Signup date: 30 Jan 2009 at 10:33pm
Last login: 15 Jul 2013 at 9:45pm
Post count: 2603
I guess everyone is different. I can't imagine why anyone would want to be a secondary school teacher or an air hostess (for example) but I can see benefits of being in those jobs as well as disadvantages- they're just not benefits that I would value! Also, there are a lot of other variables with respect to experiences of academic jobs- the particular team you work in could make a huge difference to your experience, whether you have a good/bad supervisor or line manager, whether you are really passionate about what you are researching, etc etc. I have always enjoyed my research, though having completed my PhD and started a post-doc I am realising how stressful and busy this lifestyle is. I expected the responsibilities to be on a different level, but it is a very steep learning curve. Personally I would like to reach a certain level, but am not prepared to sacrifice everything else by striving for the very top. My brother is in a completely different profession (retail management) and has just made such a decision after learning that his wife is expecting their 3rd child! There are masses of stresses in his job too and he was faced with redundancy last year as well- every job has its own stresses and strains. KB
That's great, well done! My post-doc is going well, although it has been a huge leap from the PhD! I think if I'd stayed put it would have been a much easier transition, but am so glad I moved because I am learning sooooo much more, and I love my new subject area too! It is very chaotic (I'm working on lots of different projects, rather than just focusing on one) and it's a jump in terms of responsibilities etc, but I think I'm getting into it reasonably well. Got a review next week so I'll see how that goes. Definitely aiming to stay on here after this post-doc, it's just finding the funding! Hope you enjoy your new job- I felt totally overwhelmed at first (and still do sometimes), but you'll settle in! Best, KB
Hey! I don't know of anyone who has gone on to a lectureship/teaching post before finishing their PhD (all my pals have stayed in research), but I do have several friends who started a practitioner doctorate (clinical psychology) before they had submitted their PhD, and my old office-mate started a post-doc position before finishing her thesis. All of them found it very hard work to complete the thesis with another full time job, but were ultimately glad they had taken the pportunity. Do you want to do lecturing after your PhD anyway? If so, I would be tempted to take it. With respect to the PhD being published I would be careful what you accept. I had quite a few people trying to publish my thesis as a whole, but I was warned that it was much better to publish the chapters in peer-reviewed journals. Having said that, I'm in science and I think it's more important in science than humanities to publish in journals. I did have an interview last year for a fellowship several months before I submitted- I didn't get it as it went to someone with a post-doc under their belt, but they said the fact that I hadn't submitted wasn't a barrier. Finally, I got my current post-doc just a few days before my viva, so that wasn't really a problem. If it's an opportunity that you would consider looking at if you had already finished your thesis then I would go for it- you don't know whatt might be available in a few months' time! Best, KB
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Hey Smoobles! I put mine at the end of my introduction section. I had my lit review etc, then research questions and the structure of my thesis, and then a section for publications and conference presentations at the end of the chapter. Probably doesn't really matter, but I think if they see what's been published it might alleviate any minor concerns they might otherwise have had about anything you've done/written. I know my examiners disagreed completely with the approach I took in one chapter (the type of qualitative analysis I used), but because it had already been peer-reviewed and published they didn't make me change anything! I also wrote at the end of the published chapters; 'a version of this chapter has been published in XYX journal' with the full reference underneath...just in case they hadn't already got the message! Best, KB
Hey all! I've been thinking about this recently, as I've finished my PhD (and all publications are in my current name), but I am getting married in February 2013. I reckon I'm gonna stick with Dr Maiden name, otherwise nobody would twig that my publications all belonged to the same person. And I like my surname- it's fairly unusual whereas my boyf's surname is a lot less distinctive! But I am going to take my boyf's surname when I'm Mrs X, and out of the academic context- I don't like the idea of being 'Dr' all the time! Best, KB
Hey Sandian. Sorry to hear that you're having a rubbish time. I have bipolar disorder and although I've now successfully finished my studies, I had to drop out of university several times and re-start due to severe episodes of depression and long hospitalisations for this. My university were generally very good through all of this, but maybe I was just lucky- I was doing my PhD in a psychology department after all. I think the first thing you need to do is to get sufficient help and support and get yourself feeling better, and maybe just not focus on the PhD until you are feeling up to it. It's very difficult to be productive when you feel so awful. Glad to hear that you're seeing a counsellor, but are you getting medical help as well? There are a million different medications that might help- even if you're not keen on taking medications it might be worth a shot. Hope you get something sorted, KB
Hi there! I finished my PhD quite recently (Aug this year) and throughout my years at university I frequently had to take time out as I was hospitalised many times for bipolar. Sometimes I had to restart the year the following September and sometimes I was able to fight through it and carry on. One thing that I did learn to do was to get help early on and to make sure that I was looking after myself rather than forcing myself to do work that I really wasn't making progress with and that was actually making me feel worse. aybe go to the doc first to see whether there is anything they can do with your medication? A simple change might make a big difference. I also attended the uni counselling service for 7 years- i.e throughout BSc, MSc & PhD- and that was a fantastic help. If you're not already receiving this kind of support I would storngly recommend it. The other thing to do might be to speak to your supervisor/chairperson and let them know you are having difficulties. Mine were very supportive and understanding, and helped me get back on track when I was returning after a period of ill health. In short, get help and don't beat yourself up about it...you will get there one way or another. Best wishes, KB
Hey Ady! I can really only echo what the others have said. I only had 5 days to prepare for my viva, but in hindsight I could not have done any more than I did in those 5 days. I didn't get many of the expected questions (which I had prepared answers to!) but did have 2 hours of questions that I'd never have dreamt up even if I'd had months to prepare. But there was nothing I could answer- I had to pause a couple of times to think about what I was going to say, and there were some really tough questions, but you will manage them just fine. The best thing to do is just to know your thesis inside out and just question even the most obvious things, such as 'why did I choose this measure over an alternative one?' etc etc.
Loads of luck with it, you'll do grand :) xx
Hey! It depends on whether you are doing your PhD by publication or doing a more traditional PhD. For the traditional route you wouldn't be required to have publications but it is still a good idea to get some. As someone who has just started a post-doc I would recommend that everyone tries to get a few publications under their belt- it makes job-hunting an awful lot easier! Best, KB
Hey! I mostly agree with the others. Many research assistants where I work either don't have a PhD or are doing one alongside their RA position, however I have seen a few adverts for 'post-doctoral research assistants', just to confuse us even more. A post-doc is only for those who have done a PhD, and fellowships can go to people who have just finished their PhD (if they're very lucky and have publications etc) but often go to people with a few year's post-doc experience. I'm in a post-doc now and am applying for fellowships. One thing I would say, two months into my post-doc, is that the level is very different to that of a PhD. I'm sure this varies according your discipline and supervisors etc, but although I absolutely love my post-doc, the workload is quite scary- I'm leading 2 projects, co-leading another one (all 3 of which I have very limited experience in), and am also teaching, organising a conference, writing up some data for publication, co-writing a book, leading the post-doc meetings, applying for fellowships etc etc...I could go on. I guess part of the reason I'm finding it tough is because I changed topic from my PhD to post-doc, but even if I hadn't, the workload is immense! Also, post-docs are pretty hard to come by right now. I'd just start looking in the last 6 months or so of your PhD. Anyway, good luck with it all :) KB
Hey 4matt, I think it's relatively common for PhDers to go through at least one phase feeling like this. I certainly had one particular period during my PhD where I felt pretty much like that, but I think basically I was just burnt out. Sounds like you need a proper break over Christmas, i.e. no paper-reading or writing or whatever. As for the working too hard bit- well we all work at different speeds and during different hours, but if a few different people reckon you're working too hard, then possibly you are! At least by the sounds of it, the rest of the lab must see you as very commited and dedicated. With the history of anxiety/depression- is that how you feel at the moment? If it is then you definitely need to get some help- it will only make things worse in the long-run if you feel like this. I know what you mean about the side-effects, but there may well be other medications that you find more tolerable. And most importantly, just take care of yourself :) Best, KB
Hey Ady- totally nothing to worry about! I submitted my thesis in a bit of a hurry and was shocked by the number of errors I noticed when preparing for the viva- normally I am so so careful. In all honesty your examiners probably won't even notice- I had half of my lit review table missing (about 3 A4 sides) and was totally gutted, but neither examiner even noticed lol! I just corrected it before I handed the final copy in! Definitely don't spend time and energy worrying about typos etc, they're not what your examiners will spend time thinking about. Best, KB
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