Overview of pm133

Overview

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Friday, 11 October 2019 at 10:31am
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page 1 of 73 recent posts

Thread: Lab / group size

posted
15-Sep-19, 23:02
edited about 22 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 month 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
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 month 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 month 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 month 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 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 2 months 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.

Thread: PhD has made me nuts!!

posted
27-Aug-19, 20:51
edited about 38 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Dr_Crabby:
Quote From pm133:

As for you quitting, maybe you should make the decision to do so but don't tell anyone for 2 months.
Then see how you feel. Honestly if you hate the process, don't care about the certificate, don't want to use the qualification and it's affecting your health and your relationships to this degree then I'm struggling to see the value in continuing. Alternatively, you could list 3 good reasons to put yourself through this absolute hell. Not wanting to feel a failure is not a reason.


I know it seems absolutely crazy to continue and I'm not fussed about people knowing I've quit, none of them have been in my situation so they can keep their opinions to themselves.

I just feel that to quit now, so close to what could potentially be the last hurdle would be a bad decision and would mean the past few years of putting myself through hell would all have been for nothing. Plus I am really excited about the findings, my external examiner said my findings have been found before (in dogs) so are not novel but she can go to hell because dogs don't count lol.

I am considering making an appointment with my GP but I know he will only offer me anti-depressants and I don't want that.


Tell your GP you don't want antidepressants and you will be offered alternatives.
Don't delay making the appointment thinking this would be a problem.
It might take a few weeks to get this setup so I would recommend that you go ahead with that. At least for your family if not for yourself. This must be pretty hard on them.

Thread: PhD has made me nuts!!

posted
26-Aug-19, 21:33
edited about 16 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
I finished just over two years ago.
I went into it for very specific reasons and I got out of it what I wanted. It was definitely worth it but I am having to cope with the aftermath which is taking longer than I thought it would.
If I was to go back I'd still do one but I would do it differently. I'd certainly resist the temptation to get as many papers out and would focus more on taking bigger risks after I got the first 2 or 3 published.

As for you quitting, maybe you should make the decision to do so but don't tell anyone for 2 months.
Then see how you feel. Honestly if you hate the process, don't care about the certificate, don't want to use the qualification and it's affecting your health and your relationships to this degree then I'm struggling to see the value in continuing. Alternatively, you could list 3 good reasons to put yourself through this absolute hell. Not wanting to feel a failure is not a reason.

Thread: PhD has made me nuts!!

posted
26-Aug-19, 17:36
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Just looked at photo of myself compared to one taken at the start of my PhD.
In 6 years, all colour in my hair has gone and I've lost about 4 stone.
I look like I've aged about 15 years.

The feeling of not being good enough and additionally being overqualified (even though I never wanted to be an employee or an academic anyway) didn't go away. It actually got worse and has remained so.

I also feel that stress level has not gone away. I seem to go from 0 to 100mph in seconds. I was always pretty spiky but I can nip at those around me for literally no real reason other than my stress tank being so full that any pressure tips me over the edge. To this day I won't tolerate time pressures and actively seek to avoid them.

I couldn't look at any of my PhD level work until about a couple of weeks ago when I started to open a couple of technical books related to it. So far it's OK but I can feel the pressure in the background.

The physical illness which hit me at the end of the process is still with me more than 2 years later as has the constant insomnia. If I sleep overnight I feel great. If I don't I will be physically ill until I get my cycle back again. I get about 2 good nights of sleep per month. That will give you an idea of how often I feel dreadful.

I am pretty highly motivated and I believe in getting on with things rather than wallowing in self pity and can still get things done but I'd be lying if I said that the PhD didn't change me and that I'd fully recovered. I should also say that this is the state I got into despite my PhD going very well with no major problems. If things had gone badly, I'm not sure I would have finished.

Thread: Summer Thesis Submission

posted
23-Aug-19, 17:49
edited about 4 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From sirL101:
Quote From pm133:
There is no standard timescale.
A friend of mine waited 7 months from submission.
My wait was either 6 or 7 weeks.
It took my own uni about 3 to 4 weeks to post my thesis to the external.
This phase was the worst part of my PhD.


What time of the year did you submit yours?

I submitted at the end of March and my viva was in the middle of May.
My friend submitted in August and his viva was the following April I think.
I have seen other students in my old group having their vivas at all times during the year.
The quickest I have seen was a month gap from submission to viva.

The difficulty is getting your external and internal in a room at the same time.

Thread: Summer Thesis Submission

posted
22-Aug-19, 20:23
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
There is no standard timescale.
A friend of mine waited 7 months from submission.
My wait was either 6 or 7 weeks.
It took my own uni about 3 to 4 weeks to post my thesis to the external.
This phase was the worst part of my PhD.
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