Overview of iamagrape

Recent Posts

Hurt by supervisors comments, is this normal?

Hey there, just wanted you to know you are not alone. I finished my PhD earlier this year, but prior to that, especially during thesis writing, there were numerous times I got hurt by my supervisor's very blunt comments. Just to give a few examples, I got comments like "even an undergrad would know this", "over-dramatisation" (referring to a neutral - at least in my opinion - description of results that I wrote) whilst writing up. Even got said to my face "I believe you did nothing at all throughout the year" when I returned from a year-long placement. Thinking back, apart from my placement year, I was bombarded with comments like for pretty much the whole length of my PhD. I normally couldn't even worked for at least half a day after reading my supervisor's comments/feedback, as they were very demoralising and discouraging...but well you know, things like this, they happen. I don't want to say it's a thing that you have to go through, or should go through, but if you just persevere for a bit, you'll reach the end :) that is all it matters. And don't let those comments define you - PhD is just a part of your life

Changing subfields between postdoc - good or bad idea?

Quote From eng77:
I think it is common in Postdoc. You work in a "closer" field where the fund is available. If you like the other field, it should be absolutely fine.

Quote From Nead:
I don't know what the correct advice is.
However, My PhD was in wastewater treatment (using reators), after my PhD I work as a research microbiologst (undergrad and 3 chapter in my PhD related to this) for 6 months, before starting a post-doc (2 years but leaving after 1 for a job closer to home) in reactors for biofuel production (ethanol) and in a few weeks a start another post doc in alchol production for the food industry.
I haven't came across to much issues which crossing over fields, once the underlying skill set are the same. Hope that helps

Quote From rewt:
There is nothing wrong with switching subfield if you have the relevant transferrable skills. If anything some PIs like you having a broad range of experience.

Thanks all, really appreciate your input! :)

Changing subfields between postdoc - good or bad idea?

Hi all, I am now 5 months into my first postdoc. I am in life sciences, and I have switch subfields when moving from PhD to this postdoc (by switch subfields I mean change of disease being studied, e.g. from Alzheimer's disease to Parkinson's disease, and therefore techniques as well). Now, my contract is for one year and I am starting to think about my next step. Can someone let me know if it is a great idea to change subfields between postdocs or should I just stay in the same subfield? Would really appreciate if someone can shed some light as I really have no idea.

Is a one-year postdoc worth doing?

I got offered a one-year postdoc in life sciences. I am slightly concerned about the short timeframe. Has anyone done a one-year postdoc? Would you recommend doing one?

What is the role of your second supervisor?

Quote From PhoenixFortune:
I've just been assigned my second supervisor, and will have my first meeting with her and my primary supervisor very soon. I was wondering what my expectations should be regarding the second supervisor's role, how often I should communicate with them, when it would be appropriate to defer to them etc.?

My second supervisor during my MA was in name only, as they were randomly assigned and were only meant to be contacted if our supervisor was unavailable/if we had a dispute.

My primary and second supervisors actually did a 50:50 split on supervision. Might be rare but they were essentially part of the same group.

How competitive are postdoc or research jobs nowadays? Tips on application?

I have applied to quite a few postdoc/research positions but no luck so far. I have two first-authored papers, one published and the other submitted for publication. There aren't a lot of opportunities in my direct field (life sciences), so I have been applying to jobs in related fields that I can meet at least 50% of the requirements. Does anyone have a clue on how competitive it is out there? I am starting to wonder if it is me who isn't competent enough. People who have succeeded in getting a postdoc/research job, can you share your application tips?

Post-viva correction stress - advice needed

Quote From Dr_Crabby:
Hi iamagrape (love the name btw)

I 100 million per cent understand how you feel. It feels like a kick in the face when you're already down and worn out.

How long have you got to do the corrections? If it's 3 months, I suggest you take a week or 2 off completely. I know that sounds counter intuitive but you need it, and more than that, you deserve it!!!

If you have been given longer than that, take longer off. Have a break where you don't look at anything, your thesis, papers, corrections, just take a dam break and then when you go back to it, I'm positive you will look at it in a different light, you will of gained some perspective because right now you are in a crap PhD bubble and it's hard to see anything other than that.

I passed my viva with major corrections and I genuinely couldn't look at my feedback form without crying and taking every single word like a punch in the face for about 3 months after it. I'm not suggestion you take that long off but you can do this!! You will do this! and you are already 95% there.

It might not seem like an achievement right now but you have passed your viva....now go kick it's ass!!!!!

Finally someone who can understand my feelings!

I was given 3 months. I took two weeks off post-viva, though had primarily spending those time applying for jobs instead of resting properly. Then spent a week doing corrections until I realised I might have done them wrong and had to re-do everything...and I panicked and had a major breakdown :(

Well I guess I should be grateful......but still sigh. I do get what you mean when you say I am already 95% there, but seriously all I want to do is to move on and start a new life. I just feel like burning my thesis and everything, but arghh I have just started working on my corrections again. Have you graduated already?

Post-viva correction stress - advice needed

Quote From azhan:
Wow, a 400-page thesis? I understand the feeling you're going through. Since you nearly to the end, it's best to repair the corrections as soon as possible. I'm not surprised you're burnt out after a 400 page.

Congratulations on succeeding in your PhD. I do sometimes think if I made the right decision for PhD.

Take a day off and then starting going through the errors.

I also agree with your statement about marking. It's defintely subjective based on staff. It's quite rare to have a good set of staff for a research project.

Thanks! I had already took two weeks off and got started on my corrections when I posted. Still, I wish I don't have to go through all these!

Hope your PhD is going well :)

Post-viva correction stress - advice needed

I had my viva and passed with minor corrections. Fine, although I was not particularly happy as the past four years have been really hard, with a particular difficult supervisor. Dealing with said supervisor was much more intellectually (and emotionally) demanding than the PhD itself. I just wanted everything to be over.

I got my corrections list about 2 weeks after the viva. When I looked at it, I just felt like giving up altogether as some of the corrections are by no means 'minor'. For instance, I had summary tables with information that I compiled from around 100 papers in my field and was told to reformat the tables into something more informative. I am totally crushed as these tables took me A LOT of time to do, it simply wasn't a case of copying and pasting, although it might seem like it. And now I have to go through the whole process again. I don't even see what's the point of doing it, as no one will be reading my thesis again and even if I had the slightest thought of continuing research in my field, now I just wanted to quit research altogether.

To be fair I just wish I've never started this whole PhD thing. Now I'm unemployed, and with these corrections I don't think I'm in any mood to do job applications. To think that I've spent so much time on my PhD, most days 7am to 10pm, and going in almost every weekend, everything looks like a big joke now. Supervisors even denied my holiday requests, micromanaged me. I am just really frustrated and sad. Why did I pick this topic, which required me to work 7 days a week, in the end wrote a 400 page thesis (1.5 spacing) and examiners asked for more? Pretty sure others passed with a thesis with thickness less than half of mine, and most with minor corrections don't get 'major' changes as what I got.

One examiner even gave me a list of additional changes, most of which made no sense to me as comments were given in single phrases rather than sentences, and those single phrases were phrases that I used in my thesis.

I have been trying to calm myself down and do the corrections. I'm cool with the actual 'minor' ones, for example, rewriting some sentences, adding examples, re-doing graphs etc. But I can't help feeling frustrated and annoying with the more 'major' ones. To the extend I wish I could just die instead of doing those.

PhD exams are so subjective and unfair. Totally hate it.

Has anyone had a similar experience? How did you get past this stage?