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Igorina
Tuesday, 9 April 2013 at 3:12pm
Thursday, 25 October 2018 at 11:29am
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Thread: Considering a PhD when you know you don't want to work in academia

posted
16-Jun-15, 20:47
edited about 13 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 5 years ago
Thanks Dunham. I have similar thoughts re wanting it to lead to something, though I don't need to worry about overqualification - most medical writers have PhDs and I am the anomaly there! But I think from that POV the PhD is unnecessary now; many places require it for medical writers but they won't now I've got my foot in the door and there doesn't seem to be a shortage of recruiters.

Problem is, I don't know if just reading is enough! That's how I ended up doing the MSc: reading wasn't enough for me. So a job with more brain stuff would be nice (I'm not wedded to the idea that it has to be a PhD), but then I feel underqualified... Where is the job with training? ;) Wishful thinking, I suspect.

Apologies for the ramble; I think my thoughts are a bit incoherent at the moment, but I welcome others' thoughts to help clarify them.

Thread: Considering a PhD when you know you don't want to work in academia

posted
16-Jun-15, 07:14
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 5 years ago
Thanks RinaL! I was wondering about the part time option.

When I said I felt underqualified, I think it was more in general and that the MSc 'isn't enough' - in terms of my own knowledge but also for various careers: I feel like I haven't done enough science (humanities undergrad degree!).

Hence wondering about the PhD for myself but also for opening doors, except I wasn't sure how many it would open.

Thread: Considering a PhD when you know you don't want to work in academia

posted
15-Jun-15, 23:11
edited about 25 seconds later
by Igorina
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posted about 5 years ago
Hi all,

Essentially am having mini career crisis (or just whinging ;) ). I finished my MSc (cognitive neuroscience + neuropsychology) a couple of years ago. Loved it, wasn't sure if I wanted to do a PhD but then my supervisor encouraged me and I thought hmm well actually I would like to, but I'd missed all the funding deadlines by then.

I did get very close to getting one really interesting project with a late deadline, so thought I'd take a year out and apply later. I didn't get anywhere with research assistant jobs but did get a job in medcomms/medical writing which was pretty lucky and I mostly loved it. I've just moved jobs after 18 months to another medical writing job but in pharma and so far am not enjoying the new job. It's early days so I know I have to give it a bit longer to see how it really is, but it's made me remember that I love brains and wanted to do a PhD and the job was meant to be a short term thing.

Issues are:
1) I feel underqualified and lacking knowledge in science; I feel MSc just scratched the surface
2) I love brains and I want to do more with them (in a scientific rather than zombie way ;) )
3) If I do do a PhD though am not sure what it would lead to if not research? One option is medical writing...but am already doing that! I know there are other possibilities but not sure if you need a PhD for them or if it's worth doing.
4) Expense and if I'm honest not wanting to do the student thing again. This isn't absolute but have to confess now I've been earning money there is a mercenary part of me that doesn't want to be a skint student again.

I realise variations on this probably appear a lot on here and I haven't really asked a question but wondered if anyone had any thoughts?

Thread: Job-hunting, keeping options open but still appearing committed

posted
16-Aug-13, 17:01
edited about 5 minutes later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
-But will this put me at a disadvantage come PhD app time - will I look like someone who isn't committed to research, or can't get a job because they just aren't good enough? My feeling is that I need a job and a scientifically related job is a lot better than working in Tesco or doing what I used to do, in terms of relevance for a future scientific career, but I am worried about not looking committed.

-I'm not just applying for the medical writer type jobs on a whim or because I'll take anything. I am genuinely interested and if I did get into this field and enjoyed it I would definitely consider putting off the PhD, but this means putting in the effort and looking committed. I have been told that participating in discussions on LInkedIn is good. However, is this going to look dodgy if/when I do apply for a PhD ie not looking committed if my name is out there online as eg a medcomms jobseeker? Again, I feel that looking for scientific jobs which may not be research-focused is reasonable at this stage, rather than holding out for 'research at all costs' and limiting my search.

-Conversely: I assume RA type jobs available to those without a PhD expect you to have a PhD in mind, but commercial sector jobs may well worry about commitment/losing someone they hire to a PhD and therefore understandably might be wary of me?

I hope this makes sense and doesn't make me sound indecisive. I feel I can't be the only one in this position and I don't want to appear indecisive or uncommitted, but it is a tough job market out there and I would like to maximise my chances of building on my MSc to get a job which I really enjoy or is at least useful experience and not a step backwards - and I think that means not restricting my options and considering possibilties other than academic research jobs.

Thread: Job-hunting, keeping options open but still appearing committed

posted
16-Aug-13, 16:48
edited about 14 minutes later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
I've nearly finished my MSc and I've been job-hunting for a couple of months. I would like to do a PhD, had an interview in June and came very close judging by the email in response, but I did decide I wanted to do one rather late so missed a lot of funding deadlines.

I thought I would wait and try again next round but have some questions. I'm getting nowhere with research assistant-type jobs. I'm keeping it realistic and from the feedback I've had am not too far off but they have a LOT of applicants and interview few. I can see that even if I am a potentially good candidate I may miss out on every job as 'close but no cigar' because someone else is a better fit, even if I could do the job.

I'm a career-changer with a humanities undergrad degree and was worried about that affecting my chances, but so far good marks on the MSc and have been told I do have something to offer (the PhD interview was a boost even though I didn't get it in the end, just knowing it was possible, and a careers adviser was positive about my chances). SO:

-I'm looking at other possibilities, like medical writing which I think would be a good combo of science and writing/editing skills I have from before/freelancing during MSc (though I know it often requires a PhD; however I have got an interview with one company). I would really like a job that uses my MSc rather than just reverting to what I used to do; apart from anything else, I feel it would look better when I apply for my PhD that I haven't just done the masters on a whim and then gone back to my old career, but have been getting experience in a scientific field. [Continued]

Thread: Low cost/free and easy to use graphing programs (is there such a thing?!)

posted
04-Aug-13, 12:14
edited about 22 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Thanks Trin! I have just found that my university doesn't offer anything beyond Matlab and SPSS which I already have. However, GraphPad is about $100 to buy (too much atm) but is available as a free demo for 30 days which is all I need it for (and I presume you can export graphs once created so they're not going to vanish).

Thread: Maybe I am wasting my time?

posted
04-Aug-13, 12:09
edited about 1 minute later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Hi - I know nothing about this area in particular but I'd also say, echoing newlease, that you'd perhaps be best off looking at more general courses, depending on your preference (sociological vs neurobiological) and then looking to do something like a dissertation project on this topic; you could perhaps search to see who is working in this area and where they're based and approach them via email as Seasons suggests. A Google Scholar search on the topic keywords may help as you can see who's done recent work in this area and their affiliations.

I say this because I'm doing a course in cognitive neuroscience which is fairly broad, but my dissertation topic is on something fairly specific that I'm interested in. I didn't actually know that I wanted to do something in this specific area before I started the course, but I was lucky in that the interest I developed very much aligns with one of the lecturers, who is now my supervisor, so I was able to focus on what I wanted to be doing for my dissertation which in turn should (I hope) help me in applying for PhDs in this area. I decided I wanted to do a PhD a little too late to really see what was on offer this year esp re funding, but I want to apply next year and will almost certainly be doing a search to see who does what I'm interested in; my reading for the project (certain names come up often on papers) and knowing my supervisor who herself knows and is known by others in the field I think will help with this.

Good luck with finding the right course/person to work with!

Thread: Low cost/free and easy to use graphing programs (is there such a thing?!)

posted
30-Jul-13, 22:26
edited about 12 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Hi,

I'm writing up my MSc dissertation and need to create graphs of my results. Not complex ones but I do need error bars and Excel (2008 for Mac) is being a nightmare! I've done a fair bit of googling which suggests that Excel 2008 is not good for graphing and that it's not actually possible to do what I want to do, which is simply to create custom error bars for each condition (I have 4) based on the SEM for that condition - it's been driving me nuts as it keeps applying the same error bars to all conditions, or adding together SEM values to create a huge one which it then applies to all the bars.

Apart from Excel, are there programs out there I could download which are cheap/free and easy to use to do this? I've looked at some which are free but they seem to require coding - ok maybe I could learn this but I've not got a huge amount of time, don't need that many graphs and don't want to spend ages learning the code and faffing around (I don't really have much programming experience) just to do a couple of graphs. I'm more thinking something like Excel but with the functionality to actually do what I want. Or are other versions of Excel better? I am going to have a look on the uni computers tomorrow but I don't live close to the uni so would really prefer something I can use at home, and money is tight atm so something that doesn't cost a lot would be better (again, not really wanting to pay loads to create a couple of graphs).

Thanks!

Thread: Matlab help (psychology dissertation)

posted
19-Jul-13, 19:20
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Thanks for trying! Wish I could use R... The output is saved in files for each subject, then the analysis script pulls the data out of those files and arranges them more helpfully. Except for quite possibly the simplest thing ie age and gender.

At this rate it might just be easier to look in all the subject files individually and pull them from there...much as I would like to know what the code is doing.

Thread: Matlab help (psychology dissertation)

posted
19-Jul-13, 17:41
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Apparently...well it kind of IS coursework in a sense (MSc) but I think my supervisor and others use it. Drives me nuts though, because my computer hates using it and sometimes it randomly crashes.

Sorry, I wasn't clear - I can easily calculate the mean etc (hell, can do that in Excel), but I actually need the list of ages and genders for all the subjects first - that's what I can't get out of Matlab, the data itself. I ran the experiment with Matlab/Cogent, then an analysis script to extract the data.

Thread: Matlab help (psychology dissertation)

posted
19-Jul-13, 17:09
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Thanks! Everyone keeps telling me R is better and I certainly don't like Matlab for a variety of reasons; I know I'm inexperienced so may be using it wrong but can't help feeling some things are just annoying.

But - I ran the experiment and the analysis in Matlab (because I was using Cogent) - can I now (easily) use R for this when I've already done everything else in Matlab? I do the actual statistical analysis in SPSS - basically get the data I need from Matlab and dump it in SPSS, and thought I could just go in and get the list of Ss direct from Matlab. Apparently not...

Thread: Matlab help (psychology dissertation)

posted
19-Jul-13, 16:41
edited about 7 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Hi,

Can anyone help with a Matlab query?

I'm writing up, and have 32 subjects. I now need to do the 'x subjects (x female, mean age y, range x-z) etc, but in Matlab all I can see is age/gender of final participant though I have all other data for all subjects - what I need is a list of subjects' ages and genders.

I asked on Matlab help and did get somewhere - was told it was a loop and given some code - but the person helping was quite impatient with me (perhaps understandably as I'm a rank newbie to Matlab, having to pick it up as I go along with my experiment and there's a lot that doesn't make sense yet) and I didn't get that he was asking me to run the code as new rather than incorporate it into my analysis script. I've tried running it as part of the script anyway just to see but it doesn't like it - get error 'undefined function' - and haven't been told why this is the case as the help guy just said I shouldn't try to use it when I didn't understand what it was doing.

I do get what the code he gave me is doing now, but have no idea how to actually apply it to extract the info from the data I have.

If this makes sense (hot Friday afternoon so it may not) can anyone help/nudge me in the right direction? Can PM the code etc perhaps if that would help. Thanks! And apologies in advance for my slowness re Matlab.

Thread: Contacting researcher I know before applying for job?

posted
18-Jul-13, 12:58
edited about 13 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Thanks! Did wonder about that but then got stuck on what to ask...only thing I could think of is about starting date and seems more like something I should say if I actually got the job! But will have a think - good point re tying into experiments! Actually beginning to get a glimmer of a good question now...

Thread: Contacting researcher I know before applying for job?

posted
18-Jul-13, 00:52
edited about 11 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
There's an RA job I want to apply for, and it's with a researcher I've been a subject for a few times, so we've chatted about the experiments he's doing, my experiment/masters/what's next etc. and he's talked about what I could do career-wise (also ran into him in the pub at a science-themed event I was helping with and we chatted some more).

I feel (and a careers advisor also thought) that it might be polite to drop him a quick email letting him know I'm applying for the job, but I'm worried that it might come across as looking like I'm somehow asking for special consideration. How can I phrase it/what can I say to make it clear that I'm just letting him know, as it's someone I do already know a bit, and not asking for anything?

Or am I being over-sensitive/should I just apply and don't need to let him know?

Thread: PhD interview

posted
04-Jun-13, 12:56
edited about 2 seconds later
by Igorina
Avatar for Igorina
posted about 7 years ago
Thanks Reenie! Just heard I will also be having a 20-min 'informal chat' with the main supervisor when I get there, before the lab tour and 'formal' interview with both supervisors. Not quite sure what to expect for that...anyone else had a similar setup?
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