Signup date: 08 Jan 2016 at 12:02am
Last login: 30 Mar 2021 at 8:40pm
Post count: 1246
I have a lot of sympathy with you on this. I have had repeated incidents throught my career not just in research.
During my PhD, I generally refused to talk to anyone about anything I hadn't already published with only a couple of exceptions. It didn't turn out to be much of a problem for me but that might not be the case for others.
I know a few posters on here disagree with my approach and there are potential advantages in sharing but for me it just wasn't worth the risk. Academia is not collegiate. It is hugely competitive and cut-throat and you need to be careful what you share.
I would chat to your supervisor, explain the issue and try to find a compromise.
Maths students will presumably have some basics in topology or algebraic geometry but they are probably not as far ahead of you as you think. Are they likely to know about things like Matroid Theory?
If it was me I'd get that reading list sorted and then mapped into my diary. That'll tell you how many months it will take you to get those things on board.
Presumably you don't need to be an expert in any of them at this stage.
Almost everyone will have at least a handful of minor changes.
I must admit that I would have found it very suspicious if my external hadn't found a single error in my entire 279 page thesis. I would suspect they hadn't read it properly and that would have been a crap way to end the PhD.
I would imagine that you need a strong background in Linear algebra, discrete maths and algorithm development to start with.
Are you solid on these things? I would have thought a CS course would have given you a decent background in these things but you obviously feel a bit vulnerable there.
I found that lectures were almost completely useless once I started my PhD. I found them too slow and prefer to learn at my own pace with online videos and problem solving from books.
As for planning, I would identify the subjects you want to learn, make a reading list, allocate 3 to 4 hours per day perhaps and keep a diary of progress.
It's surprising to see such levels of appalling stupidity amongst people who are supposed to be some of the most highly educated our country has to offer.
Industry used to have this problem. I remember the big 4 accountancy firms used to insist on only hiring Oxbridge graduates. More recently they have realised that they end up with 1-dimensional staff. They are more open now and in fact I am pretty sure one of them has started hiring non-graduates and training them up.
I agree with your comment about the strength of her project. That certainly is worth worrying about,
Who is telling you that you can't go from an ex-poly to a Russell Group uni? It has to be other students right?
It's so frustrating that so many of the best educated in society are prepared to spread rubbish like this.
The other posters have described the reality very well. Focus on your research, make it exceptional, get published wherever you can and be aware that you will need to lead your own networking efforts.
My second supervisor had no active role in my PhD as far as general supervision was concerned.
I published with him and he reviewed the papers that I had written but the nature of my work meant he didn't really have the ability to check the details.
Fortunately my relationship with my primary supervisor was very good throughout so I didn't need him for anything else.
Personally I would stick to 3 or 4 training modules which are directly relevant to the post. If you have certificates then say they are available on request. If you have other courses, I would say that a more complete list is available on demand.
Store your details in a word document and be prepared to send it.
Alternatively, put that document online somewhere and send a link to it.
No idea what's going on with that second post and I'm not entirely sure what the first post is after either but I'm going to make a suggestion.
The easiest way to get published (assuming you've written an article to a high standard and your science isn't crap) is to avoid trying to hit the highest impact factor journal. The reason is that every person and their mangy flea bitten dog will be trying to do the same thing believing their work to be capable of changing the world overnight. I know people who spent more than a year trying to get published in these journals, having to jump through countless hoops and having to deal with hilarious levels of snobbery and borderline abuse from reviewers. The cost to their stress levels was way too high for the reward.
A journal which is a couple of notches down in impact factor will review and publish your work faster. The longest I ever had to wait was about 8 weeks from submission to full acceptance. It wasn't stress or abuse free but it was at least fast, leaving me to get on with my research. I'd like to thank John Nash (Beautiful Minds film and Fields Medal winner) for that concept :-)
The most worrying aspect of your post is where you talk about being suicidal. I know the termination and visa problems seem serious at the moment but all of these things are fixable. Many fellow posters on here have gone through incredibly difficult PhD journeys and have come through.
The suicidal thoughts are much more serious. Have you been able to talk to family or a doctor about this? I think this is a bigger priority than anything else you are facing.
Jamie if you calm down a second and re-read my post you'll see I did not call Nobel prize winning science "secondary". I was talking about the motivation of the student applying to those labs being about reputation first and science second. It's not the first time you've made emotional outbursts on here without taking the time to read what others are posting properly.
I come on this forum to help others who are struggling to get through their PhDs and secure postdoc positions. If I'm preaching, it's because people like you keep posting absolute nonsense about Russell Group universities such as having to be "on top of your game" to secure post docs. It's rubbish and potentially damaging to others. You are flat out wrong on this.
I'd be grateful if you could drop the metaphor and explain exactly what you mean by your sour grapes comment. Are you seriously suggesting I am in some way jealous? Of who and of what? After my PhD I was approached by two different supervisors and offered postdoc positions. Both were at RG universities and both were leaders in their fields. I didn't have to apply for either. They approached me. I turned them both down because I wanted to go back to running my own business. I have no interest in engaging in a public pissing contest with you over our respective achievements but I'm not going to sit back and allow you to make personal attacks on my motives without knowing who I am. You can challenge my view but cut out the personal crap please. That;s the second time I've had to ask that from you.
I should add that my ex-PhD colleagues who came from a non-RG background and secured RG postdocs were in the fields of Chemistry, Physics and Biochem. Two of them have now secured permanent positions within those RG unis. Perhaps it would be different if they were in the Humanities. I have no idea.
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