Signup date: 28 Sep 2006 at 5:00pm
Last login: 13 Feb 2012 at 12:58pm
Post count: 338
======= Date Modified 25 Oct 2011 10:53:10 =======
I think it very much depends on your subject how many people with PhDs are out there. I think alot of it comes down to luck, positions coming up at the right time etc. Obviously the job market is tougher than usual at the moment so that doesn't help.
Evaluate what other skills you picked up during your PhD and Postdoc, project management, time management, analysis skills and see what you can apply them to. I know a couple of people who had done some very simple computer modelling stuff in their time as PhD student or Postdoc and had come to work as analysts or modellers, is there something like that you could do?
Obviously how you would approach it depends alot on the character of yourself and your supervisor, and your relationship.
If it were me I would say that you're come to realise that this isn't what you want to do, it's been weighing on your mind recently and that you think it's best for everyone if you transfer to an MPhil and how would you go about doing this. I would use 'soft phrases' like "I think it's only fair to tell you..." rather than just going in bluntly with "I don't want to do this anymore". This way you aren't squaring up with opposing views, you are playing fair by him and approaching it more from their side. Thank him for giving you the opportunity and believing in you etc... and say positive things about your time working with him. Don't say you find it boring or uninteresting because that will likely upset him as it is something they have a keen interest in, stick with lines like it (the whole PhD thing rather than the project) isn't for you, and you think it's time to move on.
I would then see how they react before asking for a reference, hopefully this softer approach will keep them onside, say you want to work towards the MPhil and continue working together towards this goal, and ask for a reference at a later date, after they have had time to let things sink in, if you are around and see them a few times after discussing this they will probably be more likely to be friendly than if you have this discussion and then just disappear.
But obviously you know your supervisor best, and can judge how they would react.
I'm in kind of the opposite position to you, I currently have a postdoc position which I really enjoy, I want to stay in academia and work my way up. The problem at the moment is I've been working on a series of short term contracts (4-6months) often with a few months unemployment between them, and am never sure if or where the next one will come from. I love my job and find it facinating. The problem is I can't keep doing this, I need some job security, there is a long term position (2.5 years) coming up which I really want, but if I don't get it, I think I'll end up turning my back on academia and getting a job I probably won't enjoy as much but will have more long term security. I'm dreading this happening but it feels like my only other option.
My advice would be ask yourself what you value the most, doing something you enjoy on short term contracts or having the security or a more long term job that you find boring. My preference is for something I enjoy, but ultimately I may not really have the choice :-( Obviously you need to factor in your partner's situation too which makes things more complicated. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Is the 3 years lab work a definate rule of the University, or just something you are being told by your Supervisor or Department? As it does seem a little harsh, my department allowed you to write up when you had enough material, but I am aware of people who found ways of getting around lab rules similar to those you mention, try asking final year students in your lab/department, they probably know...
Sadly PhD's don't seem to follow employment rules, as (usually) you are a student and not an employee.
If I were you I would investigate what whether standard PhD studentships are 3 or 3.5 years, if 3.5 years try and find out why you are getting less, secondly find out what you need to to to be eligable for discretionary funding. It may be the case that your department have 3.5 years funding for each student, but they don't automatically give it to everyone incase they finish early and then essentially get paid for nothing, thinking you will run out of funding soon really motivates you to finish quickly... If this isn't the situation, and you have to make a case for additional funding it is very useful to know in advance what grounds might allow you to get this additional funding at the discretion of the department.
I don't know anything about your subject area and how easy it would be to switch fields, I think it very much depends on potential supervisors and how you compare to the other people you are competing with for a position, (and your project proposal if you have to write your own, rather than work on a pre-defined project).
As regards funding, I believe it very much depends on whthe funding source, as to who is eligable for it, some types of funding require you to be from the UK, others from within the EU, others have no restrictions, again this is something that you would have to check with potential departments or supervisors.
======= Date Modified 21 Oct 2011 10:57:59 =======
When I started my PhD in 2005 EPSRC funding was a standard 3 years funding, It was considered that a PhD took 3 years, although very few finished in less than 3.5 years. At my University the regulations stated that you had to submit within 4 years. But you only received 3 years funding as the course was technically only 3 years long and beyond this you are/were considered to be over-running, and were in a seperate 'phase' i.e. you are no longer on the course, paying tuition fees etc, but you haven't submitted yet. This is the way it has wored for a long time, most people go some period of time between funding running out and actually submitting.
However I thought that EPSRC studentships were now (from ~2007/2008) 3.5 years funding, this was certainly the case at my department, perhaps not everywhere then??
I would imagine that you would be bound by whatever funding conditions you agreed to at the start of your PhD, you might have a cause for complaint if your University is funding you for less time than EPSRC think they are, but I've no idea what if anything you could do. I would investigate what the rules are for discretionary funding within your department, before your current funding runs out.
Check with the University and someone who has recently submitted. I believed until a few months before submission that there were no restrictions on length of abstract (as the University guidelines said nothing). It was only when I came to fill an "intention to submit" form that this wasn't the case. It had to fit into a certain space on a form, if I remember correctly this corresponded to about a page of A4 when formatted appropriately for the thesis.
======= Date Modified 19 Oct 2011 10:56:24 =======
I don't have Word 2010, but in earlier versions in the header/footer menu there is a page setup option/button, this should open up options such have different headers and footers for odd and even pages, it also has an option for "first page different" if you check this option when you go back to the header/footer on page 1 it should say "first page header" (where as all the others just say "header") this should now allow you to set up a different header for page 1 to the rest.
Edit: Glad to see you've sorted it.
To be honest I don't know much about the resubmission process, my guess would be that it is similar to the initial process, but I don't know for sure, if I were you I would speak to people in your department/college to find out what the process is, and get someone appropriate to read over your thesis before submission (perhaps someone in addition to your supervisor if you thought they were unhelpful previously).
Good luck with it though.
I might not have been clear in my last post about what I was suggesting, I thought if the company were keen to have him work there (as it seems) could he work for them part-time and do his PhD part-time? I wouldn't suggest working full time and studying part-time, it would be hard enough working full-time and writing up, but still carrying out the work whilst doing a full time job would be very difficult.
It's not ideal but working 3 days a week and doing the PhD 2-3 days a week could be the best of both worlds if everyone is happy with it. But I would imagine he would have to want to do the PhD for it to work, because it would probably become difficult at times to deal with both.
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