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fallenonion
Saturday, 7 June 2014 at 9:28am
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 at 10:46am
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page 1 of 6 recent posts

Thread: Thinking of starting a PhD in Education (aged 49)

posted
11-Dec-17, 15:37
edited about 3 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
Hi Johngti

Why not look for a job as a lecturer in a university education department? My background is / was similar to yours. I did twelve years as a teacher including course leadership and finishing up - albeit briefly - in a senior role in a college (got promoted, then jumped ship two months later). Like you, along the way I did a masters (and got a distinction canceling out a less than perfect record at undergrad). I started thinking about a doctorate around the day job but felt it would be very hard so just started applying for university jobs and got one. Some ask for phds, but quite a few will take a Masters plus experience. The key is demonstrating a commitment to research, and talking about it in interviews (my ideas were probably ropey but enthusiasm goes a long way). Now that I’m ‘in’ I’m making headway with research. Being in and around the uni environment, I’ve managed to carve out time between teaching and observing my trainees to do a free course which will culminate in a (hopefully) publishable paper, been to several networking events about things I’m interested in and am now revisiting my previous doctoral proposal with a lot more sense of what I can do. Hopefully if I ya good enough they’ll pay for me to do it. I’m still busy, but finding more time to think away from the daily grind of teaching. Quite a few of my colleagues are only just finishing doctorates after several years as lecturers. Onion.

Thread: Adding famous researcher onto author list makes your paper stronger?

posted
05-Nov-17, 15:58
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posted about 2 years ago
Sounds like an ideal way for someone to take all the credit for your work! The ‘famous name’ would have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Why would you want to devalue yourself by diluting the perceived contribution you’ve made? I’m not an expert but seems daft to me. The research is either publishable or it’s not. If it is, get the kudos for yourself, don’t give it away!

Thread: Research grants - how does it all work

posted
01-Nov-17, 19:54
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Hi Tudor Queen

As it happens, I've just spent all day in a training session about making successful grant applications and a similar situation was discussed.

From what I can gather, if your collaborator puts a grant application together to a relevant funding body, they can specify in the grant that they want you specifically as a post-doc. So if your collaborator is in a uni, they would be best heading up the proposal, with you as part of it. Part of the grant costs would therefore be a salary for you, for however long it would take.

Does that help? I'm by no means an expert, as you know, having just come into things myself (more an enthusiastic amateur) but I saw your post and thought 'ooh...they mentioned that today!'.

Hope it helps, anyway.

Thread: Is a PhD with a 2:2 and a pass at Masters possible?

posted
29-Oct-17, 20:53
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Think that if you truly believe in yourself and your research idea you should go for it. I let myself down in my first degree. Due to mental health problems I was completely erratic, see-sawing from firsts to thirds throughout. I did get a 2.1 but 'transcript shame' and 'advice' from people who supposedly 'cared' or 'knew better' (ie had their own agendas..family, partners) put me off doing a masters for years: "you weren't good enough...need to get a job and forget 'book learning'.. Hardly seems like five minutes since a couple of former colleagues were openly sniggering when I said I wanted to be an academic. Well they don't snigger so loud now that I'm now a lecturer...and nobody even looked at my transcript on the way there. Think there's a big myth that 'only those with firsts and distinctions' need apply when it comes to academia. In my case, professional experience and research ideas were enough to land 'the job they said I'd never get'. And at a Russel group too...despite the motley mix of low ranking red bricks and post-92s on my CV, which was the other thing I'd been told would count against me, and which was also clearly a pile of poop spouted by people who don't know what they're talking about. You've clearly got a good proposal, so must have something. Do it!

Thread: Accountability buddies - studying/working from home

posted
28-Oct-17, 18:12
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
Hi

I work from home a couple of days a week, and personally I find going out somewhere to work really helps me to get work done. Within a short cycle of where I live there's a local library, costa, another coffee shop and a weatherspoons. All have free wifi. Spoons is particularly good because they do free coffee refills, and comfy settees. I think the guy in the coffee shop gets a bit sick of me, taking ages over a coffee then hanging around. But it works for me. Just find I work better that way. Throw in a swim at lunch time, apart from popping home for lunch, I can be out all day like a 9-5. Too many distractions at home.

Thread: I don't know which city i should move to?

posted
15-Oct-17, 20:01
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Hi huubte

I was reading your post with interest because I'm in a similar sort of situation. Slightly different in that I'm a lecturer in a university which is 40 plus miles from where I live and not a straightforward journey. To get there, I have a twenty minute drive to the train station, an hour train ride, then a twenty minute walk. Or face horrific traffic which often turns it into a two hour plus drive! So a bit of a marathon, but with a mortgage, a partner on maternity leave and a young child, I can't just up and move. Especially when the area I'm living in is cheap, but where I work is more expensive (like double the price for a two bed flat compared to where I am). Like you, before I started, I was worried about what people would think about me not moving there. But honestly, the culture is very much 'only go in if you need to'. I spend a lot of days working at home or in my local library. When I do need to,be over at work for an extended period, I've found airbnb to be an absolute godsend and I've actually quite enjoyed the change of scene! You'd be amazed how much you can get done on the train, too. In my hour, I eat breakfast, read, listen to a podcast...it flies by. So honestly, I wouldn't worry. Academia and super-commuting are good together, I think. You'll probably find lots of people in the same situation - I recognize at least two people from my institution who are on my train a lot. It's really quite doable.

Onion.

Thread: What laptop to buy?

posted
17-Jul-17, 16:40
edited about 23 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
Get yourself down to cash converters or somewhere like that, they have decent ones (used) for a couple of hundred quid.

Thread: Anxiety_ panic attacks & starting a masters ? Foolish or wise ?

posted
05-Jul-17, 22:26
edited a moment later
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posted about 2 years ago
Obviously all cases are different depending on the individual. But I've suffered / suffer with depression and anxiety and actually found doing a masters better in that respect than doing my first degree. Undergrad felt long, slow and punctuated by hateful exams. There was a lot of social anxiety for me. Doing a masters (I did mine part time so I could fit it around work) was a shorter, sharper experience which was purely coursework based. There wasn't time / any point in trying to fit in socially. I felt more in control,of,it basically. Also I found that tutors were more approachable, that they had a bit more respect for you at post-grad, although that might just be me. Guess the only way to know is to give it a go. Depending on how bad your anxiety is, of course, it's up to you. Personally I found a masters so absorbing, it actually eased my anxiety and have found having the masters helped me too, in that I felt more confident professionally and able to put myself forward for roles at work and new jobs I wouldn't have previously. Hope,this helps. onion.

Thread: Being a researcher...where to start?

posted
01-Jul-17, 15:08
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Thanks Tudor Queen, that is a help. There is some training available, and a possible contract extension...I guess I'll just have to see how I do. onion.

Thread: Growing distant from your best friends?

posted
30-Jun-17, 17:15
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
In my experience people do grow apart as they get older, hard to accept but true. Even if you were working in a corporate job and had the same lifestyle, it just gets harder to make time for everyone especially once partners and kids come along. It's just one of those things. Nothing to do with the phd itself, though sounds like you are very different people in a way that maybe only becomes apparent when we age. Think it's important to remember that having a mortgage and fancy holidays don't necessarily make people happy either. They might well be a bit jealous of the intellectual freedom you get from your phd, they may even feel a little trapped - if not now then in the future. I dived headlong into a corporate career and home ownership and all of that...basically ended up jacking it all in to retrain. I've had my fair share of fancy holidays too but that can get to feel pretty empty and I don't regret having sacrificed that by taking a significant pay cut to get started in academia. If you think the friendships are worth making the effort for then great but - as I've done with a couple of once best mates - you might just have to accept things have changed, maybe see them for a catch up once, twice a year, and make an effort also to make new friends that's have more in common with your adult self. If its a true friendship, then it'll last and might come back round again. Recently I've seen a bit more of an old mate whose life is very different to mine (insurance broker, lots of travel and night out on company expenses), I felt he was a bit obnoxious at one bit but basically we pretty much agreed to keep off boring topics like work and had a laugh last time we met up. But equally there are some people, if they brag a lot...maybe let it go. It's not worth stress.

Thread: Being a researcher...where to start?

posted
29-Jun-17, 21:18
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Thanks both. Yes, they're putting me on a training course of some sort in which I hope will help. I know some of my colleagues Are doing or have done doctorates...but they've been there a long time. My big boss did a phd by publication and has hinted that's could be a route I could take. I guess it'll all become clear in time, I'm just worrying.

Thread: Being a researcher...where to start?

posted
28-Jun-17, 20:02
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Hi (again)

Well, three years on from first posting on here asking ''how on earth do I get a job in a university', I've achieved that aim and from September will be a lecturer in a university education department. My main role is training teachers, however they also want me to research. The former I'm ok with, the latter...I don't know where to start. I don't have a doctorate, only a masters and have no publications to date. I'm on a fixed term contract for two years, so I need to get stuck into it. The head of my department has basically said to me already that it's what I make of it, and I so want to do well and turn this into a proper academic career. But I don't really feel like I know the rules of the game. It's all a bit intimidating because it's a Russel group uni and they're talking about research of national and international level. Obviously they think I'm capable of it, but I'm not so sure. What should my first steps be?

onion.

Thread: Interview task on 'strategies to boost recruitment'. Any tips

posted
01-Jun-17, 16:32
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posted about 2 years ago
All gone through!

Thread: Interview task on 'strategies to boost recruitment'. Any tips

posted
30-May-17, 15:36
edited about 7 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
Thank you Tudor_Queen. I'm amazed myself. So happy. Although at the minute my stomach is in knots because I'm still sat waiting for my contract because their HR person is on holiday. I just hope they're going to offer a reasonable amount or be open to negotiation. I'm sure it'll all be fine though.

Thread: Interview task on 'strategies to boost recruitment'. Any tips

posted
28-May-17, 20:22
edited a moment later
Avatar for fallenonion
posted about 2 years ago
Thanks, yeah. I still need to confirm salary details etc but fingers crossed it's all going to go through ok, just waiting for the official offer now - delayed due to,the bank holiday,
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