Overview of pm133

Overview

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pm133
Friday, 8 January 2016 at 12:02am
Thursday, 21 March 2019 at 7:35pm
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page 1 of 66 recent posts

Thread: Anyone feels like they are doing everything wrong?

posted
11-Feb-19, 19:42
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
PaperOrPerish,
Mistakes are part of daily life.
How many years have you been in academia and are you getting results commensurate with that number of years experience?

Thread: Working PT alongside EPSRC funded FT PhD?

posted
11-Feb-19, 12:22
edited about 19 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
There is absolutely no guarantee that having a PhD will boost your lifetime earnings.

Thread: Pregnancy during PhD: dealing with chemicals and advisor

posted
09-Feb-19, 13:21
edited about 3 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
I'm not sure that it will be much comfort to the OP to say that a H&S risk assessment said the lab was fine if something happens to her baby because she followed that advice.
For a start it's worth judging the calibre of university employee who is making that judgment.
I wouldn't trust anyone other than the parents to make a judgment when it comes to workplace safety.

If you are working in a chemical lab you are exposed to the potential for failing or badly maintained fumehood filters and the cleanliness of your fellow workers. I have worked in many chemical labs and I have never seen one which didn't have filthy glassware everywhere - most of it outside the fumehood. You can control some things in life but you cannot control the behaviour of others.

My advice to the OP stands. You MUST put your baby first because nobody else will prioritise it. Take no risks with chemical labs.

We are only talking about a few months of pregnancy here. She can always return to the lab at a later date. It's not worth the risk IMO.

Thread: Pregnancy during PhD: dealing with chemicals and advisor

posted
08-Feb-19, 18:42
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
There will be risks to your baby if you continue working in a lab-based environment. You need to stop worrying about tip-toeing around your supervisor and address this head on immediately and then you need to drive this forwards regardless of what your supervisor wants or thinks.
You don't have a choice I'm afraid.

Thread: Weird Interview, is it common in academia?

posted
07-Feb-19, 14:41
edited about 45 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
monkia,

In my opinion, you need to stop.
You are quite clearly not in a good enough mental state to succeed through a 4 year PhD at this moment in time and you are on the verge of making a disastrous mistake. A PhD breaks the strongest amongst us and you are already completely broken.

You should consider taking a job for a few years until your health has been sorted and then try again. You have to know when to stop.

Thread: Not sure if I should transfer?

posted
06-Feb-19, 20:06
edited about 14 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
koopa_beach.

As long as I have breath in my body, I will bang the drum about this.
Please STOP obsessing over league table rankings for universities and focus on your research. This nonsense causes more damage than almost anything else in academia.

You have a PhD position and you have funding.
Now get on with creating world leading research. Prove you are as good as you claim you are by delivering brilliant research outputs and nobody will give two hoots about where you created that research.

Thread: Please help - considering formal complaint against University.

posted
06-Feb-19, 19:54
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Gemma.
From what you have posted, I am completely baffled as to why you think there was any justification for a complaint against yor former university.
Your post smacks of entitlement regarding post-rejection support and immaturity regarding tweeting about your rejection and your unbelievably naive belief that there is such a thing as a "private tweet".

It would appear that during November, you sat back and waited for everyone to tell you what to do as regards funding and you got the exact result which that method deserves.

You have a PhD position and funding now. You should be grateful, learn very quickly about personal responsibility and drop any nonsense about making formal complaints.

Blog: Are PhDs meant to be this stressful?

posted
06-Feb-19, 19:39
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Your last two sentences are worrying.
Are you seriously suggesting that allowing yourself to have a complete breakdown is preferable to saying No to people?
You need to reconsider this.

You have over-committed and lost control of what you are doing. No shame in that. We have all done it.
Delegation is the easiest way out of this and that should start in the morning if you have not already done so.
You need to regain and positively assert personal control of the things which are important to you. Not to your department or your colleagues or this conference. To you. Why? Because nobody is looking out for you while you are working hard for everyone else. Learning the power of saying No is completely liberating. You simply must learn how to do it.

On the positive side, you've learned something valuable about where your personal limits are. You are also about to learn who has your back when the chips are down. That is no bad thing and will definitely help you in the future.

Thread: Feeling totally defeated

posted
06-Feb-19, 19:27
edited about 6 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Nesrine, don't worry about using us as therapists. That's what the forum is for.
I am worried about your post at the top of the page for two reasons.
Firstly you are talking about getting emotional filling in application forms and secondly you are talking about wanting to prove yourself to those who doubt you.

Firstly, you don't need to be proving yourself to anyone. Nobody who doubted you is going to care one jot about whether you succeed or not and these people don't and shouldn't matter to you anyway.
Secondly, we are not defined by our jobs. Please be careful about putting an academic job on a pedestal. An academic job is an almost exclusively administrative job. If you want to teach, do research or become an administrator, there are millions of jobs out there which are considerably easier to get access to and with better pay and conditions.

I spoke to my old supervisor a while back and asked him why so many people were putting themselves through up to 10 years of hell trying to snag a glorified admin job. His response was that most postdocs simply don't realise that the job is almost completely administrative. They think they'll get to do great research and teach the next generation when in reality they'll hire students and postdocs to do the research and if they are lucky they'll get 3 hours teaching in the classroom each week for 24 weeks of the year.

Thread: The viva report indicative of the examiner(s) 's misunderstanding/misreading

posted
02-Feb-19, 11:15
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Well good luck with this but you are going to have to learn very quickly how to have disagreements with your bosses in a suitable manner. You simply cannot avoid intellectual conflicts in life without causing irrepairable damage to your career.
This is of course your PhD and you need to decide what the best approach is for your situation.

Thread: Weird question

posted
02-Feb-19, 11:09
edited about 8 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
It is quite common for people to do postdocs in an area different from their PhD.
Medicine and Biology are intimately connected anyway. I imagine some biology postdocs would be needing a medical background, especially if dissection of an animal is required for example.

Thread: Pronouncing difficult (and not so difficult) names

posted
02-Feb-19, 10:56
edited about 10 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Ah beware the German obsession with always being "correct". There lies the path to madness lol.
None of this will help you when it comes to saying names such as K.A. Sheidt, Weiping Dong or R.A. Fuck.
I kid you not, those are real names of scientific researchers. All of them are scientists :-D
How would you handle those?
Shayt and Fook are easy ways around the outer two but the middle one is a problem. Wiping or Weeping are as bad as each other.
The German method would have you go straight for the correct pronunciations. Your audience would be braying with laughter. Good luck with that :-D

Thread: Feeling totally defeated

posted
02-Feb-19, 10:51
by pm133
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posted about 1 month ago
Nesrine87, I completely recognise the swings in mood and the external validation thing. For me, I overcame both when I stopped valuing the opinions of others over my own. At the time I was receiving praise for academic prizes I was winning when I knew myself that those achievements were based on weak background knowledge. I realised that I am best qualified to judge how good I am.

Having secured your PhD, I reckon you are now in the same position to judge yourself better than anyone else. You shouldn't think that this is somehow conceited or arrogant though. It's just a fact that you are now best placed to know yourself. If you can begin to believe this about yourself, you might find your self esteem is bolstered, you become more emotionally grounded, you seek less validation from people who really are no better qualified to judge you than you are yourself and you might find yourself calmer and more focussed as a result.

Thread: My Ph.D struggle at the very begging. Need advice

posted
31-Jan-19, 11:33
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
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posted about 2 months ago
Your PhD doesn't need to be a single question.
It can be a series of related problems which overall form a body of work in a specific area.

For example, I started out by taking on ideas from my supervisor and then expanding them as I did the work and saw other opportunities. By the end I was making up my own ideas and implementing them.

This method is much less risky than looking for a single massive question to work on and you get lots of smaller wins along the way. It could allow you to quickly implement some very narrow and specific ideas of your su-pervisor before gradually moving on to take over yourself.

You could perhaps adopt this method.

Thread: Feeling totally defeated

posted
31-Jan-19, 11:28
edited about 20 seconds later
by pm133
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posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Nesrine87:


My subject is really niche and there aren't many opportunities (though I know that's pretty much the case for everyone). Again, I know how slim the chances are but I honestly thought I was in with a good chance but maybe my CV isn't as strong as I thought. I have built up (what I think is) a good and fairly prestigious network of supporters. My supervisor especially thinks I'm a superstar and has been an amazing advocate. I'm not sure what else I can do (except keep going I suppose).


My advice would be three-fold.
Firstly, whilst you need to focus on your niche area, you really need to try and widen out the scope of job you are looking for.

Secondly, I am not saying this is necessarily a problem for you but I want to bring it up. I know your supervisor means well but it would be good for you to take praise like "you are a superstar" with a pinch of salt. The same goes for your prizes and the university you went to. Lots of us have prizes and good publications from good unis but it can be damaging to your mental health if you are clinging on to these things. There is also a risk of a bit of entitlement leaking into your personality. I saw a lot of this in academia - former Cambridge and Oxford people walking around a lower ranked university with a really terrible attitude about how they were working in a place and amongst others beneath them. These people end up getting nowhere. Again, I'm not saying you have this problem but it's just worth being aware of.

Thirdly, it's a bit early for worrying. If you had said two years, I'd be advising you to consider other career options. You could certainly do that now with a view to continuing to look for jobs in academia from the position of knowing you are earning in the meantime.
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