Overview of pm133

Overview

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Tuesday, 18 February 2020 at 12:03am
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page 1 of 77 recent posts

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
21-Jan-20, 23:30
edited about 4 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
sciencephd, several of my ex PhD colleagues have no first author papers and all of them had no issues getting postdoc positions in Russell Group universities across the UK. None of them were particularly gifted and none of them came from an RG uni so I wouldn't lose too much sleep over any of this.
Obviously a first author paper won't harm you but it's not the end of the world if you have good reasons for not having one. It is particularly difficult to get first authorship if you are a computational chemist working in a group for example unless you are either demonstrating the limits of a technique or testing a new method.

As with everything, it's about supply and demand. If your prospective postdoc position gains a lot of applications, you'll have some issues but there are plenty of academics in all universities who struggle to attract good candidates. Therein lies your opportunity and there are plenty of them.

Thread: Not sure if I'm making progress

posted
18-Jan-20, 10:42
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
No, I came up with the idea just after I finished.

I have been running my own businesses (a few different types) for many years now so the main skills I am lacking are all technical based.

Unless you have money behind you I would definitely recommend learning one core entrepeneurial topic at a time at the weekends during your PhD if you can find the time and energy.

Advice? Avoid business books and courses. People make business sound really difficult when actually it's the easiest principle in the world. Here's what I would do with your idea if I was in your position.

1) Develop your technical skills ASAP - coding, graphical design etc.
2) Create a growing range of applications now and start listing them on GITHUB. Make them free to download.
3) Start marketing yourself and your games. Find a compelling story linked to your prospective business and start posting videos, blogs, pictures all over social media linking back to your company or your GITHUB resource.
4) Build an audience using 3).
5) Sell to that audience only once you've created that audience, Otherwise you may as well shout at the clouds.
6) Try and do everything yourself. This saves money and is incredibly rewarding and empowering. The PhD should be teaching you how to be fully independent so use that learning.
7) Don't spend any money unless you need to. Ruthlessly protect your reserves.
8) Never EVER go to Dragons Den or anything like that unless you absolutely must. They are leeches.

Thread: Are there days where you don't do any work at all?

posted
17-Jan-20, 21:29
edited about 11 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Judging your productivity by time worked is not a good idea.
It's far better to set goals and keep an "achievements" book to help you remember how much you are doing.
List everything you do which pushes you along the path to your PhD award. As time goes by the granularity of your achievements should increase. I would record a note every time you finish a chapter or a full book for example.

Thread: Not sure if I'm making progress

posted
15-Jan-20, 18:10
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
After my PhD I jumped in to help run our 10 year old family business which we subsequently closed down as we wanted to try something different. I then setup another business, designed the website and an accounting system, bought stock and got everything online. Because I did everything myself this took a while. Once it was all up and running I handed it over to my daughters to run.

When I finished my PhD I had a ridiculously ambitious idea for a technical based business but I have some gaping maths and programming holes in my knowledge. I am therefore in the process of actively filling those holes before having a go at this new idea. Financially this is not an easy period but none of the alternatives such as academia, employment or freelancing appeal to me at all. I'll just keep plugging away until I can secure some income. No man's land is probably the best way to describe my situation but I am much happier despite the hopefully temporary lack of income.

Thread: Bad first masters, doing second one - okay to not mention the first at PhD?

posted
15-Jan-20, 17:59
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
If you focus on doing really well in your new Masters programme your old grades won't matter.
I won't harm you to mention it as long as you can show you've fixed whatever problems you had at that time.
I know people who did a Masters to fix a 3rd class honours degree and then went on to do a PhD.

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
11-Jan-20, 06:04
edited about 29 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Wanting to take a break from academia is understandable but you'll be giving up a £25k job for one at £14k when you come back to the PhD so bear that in mind.

If you go for industry you should try and find a job which gives you the skills you think you are missing.
PhD supervisors are less interested in you having this experience and more interested in your academic record and availability.

You can make this decision knowing it's going to make no difference to your chances of securing a PhD position a year or two down the road.

Thread: Anyone here use Linux?

posted
11-Jan-20, 05:40
edited about 12 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Jamie, what type of computations are you running on that home setup you showed us a picture of?
Is it biochem?
Does it run fast enough for it to be practical?

Thread: doubts about applying for a phd, any chemistry phd students here?

posted
08-Jan-20, 13:32
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
I've done plenty of both practical research lab Chemistry (almost 2 years between summer breaks and a years industrial synthesis placement) and theoretical Chemistry during my PhD so I can advise.

What would be the purpose of the year out in industry?
If it's to get lab experience I honestly wouldn't worry about that.
I'm not a big fan of doing a PhD without gaining a 1st or a very good 2:1 because having a solid theoretical background really is essential but that's just my own view. You should have few problems getting a position.

Personally, I think that if you really want to do a PhD you should go ahead and apply. If you agree to start in September you have a few months to fill any gaps in your knowledge and do some literature reviewing before you really get going.

Thread: PhD funding for NHS consultant already on substantive post.

posted
07-Jan-20, 07:01
edited about 28 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
I'm a bit confused here. What path is extremely hard/difficult once you reach a substantial consultant position?

Thread: first time meeting supervisors

posted
04-Jan-20, 21:39
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
It absolutely IS an interview and you should treat it as such.

You need to try to sort the nerves. You have those nerves because you have put these PhD supervisors on a pedestal and are desperate to impress them to the exclusion of all other considerations. Remember you are interviewing them too and good candidates are hard to find. Respect your own worth and value to them. Failure to do this gets students into trouble and there's no shortage of evidence for that on this forum.

Thread: Anyone here use Linux?

posted
04-Jan-20, 21:32
edited about 27 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
I used a MAC for my PhD but forgot that this could be a option.

A MAC would be a good way to go as a happy medium. You get all the security and flexibility of Linux with the stability and ease of use of Windows is you want it. Installing on a MAC is generally easier too without the need for sys admin skills. Performance-wise a MAC is exceptional for almost everything.

If I could afford it I would be using MACs with Linux PCs for servers.

Thread: Not sure if I'm making progress

posted
04-Jan-20, 16:47
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
The only person whose opinion matters, as regards your progress, is your supervisors.
Actually you need to be forming your own opinions on this as well. To do this, look at how many pages and references a typical thesis in your field contains. Now divide that down to see the average "per 3 months" amounts. Then compare with what you currently have and understand that you will need to re-write some of it and will gradually improve your speed and quality of output as you go. It's not an exact science but it will give you a feel for where you are. I would use that as evidence if your supervisor starts to be negative.

I have to say though that 5400 words is around half of a typical 12 month Masters thesis. I'd say you were well ahead of schedule. Your supervisor is wrong about being able to use your literature review in your thesis. You can't just simply invent another literature review. The problem here might be the ridiculous and time-wasting issue of "self-plagiarisation" but you get around that by simply re-wording it. That is what I did when I wrote up my papers into my thesis. I'm afraid that in academia you'll find yourself dealing with this sort of infuriating stupidity all the time. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of breathtaking idiocy which includes endless nonsense about the "importance" of "university league tables", "poster prizes", "journal impact factors" and "prestige". So glad that I am out of that system now :-D

Thread: PhD subject

posted
04-Jan-20, 16:35
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
It sounds to me like you are asking whether you should compromise your PhD ambitions to suit your employer's needs.

It also sounds like you are prepared to accept that your work supervisor has the final say on whether you do a PhD at all.

Is that really what you want to do? Do you really want to hand this much control of your life over to someone else who has no interest in what you want?

Is quitting your job and going full time on the PhD not an option for you?

Thread: Anyone here use Linux?

posted
04-Jan-20, 16:28
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
TQ, I have used Linux (Ubuntu) for quite a while now and would never go back to Windows. It has a firewall built in to it that you can switch on and you don't generally need to worry about having anti-virus packages installed as Linux is considerably safer than Windows.

A word of caution though. Don't assume you can install Linux on any machine. I would check online for the specific make and model because some manufacturers have switches to prevent Linux installation. This may be less of an issue today but I would certainly look into this. Lenovo machines specifically ring a bell. A couple of links below.

The final word of caution. Linux is absolutely brilliant. It's faster and safer than Windows. However when it does go wrong it REALLY goes wrong. You might find yourself needing to open a terminal window and type in some commands. For those with no system administrator experience this can be a nightmare and online forums are full of arrogant and dismissive "read the fucking manual" types. You don't need to be an expert but this generally isn't an operating system that our parents generation will ever embrace as fully as Windows.

Thread: Advice on weather to continue

posted
31-Dec-19, 21:58
edited about 15 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 2 months ago
Glad to hear you have put these worries behind you.
You are correct about Visa issues being a problem for non-EU students trying to get work in the EU. This was a problem 20 years ago when I was involved in recruitment at the company I was in and I wouldn't imagine that things have got much easier.

TQ, this is more likely to be the problem for your colleagues than the uni they worked at but obviously I can't be sure about individual cases. In my experience many CVs are either absolutely crap or don't really stand out so that might be a problem too. Add in that the jobs they apply for might be over subscribed. I think all of these have higher weighting than where you studied.
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