 years in a reputable group where you publish a couple of papers in good journals and conference, you have a good chance in securing a permanent position in close to your home. The bottom line is "do not" push yourself very hard to go for the fancy institute if you feel you would really feel lonely and not happy.

MSc Supervision - low mark, advice?

Quote From ng41975:
Hi all - just to ask have recently finished my MSc dissertation. Throughout the course consistently got grades above 70%. Throughout the past year I have worked alongside my supervisor via Teams on my dissertation - she has been hard to track down, but consistently ahs told me I am on track, work looks good, suggesting re edits (which I have done) and told me that I was looking at a good mark for the work and should consider publishing it. From the beginning we agreed on a hand in date of draft work on 26 march. 5 weeks before this date, she changed the draft hand in date to 1 march, due to her taking time off. Because of work commitments I could not meet this deadline, and was offered no alternative supervisor for the last 3 weeks of the dissertation.
I received my dissertation mark last week - 58%. The examiners marks were a complete disconnect between what my supervisor had been telling me over the past 6 months. I passed as was told work too descriptive, too much of the main work was in the appendices. I am really annoyed, at what I now feel was poor supervision, and I am wondering now if the supervisor is on the same page as the rest of the academic faculty.
I had a meeting with the course lead, and diplomatically she can see my point of view, but advised there is no way to change the grade. She has suggested an academic appeal is not an option. I am wondering if I would have a case with an academic appeal reviewing procedural irregularities with supervision that has affected my result and progress? I have emails from my supervisor saying I am on track and proof that I have sent all sections of the dissertation to her for review.
Interestingly the module lead did tell me that a moderator had to be brought in to mark my work as the examiner and the second marker (my supervisor) disagreed over the mark.
I know the final piece of work is down to me, and I had reference to the course marking grid, but I feel like the supervision has led me down the wrong path. I am not really bothered about not getting a distinction for my masters. I am annoyed at the advice I have been given, and the amount of work I have put in.
Or does this sound more like a complaint case?
Thanks for your advice

I am sorry for what you have been through. It is bad that your supervisor was not as useful as she had to be. Unfortunately, this is the case in UK. The supervisor can only give to her best knowledge advice for thesis submission but the examiners can have different opinions. You can ask your academic tutor if appeal based on irregularitiies applies to you because you had to submit 3 weeks earlier which is something. It is possible to ask for a third party to grade the thesis independently?
In some countries in Europe, the supervisor decieds almost everything regarding the grade but this is a two side coin as relationship with supervisor plays a major role in the grade.

Part time job alongside EPSRC studentship

Quote From k100:
Looking for some advice about how I can find my studies.

Am trying to obtain an EPSRC studentship but am finding that the stipend rate just won’t be enough to live on after doing some financial planning. Is there any way that I can top this up while still keeping the full-time studentship? e.g. with a part time job or a research assistant job? What would be the maximum hours I could work alongside a full-time studentship? If I can’t work, how about income from teaching and demonstration?

In many cases 20 hours per week would be allowed. Income from teaching and demonstration is usually low as it is only in term time and limited hours only. Do not expect too much from it. Also there is no guarantee to find a part time job. It is cruel that PhD stipends in UK are low but this is how it is.

Will AHRC fund a second PhD?

I do not think so. Most funds are only applicable for students who do not have already a PhD.

Problems in lauching mathematics career

The dream is realistic. Just google list of universities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria and Finland. Target all not only the top 3-4 universities. Notice that PhD students in Norway in particular are very well paid (among top worldwide) and the environment in international This means the competition is very high. I would look more into Germany (not the top ones) , Austria (also not TU Wien, TU Graz).

Problems in lauching mathematics career

I would suggest that you apply for an European agency which can assess your degree and transfer it into equivalent ECTS. Check this website for certificate of equivalence of your degree. It is a bit expensive but you can google for something cheaper.
The answer is that you are good and we have no money is very popular in academia. So far I see that you have applied for top universities in Europe where the competition is still very high. The same as US. You might have to lower your ambition a bit and go for a middle rank university. Applying for tens of universities might not help if the competition is high.

Problems in lauching mathematics career

Quote From mathfan:
Here is my sad story. I am a former theoretical (very theoretical!) physicist from Russia. I am a MSc and after graduation I decided to specialize in pure mathematics. However my wish was not sufficient. Initially I started to apply to numerous PhD jobs in Europe, but received only rejections. One postdoc suggested I should try to apply to American graduate schools. It brought no result too, although the results of exams were reasonable. I applied to a variety of programs from MIT to Oklahoma State university, but no one accepted me. Then I lowered my ambitions and have been applying in some European master's programs. Even expensive programs reject me. They say I do not have enough credits to study at the masters level. But I disagree. My mathematical preparation was deep and some people from my department in the alma mater are now successful mathematicians.

I guess I have a decent academic record. Have two publications in a prestigious American physics journal. GPA is high enough to have some deals with Ivies. But nothing helps me. I still want to have a mathematics career. Any advise how to launch it?

I am sorry to hear this. How your degree translates in terms of ECTS? If it is 300 credits, you are eligible to do a PhD in continental Europe. I would like to know where in Europe have you applied? UK is very competitive and I would suggest to apply in Germany, France, Belgium and Netherlands. Finland is also a good option. I would not try too much in English speaking countries like US, Canada, Ireland and Australia as everyone in the world is competing and supervisors receive hundreds of daily emails from prospective students. You dream is still possible but it might come in a slightly different way.

Working while on DAAD scholarship.

I am not expert in German tax systems but I would expect a "yes" to both questions. It is more likely that scholarship will not be included in tax calculations and you might not need to file a tax return but the saftest way is to file it anyway. There are some teams who can help with it at a cost of less than 100 Euro (https://www.vlh.de).
If you are going to file a tax return, it will be around April from next year and you can also fill it yourself if you know a bit of German or in English with an online platform for 30 Euro cost (https://www.steuergo.de/).

MRes instead of MSc

Quote From jequestrian:
I have an MSc by Research (basically an Mres, but without any taught modules). I find it has pros and cons. I am applying for PhDs, so this may not be relevant if you want to go into industry. My MSc by Res 100% helped me gain my research assistant post as it proved I could complete research, lab work etc. It is probably also beneficial for my PhD applications - however, it wasn't graded. It was pass/fail, and I believe that is holding me back somewhat as I can't say I was awarded a percentage grade. If yours has taught modules, then this may not be the case for you?

Perhaps email the companies you would like to work for to ask their advice?

You have said all what I feel about Msc by research, both pros and cons. Well said.

Resume for graduate school

Quote From Trikst445:
My request may seem a little off-topic, but I'm sure someone will help me. As you probably understand, I need to write a resume, but I don't understand what exactly is required. Can someone help me or share any useful guide on resume writing? I would be very grateful.

Have you ever written a CV? If so it should not be different either for postgraduate study or jobs. If this is your first ever CV, look online for a template and adapt it for yourself.

MRes instead of MSc

Quote From Eagerbeaver:
Will employers accept a MRes instead of a MSc if they require a MSc for the job? The MRes I'm interested in is exactly the same as a taught MSc (it has taught parts and a dissertation etc). Don't want to say what subject as I don't want to be too specific.

The jobs I'm interested in usually ask for a MSc or PhD.

Hi. I am an MRes holder. The main advantage of MRes is that it gives more practical and research experience. The degree is a Master degree after all same as MSc. But if you want my opinion, it has a downside if there are no taught modules as employees would like to see transcripts and grades. It is also not very well known outside the UK. You need sometimes to explain what MRes is. Also make sure you have enough fund or self fund because it might take longer than MSc.

Disappointment during my phd studies!

Quote From Kas:
This is an excellent advise. I was so emotionally overwhelmed that I couldn't think logically and dispassionately. I indeed arranged a meeting with the new prof and this appeared to be extremely helpful for me. We talked for an hour and a half! Now, the methodological issues regarding my study are more clear.
actually I don't face issues of disrespect. Their behaviour is very nice

I am happy that things worked out. Regarding the main supervisor, it is not uncommon that the supervisor plays a little or no role at all in the PhD of his/her student. At least he does not play a negative role which is also not uncommon. Now proceed with the givens you have. A helpful committee member and a supervisor who you do not have great expectations from him. Now focus on carrying on and do not think much about how it is "supposed" to be. Indeed you might be in a better position than many other PhD students :).