Overview of Fled

Recent Posts

This forum is going to shit.

Need I say more? Once a bastion of knowledge, now just a wall of spam. If you Mods cannot sustain the forum, call for new mods, or just shut the shit down and leave it as an inactive archive, because it has many many useful threads.


Is my career over?

How many publications do you have?

Have you sought help with your depression in order to prevent your previous ordeal from repeating itself?

Accountability Partners- Finishing your thesis on time.

Congrats x 3! (submission, weeks off, new job)

Reference management software: which did / do you use?

Again, I find myself insurmountably in debt to this community.

Many thanks....as usual.

Reference management software: which did / do you use?

why? and would you recommend it?

Heard the go-to was Endnote, but what I've heard hasn't been terribly good. I heard Zotero was decent and LaTex was amazing (especially for CV's). My literature coding should be done by the summer, so I would like some opinions.

Thanks in advance.

bit of a rant...

Hmmm...there is a over-thinking and there is naivete at the other end of that spectrum. I think you are being "situationally aware", which is how I tend to approach things as a somewhat observant person.

Everything you mentioned would cause me to go "hmm" from your Boss's incompetence and subtle insinuations to their complete lack of understanding about the costs you are being asked to incur. But if it is a legit offer and you think it is of benefit to you, push past the shady stuff.

I had a colleague move to DC for internship under similar circumstances and I passed her these links below. You may have to share a place with somone(s) until you get your bearings and have a good idea about what you can and cannot do on your budget. Above all through, trust your gut about this post.


Overlapping studies

If it was irrelevant, why was it included int he application? I guess you would have included it in the academic history section. Well best you can do is 1. either defer the offer to the next available start date (if possible since its conditional), or 2. see if you can take the module exam early (probably not possible).

If admin at the UK uni persists in being intransigent, I am afraid deferring or shopping around for other offers may be your only choice.

The internal candidate always wins?

Oh I was not saying it never happens. I just meant to say that I think it's the exception rather than the rule....or I would like to think so in my own little optimist world :P

Banting postdoctoral fellowship

Eh I think I can dig one up from a seminar I just had. Let me check. The average success rate is 9% so its quite competitive.

The internal candidate always wins?

Fresh PhD got a lectureship? sounds suspect. A teaching fellowship I can believe, but a full Lecturship? those things don't come without publications, usually post-doc experience and most importantly, its a search committee who decides. So regardless of who he is close with, they might petition for him, but the hiring committee makes that group decision. (Just had this convo in a seminar with a Prof who sits on these committee, we were trying to debunk these myths)

As to the original poster...do you know if the teaching fellows got their PhD from other universities and came to yours for the Teaching fellow job? I am willing to bet thats the case, as Universities in MOST cases wont hire a PhD candidate they produced for a Lectureship position. Its kind of seen as "academic in-breeding" so forget applying to your uni for anything other than a teaching fellowship or post-doc

Before starting...

First congrats.

Secondly, I would say loosely nailing down your research question will be the first order of business. From there its lit review for the rest of the year and researcher training courses in the first term. Expect your research question to evolve / mature as you do from reading that pile of literature. Your proposal and lit review should cap off year 1 along with an upgrade panel meeting (if your Uni has one)

Aside from that, I would say acclimating to the department, being super nice to the admin assistants (they get you the odd jobs / tutoring posts), doing all your orientation stuff, and attending whatever seems interesting that pops in your inbox. Create a Uni email addy, check it every day, get cards (eventually) quite handy when socializing, ummmm open a bank account in town if you dont have one ASAP, also get your Council Tax exemption letter from school and get yourself exempt with the local council.

Cant think of anything else right away....

Oh yes. Most importantly, have fun!

Literature review

Doing mine the other way around....identified some interests, constructed a research question based off of that (without knowing the answer before hand), used the key words in my research question to identify the topics covered in my lit review, collect and code literature, write review.

As you go through literature, you will be able to see the gaps, conclusions, claims, findings, disagreements, calls for more research etc. Thats when you are able to put the different parts of your review in conversation with one another in order to steer the reader to your research and how it fits into, extends or takes a different view of the current debate.

As a rule if you are having problems with your research question, alter the key terms or alter the data analysis. I cannot tell you how priceless this book is:


go to amazon US for more user reviews.

If you want a quick and fast description of their lit review method (which I am using) check out this blog post (the site is excellent too)



Hotdesking as a PhD student?

Well...my experience is way more positive. Ok so my research is interdisciplinary, so I got a hot desk with 1 other assigned candidate in one department, and in the other department there are 3 rooms set aside for candidates, on average about 9 work stations each, two rooms with PCs, one room for laptops (and lockers in the room as well).

I use the laptop room myself (cuz thats how I roll), usually about 2-4 other candidates in there at any given time, the other rooms are mostly empty, and I surrendered my hot desk to the other candidate...as her laptop is too heavy, and I dont use workstations.

So for me, I have access to more work stations than I can use, at all times. I think the opposite, I think it forces you to be social, to get up, stretch your legs and drop in on other candidates, instead of hide away in your office like a hermit....or like the supervisors LOL

Phd working hours, total hours, work life balance

Thing is, you have to work around the PhD not the other way. As a father of a 16 month old, I go to sleep when she does, wake up at 3 and whatever time I get between then and when she wakes up is my guaranteed daily research time. Since I am full time I do get more done, but if I were working full time as an academic with papers to correct, classes to prepare for etc...I'd probably have to sit down with the wife and start with

"Honey....just because you don't see me, does't mean I don't live here..." LOL

But seriously though, why do you want the PhD? Unless you absolutely want to be a research academic at the bleeding edge of your field OR you want to consult for the private sector, I say think hard about it. The pay OK..but not much more than what you can earn teaching like you are. Im interested to hear your motivation.

Transfer Viva coming up, was given negative outlook, need advice

Well at my Uni, we have something similar, after the first year of the PhD programme, we have an upgrade panel meeting, where you basically defend your 1st year of research and get officially upgraded and green lit for full PhD thesis submission in 2-3 years.

This has been likened to a mini viva, where you defend the robustness of your research. On AVERAGE, what is expected is your first 2 chapters, usually your introduction and literature review (or equivalent) which is about 20,000 odd words. And of course a detailed proposal of how you intend to structure your thesis from start to finish. Thats the technical requirement at my uni.

Now with that out of the way, forget what the appeal committee jackass told you, and ask yourself, can you deliver on time? Do you honestly believe in the quality of your proposal? What do potential supervisors think? Get some feedback, get reading and then get writing. This is your dream. Don't expect anyone else to buy into it. Its yours, so its on you to make it happen. If not at this institution, at the next one.

The only 2 methods I have found to 100% stop a determined human is a) if they give up or b) if they get hit by a bus.