Signup date: 07 Mar 2013 at 8:14am
Last login: 22 May 2014 at 1:14am
Post count: 229
Depends on the following:
1) Your reference letters
2) Your research proposal
3) The department you're applying for.
I would say a high 2.1 and a Merit from top universities (top 5) would not inhibit your chances of getting into a top uni if you have a strong research proposal (which means an academic in the department is very keen to work with you) and strong reference letters; I'd put it at 70% roughly. Then again, if you're applying for flagship departments (ex: Economics at LSE, History at Cambridge) then I would say it's unlikely in this day and age with all the competition out there.
What is your subject?
It took me 6 months to settle on my topic in the first year lol. In other words, don't worry just yet. At the end of the first year, however, you are expected to have a topic and usually (at least in my uni) you submit a 10,000 report detailing your project, literature review, etc… on which you'll be examined. Should you perform to their satisfaction you become registered and confirmed as a PhD student (technically in your first year you are a probationary student- not confirmed yet). I wouldn't worry about it- 5 weeks is too early and I knew a guy who changed topics mid-way through his second year and now he's a doctor after 4.5 years. Doesn't mean you should just party- just means no need to get stressed and keep reading on your field and discuss potential PhD topics with your supervisor.
You're an economist like me: have you tried www.econ-jobs.com? It's an excellent site to get job info as well as postdocs around the world. There's also postdocjobs.com but it's less specialised- I'm registered with econ-jobs and get regularly emails from them.
Otherwise, you should narrow down your selection of unis to target and then investigate whether they offer postdocs and how to apply. As you know, the US is huge so you need to decide which part of the country you want to settle in, which ones have good econ departments that give generous funding, etc… It's good you're starting now, but you need to be more specific as to where in the states. Personally, I find that unis in the Northeast tend to have really good econ departments so I'd focus on New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc… How much do you know about US universities?
I'm from the UK but I know quite a lot about the US as two of my brothers are studying there. To be honest, a 2.82 GPA is not good enough to get a scholarship in a top engineering department. Depends on which unis you're aiming for. If you're looking at MIT, Caltech, Stanford, etc…. then I'm afraid it's not good enough. That being said, for other universities, they may consider other parts of your application that would compensate for the GPA: can you get really good references? do you have a really good personal statement? These things would counterbalance the GPA but you should be realistic about the kind of university/department you're aiming to get into.
Dear distressed gurl,
Wow you really need to just take a pause and rationally think things through:
1. It's only been three months
2. You are delving into territory you are unfamiliar with (statistics and regressions, etc…)
3. You found yourself in a situation in which you needed to focus on publications.
You are already, in a sense, ahead of many 1st year PhDs in that you have a publication out so congratulations. I finished my PhD and whilst I had to revise a publication that I'm hoping will be accepted soon, I haven't published anything yet. Moreover, you're working on a second publication- may not feel like it but this will be extremely useful later on as you near the end of your PhD.
In the meantime, here are a few suggestions:
1. Don't isolate yourself at home. Go to the library (university not department one) if it exists: this way you won't be surrounded by other students in your field and you can work effectively. Trust me, working at home and being isolated is not a good idea.
2. Have you considered changing supervisors? Seems like you don't like your supervisor much- you can't keep relying on the external. Consider this if possible.
3. 1st few months of PhD is NOT the honeymoon phase: I spent the first 6 months of my PhD with NO TOPIC!! I was just there not knowing what to do- in three months I was forced to do lit review and write an assessment report which I defended in June. Point is: don't force yourself to learn: the urgency of the situation will prompt you to work as hard as you can without going overboard. It's hard to explain but that's been my experience.
4. If you're doing econometrics I'd recommend Christopher Dougherty's "Introductory Econometrics" if u have no background- that's the text used in LSE Econ courses and whilst it's been over 10 years, I must say it turned me into a stats superstar.
TreeofLife has a point about the UK being much better but the truth is the US has MANY postdoc fellowships with generous pay it's insane. I am currently in Canada teaching but applying for postdocs back in the UK (hopefully coming back next year fingers crossed).
As far as your chances go, you have a publication which is good. Whether it's top 10 or not is not going to prevent you from getting any fellowships in the States. I say finish your PhD (a completed PhD looks much better in your CV), show in your CV that you're working on forthcoming publications, make sure the faculty members giving you references are good names if you can (beyond your control but would certainly help especially in the States), and conferences also count a lot over there. I'm not saying you'll get one at Harvard or Princeton, but tbh even "average" unis in the States are so generous and provide really good fellowships.
PS. I'm an economist as well (macroeconomist) but like TreeofLife I'm not a big fan of the US although 2 of my brothers are studying there.
When I revised a paper, I actually used the same cover letter and just wrote in the box (as well as contacted the editor) to inform him that changes were made as per the feedback. Plus for the Journal I sent the paper i was expected to use the change format in MS Word to include the changes and make sure they can be tracked.
Engineering and nat sciences are very different from my field (social sciences). In general, irrespective of your field, you cannot get a postdoc without having AT LEAST one publication out in a good, peer-reviewed international journal in your field (preferably not co-authored). I have already finished my PhD but I also have only one publication out, and have submitted a 2nd one to another journal. I know how hard it is to get accepted two of my papers have already been rejected.
There are no easy answers: at the moment, I am simply content with having finished my PhD, I am getting part-time teaching experience both at university and high-school level, and am working on two other publications as well as applying for fellowships and jobs. Have you considered getting in touch with academics at your home country to engage in research with them? That could lead to the creation of a post-doc fellowship role which you could fill.
I wouldn't worry so much about not having enough publications you still haven't finished your PhD- do your best but also perhaps get some teaching experience as that's vital if teaching is your ultimate target.
Agree with rubygem except for me NO FACEBOOK!!! Not worth it anymore and it's depressing. I'm like you as well but I force myself through willpower and thinking about the end result to overcome the distractions. Otherwise if they're too strong, I go for a 15 minute walk before working again.
I got rejected today from another job I applied to at University :(:(:(- I haven't done any work for the past five days and not sure I want to as I can't really focus and think these days. So much for a good PhD allowing you to stand out huh?!?! I feel so fooled.
No problem with sending him a polite reminder asking him whether he did in fact receive the previous email and that you are looking forward to working on this topic as it has appealed to you over the course of your reading. Here is a suggestion:
Dear Dr or Prof X,
I hope you're doing well. I sent you an email xxxx days ago to follow-up on my acute interest in the topic (xxxxxx). I expect to apply for the PhD programme before the deadline accordingly, and was wondering if you had received that email along with the attachments? I am currently in the process of writing a proposal as per your kind instructions, and look forward to working on this topic in greater detail and in a more rigorous academic capacity. Your kind and prompt response would be profoundly appreciated, and I thank you once again for being in touch with me.
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