Overview of pm133

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Tuesday, 19 November 2019 at 10:45pm
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Thread: failing before the PhD

posted
19-Nov-19, 22:50
edited about 29 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 22 hours ago
I'm struggling to understand why they told you that you could not fail the theoretical part of your PhD. Having a demonstrable understanding of the theoretical work underpinning your research is absolutely crucial. You cannot and should not pass without having that.

Who told you that you "could not fail this part" and do you have that in writing?

Thread: Post doc tips ?

posted
19-Nov-19, 22:46
by pm133
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posted about 22 hours ago
Start as you mean to go on.
Sit down with your supervisor at the earliest possible opportunity and ask exactly what they expect of you.
To be honest, this should be done at interview stage and you should already know this. It's easily fixed however.
No other advice is possible because every supervisor is different and you risk stepping on toes or pissing people off.

Thread: Bewildered and confused by supervisor

posted
15-Nov-19, 01:00
edited about 3 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 5 days ago
TQ, that monologue directly followed the OP rejecting the advice from their supervisor regarding their approach to paper writing.

I'd also like to hear a bit more about how that prior conversation went to see if some understanding of the monologue can be gained. A bit more detail about exactly what the supervisor said would also help. I think that's at the heart of the problem the OP is facing and it's the bit I don't think we are getting the full story on because nothing from the original post justifies such a negative monologue unless the supervisor detected and was trying to sort out a negative, defensive attitude from the OP. Was it frustration from the supervisor?

I think we're all guessing at this stage.

I agree with having a supervisor who meets your needs and I know this caused you some considerable trouble. There is a fine line between being supportive and being expected to critique incomplete work. That last bit would be an absolute red line for me. If I was a supervisor I wouldn't entertain this at all.

Thread: Bewildered and confused by supervisor

posted
14-Nov-19, 14:53
edited about 4 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 6 days ago
rewt, even when you know exactly what you want and have your shit together and both parties are onboard, you can still have these niggly issues at the start of any relationship.

During my interview, I thought I had sorted this all out with my supervisor before day one but then I found myself panicking 5 weeks in when a calculation failed and I didn't know where to start. I remember emailing him the log file and being in his office for a chat, wondering why he kept giving general advice instead of just opening the damn file, reading the error code and telling me what was wrong. Then I remembered our discussion at the interview where we both established that this PhD was mine alone, that this is what I asked for from him (to keep out of my way as much as possible) and that this is what he thought would best help me for the future and I burst out laughing at being so daft.

I was a bit embarrassed after that but I didn't repeat the error.
It was a bit like cockily announcing to your parents that you don't need any help with your new home. You're an adult now. And then 20 minutes after taking possession of the property, you're knocking on their door asking for milk because you don't know the area but the supermarket could be easily found with the internet and a bit of work on your part.

It's just important that if this is the OPs problem that they correct it immediately.

I miss the early days of my PhD. :-(

Thread: Bewildered and confused by supervisor

posted
14-Nov-19, 13:17
by pm133
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posted about 6 days ago
I'm not sure we're getting the full story here.

I might be reading this wrong but the problem as I understand it from your post seems to be that you are taking incomplete work, in the form of a partially written paper, to your supervisor and asking for feedback. It sounds to me like he wants you to complete your research and your paper to the extent that you believe it is as good as needs be prior to publishing before seeking his feedback. Anything else is getting them to do your job for you. You also allude to this later on as regards the monthly meetings where you were told to come back only when you had something tangible to show. This is the red flag for me from what you've written.

Unfortunately it sounds like your response to this request was negative and defensive (not sure I understand your written music reference).I wonder if this provoked criticism of your ability (or attitude?).

I might be wrong here but if I was you, I'd clarify if this is the issue. If it is, then it's easily fixed by you only going to him with complete work. You can also ease the tension between you by saying you misunderstood the criticism you were receiving.

Thread: Campus Closure.

posted
12-Nov-19, 15:25
by pm133
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posted about 1 week ago
It might be a solution rather than a problem because you should be able to quickly find someone else to supervise you. Nobody is going to turn down a few years of fees. Just a shame you have to worry about this sort of thing at such an early stage.

Thread: Weird question about potential collaboration / etiquette etc

posted
12-Nov-19, 15:22
by pm133
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posted about 1 week ago
You are probably overthinking this a bit but I have learned not to trust anyone in academia so you are right to be at least aware of the potential for problems up front.

To protect yourself I would be very clear about what specific questions I wanted to ask and to limit that number.
You also have a chance to network with someone who could be a potential future collaborator. From that perspective I would focus on developing the relationship more generally.

If you are put on the spot tell him you will seek clarification from your supervisor.

Sounds very positive at this stage though.

Thread: Campus Closure.

posted
11-Nov-19, 13:09
by pm133
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posted about 1 week ago
To be honest, I'm surprised that this situation doesn't happen more often as quite a few universities are flirting with financial disaster.

Unfortunately I would expect your supervisor is probably more worried about their own problems right
now so that response doesn't surprise me.

Does the funding belong to you or the university? You might be able to switch it to a new supervisor at another institute.

Is there not a Universities commission or council or something that you could contact?

Thread: I a m in need of advice

posted
11-Nov-19, 13:04
edited about 28 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 week ago
I would suggest that it is very rare to fail a viva if you have published work.
It can happen though.

In the viva you need to demonstrate that you have undertaken sufficient quality and quantity of work and yo must also demonstrate that this work is your own. Do both of those and I'd be very surprised if you failed.

Thread: Thesis as collection of articles

posted
05-Nov-19, 05:54
by pm133
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Same here. All my thesis chapters were from my published works with the exception of a theoretical background chapter.
I rephrased each paper to avoid any nonsense over "self plagiarism".

Thread: PhD with 2:2 MChem possible?

posted
26-Oct-19, 13:31
edited about 4 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Jamie, my advice was directed towards the original poster and was given in good faith.
What is not helpful is people like you jumping in with unwarranted personal attacks like you did in that first sentence.
We are not high school children so please cut it out.

For the benefit of doubt, I mentioned my 2:2 to demonstrate that I know what I am talking about because I have actually been in their shoes and also to show one of the ways to get around and fix a low grade and then succeed at PhD level. Nothing to do with inadequacy at all. That was a ridiculous interpretation of my advice.

Thread: PhD with 2:2 MChem possible?

posted
25-Oct-19, 14:17
edited about 3 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 3 weeks ago

If you said that people do get into PhDs with 2:2s, I suppose you know of some examples? Any in STEM? And why would you not recommend it? In my case I did fine on my research projects but screwed up on exams in 1st sem 4th year, which is what sunk my grades.


Yes I know of at least 2 or 3 in the department I was studying at alone. All of them had 2:2 grades and all were in STEM.
Two of them did not graduate with a PhD.

The reason I would not recommend it is that with a 2:2, you have not developed the theoretical background or discipline on which to found your PhD. A PhD is not just about being able to cope with research projects. It's about developing a deep understanding of what you are doing and why. In 9 months you'll have to demonstrate that theoretical underpinning in a VIVA and if you fail it your PhD could be over before it even starts. How confident do you feel that you can correct this background knowledge gap in just 9 months in addition to demonstrating sufficient lab progress to warrant keeping you on the programme? That's what you've got to ask yourself.

As for getting places with a 2:2, most funded PhD positions probably only attract a few applicants unless the researcher is particularly famous (unlikely) or you are talking about Oxford or Cambridge. The minimum 2:1 or 1st restriction is not really a restriction. If you are the only candidate they will definitely make an exception rather than hand the funding money back.

Bear in mind, this is only my opinion. I was in the same boat. Got a 2:2 first time round and went back and upped it to a 1st before going for the PhD. I couldn't have made it without fixing my degree knowledge first. You need to decide for yourself.

Thread: PhD with 2:2 MChem possible?

posted
24-Oct-19, 11:26
edited about 9 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 3 weeks ago
You should be considering whether a 2:2 is a sufficient baseline for a PhD rather than worrying about being accepted for a position.
In my opinion, you shouldn't be thinking about a PhD unless you have a 1st or a very good 2:1.
Having said that, people do get into PhD funded positions with 2:2 grades. I just wouldn't recommend it.

Thread: Viva Questions...

posted
11-Oct-19, 10:31
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Honestly, if this is what you end up being asked I would suggest that you've passed.
They should be asking serious questions about your research, not faffing about with nonsense about "how you've personally grown as a researcher".
I would have played all of those questions with a straight bat and one sentence answers.

Not one of them is a good question to be asking in a viva other than to perhaps relax you at the start. I would be seriously annoyed at being asked them after 3 years of working my butt off.

Thread: Urgent advice on PhD offers needed! Should I accept my Australian DTP offer?!

posted
10-Oct-19, 06:16
edited about 42 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
It's not quite as bad as that rewt. :-D

You will go through incredible difficulties at times meadyorca, and you need to be doing something you feel an affinity for or you might not get through it.
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