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A random question

The impact of research worries me a little, especially when it's linked to funding. A lot of research is about building a paradigm or pushing it closer to an eventual shift. A lot of work won't have an impact until it's gathered moment, which could take years. And then by that point the funding will have been choked off :( I'm not a massive fan of the impact requirements for research assesement.

Consultants should pull their own weight! They get paid enough.

There definately should be courses aimed solely for job skills. In fact they should already be in place at school/college level. Maybe instead of General Studies A Level's they should have a Career Skills one. From what I remember about general studies I got taught some basic spanish, which was below the standard of GCSE I'd gotten in it previously. I got taught 'essay skills' which oddly enough were being honed in the psychology and history A levels I had, on a weekly basis. Same with critical thinking and debating. The only part of it I enjoyed was when I nearly got thrown out for debating the teacher over the opinion she expressed (as fact) in the debate lessons!

There wasn't really much going on career development wise. I had meetings with people here and there which basically boiled down to them telling me I should expect X grades and be able to get in Y universities.

Graduate Tax/Student Loan

I'm just guessing, so this may not be much use, that if the graduate tax came into force it wouldn't effect people with loans already in place or taken out previously. Mainly because the loan was an agreement, so it would be tricky for them to swap it over without our permission - The terms and conditions for us have already been set!

I think we would have to agree to swapping it over, and even then it might not be possible.

Back from holiday /research trip

I'd gathered what you collected on the trip! It's not perhaps as time sensitive as the others, at least in the traditional sense, but if you're anything like me you'll soon forget details here and there. Probably best to get it gathered and organised whilst it's relatively fresh in the mind.

Then I'd aim for a sorting out the presentation and uniforms!

A random question

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I did my A Level Psychology so I could do my B.Sc, so I could do my PhD so I could work in the area. So every step of the way when ever transferable skills and employability have been mentioned I've been bored to death. I enjoy the area I'm in and want to work in it, I don't want to transfer elsewhere!

What confuses me most is how many students do a degree but aren't interested in the area or aren't interested in a career in that area. Our of all the people in my circle of friends who went to Uni only two of us, including me, are in an area related to out degree. Though there's one other person with a tenuous link. And very few showed a real interest in just the area. No learning for learnings sake that I could see. Lots of people seem to have gone to Uni because it's something to do, because it's expected or because they think they'll get a job out of it. When really they'd have been better off either getting a job straight off or waiting until they know what they want to do.

All the news about students struggling to get to Uni makes me pretty sad. Because there'll be a fair few people desperate to do a course because they're interested in it, because they've always dreamed of it or because it's the first step in the career they want, who can't get in because of how oversubscribed it all is. It makes me worry about my younger brothers, one who'll be attempt to go to Uni as a mature student next year on a course he really wants to do, and my youngest who knows exactly the area he wants to work in, and study later on.

I think I've strayed from the point :) I don't think it's the job of a lecturer to improve employability skills unless they teach a module on it! They should teach their area, and use their expertise. If any of it can be applied elsewhere and be used as a general skill then great but it should be up to the student's and career services to do the rest. The whole point of a degree should be to learn about an area, not to learn general job skills.


Congrats! Roll on the Viva!

Lab partner "stealing" ideas?

If your paper is nearly ready, and you've not replicated any of the work in it for the 'co-authored paper', could you not just submit it as normal? Then you could reference yourself in the other :D

response rate

Do you know if it went to any lists like @all_staff of some such similar thing? You might be able to ask admin for the numbers of recipients on any lists used.

Finding it tough

Sorry to hear that Sneaks :( Sounds like your supe's a bit of a monster at times.

Least you're at the stage of of talking about examiners, and now their focus should definately be on your thesis rather than the papers! I'd cling on to that for the moment.

Publishing papers, and reference questions

Most publishing is good. Even if the impact factor isn't high, or the journal itself isn't highly regarded, it's good to get the papers out there. The more you write the more likely you are to be read, and it gives you valuable experience of the writing and submission process. It also means you have papers you can refer to in subsequent papers which is better than referencing unpublished work.

Impact factors can change as well can't they? Your papers could be the ones to help do that :-D
I don't look at the impact factor when I'm looking for papers to read. If it looks relevant I'll give it a read and judge it on that really rather than anything else. I might trust the standards of certain journals more than others but it doesn't mean you can't find gems elsewhere or that the bigger journals won't publish absolute rubbish from time to time.

The only time I'd be hesitant to publish is if it looks like a vanity exercise.

For website reference I think you've got it right, so long as it's included in the main reference list with 'last retrieved/accessed on....' tagged on it.

Is there any point applying for jobs now?

My post got cut off at the end :(

Was going to add what worries me most about my CV/Applications is that I've not got my Phd in the bag yet. I'm almost there, and if it wasn't for delays beyond my control (in getting feedback) I think I'd have submitted or be extremely close to submitting. I just hope not having it yet doesn't count too much against me.

Is there any point applying for jobs now?

Ta muchly Montezuma and Bewildered! :-D

Quote From Montezuma:

Well done!! I found all the interview advice and tips on the Vitae website really helpful so definitely worth checking out if you haven't yet.

Thanks for the reminder! I knew I had the place bookmarked for a reason, I'd just not looked at it. Some of the tips are pretty good. There were a few questions in there that hadn't crossed my mind. Some of them reminded me of my last interview as well.

Quote From Montezuma:

I think questions specific to the project are good ones to ask, if you could work them in a way that would allow you to "casually" throw in some selling points of yours (that you haven' previously discussed/showed in the interview) then even better. Obviously you don't want to sound too pushy, but shouldn't miss any opportunity to show why you are a better candidate than the others.

I've lined a few questions up that might do the trick. Will the teaching component involve teaching X? X being an area I already have experience in. I've had a chance to help with supervision would there be a chance for it here? That sort of thing. Nothing too pushy though I hope.

Quote From Montezuma:

I wasn't required to do a presentation either, just a panel interview. However my post wasn't officially advertised as a post doc position so I don't know if that explains it.

Best of luck with the interview! Let us know how it goes.

It's a senior assistant/associate position but the last interview I had was for a similar level of research but they asked for a presentation. I'm not sure whether I should be glad that there's no presentation because it might mean they think I'm rather good, or whether I should be unhappy because it means one less chance to show off.

Thanks :D Will do. If it all goes horribly wrong there's a position I can apply to with a deadline ending a week later. It's almost exactly the same area as my phd work, involves people I've read and even citing in my thesis. It'd be just as good a place to work if this one falls through, just for different reasons.

Quote From bewildered:

Good luck! It might be useful to really look into what people are working on there so that you can highlight any links between your work and theirs. Also if teaching is involved, it's worth making sure that you are aware of issues in HE e.g. the NSS. Every interview I had I was asked something about how I would help improve their NSS score for one or other aspect (whichever the dept had done badly on).

Thanks! I hadn't even considered the NSS. Apparently there are some limited teaching duties involved so I'll read up on that as well as the RAE/REF.

I've been scouring the 'net for background on people in the department and project. I've got a good idea of the research interests as I was offered a phd place there before. The project seems quite open as well. I rang about it and it seems that they have an idea of the area and issues they want investigating but not how and with what, so I could have a lot of freedom to present ideas and link them to my research. Fingers crossed anyway!

Quote From bewildered:

Agree too with everyone who's saying don't take rejections personally - I haven't heard of a single lectureship in Politics (my subject) that didn't have well over 100 applicants this year. My postdoc dept had a post and they got nearly 150 applications and practically everyone had the PhD in hand plus publications & teaching experience. I know my subject is notoriously overcrowded, and I doubt it's anything like as bad in yours, but if you're getting interviews at all, then you're likely to get something sooner or later as it suggests that there's something in your cv that people like.

I think I've got a slightly thicker skin since I sent the first post :-)

Is there any point applying for jobs now?

Sorry for reviving a dead thread but I thought it'd be better than making a new one. :D

I've got a job interview for a week today! I'm super excited as it's for a research position that doesn't seem too restricted to a previously determined project. From the info I've got about it there could be the chance to continue some of my phd research as well as branch out into other areas! The only problem I see with it is that I was offered a phd place at the uni in question 3 years ago and turned them down (It was a matter of timing rather than anything else. I got the other offer about an hour beforehand).

I was wondering if anyone had any advice for the interview? Especially when it comes to questions to ask. I've thought of a few about the project specifics and the teaching duties that come along with it. Any others that leap out though?

Also it's a panel interview rather than a presentation and an interview. Should I be encouraged by that?

Handling those who dont understand

Stressed, I think your gran and mine would be best friends!

Just submitted - worst time of year? Any experiences?

Congrat's on submitting :D

My aim was to submit in a week or so but my original timetable has been blown out of the water by an extremely slow return of feedback (unavoidable in this case). From what I've heard though it might be possible to get the viva done within 4-6 weeks. Do you already know who your external is?

It's probably normal to feel a bit flat now, I wouldn't worry! You've been geared up and writing, working at 100% and now you've got a gap. Take some time for yourself and charge the batteries :D

Handling those who dont understand

Quote From stressed:

I tend to treat them with the contempt they deserve, or completely confuse them by saying, no, I'm going to be the 'real' Dr, an MD's title is purely honourary, they aren't actually Drs in the true sense - gets them every time :-)  it does drive me nuts too though, if one more person says it to me with that sideways tilt of the head and condescending smile I'm very likely to be making a special appearance on the 6pm news!

This ^

As far as I'm aware medics don't submit an original thesis, research or otherwise. I'm sure it's hard. I know some medics and they definitely work hard but it's ultimately a title. They're not the 'proper' doctors in this equation.

My gran rings from time to time to see how things are going but she's one of those who can't work out the difference between the two and doesn't seem to consider a phd to be a proper doctor. Her eldest son, my uncle, is a GP and it's all I can do to point out that despite his training he's no more a real doctor than a mechanic is.

It's a massively misunderstood difference but one I think is fostered a lot by traditional medicine. I might get some flack here :-) Like I've said I think medics do work hard but there seems to be a vested interested in 'owning' the title and traditional respect and attitudes that have gone along with it. Look at the resistance to Nurse practitioners, and now physician assistants. They've encroached onto the medics turf, shown that there are many areas of medicine that can be done and done well without the title, and they've been fought pretty much every step of the way. {Disclaimer: That's not to say there's some huge conspiracy, or that all medics are against nurses and PA's!}

I'm with Keenbean as well. I know a fair bit about the brain and I know a lot of fellow PhDers who do nothing but research it. I know a great deal about biology, psychophysics etc so I find it a bit offensive when people think I wouldn't know anything about the area because I'm not a 'real' doctor.

All I can think do to is this; Ignore those who's don't matter to you, and educate those who do.