Signup date: 08 Jan 2016 at 12:02am
Last login: 30 Mar 2021 at 8:40pm
Post count: 1246
You don't need to be a woman to understand how a sexual predator acts and this man is definitely crossing a line. He's also doing it in a way that you doubt yourself that it's actually happening. That's classic predator behaviour. Right now he's looking to see how you will react before he commits himself.
You need to establish some distance at this point. Keep things professional rather than friendly and try to avoid being in his presence alone.
I would approach the university support services for some confidential advice.
Be assured though that you are being wronged here.
Your PhD won't count towards your pension as it is untaxed income and you crucially pay no NI on this. You don't declare it at all on your tax returns.
What you could do is register as self employed and pay voluntary NI contributions (about £160 per year) which covers a full year's contributions for you. That's what I did.
As for your PhD subject. I'd expect a Zoology or Science based PhD position will require statistics so avoiding maths might be an issue.
Good luck with this.
Personally, I would flat out refuse to do a mandatory 60 hour week and I would have stated that during the PhD interview. I occasionally have worked more hours but I wouldn't allow anyone to mandate anything above a 40 hour week maximum. I always asked this question during interviews to avoid the sort of situation you are in.
In your situation now, I'd simply ignore that request. As others say, what can they do?
I'd also completely ignore the "who's got the hairiest chest" competition between your co-workers about who works the longest hours. It's their own health and happiness they are sacrificing.
This is a lesson for you in how to care less about what others think of you (within reason). You don't want to be a dick about this but you also have more things to consider than allowing others to make your life intolerable.
If you feel like this in the first week then that's a pretty clear sign that the PhD process is not for you. I do understand the arguments from other posters above but I think this simply won't help you at this stage. It would be different had you been 2 years into your PhD and struggling.
I wouldn't worry about the university department. They will see a lot of people in your position. The funding will be passed to someone else.
As a separate issue, you probably want to look into getting support for your mental health issues. Your GP will help.
CanIStopNow, whatever you decide to do, it's important that you do it for yourself and your own reasons. Obviously it's shame you want to stop at this late stage but honestly, you should not feel guilt or pressure from anyone else to complete.
I would also add that it doesn't matter whether you want to go into academia or not. I had no real intention of doing that either. For me it was solely about reaching the pinnacle of what our country's education system can offer. I'll never use the actual stuff from my thesis but that was never the point.
The real risk for you is that you make a snap decision which you end up regretting.
One option you have is that you could ask to take a formal 12 month break and find a job in the meantime. That would give you space to think.
Do you need to make your final decision now?
It wasn't expected but I had two full summers of research experience and also had a year of industrial experience as part of my degree and that was pure research within a company.
It also helped that I did my PhD with my undergraduate mentor.
You don't typically need research experience in the UK but it won't harm you if you have some. I can't speak for other countries.
My supervisor and I always preferred to go through changes face to face even if he had added notes to my paper.
Any advice would be general rather than "write this specific sentence". He might suggest a phrase but he always left it to me to work out the details. He also wouldn't highlight the same error twice. The expectation was that if he raised an issue, I'd check the remainder of the document for the same type of error.
If I disagreed with some advice I would raise that and present my case but these reviews were always done in a collegiate manner and actually it was a brilliant working relationship.
It sounds like your relationship with your supervisor is not balanced if you are unsure how to approach issues like the one you describe. Are they telling you what to do or suggesting what you should do? It absolutely should be the latter but all too often ends up being the former.
It's clear that you want an environment where you can progress intellectually.
Firstly, I would stop caring what other people might think about you being lucky to have a job right now. Their opinions are irrelevant and changing how you think about this might be a good first step for you. You need a clear head to consider your options.
You have a few options. Either find a new job allowing progression (but your lack of a PhD might be an issue) or get an industrial PhD (difficult to find but they are definitely out there). There is a name for these types of PhD. Someone else might be able to remember. The other option is the PhD but the issue with any PhD is whether you can get the type of work you want afterwards. Another option is to take a PhD with the aim of starting your own company afterwards. This is a much overlooked avenue but might be worth a thought.
I would urge you to get your mental health sorted before you start a PhD.
Well this is a bit weird.
Both my daughters are trying to do the same thing and we were discussing it last night.
I told them to contact either the SQA or AQA for advice on certified exam centres etc. and they'll be making the calls on Monday. Happy to post back with the advice they receive.
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