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Lara 2 star member
Wednesday, 21 May 2008 at 9:34pm
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Thread: changing disciplines after Phd

24-Jul-10, 22:30
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 24 39 2010 22:39:21 =======
Hi everyone, need some advice please.

I recently finished my PhD which was on the genetics of cancer biology. But I now want to change disciplines, and get into psychology research. I found a good bridge, which is cognitive neuroscience, which marries biology and psychology. Obviously it will be hard to get my foot in the door for this type of research also, and I am happy to go in as a junior researcher so to speak! (RA etc)

I found this one job that sounds great, but i'm not directly qualified for it, as it requires a Bsc in psychology or related subject, or Msc in neuroscience.

But I checked out the PI's website and he is new to setting up his research team and says that potential postdocs or potential phd students with interests in his field can contact him directly.

But the good news is, that part of his research interest is looking at the genetics behind cognition. And my Phd was based on the genetics of cancer, so i might be able to work that angle! (even though the RA job does not require any genetic work).

So my question is:

a) Do I simply apply for the RA job (Even though not directly qualified for it, but work up the angle, have done a phd, have experience in researching, writing papers, being organised etc and fast learner ) and wait to hear if i get an interview or not - the deadline is end of august. (and no contact if you're unsuccessful - how long do you wait till you assume you've been rejected?)

Or b) do I apply for the RA job, AND also contact him directly, telling him i've applied for the RA job and also how i'm interested in his field of work and then mention something about genetics and psychology to show some common ground, and how i am now interested in moving into the field of psychology and whether there is any opportunity for me to do some voluntary research work in his lab to gain experience in psychology research.

before i email him, i will read his papers and study abit about the field so that i can write something interesting about it !

i guess my question is: how can i word it in the email to say,

" i've applied for the RA job, but if i dont get it, i would like to ask you if I can volunteer in your lab to gain some experience in psychology research, and my PhD background in genetics will come in valuable as you're interested in looking at the genetics of cognition". i am just not sure how to word it diplomatically and not to harm my RA application at the same time.

Any advice would be really appreciative. thanks so much!

Thread: viva date - freak out!!!

22-Jul-10, 23:09
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 8 years ago
Good luck!

on your actual viva, you will be suprised how much you actually know and how things will just flow from your brain. and it's not as terrifying as you imagine it to be! they aren't there to purposely catch you out, they really are just interested in your work. (up)

Thread: Most likely outcome- Major corrections

22-Jul-10, 19:32
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 22 Jul 2010 19:33:29 =======
======= Date Modified 22 Jul 2010 19:32:47 =======
Hi Pineapple29, i wouldnt dwell too much on what your supervisor said, at the end of the day its the examiners that will judge your thesis. my advice, do the best you can and forget the rest. whatever the outcome in september, it doesnt matter, what matters now, is to focus at the task at hand and get your thesis done. as Joan Bolker said, the best thesis is a finished thesis!

if it makes you feel better, when i submitted my thesis, my supervisor said alot of negative critical things, and said i should work on it for another 3 months to get it up to par for submission! and he said this 1 week before my final submission! and i would have a brutal viva. both of which came to be untrue. I had a fantastic viva, and i really enjoyed it and i only had 1 page of typo corrections and had to write one extra paragraph which i did within a week. sometimes supervisors can be wrong.

right now, you need o just finish off your thesis and submit and then study for your Viva. put aside what your supervisors said, i know its hard, it took me ages to push those negative comments out of my head to focus enough to study for my viva.

Good luck! you'll be fine, just do your best, and know in your heart you did the best you could.

Thread: Postgrad Forum Hall of Fame

22-Jul-10, 19:22
edited about 4 seconds later
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 22 Jul 2010 19:24:55 =======
What a lovely idea!

I just went to my PhD graduation last thursday (15th july 2010), and although i was stressing and dreading it, (i don't know why) as soon as they put on the claret coloured gown on me and the velvet cap - i felt really special and felt like a true scholar! and all those years and stress was totally worth it. It felt REALLY good to walk around in that graduation outfit, and during the ceremony have my thesis title read out and walk across and be congratulated by the Principle and officially graduate. :-)

I totally recommend attending your PhD graduation.

I passed my PhD viva on 28th September 2009. My research was on cancer biology. Thanks to everyone on this forum that helped to keep me going!

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

06-Jan-10, 10:29
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 15 Jan 2010 17:51:30 =======
======= Date Modified 15 Jan 2010 17:51:00 =======
======= Date Modified 06 Jan 2010 10:31:08 =======
Hi folks! hope everyone had a good xmas break and Happy new Year!!!! It's so lovely today with the snow! (snowman) oooh new emoticons, fun :)

well i need some accountability. just recieved an email from my friend and she needs me to proof read some of her chapters for her thesis.

also the other day my ex supervisor wrote about proof reading a paper she wrote by next week, she included me in the paper aswell which i thought was nice, i did some of the lab work and produced some of the data for it during my RA job, totally forgot about it though, even though have officially left the lab, i'm so flattered to be included :-). but my friends thesis is more important, as she's panicking so will do that today and proof read paper tommorow.

okay so plans for today:

proof read friend's thesis:

1. chapter 1 introduction DONE (up)
2. chapter 2: DONE (up)
3. chapter 3: DONE (up)
4. chapter 4: DONE (up)
5. proof read paper from ex supervisor DONE (up)

6. proof read chapter 5:

Thread: The Motivation Thread

01-Dec-09, 00:33
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From walminskipeasucker:

I know what it takes to get to the top - Linford Christie.

Edit - Well fxxking tell me then Linford! Don't keep me in suspense!:-s


i know what you mean about rocky. when i was revising for my viva. whenever i would get really stressed out and panic i would go for a run and listen to rocky soundtrack songs lol. nothing like listening to eye of the tiger whilst running and thinking, i can do it!! i can study for my viva and beat the viva. lol ! it was my little thing haha.

thanks for the quotes!

i love the one from rocky 6.

my favourite is "dont let the b*stards get you down" which really helped me when i was having problems with my sup.

and "one day plus another has an accumulative effect".

i love this thread idea! (up)

Thread: Guilt

01-Dec-09, 00:27
edited about 19 seconds later
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From Ev:

Hey guys, I just wanted to post an update and to thank all the people who took the time to try calm me down and help me. Those really un-productive days have passed at last. My supervisors have given me 2 really short deadlines for 2 really big things (well they will have a huge bearing on the success of my lab work depending on the decisions I make) and I'm stressed, of course, but it seems to have kicked me into action! I'm writing a document at the moment which is really pushing me to nail down exactly what I propose to do for the project so it's diffucult but I actually feel like I'm making some progress - YAY!! After months of aimless reading, it seems like a clearer plan is emerging. So thanks to everyone who helped me along and for anyone who is experiencing a similar problem - I didn't believe it at the time but it will pass. Now, I'm absolutely certain that I will have similar frustrating times in the future but I know now that it's only a temporary issue:-)

that's brilliant! well done you! :-)

Quote From Ev:

Thanks guys for your lovely & helpful replies - they've helped alot- I've been re-reading them today in my panicky moments and they help to get me back on track. It's funny how much of a difference the kind words of a stranger can make! Lara your game sounds like just the thing to break up the monotony of hours of reading - I think I'll give it a go tomorrow when I'm working from home - I already get funny looks from the guys in the office for carrying around my hot water bottle- throwing a few squats and push-ups in there will probably convince them that I've lost it completely!!

You're so welcome! glad we could help :)
haha maybe when you're in the office, you can skip the exercise cards, and just use them to decide which paper to read, or when you can take a break ;)

LOL thats so funny! and thats so cute you carry a water bottle! i go to sleep with one every night, it gets too cold now winter is here.

Thread: Writer's block?

01-Dec-09, 00:21
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Rick, when i was revising for my viva, i had the following questions that i had to formulate answers for, for each chapter discussion. this might help to construct your discussion. ignore the ones that arent related to you, as i'm in the sciences.

1. Basic definitions (key definitions of concepts, explaining it to a layperson) (this would be covered in the introduction, not so in the discussion)

2. What was known before? (literature, including Key players in field ) (again introduction)

3. What is the chapter based on? (ie the hypothesis and literature) (brief mention in the discussion, to introduce it to the reader)

4. What was your result? summarise the results.

5. Importance of the result? (the significance of it, in broader terms, its impact on scientific (academic) knowledge)

6. How was the experiment carried out ? using which method

7. Limitations of the method

8. Strengths of the method

9. Future experiments suggestions

Thread: Writer's block?

01-Dec-09, 00:09
edited about 2 seconds later
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2009 00:11:23 =======
Quote From rick:

Dear all,

at the moment I am trying to write the discussion part of my thesis. I have all the data from my research, yet find it very hard to come to a conclusion.

I have made several different schemes regarding how I could write things down and as a result I have piles of schemes, yet do not seem to find the correct entry (yes I am a theorist and reflector, not an activist!).

I am thinking of leaving it for a few days, then to restart again. Any other people struggling with the same issue? Is there something like an optimum break length? Or any particular tricks to get the writing juices flowing again?

when i suffered from writers block, i was told by someone on this board (Olivia) about the Flowers method of writing.


it really helped me.

and also Joan Bolkers method, of first making a mess, building mud pies when you're writing. dont worry about getting it right just get it written, try freewriting, where you sit down, dont worry about grammer or spelling or whether it is even correct, but you're meant to write non stop for 10 minutes on the subject. and then you look over your notes and you might be suprised that you know far more than you realised.
she suggests writing a zero draft. which can just be an accumulation of the basic ideas you want to convey, and then going back to it, and improving it and making it to the first draft and so on.

hope that helps. sorry i cant offer specific advice.

just read chrisrolinski message below. i agree with him, writing messy is the way forward!!

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

01-Dec-09, 00:04
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Good luck for everyone who is writing!!!

I have these quotes stuck on my wall that helped me during my writing up phase, which i would like to share with you guys

"Everyday is more important than how much timeyou spend, or how many pages you prouduce or the quality"

"wherever you are, it is the place to start. The effort you expend today, DOES make a difference"

"one day plus another has an accumulative effect"

i will share some more later :-)

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

30-Nov-09, 23:59
edited about 9 seconds later
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From eska:

I just sent it!! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah. Now I am free and can walk amongst normal human beings. I'm going into town to get a bit of air and life; unfortunately, though, I drank half the rose last night and put a quarter of it the gravy (probably hence the stroppy comments), so I won't be downing that tonight.

congrats Eska!! thats awesome!! enjoy your break!! you deserve it!

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

30-Nov-09, 23:56
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From bulbs:

Well done Lara for getting it all Done! Really great to see that you have achieved all your correction goals and within a really short time. Like Eska I will also miss you on this thread. .

Aww thanks so much Bulbs!! so kind of you! really appreciate it. i will miss you guys too ! :)

i'm really gonna miss this thread in a weird sort of way!! really helped me to stay focus , i really believe when you write your goals down and break them into teeny tiny steps they are much more manageable to do! i now do this with every aspect of my life! i've even bought a big diary to put down lists everyday to do things.

Quote From Ju-ju:

wow! many congratulations Lara- really well DONE! now go and celebrate! :-D

Thanks so much Ju-ju! :-) so nice of you to say!
Quote From sheena:

Lara, your PhD is DONE !

So, you deserve a well earned break now. Hard work always pays in the end.

Try writing HOLIDAY and let us know when its DONE.


Thanks so much sheena! awww thats so nice of you to say!! that really makes me feel better, its like i almost feel guilty taking a break. lol i love your idea!! hehe thats so cute! thanks :)
Quote From eska:

======= Date Modified 29 Oct 2009 13:14:34 =======
Lara that's brilliant, well done good luck sending that one... last... email! You know you can do it...

Although I will miss you on this thread :( Thanks for the support you've given me and here's to your future, hopefully that will include a holiday soon.

aww thanks so much Eska, you're so sweet! i really appreciate it :-) thats so nice of you to say!! i will miss you guys aswell and this thread! this thread has been my saviour!! i now hand over the torch to you guys :-)

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

30-Nov-09, 23:36
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From rubyw:

Hi Lara, congratulations on getting that done, so that's finally that! :-) What's next for you, apart from a well earned rest?

You're way ahead of me, I'm still waiting to hear back from the examiners about my corrections. It's taking absolutely ages to get the whole thing finally signed off. I can see it dragging on until the new year at this rate, given the admin situation.:-s Ah well, at least there's other stuff to be getting on with. :-)

Hey Ruby! sorry for the late reply!!! thanks so much!! :-) sorry to hear you're still waiting to hear about your corrections that must be frustrating!

Update from me, today i went to senate house and handed in my final thesis! i felt like there should be a quiet little celebration or ceremony when you hand it over, but there isnt lol

i cant believe its over. i still have nightmares from time to time, i've had quite a few these past couple of months, ranging from, freezer breaking down with all my tumour samples and i cant do my experiments for my phd , to my final thesis with my corrections are in a bag, and i leave it for a second on the side of the road and it gets stolen and i panic and think oh no all my corrections are in there! bizzare i know.

it really feels strange that its over. its like i cant believe it. for so long ive been dreaming of the day of throwing off the shackles of my phd and today its finally arrived. i've wished for this for so long and all i ever wanted was to pass my phd. its like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. i want to cherish each day of my freedom, and i want to hold onto it and not let it slip away. i feel like those prisoners that finally get released from jail. its like i want to enjoy every moment of my time off before i join the rat race. im almost wishing for time to stand still so i can hold onto it for longer. its like when you wait for it for so long and its finally here and then you're afraid of losing it.

tommorow im going to sort out all the papers. and be really strict and not be tempted to hold onto every single paper lol. just gonna keep the important things, but i know its gonna be hard to let it go, cause im gonna feel like, oh wait i might need that, and then realise oh wait no i dont , ive written my thesis. i've not touched a single paper, it was like tempting fate until i actualyl handed in my final thesis. i still feel nervous and scared that senate house will write to me and say, oh sorry theres been a mistake you have to do X Y Z. its silly i know lol.

but yes tommorow is the day when i start to clear out my study room, believe me, when i say, its a mess, stacks and stacks, hundreds and hundreds of papers to sift through. keeping important papers and recycling not so important ones. its almost gonna feel therapeutic to go through all of that, cause it wil remind me that i dont need to worry about them anymore and that my thesis is written.

whats next for me, is to start on all the projects i had kept on hold during the past few years , i've got alot of sping, well winter cleaning to get through. i have accumulated so many papers over the years, that it will take me a month to go through them and sort out some sort of filing system. i still dont know how i'm gonna store all those papers. i feel like i need to hold onto everything or i will forget my thesis. but i know practically i cannot. i need to devise a good filing system though. ive never been good at organising things.

then after i've done that. i'm going to do some research and find which subject i'm interested in to specialise in. how about yourself Ruby?

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

28-Oct-09, 18:44
edited about 22 seconds later
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 28 Oct 2009 21:31:19 =======
======= Date Modified 28 Oct 2009 20:47:15 =======
======= Date Modified 28 Oct 2009 18:51:21 =======
Thanks Eska!!! :-)

Well after waiting nervously for the past 5 days. today i recieved an email from my examiner saying.

"excellent. get it off to Senate House; X and myself have sent off all the documentation but perhaps when you hand it in you might enquire that all the paper work is complete (just in case)

The very best of luck to you."

i cant believe it. my thesis is actually DONE. finished, no more corrections. its actually finished. i cant actually believe it myself. i feel like is it really over? I'm having a real hard time letting go of my thesis! Now all i have to do is email the PDF to my brother and he will print it for me. But I cant seem to get myself to actually email it! I'm procrastinating on it! i know it sounds so ridiculous.

i remember Joan Bolker saying something about it in her book.

i think im going to go look through my pdf one more time lol. which is silly cause i've checked it loads of times, the two examiners have now just checked my final version. so why cant i just say its done and get it printed. i guess cause then it feels so final.

i know im being silly.

so i thought i would come here, and actually declare my goals for tonight! in the hopes it might help me to actually just do it. and stop putting it off. also taking the day off tommorow and going to the cinema and meeting a friend for dinner. so i should just email it today and then be done with it.

my goals for tonight:

1. final check of the thesis PDF file. DONE! :-)

2. email my brother the PDF of my thesis and ask him to make 2 copies DONE! :-) omg i kept checking my pdf!! and couldnt bring myself to send the email, even when i had the email written and the pdf attached, it still took me 30 minutes to hit the SEND button! lol i finally sent it!!!

Thread: Accountability Partners - Write your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

21-Oct-09, 19:21
edited about 15 seconds later
by Lara 2 star member
Avatar for Lara
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 22 Oct 2009 19:02:58 =======
finally emailed the final version of the corrected thesis to examiners! yipeeeee :-) now i just hope they say its all okay. going to take the evening off and relax :) and then nervously check my email tommorow and next week hehe
Thanks Eska! good luck with your writing!!
today is the day! that i am going to email my final version of my pdf corrected thesis!! going to just have one final look through it and then email it !!

1. do final checks of all chapter files. check formating >> save 2 versions, 1 highlighted, 1 non highlighted.
chp 1 DONE! :-)
chp 2 DONE! :-)
chp 3 DONE! :-)
chp 4 DONE! :-)
chp 5 DONE! :-)
chp 6 DONE! :-)
chp 7 DONE! :-)

3. check page numbers on TOC, TOF, TOT - DONE! :-)

4. convert each chapter into a pdf file (yellow highlighted and non yellow highlighted version) DONE! :-)

5. convert the thesis into 1 pdf file (yellow highlighted for examiners) and another version without yellow highlighted) DONE! :-)

6. Final proof reading of thesis PDF file - highlighted and non highlighted version DONE! :-)

7. email final corrected pdf thesis to examiners. DONE!! :-)
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