Overview of pm133

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Thursday, 19 September 2019 at 1:16pm
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Thread: Examiners judging my research on the wrong elements?

posted
19-Sep-19, 13:18
by pm133
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posted about 3 days ago
I'm not sure I understand the original post.
It is perfectly reasonable to be tested on both your work and the background theory behind it.
The idea is to prove that you know what you are doing, why you are doing it, that it is actually you doing the work and that there is sufficient work being done.
This seems fair to me.

Thread: Efficient Ways to Encourage/Comfort, Please help

posted
18-Sep-19, 15:43
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
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posted about 4 days ago
Quote From PHDpartner:
My partner of many years is in crisis: fourth year on the job market and it's looking grim. Seeking advice: what are the good way to support? What worked for you? Looking for what works (not practical advice as that's covered) My partner is desperate and I am running out of words. Thank you in advance!


Is your partner asking for support or are you giving it without being asked?
There are probably no words which will help if support is being given without being asked for.
From personal experience I prefer to sort things out myself. If my wife or anyone else constantly brought up my situation without me asking it would make things immeasurably worse and would probably ruin the relationship.
So my advice is to ask yourself whether you need to maybe say less to them and give them space to work things out for themselves.
I have to admit though that at 4 years it's going to be time to move on.

Thread: A bit of advice please (I am a newbie)

posted
18-Sep-19, 15:34
edited about 17 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 4 days ago
Finishing a Part Time PhD in less than 6 years is very ambitious.
I wouldn't expect 4 years to be achieveable at all and certainly not at the 5-10 hours per week that eng77 is talking about. Most PhD students struggle to finish a full time PhD in 4 years.

Happy to be corrected on either point but I think your expectations are a bit high in terms of duration. Realistically the PhD will consume almost every spare moment you have outside of your part time job.

Your age is definitely not an issue in the UK. I was almost 40 when I started my undergraduate degree and 48 when I finished the PhD.

I can't comment on costs unfortunately.

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
18-Sep-19, 15:28
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 days ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I don't agree - I've had a collaboration before which then led to a job offer (postdoc) - in my experience it's a great way to get to know whether you would want to work with / for someone in the long term or not.


I'm actually surprised to hear this. I genuinely thought this would be a strange tactic but obviously if you have direct experience of this working then maybe that is the right path for you to go down.

Thread: PhD Acceptance

posted
18-Sep-19, 14:58
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 days ago
Agree with TQ and eng77.
I would not encourage anyone with a 2:2 to undertake a PhD but your Masters dissertation will definitely trump that and you should be fine.

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
15-Sep-19, 23:02
edited about 22 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Ooh, my reply to you has actually given me an idea...! I guess I could start a collaboration with them and see how that goes and whether I would actually want to do a postdoc with them... now there's an idea!


A collaboration would be a peer to peer relationship.
You would then be asking a peer to employ you.
That sounds like an odd strategy to me although I can see why you are thinking about it.

If this was me, I would either interview them and take a chance or I would attempt to bypass the entire thing by trying for my own funding on an idea which was exciting and ambitious.

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
14-Sep-19, 14:17
edited about 3 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 1 week ago
I think your original question made sense. Reading back, I just managed to completely misunderstand it. I was also partly answering rewt's point.

OK I'll have another go.
I can't see how the size of the group would tell you that.
The only way to know is to interview the supervisor directly as though you were hiring them for the job.
Think of all the bad scenarios you want to avoid and then ask a question to directly find out if that's what you'd face.
I would ask directly what their expectations were of me and others in the lab. I'd use that to start digging as deeply as possible. For example, is this person expecting a certain number of publications per year, to publish only in certain impact factor journals, etc. If any of those questions were answered with numbers I'd stop the interview and walk away because for me that would cross two red lines.

Other than interviewing them personally, I can't think of any other way of finding out if they are a good match for you. Most people don't do this because they are so desperate not to be rejected. That leads to the sort of trouble which could have been easily avoided. I certainly would never trust the opinion of another student or postdoc.

Thread: Quitting a Phd that I already accepted

posted
13-Sep-19, 21:16
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Sandrett:
Hello guys, I just want to tell you that I refused the Marie Curie position. I hope this will be the right choice, in this moment I feel really strange but I think I will be happy in the lab I'm going to join. I'm a bit afraid that I won't have all the doors opened when I'll finish with this, but maybe if I do a good job I will still have good chances when I'll be done.


The main thing is that you took this into account before making your decision.
Eng77 was entirely wrong to tell you to "be grateful". You owe nobody anything and should do whatever you feel is best for you. Others may well have given their right arm to be offered that opportunity but that is their problem not yours. You can't spend your life toning down your ambition because others out there fail to achieve theirs. You earned the right to turn that position down. They did not. Their problem, not yours.
Good luck on your decision. I think you have done the right thing for the right reasons.

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
13-Sep-19, 21:09
edited about 1 second later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
I can't see how the size of the group would make any difference.
I would advise you to think about what kind of career you want and then select the route which best suits that.
It sounds to me that you are looking at the wrong metrics to make a good decision in that respect.
For example, your supervisor's publication record and that of his previous students isn't helpful. It's going to be entirely down to you now. You might find you get lots of papers out or none, regardless of their previous output. There's no correlation between the two but you appear to be looking for and expecting some.
As for impact factors, you already know my feelings on that score :-D

Thread: Reading: How many pages?

posted
13-Sep-19, 00:43
edited about 11 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 week ago
It really doesn't help to focus on hours spent reading either.
If your hour is spent doing low quality things then that doesn't get you anywhere either.
You need to focus on high quality more than anything else. There are no other metrics which will help.

Thread: New PhD - to quit or not to quit?

posted
05-Sep-19, 20:09
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
dummythings, you asked for brutal feedback and here it is.

Your attitude is appalling.

You mention that you graduated from a Russell Group university. Presumably you mentioned this because you feel that this is something special? Unless you came from Oxford or Cambridge you have come from nowhere special. There is a sense of entitlement from your post which should be a serious concern to you if you wish to be successful at anything.

That PI you have just discredited has a string of published material and a full time permanent job which she undoubtedly has had to fight very hard to get. I am presuming you have neither of these things and so it's very odd that you feel capable of having a go at her career choices.

Let me give you some advice. Lose the attitude immediately. Forget league tables and impact factors, get your arse in gear and start proving your worth. The clock is ticking on your PhD already and you appear to have spent most of the first week engaged in idle gossip and social status nonsense. Finally, you appear to be easily manipulated. Stop believing everything your idiotic lab colleagues say, keep your counsel and start making up your own mind about things.

If you were in my lab, I'd be taking you for a coffee and a very serious chat about your attitude. I'd be failing you if I didn't at least try and talk some sense into you.

You did ask for brutal and honest....

Thread: Reading: How many pages?

posted
05-Sep-19, 19:40
edited about 13 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
It's not a "boring" measurement. It's an almost useless measurement which can de-rail your PhD.
By all means go your own way on this but you should exercise caution.

Thread: problem with a co-advisor

posted
04-Sep-19, 14:48
edited about 11 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
I had this problem too. My solution was to stop asking that person for help because they would have a solution on my desk by morning.
I kept my progress to myself, under-reported what I was doing and kept communications to a minimum. Any questions were kept vague and I stopped revealing my plans for the week or month ahead. I also talked to others in their presence about unrelated work to send a message that I had other issues. The co-supervisor lost interest pretty quickly.

Try to figure out why the co-sup is doing this. Boredom with their own work? They see a chance of getting a quick paper? They use you as a chance to deflect from difficulties in their own work? Knowing this will help you deal with the problem.

Thread: Reading: How many pages?

posted
04-Sep-19, 14:41
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Talking about how many pages to read per day reminds me of the discussion about how many hours to work per week.
Neither is a particularly helpful metric and leads to a box ticking mentality. This in turn gets you absolutely nowhere fast.

You should identify more meaningful task-based metrics. i.e. Mastering a particular programming language etc.
Time-based metrics are the root of all evil in my experience. Setting them is the easiest way to suck the life from anything you do, turning enjoyment into a grade A chore.

Thread: Is this an advisor "red flag"?

posted
31-Aug-19, 12:31
edited about 26 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 weeks ago
Your last two sentences sum up the problem here.
That sounds like a huge number of emails for you to be sending.
A PhD is completely different from industry and you would be expected to be more independent.
To give an example, I met with my supervisor once every 6 to 8 weeks for about 3 hours with only a single email summarising my progress and to book him for a chat. He didn't expect to hear from me anymore than that and if it had been up to me I'd have kept our meetings to once every 6 months and only when I needed it.

I don't think I ever got a response to an email unless I was setting up a meeting or asking him a rare direct question.
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