Overview of Mackem_Beefy

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Mackem_Beefy
Monday, 13 September 2010 at 6:14pm
Wednesday, 3 July 2019 at 1:26pm
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page 1 of 85 recent posts

Thread: Supervisor Mistake Leaves me with No PhD After 4 years

posted
21-Sep-15, 11:42
edited about 22 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Albatross1986:
@29200

@TreeOfLife

My supervisor definitely knew the data was false and told me "everybody does it"!



This is something my attitude has hardened to over the years.

I know people have made the odd mistake or things we shouldn't have done and we're all human. If we learn from those mistakes, good. I raise my hands and say I'm definitely not perfect, however, knowing the mistake non-critical then rectifying it now would cause more harm than good.

However, I'm aware of an instance where a senior researcher has produced data showing the protective qualities of a coating system. However, a then-colleague of mine noticed the coating was "failing" at another location and he pointed this out to the senior researcher. The senior researcher indicated he only wanted results from the section of coating which continued to adhere to it's substrate.

The project was high profile. The intended use was power generation. I'm not sure to this day if the results have been taken at face value or another centre involved has tried to replicate the tests. I sincerely hope the latter as if this coating were to fail in service, it could lead to a premature, potentially catastrophic failure.

I'll add that the criticality may have been such, if I had the data and the information in front of me and I was able to prove the above then I would feel obliged to take action force the data to be retracted.

I'm sorry, but "everybody does it" is just not good enough especially if the application is critical.

Ian

Thread: Supervisor Mistake Leaves me with No PhD After 4 years

posted
17-Sep-15, 13:30
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
You might be right Ian, from reading the later posts, but the initial post seemed to relinquish the OP from all responsibility when they mentioned things such as "he sent me to a conference with falsified data" (he probably didn't SEND them, seems to imply it was intentional, when maybe it wasn't) and "My main supervisor...told me a material I had ..was the material I was expecting. On the basis of this I.."

My supervisors have assured me my work was correct many times, and sometimes they were wrong, but I didn't blame them for it - I feel it was my lack of knowledge and confidence that led to the errors. I also went to a conference making claims based on my supervisor's assurances that I later found out were incorrect. Of course these were small things and my main conclusions and data are correct, so it's a different situation.

But I do wonder, how the reviewers knew the work was wrong: "My second paper was rejected because the reviewers stated the material was incorrect" when others didn't?


No offence meant to Albatross here, however, I understand TreeofLife here and think she has a valid point. If you didn't spot the data was wrong before sending it, were you sufficiently sure of the data or have sufficient knowledge of what it meant or indicated? If you'd done the necessary background research and literature review, then you should, as a PhD candidate, had the knowledge to spot it was incorrect. Did your supervisor tell you to send data he knew (and logically you should have spotted) was incorrect?

However, in Albatross's defence, the supervisor / PhD candidate relationship requires a lot of trust and an assumption that the supervisor is a leader in his / her field. Thus Albatross may not have felt she had to question her supervisor's "greater" knowledge. It wasn't until my last year I was able to show one of my own supervisor's understandings of my data was incorrect.

Difficult.

Ian

Thread: Supervisor Mistake Leaves me with No PhD After 4 years

posted
17-Sep-15, 11:42
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
It's really your responsibility to ensure your data are correct, not your supervisor's. I think you need to discuss this with your supervisor or head of department regarding whether you will have enough to submit for. PhD with the incorrect data.


TreeofLife, Dunham,

You may be being harsh here without fully understanding the situation. Albatross has indicated that whilst the samples were undergoing XRD, they were beyond her reach and thus outside her control.

All Albatross could do was ensure the samples were properly labelled and if an error has occurred within the lab, what could she do especially when at the time her supervisor has 'lied' by saying the sample were correct.

Albatross,

If you have labelled the samples correctly, can you prove this? I'd have thought you'd be allowed to be present during an XRD test at the very least to ensure correct procedure and not allowing access seems strange indeed. At my old Uni. we actually did the XRD ourselves!!!

Also, can you show that your supervisor has said the samples were correct then later said they weren't? If you've correspondence in writing and can prove you were sent to a conference with falsified data, you may have the basis of an action against your University should the situation be irretrievable.

That said, look at what you have and see what can be used. And yes, given the XRD database isn't updated until after Christmas, that should be the basis for an extension appeal as you cannot access your data until then.

As a first step, see if you can retrieve a workable, submittable thesis from this situation and obtain your PhD. After this, pass or fail, see what your options are as to whether further action can be taken against either the University or your supervisor. If you obtain your PhD, this may not be necessary.

Yes, the old adage "Universities close ranks" will apply, though this becomes more difficult for them if you have proof of wrongdoing or error in procedure.

Ian

Thread: PubhD!

posted
16-Sep-15, 10:14
edited about 11 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Badge:
Been wondering if any of you have experience of attending/presenting at one of the many PubhD events around the country?

Also would like to see one in Leeds (UoL PhD student!), but don't live there so would find running/organising it full time difficult.

More info here:


There should be a rule that the 10 minute presentation presentation can only be given once 8 pints of beer (or whatever your tipple) or lager have been consumed!!!

Some of the outcomes should be fun!!! :-)

Ian

Thread: PhD vs job opportunity

posted
08-Sep-15, 12:14
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Eds:
It's great isn't it... not even a happy ending!



I don't know. If someone has enough dirt for square 39, I guess such information could be used to 'help' your position. ;-)

(See my PM to you.)

Ian

Thread: PhD vs job opportunity

posted
08-Sep-15, 11:09
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Eds:


Just 'played' that game... scarily likely!!! Can't really go past step 9 at the mo... but looking forward to it.

Not.

Cheers!


In my old department, it was circulated to new PhD students as a rite of passage on starting their PhD. The above is a slightly enlarged version of the one I saw.

Squares 9 (I related to this very strongly), 40, 42, 43 (which actually happened to me) and 44 I note are additional, as is the very hopeful square 39.

This newer version just had to be added to my blog when I saw it!!! :-)


Ian

Thread: Resigned from PhD now want to finish!

posted
08-Sep-15, 10:12
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Eds:
Going by the characters who get honararies, he probably could have got it for nothing!!!


Never was a truer word spoken in jest!!!

Please do not start me off on honorary degrees!!! :-)

Ian

Thread: Publishing with Supervisor, but Got Ditched!!!

posted
08-Sep-15, 10:10
edited about 2 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From bewildered:
One possible reason might emerge if you google the Lacour / Greene mess. I imagine a lot of senior folks will be more wary of publishing now when they know their name is on the paper because they are famous, not because they've really contributed to the paper. Not that I'm suggesting that you've fabricated data of course, more that I think very arms length collaborations like the one you outline are being frowned on a bit these days, and maybe that is why he's changed his mind.


I just read that and all I can say is what a mess!!!

That's just it. If someone writes a paper and later problems are found with it, then other people listed as co-authors can be implicated even if their names are present only as courtesy.

Ian

Thread: Publishing with Supervisor, but Got Ditched!!!

posted
08-Sep-15, 10:06
edited about 7 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Eds:
Quote From PhDdiva:
I chose to publish with this person because they are one of committee supervisors, plus works in my area of interest. Absolutely!! the person was going to be an author on the papers.


Interestingly, this in no way answers my question. Never mind :)


I have to admit I misread the heading for this thread as well. I thought she meant ditched in relationship terms. My mistake (sorry). :-)

Ian

Thread: PhD vs job opportunity

posted
08-Sep-15, 10:01
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Eds:
Quote From anz07:
You will eventually get to the job you want after you've finished - it's not all as bleak as people say it is.


Really??


Fair comment Eds!!! :-)

Ian

Thread: PhD vs job opportunity

posted
08-Sep-15, 10:00
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From clairaN:
I have a decision to make very soon whether to continue on with the PhD and possibly turn down a very good job opportunity or take a year off from the PhD and accept the decent job which is good experience and good money but not in my area.

My dilemma is that I'm working so hard on the PhD to get a better job so I am reluctant to turn down a manager position to possibly not have any job opportunity at the end of my PhD, on the other hand, to accept the job I would be taking on a position managing a care home for the elderly which would need at least a year commitment and is not in the area I'm studying and I would need to postpone my full time study.

My university and supervisor won't allow me to do the PhD part time. Has anyone been in a similar situation??


How badly do you want the PhD compared to the job? How far off finishing are you.

Economic sense is to take the job. Is it a temporary contract of one year? Suspend the PhD for one year and come back to it.

Is it permanent? If so, you have some soul searching, but I remember the battle I had to find another job after my second post-doc finished. As said, there's plenty posts on here from people unable to find work.

Would I have quit in similar circumstances to you? I don't know, however, if I knew exactly what problems I was going to face a few years later (overqualified, waiting for something better to come along, etc.) I'd have been sorely tempted to jump ship if a really good job opportunity came along.

Click on the link to view the PhD Game, which I think sums up the situation as regards PhDs, jobs and unemployment fairly well for many people.


Ian

Thread: PhD and relationships

posted
03-Sep-15, 14:31
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
I remember a while back saying something along the lines of because I'd spent an extended portion of my life in higher education or academia (in research) I'd find it very difficult to have a lasting relationship with, say, someone who'd left school at 16. I was quickly corrected by someone who'd gone through PhD, but whose husband had left school at 16 and was a carpenter or something similar (?).

My take is it's all to do with how well you can relate to someone. Obviously, the lady who corrected me and her husband related very well to each other and all the best to them for that.

However, I still feel going through the ringer in education and academia does in many cases alter our hot wiring. Many of us have been through PhD and having had those experiences, how many can honestly say we're the same person as we were at 16 or even when we finished our first degrees? We then run into mates who left school say at 16 and gone straight into work, and whilst we can have a few beers and a bit of banter, sooner or later unless there is other common ground then differences eventually show through. Similarly, someone above said as a social scientist, she tended to avoid people with science, engineering and technology backgrounds - even though they were on the same educational level, there was a gulf between them.

It's not a case of "because I've an education, I'm better than you". That's utter bollocks and an arrogance I don't like. There's plenty ordinary people lived fulfilled lives without that "education". It's simply that our experiences change us in different ways and the common ground we need to form a lasting relationship will shift and change with that.

It's not necessarily education that causes changes and thus what we want out of a partner. There are other things that can form common ground such as hobbies, travel or (a no no for some) work.

Ian

Thread: Resigned from PhD now want to finish!

posted
24-Aug-15, 18:15
edited about 50 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
You're best bet would be to try re-registering at your original University and with your supervisors' support, you should be able to.

However, given that you have completely withdrawn it is very doubtful if any outstanding funding due to you before you quit would once again become available. You may have to finance any remaining period from your own pocket. That is unless your supervisors have made arrangements to cover at least the fees of any remaining study.

The only instance I know of where someone has re-registered on their original PhD after quitting is Brian May of Queen fame. However, money would not be an issue with him. :-)

Ian

Thread: Examiners said my corrections could be done in a week and I still haven't finished them! What to do?

posted
01-Aug-15, 11:54
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
I had minor corrections and as much as it was tempting to take a breather before I did them, I opted to push through get them done. As you've discovered, once you stop then it's difficult to start again.

You're within the six months so there's no need to contact the examiners. Just get the corrections done and over with, submitted and finally have your life back. Then you will properly have your PhD.

Ian

Thread: Starting PhD after 4 years of job

posted
30-Jul-15, 01:06
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From ricki29:
Hi All,

I have just started my PhD after working for 4 long years in a non-science field. I am bit anxious and apprehensive about the road I have chosen to walk on. I have been talking to some PhD students lately, who shared their positive and negative experiences that they've had since the start of their PhD journey.

I am worried and would like to know whats the best way to start a PhD, is it just reading as many research papers as we can and taking notes of it?

Also, whats the best time and an appropriate way to start writing a review paper? How should I go about it?

Really appreciate help.


I went into my PhD after five years out after Masters. I personally found it an advantage, as I was was older and finally mature enough for the challenge. I also couldn;t have tackled it straight after masters, as at that stage I was weary of being a student and the break recharged me in that respect.

Starting is about reading as many relevant key papers as you can, fulling in th eothers as you go along plus any new pieces of work you become aware of. However, I concede constant literature review is boring and I'd advise also beginning to use any equipment you might use, say, in a Science or Engieering PhD.

It was during this early fiddling around I managed to achieve my first original finding and as a result i got a flyer at the start. However, don't expect that to happen as a PhD is a marathon and not a sprint. It's more likely you'll obtain your original data once the programme proper begins in earnest.

As regards writing a review paper, that may depend upon subject. This is one area I would sit down with your supervisor to discuss how to go about it. The review paper may form the basis of your literature review in your final thesis, this critical appraisal is the key.

Ian
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