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Another rejection...how many did you guys get?

I applied for 5 places (one was when I was sort of desparate thinking I wouldn't get any offers but for the other 4 I really put in a lot of effort and the research was exactly what I wanted) and I got 3 offers out of those 4.

Help! Poor BA, but a good MSc - Can I get into Oxbridge?

Why do another Master's? My BA grades aren't very good but my MSc grades are quite good (not excellent but good) and I got into a PhD in Cambridge (in natural sciences). I would wonder why you want to do a second Master's instead of either going for a PhD or finding a job. I have no idea what the chances for you to get in would be because I can imagine that will depend a lot on other factors such as direction of study, other applicants, funding etc. I think it's always best to be honest about things, so you could just explain your poor BA grades like you did here. Best of luck.

A tired rant.

Hi, sorry to hear that you have experienced the PhD research the way you did. Great to hear you are going to see this through though. I also think that if you would quit now, you might be reliefed for a bit but might then regret it. Look at the good date you have, try to find the motivation again for why you even did your experiments/research and try to implement suggested changes. Maybe ask someone external to look over your work. Good look, and hang in there!

health issue

I think this might be very common in higher degree courses/science. When I was nearing the end of my 2-year Master's, I finished the report for my second big project and after that, would only have to write a literature thesis (which had 7 weeks scheduled for it). I started but I noticed that I couldn't think any more. I had worked so much, that I really needed a rest. I called the GP and they suggested taking a week off. On that day, I thought 'What am I going to do for a whole week?' and was doubting if I should follow their advice. I did and I spent the week meeting up with friends, sleeping in, not thinking about my course and after that week, I felt refreshed and was ready to put in the last bit.

I am doing PhD research now and notice that the same thing is actually happening where I get a cold really easily. I am still trying to find a better work-private life balance; it's hard.

Good luck and I hope you will listen to you body. Apply for the extension and take a few weeks away from your project.

Shall I quit my PhD before I start?

It must be very difficult to decide what to do. When I was about to graduate from my 2-year Master programme, I wasn't sure what to do. Someone gave me the great advice to find a nice project abroad but which would be temporary. Which I did. I moved abroad for a year and decided to, during that time, apply for PhD positions. I am about to pass the one year mark of the PhD project I started after the one year project I did after my Master's and am experiencing some difficulties now which lead me to ask similar questions as you are. I will be nearing 30 when I finish, and even though I am convinced of the usefulnes of the skills I will learn during my project (and am learning at the moment), I lost the illusion that I can make a real contribution to science (which I had naively hoped) and am wondering if the hard work, many hours, stress it causes me, and lack of time/money to spend on hobbies/life are really worth it (a PhD stipend is not a lot when more than half goes to housing (which is just a bedroom as I can't afford any better)). I am also doubtful of my chances of finding a good job after I finish.

It sounds that if you feel that PhD research in your field is what you want to do, it might be worth going for it. You can get help to deal with anxiety and/or depression so this should not be the main reason not to go for it. These issues will pose a problem if you decide to look for an actual job as well, so better tackle them now than later. Doing PhD research is my decision, and if at some point I don't think it's worth it any longer, I can always quit. No one forces me to go into the deptartment every day, I want to. Good luck!

Lost, really don't know what to do and want to quit

Hej, stick to it! I have not read all posts in this topic but it seems I would try to talk to other people which I believe you have done?

I have a question, you mentioned a final examination? Where are you studying? I will start my PhD in the UK later this year and as I understood it, after the first introductory year one needs to write some sort of application (viva?) and then you do research for three years after which you write up. I have heard that often in the UK people stay on after defending to write a/some paper(s) without getting paid. Can anyone tell me if this is true and how people can afford do live without income for a few months?

Good luck finalising, please stay confident! Science is tricky and me and my colleagues like to tell eachother all the easy stuff has been done already, so only the tricky things left ;). Remember why you started the PhD: the hunger for new knowledge, becoming a specialist on your favourite topic, the excitement of great results, reading, writing, conferences, and quite some freedom in some cases as to how you organise your work-day. You can make it! You have gotten this far! If you don't get the supervision/support you need, try to get it somewhere else. You'll manage!

Living alone?

I am actually thinking how I want and can live during my PhD (which will start later this year). I have lived in a shared housing during undergraduate studies but also, later on, had my own space (which was tiny but it was all mine). I currently live with housemates since I moved to another country and the university did not help out with housing so I took the first thing I found I could afford. I must say I don't like it. My housemates are not very social and like to leave a mess every now and then. This experience taught me I really need to find my own place for PhD studies. I am 25 years old and don't want to put up with other people's shit. Obviously one housemate is not the other, and perhaps, since my PhD will be in yet another country, I might share in the beginning just to have something but I can't wait to have my own place which I can decorate the way I want, I can run around naked, cook at 4 am without bothering anyone with it and have peace and quiet.

I can see how I could turn into a hermit as some people here have mentioned. I think it's important to get out there, share a coffee or meal with friends (which are not colleagues) and get out of the circle that is house-lab/uni.

I would like to know if anyone can tell me something about housing in the UK. If anyone needs advice on housing in the Netherlands, please contact me.

Housing in a foreign country

Thanks for the reply.

I was not told anything about a temporary social security number. Is it a necessity to live in Sweden? When I registered as a student at the uni, I just gave my date of birth where Swedish people put their social security number.


Housing in a foreign country

Dear all, this is perhaps off topic, therefore I place this thread in this section. I found research project at Stockholm University. Since I am not Erasmus or PhD/PostDoc, the uni does not provide (temporary) housing for me. I have already posted messages on a forum of the campus close to the uni, asked the exchange office of the uni etc. But so far, without success.

Can anyone share their tips and tricks to finding a room/studio in a foreign country? I have never been to Stockholm and do not know anyone there yet, and also I do not speak Swedish yet.

Thanks in advance,

MSc dissertation: will I ever make it?

I am right now writing the report for my second Master Internship (7 months of research) and after that, I have 7 weeks for a literature review (on a completely unrelated topic). I am also doubting if this is the right thing for me, to what use it is etc. But I like science. I started my Bachelor's out of interest in biology and I am still very much interested. What put me down recently, is seeing the PhD students here (in Amsterdam) still living in shared houses for which they often pay quite a lot of money, I see post-docs looking for money/positions and then I wonder where I'll be in a couple of years. But on the other hand, I put effort in finding a research project in Stockholm (6 months, and yes I am on the lookout for a room, anyone?), so I have something very exciting to look forward to.
I did not loose a close family member during my studies but also faced personal/emotional difficulties. University does not stop, and at some point you need to pick yourself up and work hard to manage all. I think you have to ask yourself what you want to do when you get your degree and why you started your studies. My ex boyfriend at some point, after also experiencing deaths in the family, only finished his BSc so he would not have to pay money back to our government (part of study allowance turns into gift when you get a degree). He already was accepted in art school which he did want to finish. That, is a really shitty motivation and it cost him so much effort to finish.

I got a book called "how to publish in biomedicine", Jane Fraser. It has handy tips for writing. Also on-line you can find all sorts of pages describing what should be in which section of a paper, how to start, pitfalls etc.

Good luck, if you want it, you can do it. You managed to come this far. It'll just take effort, maybe sleepless nights, stress. But there are millions of others who go through the same thing and they also manage.