Signup date: 06 Feb 2018 at 5:09pm
Last login: 19 May 2020 at 9:26pm
Post count: 23
I deal with this by wholeheartedly adopting the mentality that I am not perfect and that there will always be something new to learn form someone no matter my status is. We are more ignorant than we would like to believe. If someone pointed out my shortcomings to me in a constructive way, I will even be grateful.
I really understand how you feel. I had the same experience attending one of the most prestigious conferences with three Nobel prizes laureates attending and giving lectures there. However, unlike you, I was fully funded to go there but still I felt like the week-long conference wasn't scientifically helpful to justify the cost . Like you said, you can read all their work online for free. From a touristic point of view, the trip was awesome. Poster sessions are always boring like that too and I normally get way more exposure and feedback when I share my poster on linkedin.
That being said, there are some hidden benefits that may not materialize themselves immediately but nonethless affect your way of work. You get to know how people present their work generally in your field, the trends, what they focus on, what kind of questions the get asked, what the audience normally focus on etc. There is always the chance of meeting your next employer in one of these but you don't know it at the time (you have more chance if you are near completion).
My advice to you as a PhD student is not to spend so much money out of your own pocket to attend these conferences. You can always ask the uni or supervisor to fund these conferences (this needs planning ahead) and many scientific societies provide travel bursaries for their members and particularly for PhD students to attend conferences. If you can't get funded, you can attend plenty of local conferences (there are many in the UK) and seminars where registration is free. You will get similar experience, and you will only have to pay for local travel cost.
you know people for real only after you spend significant amount of time with them. Short-term visits can give an indication but it is never a 100% predictor of the reality.
Not to mention most people (whether supervisor or supervisee) are good at putting on masks revealing only what is appealing. The masks hardly stand the test of time though.
c'est la vie
Lenovo Thinkpad family is decent and durable. Get something with core i5 and at least 8GB of RAM. I have an expensive convertible model Thinkpad X1 Yoga (core i7, 16GB RAM) which is very convenient for travel, reading books and watching movies etc in free time
I don't know if you should quit your phD or not. I just want to say that passion means nothing. You become passionate about something when you succeed at it. No matter how good or "passionate" your are about a particular topic, sooner or later you will face hurdles that will make said passion disappear. If you really need a phD (for good reasons like being an academic or getting a good research position in industry or other) then you should suck it up, do the hard work and then move on after you finish your degree. You will have more options then to work on different topics if you want.
We don't know how much you will be reliant on statistics from your question. If statistics will be heavily needed throughout your project you wouldn't have been offered the position given your statistical knowledge. However, if you only need statistics now and then, you will be fine since you can learn these as you progress through your PhD. Most universities (good ones) provide statistical workshops tailored to the needs of specific disciplines and the internet is rife with resources as well. Your supervisor may or may not know anything about statistics (if say he/she is a chemist) but he/she surely should be able to point you to the right direction.
I am an international as well and I know how you feel. Pragmatically, I wouldn't take a year off. I would take a job immediately with a decent salary in Europe. I would try to visit my family at my home country whenever I get the chance (Christmas, annual leave, Easter etc). I would even try to bring my father to spend a few days/weeks/months with me in Europe because hey I can afford it with the decent job I have. But if I went home and stayed jobless I would feel depressed very soon even if I had the money and I would be an extra burden on my family. and who knows what my chances would be like after a year off. After all, that is my opinion and you have to know what is best for you depending on so many other factors. You always gain something by sacrificing another and it is up to you to decide how to balance your gain/loss.
You should address people in a way that reflects your personality and manners no matter what. Don't let other's style affect your classy way of crafting an e-mail. I would still use (Dear/ first name) in my first e-mail regardless how I was addressed. I hold myself to certain standards and I don't expect others to hold the same standards as mine.
Very few people on earth are capable of doing what Elon Musk is doing. He is also making a lot of sacrifices in every aspect of his personal life to get that career success. Also the guy has had enormous failures throughout his career that a few human beings can bear. So it is really not helping to compare yourself to him in a destructive manner. Yes take inspirations from him and his way of thinking and try to implement some of his wisdom for the progression of your career and that's it. However, that does not mean by age of 28 (or any age milestone for that matter) we all have to have started our businesses and making lots of money because this isn't how it works for the majority of people. The only one you should compare yourself to is yourself in the past. Are you today a better version of yourself? if yes then you are fine if not see what aspects you can improve so that tomorrow you can be better.
He/She does not have ensured funding at the moment to take you in. Apply somewhere else as you may wait a year and things may not change.
I would reply something like that. " thank you for getting back to me and informing me of the situation.I shall get in touch again next year......."
In my opinion the basics are really crucial. Very often knowledge of basics can make you extract data out of some results you would have binned otherwise. eng77 suggestion is spot on. I would suggest to read one comprehensive textbook in your field. that would provide you with a solid base you can build upon.
This is normal. I never saw my supervisor in the lab. Almost everything is done independently during a phD. There is no reason to be ashamed at all if you fail an experiment or 100s as long as you learn from the previous mistakes. In fact, your supervisors make mistakes more than you think. A good supervisor will introduce you to a few people (postdocs/technicians/phD students) who are good at different areas so you can pester them and learn how they do their stuff. Some of them will be helpful so embrace them and learn as much as you can, and others won't be as helpful so you need to persevere to extract knowledge from them if they have what you need. It also serves you well to be prepared theoretically (reading manuals/protocols/troubleshooting) before you enter the lab at all. An hour on your computer will save you 10 hours in the lab.
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