Overview of pm133

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Postgraduate Forum - new look coming soon!
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So my immediate thoughts are that there is no need for separate sub forums. There aren't enough posts to warrant that and it will make the forum look emptier than it already is.
That needs urgently fixed. If you don't change this immediately, you'll kill the forum.
Until you start to get a lot of posts, you should strongly consider having a single repository.

Secondly, you want a "show new posts since you last logged in" button.

Looks nice though overall.
Apologies if I've duplicated the thoughts of others. In a rush..... :-D

Applying to an advertised project or writing your own proposal?
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Can't add much more than rewt has just said.

The average brand new PhD student is simply not going to be effective at coming up with an idea worthy of a PhD. They lack the experience.
The best solution is to start them off with the broad terms of their project specified for them and then allow and encourage the student to gradually branch out after a year or two when they have the safety of a paper or two under their belt.

PhD funding lasts 3 years (ignoring the 1+3 thing where the first year is lectures and assigned mini projects). A new student could easily waste a year figuring out what to work on. Then they would have just 18 months of actual research work before taking the 6 months to write their thesis (it is unethical to expect a thesis to be written without any income). I don't think you can produce PhD standard work in 18 months.

By all means, by the end of the PhD, the student MUST be able to do their own thing but in my opinion, it is inefficient and unfair to throw a young person straight into the deep end on day 1 and personally I can't understand why the system would advocate that.

PhD haunted by Third class degree
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He asked me "how would you write some software to store all the information in this phone book?" He tossed the book in the air, I believe it reached a height of 3 feet above the table before crashing down loudly in front of me. I particularly remember the way he said "in your own time" and relaxed in his chair, feet on desk and theatrically thumbed through the magazine.

The whole interview was a nightmare. I couldn't answer any of his questions and after 20 minutes he interrupted me in mid sentence saying "Yeeeeeeees, I THINK we should stop at this point, we're clearly not getting anywhere". I will never forget his last words as he showed me out of the door. He said "Hang on. Here, have a copy of our newsletter". I said no thanks.
I've never been more embarassed professionally in my whole life.

Honestly, I just wouldn't tolerate being treated like that now and would terminate the interview but I was young at the time. I'm glad I went through it because it's a great story. The funniest things to look back on are always those where you have been made to look daft. Also, from that day onwards I learnt to interview the interviewer. That was a massive change. There's nothing more liberating than terminating an interview early because you've realised the job or the environment doesn't fit what you are looking for.

Anyway, I wasn't joking about that book. I have already started writing it. Just got to get round to finishing it. It's full of little stories like that one :-D

PhD haunted by Third class degree
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Quote From rewt:
It is similar to how no-one asks about secondary school grades after a stage


I would agree with this but funnily enough I had an interview for a small company many years ago. My CV had my degree and my Highers results from school. I also had quite a few years of experience. The owner of the company interviewed me and said "Erm I noticed your GCSE results are not on your CV". I laughed out loud and then realised he was serious about wanting to know what they were. No other company ever asked about anything to do with my degree or my schooling. It was all about what experience I had.

Employers can be weird sometimes during interviews. One of them tossed a Yellow Pages at me, turned sideways and opened up and starting reading a magazine in the middle of asking me a question once.

So glad I don't have to tolerate this sort of thing anymore. I should write a book....... :-D

PhD haunted by Third class degree
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You certainly don't want to be feeling ashamed. It's all part of your life's journey and without hiccups there is no experience gained and no life lived. Anyone who judges you as a person because of a degree classification is an idiot and not worth worrying about.

I still don't see why you need to send them anything other than your Masters and PhD certificates and then let them ask you for the other one.

Is it possible to submit for a PhD with a solid Research Masters Thesis?
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Because you have 3 papers, I would be interested in chancing my arm on this if I was you.
I would look into PhD by publication and start asking questions.

I am pretty sure you'll fail but you have nothing to lose.

In terms of papers, you've done well but obviously I don't know whether you meet the criteria for independence of work and ideas but you are in a good place to race through a 3 year PhD (2.5 years works and 6 months research) if you can replicate that form.

PhD haunted by Third class degree
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Firstly, you gained two Masters which will trump your 3rd. You have then added a PhD which trumps the lot.

Secondly, the mental health thing should not be mentioned at all. It's a massive stigma everywhere and you're going to face a lifetime of justification and predjudice if you mention it.
You should make something up such as getting the 3rd because it took you a little while longer to work out how to study properly or whatever and that you've now demonstrably fixed those issues with your further qualifications.

Do I have a chance for PhD?
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I certainly wouldn't advise doing a PhD in the UK or Europe without having either a very good Honours or Masters degree in a related field first (ideally 1st class or distinction but many with a 2:1 or merit succeed too). Your masters in Project Management is useful but I can't imagine it will compensate fully. I think the US might be different although their PhDs are longer to compensate.

I wouldn't personally accept you but I'm not a supervisor.

Do I have a chance for PhD?
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When you say a Bachelors degree do you mean an ordinary degree or an honours degree?
Are you considering applying to the US?

In terms of what skills you will need, presumably you will using AI or some form of Machine Learning.
You'll therefore need to have a good grasp of Linear Algebra (see the 2 sets of 35-ish Gilbert Strang MIT lectures free on Youtube), Statistics and Probability, Calculus to Advanced Stroud level or equivalent and Optimisation. I would suggest a good grasp of discrete maths with algorithms as well. Python is a good choice and there are books on AI and ML using Python I think, so these may be helpful.

8 years is a long time away from your degree so you might need a refresher period to go back over the basics.

My PhD advisor is also a provost
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I would ask for a second supervisor who could provide you with extra support if needed.
That way you get the best of both worlds.

I only saw my supervisor once every 6-8 weeks and towards the end I didn't really need that either. That lack f supervisor contact time is reasonably normal. Meeting once a week would be a little suffocating for me and if they were expecting once a day I'd be working from home :-D

Reviewing a paper - no line numbers
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Your text editor might be able to add those line numbers for you.
Otherwise I'd send it back to the editor to get them added.

Inadequate research ecosystem
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You seem to have become bogged down in issues which don't concern you in the slightest, such as the professionalism of your supervisor and fellow PhD students. What business is it of yours if your supervisor is writing a paper for another student?

My strong advice is that you knuckle down and focus on your own work and stop worrying about what other people are or are not doing. Getting your PhD and then getting a permanent academic post is going to be hard enough without all this unnecessary baggage.

Once you get your own career sorted out, you can run your group in whatever way you want.

to continue phd in my current institution or not
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Yeah, I know it's difficult but you need to get over your demotivation and learn to give them what they are asking from you.
Once you do that, you might find the abuse goes away.

I am more concerned about your reponse to rewt.

You now appear to be expanding your circle of blame to including your fellow students for not helping you. I have to tell you that if I was a fellow PhD student struggling with my own work and heard that you were complaining that you were failing because I wasn't helping you, we would be having a very intense conversation right now about your personal responsibility obligations.

I know this is hard to hear but I am convinced that the answer to all your problems lies in your own hands. This is a positive thing because you don't need to be looking to others for your own success.

How to proceed with major revisions?
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Beware of merely submitting elsewhere without making the changes requested.
You might end up with the same reviewer again.
It happened with a paper I worked on in a collaboration.
The paper got rejected because of unsupportable claims the main author made about my part of the work
He ignored my suggested changes and submitted anyway.
Got it rejected from journal A after months of waiting because of my work as expected.
Rather than talk to me he submitted it unchanged to a second journal amd it landed of the desk of the same reviewer.
I wish I had kept the email response from that reviewer.
At this point, the first author dropped this crap on my desk and asked me to fix it.

I made the changes I had first suggested before we even submitted, apologised profusely to the reviewer and we got it accepted straight away.
This is a prime example of why I LOATHE working in teams where I am not in charge. Reviewers need to be handled with kid gloves and I seem to have developed a knack of cutting through their abuse and ticking their checklist off. That first author was just an arrogant idiot.

to continue phd in my current institution or not
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OK so I have seen this before and I think I can see the problem. I had a colleague who had to wait more than 2 years for her papers to be reviewed by our supervisor whilst I never had to wait more than a week. Her problem is very similar to what you have described and here are my thoughts.

You are aware that you are expected to take implicit advice but you are digging your heels in that it's up to them to provide explicit advice. Worse still, you've persuaded yourself that the main supervisor is influencing the second supervisor.

When they highlight a problem in the manuscript they expect you to check the rest of the paper. That is perfectly reasonable and the fact that you are not doing this over such a long period of time and over what sounds like 3 full papers is probably frustrating the hell out of them although I am making no excuses for them verbally abusing you.

This is the root cause of the problem I think and if I am right, there's simply no point moving to another PhD program because you'll have exactly the same problem. I might be wrong, but it sounds like you are expecting others to teach you the right way to do things. If you are, this is going to be fatal for your chances of success until you change.