Signup date: 28 Sep 2006 at 5:00pm
Last login: 13 Feb 2012 at 12:58pm
Post count: 338
The terminology used by the jounals is very abrupt and the first time you see it can be very down heartening. Look at the referees comments and try to address them, most referees are reasonable about things, if you make the changes they suggest it you can usually (in my experience) get it published. The exceptions to this are if there are major critisisms of the underlying idea or method, or if the referees say that they don't believe the paper is suitable/of high enough quality for the journal. In the first case (if you believe the critisism of the idea/method is appropriate and) you feel that the referee is being unfair it may be better to contact the editor and say you feel that the referee is unfair in dismissing the approach and could they either appoint another referee or go off the reports from the other referee(s) instead - obviously this is easier to do if another referee recomends publication. In the second case (where a referee suggests that the paper isn't suitable) there is little you can do, but try and submit elsewhere.
I think that PhD students and postdocs views of publications are somewhat over the top, everyone has the idea of 'publish or perish' in their head but from what I have seen first hand (I'm currently looking for postdoc positions myself) and a number of friends who have got positions it seems the skills you have developed in your research career are more important. I think academics would prefer someone who can do what they want who has no publications than someone with little or no experience and alot of publications.
I have a decent number of publications (10 from my PhD and 1.5 years as a postdoc) but have lost out on jobs to people with less publications but a little more experience. A friend of mine who has only 3 publications from his PhD and 4 years as a postdoc has recently got a fellowship because he had experience building equipment that someone wanted. So don't think of publications as the be all and end all, focus on your skills and try to get some articles published (or at least submitted) in the next few months. Good luck with your job search!
I have an interview for a postdoc position and have been asked to give a presentation on my research (which is fairly standard) but I have also been told "You should briefly introduce how the skills and knowledge from this work might transfer to the advertised position"
I am wondering where the appropriate place to discuss this might be at the beginning or at the end of the presentation. To me the most natrual way of doing things seems to be to talk about the research and relate it to the position at the end, however the phrase begining "introduce how the skills..." suggests they might be expecting it at the start. What are peoples view on this? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I finished my PhD a couple of years ago. The start of the PhD always seems very slow, my own experience and observations of friends is that that you basically spend the first 6-9 months of a PhD reading or getting to know your way around the lab or the systems you are working with. It often seems that this work is unproductive, useless or boring, but this is usually an important foundation that allows you to figure out where you are going with things. Also this time is useful to figure out any politics in the group and the way things work with shared equipment etc. I think it's natural to have these questions, I wouldn't worry too much about them. Keep going with the reading and discuss things with your supervisor and other people in your group who are doing similar things and this should help you figure out where your project is going.
The good new is I have got an interview for a postdoc job! The bad news is I have to give a 30 minute presentation! Has anyone got any tips?
I've done numerous conference talks perviously and a couple of interviews, so I have experience giving presentations etc This one just seems a bit long for an interview (the ones I've done before have been 15-20mins). The brief for this is my 'most recent research, preferably focusing on that most relavent to the post'.
This gives me a bit of a problem, the post focuses on building equipment, something I do have experience with. The problem being my experience was gained on a short project which ran out of funding. I was able to build the equipment, test it and get some preliminary results, but was never able to get 'useful results' or publications from it due to a lack of funding. I could talk about this in my presentation but it is a story that finishes part way through rather than having a natural conclusion. I did all I was asked (and more) in the project, but I am still worried that presenting such a negative outcome in an interview reflects badly on me. However not presenting this work which is most relavent to the job could also damage my chances. Has anyone been in a similar position? My thoughts are to talk about this and something else which has a 'happier' ending, to try and balance things out and get the best of both.
The other thing is what do people consider to be the appropriate format for these types of presentation? Should I include and 'about me' or 'my background' discussion at the start? Also what is the appropriate way to end such a presentation?
I did my PhD in Physics and my conclusion chapter was basically about 4 pages long split approxiamtely equally into conclusions and future work. The conclusions part was essentially a summary of the conclusions from the end of each chapter. The future work section then said what I thought should be done to follow on from my work, new experiments, new models and new areas it may be applicable to.
Having a chapter structure and break down is a good start, break everything down is to as small a chunk as you can and deal with each one of these chunks one at a time, thinking about the thesis as a whole or even just a chapter is daunting and you'll not do anything.
Find a time and place that you can work effectively and comfortably without distractions. If you are like me you will find that you work in patches if you are being productive keep going, if you are being unproductive take a break rather than forcing yourself to write.
I was doing a science based PhD and my chapter could stand alone somwhat so I was working on two different things in parallel, so when I got stuck on one I could make progress on the other. Also in results chapters I largely followed a cycle that was driven by my figures: Insert figure, talk about figure, lead into next figure and repeat...
The final thing I would say is don't expect to stick to your timetable, things often don't take the amount of time you expect. Don't shut yourself off from the world or you'll go crazy, try and do some social stuff so you're not thinking about the thesis 24/7.
Whiel no doubt frustrating, if the other group's work has been done recently I don't see a problem. If the work was reported in the literature 10 years ago then, people will obviously ask questions about why you did something that had already been done. I think the fact that this is a company helps because presumably they won't have published their results and methods in the same level of detail as academics do, so publications may now be possible. I had a friend who had a similar thing happen to him, these things happen you need to remember that the PhD programme is a 3-4 year process it isn't a snapshot of time at the moment you submit. I believe my friend set up the chapter in the thesis in the context the work was carried out, literature survey of the field when they set out, design of methods, and results and then brought the new paper out in the discussion, then used their experience to do further work. My friend though that finding this paper strengthened his PhD thesis.
A relationship with your supervisor is a dangerous situation for both of you and you should do all you can to avoid it.
I may be wrong but it sounds like you are spending too much time together outside of work, I think you need to find other people to hang out with, so as to stop your supervisor and your research group being the only people you spend time with. Try taking up new activities or joining a club or a society to meet new people.
======= Date Modified 01 Nov 2011 11:25:14 =======
Sorry to hear about your situation, it sounds awful.
As Elsie says the situation with your supervisor sounds equally bad, it sounds as though the relationship between you and your supervisor has broken down, which with or without funding would make it difficult to continue working together.
I don't really know how charity or business sponsored PhD's work, as regards funding. You would hope that the funding was transfered to the University at the start of the project to prevent issues like this arising. I guess there could be targets that have to be reached to continue funding of the project, if this is the case someone will presumably have to submit reports updating the charity on the progress of the project, it may be worth checking that these have been submitted and that their content is accurate.
I would check all your paperwork regarding PhD offer and funding, and speak to people in the department and at the University to to find out what is going on. The people on the independent panel you attended might be good to speak to as presumably they are quite senior in the University and obviously know your situation quite well.
My advice would be to take some time away from thinking about the problems you face with re-working things. Sitting staring at in and constantly thinking about it will only make you more stressed and won't help. If you can destress a little it will help you think more clearly about the things you need to address. If you have good feedback this can help enormously in addressing the problems you face, and once you get around them your work will probably be better for it.
I've published about 10 papers now and almost everyone has initially come back from the journal with a 'rejection'. The language the editors use is often very abrupt and matter of fact, unless the referee's problem is with the whole basis of your work there are usually ways around this, and the correspondence between yourself and the referee(s)/editor(s) is often just a negotiation which is all part of the 'game'. Think unemotionally about your work and their comments and then start to address them. The same is true of your thesis chapter, having other peoples input gives you a wider perspective and new ideas, and while it may be frustrating at the moment it will hopefully help your work in the long term, also once you know how to deal with these sort of questions and how to defend your position this will help you hugely in your viva, as you will know the kinds of things to expect.
I've not done a EngD but I would say your CV should be a combination of both. In my opinion you should include all the relavent information, obviously as someone who has been working in the field your experience is relavent to the EngD position. You should also include details of degree as this is also relavent (and will almost certainly be expected).
======= Date Modified 27 Oct 2011 08:57:44 =======
As dunni73 says it depends on the stage you are at in yor PhD, also on your supervisor and the project. I had quite a wide project scope so in effect I could take the project almost anywhere I wanted. Other people I know had a very well defined project and had to follow a set path.
As regards methods etc my supervisor was good at discussing though things like that if he knew the methods, if he didn't we would discuss our opinions on something if I wasn't getting somewhere with a method he would help me figure out why.
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