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international student but a uk citizen

======= Date Modified 26 Feb 2011 12:08:31 =======

that should pretty much answer your questions.

Where can I read other peoples PhD thesis

in the digital age, they are often just place on each university's personal publication storage repository. for free.

Assessment Center / Interview at BSRT Berlin

i would think it is a 50/50 chance ... if they like you, you will get the job. you are right, that because of all the costs, the pre-selection is rigorous. good luck!!!!

A PhD in Germany (Admission Requirement)

indeed, a bachelor is not enough in germany for a PhD - the usual requirement is a 4.5-5 year degree, a Diplom (the old German degree) or a Master. it doesn't matter whether or not the Master is taught, all that matters is that you have that degree ...

PhD with negative results?

my phd was a series of chapters with negative results. i had no problem defending it. but since it turned out quite early that most results would be negative, i focused on qualitative analyses of WHY my hypotheses and the general assumptions other made about this particular topic were wrong (e.g. i took one of the basic assumptions and showed that reality is nowhere near that).

are there other people in your lab you can talk to? if your supervisor only allows positive result phd theses, then hardly anyone in his lab will have ever gotten a phd. can you talk to experts in your field of what their opinion is about your work?

Dubious admissions process

Roehampton is around rank 100 in the university ranking ... it doesnt get much worse than that. try your luk somehere else, especially if you are a non-european tuition fee paying student - all universities will love you!

wrong masters?

depends on where you want to do the PhD ... in the UK and US for instance, you get into programs with a bachelor already (though a master is advantageous). in other countries (e.g. Germany, Netherlands...) you usually need a 5-year degree (either 3 year bachelor + 2 year maser, or 4 year bachelor + 1 year master or ...) - this is expressed in the number of required credit points (and sometimes years of university) in the respective phd program description.

AFter 1.5 years, I have to restart

i had to change topics after 2 years and still managed to finish my PhD in 4 years! of course it meant a lot of lost weekends, but the first two years didnt feel lost to me - i learnt so much about how to write papers (initially it would take me 2 weeks to write a crappy paper, now i need less than a week for a good one), how to approach research, how to look out for the seemingly small issues that surely will turn into big ones, etc.

if you are really insecure, how about continuing on with your research for now while at the same time applying for industrial R&D positions? in industry a phd is not always required. maybe you get lucky, find a nice job and then you can quit with a good conscience!

Another Etiquette Question!

======= Date Modified 01 May 2010 11:19:21 =======
reading a journal article (how many pages are we talking about here?) takes time, quite a lot of it actually, if you do it thoroughly. why should she spent 5-6 hours doing this "for free" for you? you will have to cite her work anyway since you are doing work in her area of expertise, no matter if the she reads it or not. offering her co-authorhsip would be the polite thing to do - maybe she declines and gives you comments without demanding to be on the paper, but it should be her choice.

Halfwaythrough, in despair, don't know how to keep going

i was in a similar situation - i went ahead and found collaborators at two other universities. one was already a postdoc in my area and he gave me a hundred times more supervision in the end than my actual supervisor. without the collaborations, i would have been doomed. what also helped was submitting half-done work to conferences, even if you get rejected the reviews are usually helpful enough to give you an idea if your direction is total crap or not ...

Why are job application forms so time consuming?

in my experience (and i am also still searching for a job) it only takes a lot of time the first 2-3 times. after that, you can recite your resume off by heart, and it takes 10 minutes to fill out those forms.

Should you buy your supervisor a present at the end?

i got mine a bottle of wine (the most expensive one i could find in our local supermarket - 10 pounds or so). at my uni it really depends on how the supervision was going - a bottle of wine is the bare minimum ..... others buy tickets to some musical, etc.
personally, i dont think a present is necessary, they get paid supervising you, they get publications out of you, they get to put another PhD student on their CV...

Gift for supervisor?

i got mine a bottle of good supermarket wine (~8 pounds) - considering the amount of supervision i got, i think that's fair. one phd in another group at my uni invited his supervisor and the supervisor's family (wife, 2 kids) to a theme park for a day and they all loved it. but he got on amazingly well with his supervisor. i guess it depends on how much your degree is really 'owed' to your supervisor.

Goals for next year?

1. pass my viva (8 more weeks)
2. find a postdoc away from my current university
3. move into an exciting city
3. learn greek
4. take up a few hobbies again i had to shut down during my phd
5. visit at least 3 friends i havent seen in years

if i manage 4/5 i will be happy already :-)

Is my potential supervisor any good?

My potential supervisor's list of publications is not that impressive - she gets about 2-3 per year, but only a fraction in high-impact journals.

i just want to point out that actually 2-3 publications a year is pretty good if she does the research herself. somebody with 10+ publications a year either recycles the same crap 9 times or has lots and lots of students to do the work for him.

anyway, go with the good supervision, when at conferences you will make a lot of contacts which counts a lot more than having your phd from a supposedly better university.