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Stats question: log-transformations

I considered transformations at one point for my data but once you do it you can't really go back. At least in the sense of consistency, if one experiment has transformed data then they all have to! You can try and get away with not doing it for some experiments but if it's picked up on someone is likely to a tear a huge stats shaped hole in you :(

As for just DV's or IV's too I don't know for sure. I'm leaning more towards just DV's, unless the IV's are some sort of strange shared/linked measure.

any tips?

Good luck Sneaks :D

If there's a teaching element then I'd reccomend checking the most recent results from the national student survey. Then maybe briefly cover any low scores (usually the quality of feedback undergrads feel they get, or don't get) and how you'd address that. I studied the figures for one interview. I didn't get asked about them but when I was given a tour by the HoD afterwards we chatted (and compained) about it.

You'll be fine though :D

Almost there but...

You've got a kindred spirit here when it comes to networking. I'm not very good at it and I resent the idea of it being such a supposedly integral part of career development.
I like talking to people, I get on well with people, and the last conference I went to I ended up at dinner with a bunch of people I've never met before in various different areas. But that happened because I was getting on with them, not because I was cataloging names and contacts for the future. I understand a network of contacts, social and professional is useful, but I just feel so mercenary when it comes down to doing it for it's own sake. Maybe it's something that'll change a bit when the leap is made from student to academic.

I'm stuck on proposals too. I was looking at the ERSC early career fellowship funding and you need a mentor and the approval of the HoD. But I'm not sure how to go about approaching them. I have a Uni and some people in mind. In fact I've met them both briefly before, but do I just email them and say 'I have this proposal, if it's not too forward of me would you be interested?'. Or is that rude and unprofessional to send an unsolicited proposal like that, essentially to someone I barely know?

Likewise I've found a website that hosts job ads for the very specific area I'm in. I've missed out on some great places but the job information, and contact info, is still up for them all going back a couple of years (Only a few jobs get advertised a year it seems). Would it be wise for me to send a C.V to them along the lines of, 'I know the position has likely been filled but I'm very interested in the area and would be in any future related openings. Please find attached my C.V.....etc'? Or something like that.

Sorry I'm not much help Doodles, we're in the same boat!

Whilst I work that out (or likewise wait for words of wisdom here :D ) I'm going to put together some generic research proposals. Partly for practice and partly so I have something ready if an opportunity arises.

Between submission and viva: what are you doing?

Congrats Jojo, and Rick, on submitting :D Hope to be there with you soon.

My plan is to write up a paper that I've putting off till submission, set up some experiments and really start planning a pretty intensive research programme so that if I get the chance to please myself I'll have plenty ready to go. Also probably going to do a big tour of my family to let them know that I do indeed still exist!

Almost there but...

Thanks Doodles, Queerface and Bilbo! I'd give you all, and Sneaks too, stars again if I could.

You've all eased my worries considerably. My understanding of it was closer to your explanation really that the intention to submit gave time for paperwork to be pushed through but that it wouldn't be set in stone. I know various Uni departments can be terrible at getting paperwork done (the delay in my last two studentship payments being testament to that!) but 3 months did seem a bit much, especially when so much of what is required seems to happen in department.

We've sorted out an examiner for a mock viva, and we've discussed names for externals. My thesis sort of straddles two area's so I can pick from either pool really. The problem is the examiner might be oblivious to the other side of my thesis. So we've narrowed down the list. Got about four and the only issue with them is how busy they'll be. That was where I was anticipating delays.
As for internals there are about three names.

Which may be why I was so surprised by the three month notice. Despite talking about the viva and my expected submission it never came up. And hasn't over the past three years!

Congrats Queerface, on the jobs and being so close! I've found that I've thought I've been finished and then found stuff to do, tweak and change. Originally, back in summer, I was aiming for submission in August, then August came round and it seemed like September instead, and now it's October.

I defiantly feel close to submitting though as while I'm not sure whether the thesis is ready as a finished article I do know that I have very little to do but write. I'm at my Dads, which is part of a nice peaceful farmhouse in the hills! So I can write, look at cows or chop firewood! Whenever I've had feedback on my work I've been on top of it straight away and made quick progress with it. All the content is there, and I'm almost sure chapters 3 -7 are good to go, it's just the style and clarity that I wonder about. And for that I really need my supervisors feedback. It's a lot like you said, losing all sense of perspective and being ready to implode! I read and written, re-read and rewritten so much that I can't honestly say whether my work is clear enough to be submitted.

I do need to speak to my supervisor really. Especially about the intention to submit. My plan at the moment is, when he confirms receiving my last batch of documents, to ask when he thinks I'll be submitting as I have jobs apps to apply for and I need to put it down to give them an idea. Hopefully that'll get him moving. I just don't want to become the end of thesis monster student who's forever badgering their supervisor!

Doodles - Being told you're a runner up is crazy making. Especially when it's followed up with feedback saying they were impressed but the candidate they went with had slightly more relevant experience. Because then there's nothing in the feedback you can really use to improve for next time! It's nice to know you're good enough to get the job, but frustrating when you know there's little you can do.

My plan with combating the competition and other post docs etc has been to emphasise skills and more general experience on the C.V. and then really expand on it in the interview. Interviews are fantastic I think for getting over that problem because they've give you a chance to shine, and make an impression that you can't get across on paper. So I've mentioned general teaching and presentation experience, research training, numbers of participants I've tested, programs I can use, and links with other Uni's/academics on the C.V. rather than focusing too much on the actual research area. I try to convey the idea that I have the skills, just not the direct experience.
I wouldn't listen too closely to me though as I've only had 3 interviews this

Can I cite unpublished work?

I know I'm a bit late but, yes I'd use it.

I'd make sure though that you have it at hand to send/show to people, and that the original author is fine with that (I don't see why they wouldn't be). The problems with using unpublished work come down to two things I think, lack of peer review and lack of availability. Peer review shouldn't be too much of an issue because it's part of a masters dissertation. It's been assessed at some point. The real problem is with accessibility. You have the article, but no one else does. They're not going to be able to check what you've said or just read it if they're interested in it too. So I'd have it on hand for the inevitable requests!

Almost there but...

Righto - yet more questions!

I've sent my chapters off to my supervisor so now I'm at the stage of compiling everything together in one document for the last lot of corrections.

Firstly, does anybody use LyX? And if so would you be able to point me in the direction of a good thesis template or layout? I have one at the moment but I've been struggling with it. It's aimed more at computer science and the conventions and sections involved there. It's not too far off psychology, or how I've been doing it in word so far, but I would love a better fit.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, intention to submit?:-( I think I have gotten very confused over this term. I always though intention to submit referred mainly to the forms you filled out just before you submitted. Basically detailing what you had done, that you were finished now and that soon you'd be having a Viva. Whilst I was reading the graduate school website for info on the university's preference for margins (I have fun filled Saturday nights) I noticed that the intention to submit was tied to a three month notice period, to allow for the gathering of examiners apparently.

Uh? What? If I've read it right I have to give the University three months notice, before I submit my thesis, never mind the Viva? This doesn't seem right to me. Not only because I'm certain other students haven't waited so long, but because it seems stupid.

Am I getting this very wrong here? Am I being the stupid one (very possible)? By submit here do they mean submit the thesis and have the viva? Which sounds more reasonable to me. I can understand potentially needing 3 months to arrange the external, viva related paperwork etc and get yourself finished. Or do they mean just submit the thesis itself?

Any help, tips etc, especially from those who have submitted (or have let the University know) would be appreciated. It's gotten me very confused, and concerned. I feel bad for not knowing this already but in my defence, the handbook I have doesn't mention it, the website is far from clear and my supervisor hasn't mentioned it at all.

My thesis, I think, is potentially a week (of me working on it, more if my supervisor is slow with feedback) away from being ready. I don't want to have to wait 3 months to just hand it in. That'd take me to January before I could say to potential employers that yes, I have indeed submitted.

Can't find the right phrase - help needed

loci of comfort?

Comfort zone might not be particulary academic but it is an extremely effective description. I'd be tempted to stick with it and maybe just define it somewhere the paper.

Almost there but...

Thanks Sneaks :)

1) I'll give adding it to every chapter a go I think. I don't have the Mauchley's or any meaningful epsilon to report though. Each and everyone of my tests has no score at all for the significance, and the epsilon is 1 for everything. I've no idea why that's happened but I know for certain it's not because I can actually assume sphericity!

2) As it stands I'll try a variation on that then :) I do hope he gets back to me though. I know he's busy but I'm yet to get a reply from an email I sent on Monday. There's nothing wrong with my email though. The optimist in me thinks it's because he's busy reading the chapters I sent earlier. The cynic, who is firmly in control of my mood, is convinced he's just forgotten.

It's hard to get mad at him for the delays though. I know it's a lot to read, after all I wrote it, wrote it again and have read it over and over. And I know he's busy. I just wish these delays had come in the middle of everything where it wouldn't have mattered instead of at the end.

3) I'm certainly not a perfectionist! I've come to the realisation that the collected experiments will never be perfect. I just need to show I can research and write, and then pass. I just don't want to get to the stage of submitting and defending and then being told it's not very good, or that it needs major work.

4) The job hunting is terrible. You have my sympathy, well empathy. My supervisor told he me he lost count of the number of interviews he went to before he got his first job. Probably not as reassuring as he thought it was but it was a little bit. If we keep applying, keep turning up to interviews then eventually we're going to get one! And every interview is a learning experience.

I'm hoping the Dr title will help. Or at least the fact I've submitted and have become less of a risk to employ in that sense. I've come close twice now (being told you were second is mind-boggling!) but I have a feeling if my CV said, submitted or Dr on I'd have maybe gotten one of them.

From one of the ones I was runner up for when I was given my feedback I was asked if I minded if they passed my C.V along to someone who might be getting funding soon. I've not heard back from them, and I've no idea whether they'll actually get any funding. So I'll have to wait on that but it did get me thinking about sending out C.V's to people. I don't want to come across as rude and pushy when I do it though.

Right, back to the result. Or to start the results I should say!

Almost there but...

======= Date Modified 08 14 2010 01:14:42 =======
Hola everyone, I'm back! Though I probably wasn't missed, I hadn't been around on the forums long before I went AWOL. I hope things have been going well for everyone though!

My funding finished so since the start of September I've moved away from Uni to my Dad's, been to two job interviews (didn't get either) and been at my partners for a week or so due to a bereavement of hers. So things have been a little hectic.

I've been making progress on my thesis regardless but I'm coming up against a few problems. Hopefully somebody will have some words of wisdom!

1) All 8 chapters have been written, re-written and tweaked. My introductory chapters and final discussion in particular. Chapters 3-7 where the experiments dwell haven't needed much. All I have to do to them now is make sure the way I've reported the results is consistent across them all, or at least as close I can get considering some of the changes in design. And I'm hoping to have this done by tomorrow so I can send them all into my supervisor.

This had led to a question that I hadn't even considered until now. I use mixed ANOVA's throughout my thesis, and have used the greenhouse-geisser correction (Mauchly's is a bust and I'm conservative with stats by my very nature). Do I mentioned I've used the correction after every significant stat or can I get away with just mentioning it once? For example, 'An alpha value of .05 was used for all analyses the thesis. The Greenhouse-Giesser correction has been applied to all reported significant effects.' ?

2) How do you prod your supervisor into reading the monster you've created? My supervisor is great but I'm getting to the point where I can't actually progress without concrete feedback from them. Especially on the key chapters (1,2 and 8). I think 1 is ready, 2 may need a slight tweak, and that 8 is strong. But I've been looking at them for so long I can't see straight. I've already handed in my re-drafts of 1,2 & 8. About a fortnight ago now and haven't heard a peep.
As I'm no longer on campus, or anywhere near in fact, I can't just drop in to remind him. Any tips?

3) How do you know when it's ready? I think I'm about there, and with timely feedback I don't think I'm more than a fortnight away. (Less really. I have nothing to do but write at the moment). Do I just keep redrafting and drafting until my supervisor gives in or can I push things along? Do you just *know* when it's done?

4) Jobs. I've had 3 interviews this year. I was runner up in 2 of them, and fluffed the third and perhaps perfect one for me. I'm starting to think about sending my C.V to key people in the field or putting together a fellowship proposal of my own. Any tips on approaching this without appearing to just be job canvassing?


When to apply???

======= Date Modified 01 Sep 2010 15:36:31 =======
I applied towards the end of my 3rd year. Around April I think it was, for a start the following August. My interviews were in the middle of July so my applications contained my 2nd year, and 'predicted' marks but in the interview I was able to state what I had actually achieved.

There aren't really two set application dates or anything like that though. Just apply whenever, you'll either end up with a long wait or a short one until you start, that's all that really changes. As Helena says you might have a specific start date for official records and what not but whether you really start on that date is a different matter, and it doesn't really relate to when you apply.

Check on the masters too. Some PhD's require them, some don't, and some come with a first year where you'll get a masters or equivalent training (either as part of the 3 years or as an extra year tagged to the start).

EDIT - Just realised I was talking about applying for PhD's on projects that are being advertised, already have funding etc. May well be different if you're applying for a PhD and funding to go along side it. Funding can often come in cycles so there may well be set dates and deadlines for applications there.

I have a job interview!

Good luck! :D

I've had a couple of interviews (and been runner up/second choice in each one :( ). I wouldn't worry too much about the stats. They'll already have an idea of the experience you have in stats from your application/CV so I don't think they'll be expecting anything drastically different from what you've said there.

If there are any grant sources or proposals you have you eye on, and it becomes relevant in the interview, maybe mention them? I think it always impresses the panel if they know you already have plans to seek grants and funding. Shows you're aware of a fairly important part of the research process even if you don't have much experience with proposals yourself.

If there's a teaching component to the job it might be worth checking out the NSS for the place. I did and although it didn't come up in the interview for my last job I did get a tour of the dept by the head of department and it came up then.

Research assistant

Most RA positions I've seen are fine with international students so long as you are allowed to work in UK/EU. At the interview they'll normally collect and photocopy some sort of proof of that.


I've only really been taught complexity theory in relation to connectionism. And then from there it was applied to language acquisition and all sorts. There's a computer model based on it that acquires language in similar stages to that of children (Random noises -> incomplete words -> words with grammar issues like adding -ed on the end of everything -> normal sentence structure, little to no error). Complexity theory and connectionism can be pretty powerful on the theoretical level. Unfortunately it doesn't hold up when you try and find the appropriate mechanisms and responses in the brain, especially on the neuron to neruon level.

So, in linguistics I think you can get complexity theory, connectionism and pattern recognition involved fairly easily. Not sure how you would go about applying it to social anthropology. Maybe apply it and pattern recognition to the application of large scale schemata and stereotypes?

Back from holiday /research trip

In that case then I'd just write down anything not already written down that's likely to fade a bit. Even if it's just a few notes to jog the memory later. And then straight on to the presentation and uniform.

I'm in a prioritising quandry of sorts too. I have to move out on the 5th of september so for the moment, now my interview is out the way, I'm focusing on getting stuff packed and cleaned. I do have some paper feedback to hand in though...the faster I do that the faster it gets submitted... :S Also have to find somewhere to live. Either the parents, a friend or the location of said interview. Should probably do that too. And there's another job to apply for. :S