Overview of Mackem_Beefy

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Email etiquette... how would you reply to this person?
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I'd always respond with the same level of formality as displayed to me.

If the mark has been overstepped, it is not me who has too quickly decreased the level of formality.

My opt out is "Dear Mr/Dr. Smith (or "John" if you prefer)", should it not be clear where you stand.

I prefer informality at the earliest opportunity, as a more laid back position creates a better atmosphere for information exchange. It takes away any sensation of being "uptight".

Ian

Waiting for viva and JSA?
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I can't advise on council tax though you should receive some reduction either as a full time student or Universal Credit claimant. You won't get JSA as a new claimant now.

You won't receive benefits if you are registered as a full time student. Exceptions may include attendance allowance or personal independance payments if disabled. If you're a full time carer, you can receive carer's allowance provided you are not earning roughly £125 a week and looking after someone on either attendance allowance or personal independance payments.

You can receive universal credit if you are registered as a part-time student studying <=12 hours a week. You also need to be actively looking for work to the satisfaction of Job Centre Plus advisors and Case Workers.

You might look to changing your registration to part-time in order to entitle yourself to universal credit. One point here are that your PhD supervisors might object in their interests in seeing you submit by the end of year four.

Another option is given you're in year four and can show Job Centre Plus you've no income on your bank statements, is to not tell Job Centre Plus you are still registered a full-time student. It's a little dodgy this but as the University cannot give out confidential information on its students unless presented with a court order, there's not a mechanism for Job Centre Plus to find out. A court order may only be sought if there is clear evidence of wrong doing and as you've no income there will be no evidence. Many year four students have done this historically I hate to say (ahem).

A part-time job alongside your year four writing up is probably the best approach. Either that or hope your department 'invent' an RA post to finance your writing up period, this being obviously common from the RA adverts you see.

As you can gather, I received lots of advice on this issue way back when I was writing up.

Ian

What do I do now?
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MissLost,

Once relationships with supervisors break down, they are very difficult to repair and the seeds of mistrust are sown. This happened to me at post-doc for reasons I've discussed elsewhere. Briefly, I was hired because someone else turned down the position and they needed someone quickly to lift workload off the primary investigator. My skills didn't quite match their requirements and by the time the contract ended, I was glad to go and they were glad to see the back of me.

It seems you have had to take a part time job alongside your PhD; you're not explicit here. This raises a number of questions.

1) Does you switching to part-time mean funding for the PhD will be partly (loss of bursary only) or fully (busary plus fees) withdrawn and will the part-time job cover (or more than cover) this?

2) Do you believe you can recover the relationship with your supervisors? It seem you've already answered this and from my own experience, this seems unlikely. That said, Tudor Queen speaks wisely here, so try her approach before giving a final answer to this question.

3) If you move to another University, can you take the funding with you? I ask as normally funding is obtained by the University for the project so this suggests not.

--------

Would withdrawing from the PhD to sort out your personal situation and finances be an option? My take is you could then work full time for a few years and get some money behind you by saving.

If/when you feel ready for another go, you could apply to another University in better financial/personal shape than you are now. Given my own experiences, I don't know if I'd be able to continue with supervisors for another two or three years whom I no longer trusted. One year was bad enough.


Rewt,

I disagree with you as obtaining a PhD under supervisors you know longer trust will be that much harder even if you knuckle down as you suggest.

Ian

Anyone with two PhDs?
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Quote From shortfatchemist:
Yes, I am a mad fool that is doing his second PhD and both have been part time while I worked in industry. So why the second PhD? Well it is simple… how does one maintain his research edge when he is working for a living? Simple, you carry on studying, its ordinarily hard on your life but this is how you maintain your edge. Hard bloody work!
PhD Chemistry 1996
PhD Chemical engineering 2020 (fingers crossed)


It's very rare I pop by here now but this caught my eye.

I guess you've found a good reason to do a second PhD in order to keep your edge and fair enough. You'll also know what's involved on your second go and will to some degree be able to plan accordingly. But doing this alongside you job both times is not something I envy. I remember 12 to 16 hour days especially for the last couple of years as I wrote up and that I'd not wish on anyone. Admittedly I was full time and there was just the PhD.

As per Tudor Queen, how are / did you fund these PhDs? I imagine you having to pay the fees unless your company has supported you.

Ian

Brexit
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Remain and remain again here too. My biggest concern in relation to my past in research is the UK will become a backwater as regards research, to some degree excluded from collaberative research projects within the EU. Remain is the best way of projecting these relationships rather than become a technology and EU rule taker.

I'm not going to go on, but I think a set of MPs on the right of the Tory party with anti-European ideologies have managed to tap into discontent in former working class and older voters to get t the result they want.

Okay, rant time. Make our own deals - yea, they're roll overs of already existing EU deals, sometimes watered down, with the exception of Trump's chlorinated chicken deal. Make own laws - EU laws especially with employment rights seem more advanced compared to such right wingers who want employment rights stripped away. No European Court of Justice interference - I'll leave that to the lawyers, but again do I want the Tory right wing running the show here?. I'll add if we want to sell goods to our largest foreign market - the EU - we still have to adhere to EU laws and outside the EU, we will have no say in them.

IF we get a second referendum, if my home area in NE England is anything to go by, there is a lot of anger the result hasn't been implemented, which looks likely to boost the Leave vote.

Other leave-voting areas may have drifted to remain in the last couple of years, though I'll leave this for others to judge in such areas.


Ian

Supervisor publishing my data?
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Quote From nanbob:


Thanks for your thoughts! I've emailed my supervisors to clarify exactly what they are planning the focus of the paper to be (in case I can do another first author paper from a different angle using the data), and to ask them what happens if there is a crossover of information between the paper/my thesis. I think I've got to remember that this information is for my PhD, and not for them to justify a policy position with. If they want to use it in a way that won't compromise my PhD then that's fine for the points you raised, but otherwise they will have a different source to defend their policies :)


Once again, even if they use your data in a different way I don't see that as a problem though you are right to at least informally clarify. Your name on a paper as a co-author is normally a positive.

At most, you'd have to refer back to the paper and be clear in your thesis how you are using the data and how your methodology and aims may be different. For the sake of a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs, if there are no issues then I'd be okay with this.

Just ask to read the manuscript prior to submission to ensure there are no (normally unintentional) misrepresentations or misinterpretations of the data, raise any issues informally and once you are happy with any answers to questions you have, there shouldn't be any issues. You may even see angles taken in the paper with the data you never thought of.

Ian

MRes info?? Thanks
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Quickly, does your intended PhD start by you initially registering for an MRes or MPhil?

You already have a Masters and should have already gained some of the skills you will need for a PhD during the project period at least.

If you do an MRes then a PhD, you might be adding an extra two to three years onto your studies when you don't really need to.


Ian

Supervisor publishing my data?
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My angle is as long as your name is on the paper as an author, it's adding to your publication record and your saleability.

I would agree as long as I got to read a proof of it before it is submitted for review, so that your data and opinions are fairly represented and it originally being your project.

I knew of one supervisor who took his students' data and findings, and published it under his own name without his students' names being on the papersor consulting them. That I would regard as out of order and virtually, theft.

Ian

Is it possible to switch from full-time to part-time 1 year into an EPSRC funded PhD?
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As per Bewildered's remarks, you could lose your funding if you go part-time though if the London job is well paid, I gather this will not bother you.

Your supervisor will have probably applied for funding for the project, assuming the project would be finished in the normal three to four years. Going part-tie may strecth this to between six and seven years depending on your University's guidelines (York per chance? - not important, though you are only two hours from London), so he may be quite unhappy. You need to talk to him first though.

You might be in a position where you have to choose between the job and the PhD if your supervisor is not happy about the potential arrangements. That said, if you do pull it off and you are prepared to juggle a part-time PhD alongside a job (and from what I've seen it can be hard) then genuine works experience alongside your PhD will look good on your CV in the future.


Ian

'Anonymous' peer reviewer just emailed me about my article...
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Reviewers shouldn't contact the author directly, but I was relaxed about this given one of my regular reviewers ended up being my external examiner.

It seems he's recommended rejection, but perhaps the editor has called upon a third reviewer who has recommneded acceptance after major changes (i.e. two accept with changes, one reject).

But he's been positive and told you what's needed, so all's well that ends well.


Ian

Degree title change?
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If it's just a change of subject title (and he's still doing a PhD) but the research area and material is still the same, I wouldn't worry.

Ask him to have a chat on the phone with his supervisor if only to give peace of mind if needed.

Ian

Postgraduate Forum 'refresh'
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Why don't you use the "Xenforo" format for this forum?

Or would that cost too much?

A lot of the football (soccer) forums use that format, with a higher restriction on word and letter counts. Also, emoticons can be used subject to what you want included.


Ian

The outcome of a viva was a resubmission
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Quote From Nazz:
Thank you all for your thoughts and feedback.

Bewildered, my supervisor and I were expecting 6 months. But to to how this unfair viva went I though, I would get 9 months but this was to be a worst case scenario.

When the External is not convinced with everything you have said, no positive feed back, asking destructive negative questions in the form of why didn't you do this? and commenting on why you have decided to organize a certain theme in your literature review in this way.

Even you provide a strong solid reasonable reason taking in to account your your future readers, linking it to your analysis, discussion and conclusion. Then you are speechless when the response from the external is "Everyone knows this" and gives you advice how you should have organised this. This is not the point of a viva.

This is only one thing that has happened in this viva which lasted for 2 hours with the external saying they still had more questions!


Just to add to my earlier remarks, the two hour timeframe bothers me here accompanied by his apparent disinterest in your answers. This element more than any makes me think proper procedure wasn't followed.

If there was not time to examine you properly because people had to be elsewhere, then why wasn't the viva rescheduled to another date?

Ian

Sexually harassed by postdoc supervisor and forced to quit.
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Ill add my situation is historical now, hence me saying time is a great healer.

I'll admit thinking back I still find the situation bizarre and exasperating, considering I found out near the very end the researcher wasn't following exactly the procedure the senior academic though she was following. I happened to be in the senior academic's office when he realised and I allowed myself a smile when the penny dropped with him.

But it is the past and the events that follow in life tend to fill your head with more pleasent memories, allowing you to move on. Besides, the real world can throw up it's own bizarre circumstances and you learn from these collective experiences.


Ian

Do I quit in my third year?
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Quote From tru:
Perhaps you may consider wrapping up as a master and looking for a job outside of academia? Continuing a PhD when you are so fed up and uninterested and not planning to have a career in academia isn't really helpful to your well-being.


Agreed, but can I ask how far away you reckon you are from write-up and submission?

If you are say a few months away, I would try to see it out. If this situation is stretching on without an end in sight, then writing up what you've got and bailing with a Masters is probably the best option.

Being in your third year, you should be writing up by now, hence my question.


Ian