Overview of R_U_4_REAL_NICK

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R_U_4_REAL_NICK
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 7:47pm
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 7:47pm
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Thread: Final or Completing Year PhD

posted
25-Feb-10, 13:45
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From EmaDaCuz:

Quote From R_U_4_REAL_NICK:

Depends on subject, and what's acceptable at your uni. or perhaps in your department. In a science-based PhD, I was told a good thesis should be around 5 - 6 chapters, 300 - 400 pages, anything up to 100,000 words...

Something like that anyway - this is all from memory so I could be wrong.


300-400 pages... your external examiners would send it back to you immediately! There's no mininum nor maximum, it depends on the results you produce and the way it's written. I think 200-250 (including refs) pages are enough.



You're absolutely right - I don't know where I got 3-400 from! I went and checked - yeah 200 to 250 is fine. I have completely finished my PhD already: my thesis was 334 pages long! But as Teek said, this was too much to put in one book, so my thesis is in two volumes. I did get a lot of stick about writing too much, but the examiners were fine about it and I had very, very few corrections to do.

It was so long because during my lab-work I did an extra side-experiment, kind of like a back-up research in case my main lab-work failed (which often happens in science!). Well, as it turned out, this extra side-experiment (as well as my main research) worked really well and threw up some really interesting results that I should be able to get a paper out of soon. So, since I'd put in all the work myself and it worked, I stuck it all in my thesis regardless of the extra pages it took up. But yeah, it's a case of 'how-long-is-a-piece-of-string?' I've seen successful science theses anything from 150 to 500 pages in length...

Thread: Too old to do a PhD?

posted
24-Feb-10, 22:41
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
I know this thread is quite old now, but I saw the title and it made me remember: there was a 75-year-old lady in one of my undergraduate classes in the science department! Think she did a BSc. in Environmental Science.

Something to think about.

Thread: Viva Prep

posted
24-Feb-10, 22:26
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From lilbobeep:

Thanks for your comments, it's a little hard knowing where to start, needing to revise the thesis, the references, knowing all the gaps is as much work as writing the thesis itself, I'm finding it a little overwhelming :(

Did you all have a mock viva?


I didn't, and personally I didn't feel the need for one, but I've heard that other people have really benefited from having one and it may help boost your confidence if you're still feeling jittery about the whole thing. Another thing I forgot to ask/mention before is: do you know if an 'internal examiner' will be involved in your viva, and if so, do you know who it is yet or can you find out? If your answer to these is yes, then there's another way of getting some help, support, and advice! They're going to have to read your thesis and know it well before the viva date, so it wont hurt to go and ask them for initial opinions, important points, are there any major flaws or gaps etc. etc.

Remember: yes, an internal examiner will ask you questions and grill you about your work and thesis in the viva, BUT, ultimately their primary role is to make sure that the/any external examiner(s) behave themselves and are fair to you. After all, it's in your uni's best interest too that you can pass!

Thread: Using Formulas and Diagrams from references

posted
24-Feb-10, 16:16
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 24 Feb 2010 16:19:49 =======
That's fine as long as you reference it. If you've changed anything yourself during drawing, you can writre "modified after Smith et al. 1998" - I did this in my thesis and it was fine, so no, shouldn't be classed as plagiarism. (up)

If it's for a journal or something you want to publish I don't think you're allowed, but def. just for your thesis or a presentation it's fine as long as you reference.

Thread: One Born Every Minute - what's your TV addiction?

posted
24-Feb-10, 12:49
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Can't go wrong with Simpsons, 24, CSI, Skins... meanwhile the wife loves Gok Won, How To Look Good Naked...

Sigh!

Thread: Final or Completing Year PhD

posted
24-Feb-10, 12:33
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Depends on subject, and what's acceptable at your uni. or perhaps in your department. In a science-based PhD, I was told a good thesis should be around 5 - 6 chapters, 300 - 400 pages, anything up to 100,000 words...

Something like that anyway - this is all from memory so I could be wrong.

Thread: Post doc advice

posted
24-Feb-10, 12:23
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Octopus,

I guess I could say I'm in a similar situation, and for what it's worth I tend to think like Sue's posted below. I have a strange sense/feeling about things in life and choices to make, and my family always told me that this is a wonderful gift that I should always trust.

Basically, I completely finished my PhD last year and have been looking for work since. I'm also not really interested in staying in academia, so most of the jobs I've been applying for are in companies/industries etc. (I'm also molecular biology/biochemistry!) Anyway, a small private company quite far away from me accepted me to work for them last month... I had the same awful choice to make as you, and I went round and asked my family and friends for advice. On one hand, this job was: in a lovely, quite famous location; great for my CV; good long-term future; opportunity to use my skills and learn new ones; opportunities for good research. But on the other hand: company very small; salary rather low for a PhD; employers not native and therefore difficult to talk with and very slow; huge pressure and responsibility on me if I took the post, right from day 1; would mean a hard move (relocation) for my wife and I if I accepted.

As you can guess, I had 'fors' and 'againsts' from family/friends. In the end, I went with my own gut feeling and turned it down because I think I can do better! Why devote to such a huge move and pressure, when I wouldn't have been happy, comfortable or had enough people to help/guide me. That was my choice, and my wife was with me 100%.

Yes, I'm still looking for work now, but I don't regret my decision. There are still some good jobs/posts out there if you keep looking. I've had some positive feedback recently about a role I'd love... fingers crossed! Also waiting for many more in the next few days/weeks to come.

Moral of my story...? Not sure, but I guess what it all means is that it's YOUR CHOICE, and you should go with your strongest feelings and choose what's right/best for you (and your family if applicable). Best of luck to you whatever you choose.

Thread: Citing secondary sources in conference abstract

posted
23-Feb-10, 20:02
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From Ev:

Hi R_U_4_REAL_NICK. Yes I have Browns paper and I have searched online for Black and Whites' papers but I can't get access to them as my uni doesn't have the required subscriptions.


Oh sorry... my bad! I didn't read your post carefully enough and though it was just the full reference you were after. Getting the actual papers is a real pain if your uni. subscription doesn't cover it - I went through this a lot during my PhD. You could ask your library (if you haven't already) and see if they have a work-around, or like the other post says just see if anyone else from another uni. can get it and then send it over to you. (I would try for you but unfortunately I've left my uni. now and aint registered with them anymore :-()

Thread: Citing secondary sources in conference abstract

posted
23-Feb-10, 18:21
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
But you can get "Browne's" paper right? Why not just look at how they referenced "Black & White" and even if the full information isn't there you can search online for the full ref. (up)

Thread: Last on to post on this thread wins

posted
23-Feb-10, 16:02
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
It's cold and dark up here... what's that smell? :-s(sprout):p

Thread: Opportunities after the Phd

posted
23-Feb-10, 15:13
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
There are salary checkers on most job-finding/recruitment web sites these days. Have a look around and type in some science jobs you think you might be interested in. Typically (at the moment) most post-doc positions should be no less than £27,000-£28,000 per year in the U.K. However, don't get your hopes up too high for industry, as these days with the credit crunch and so many graduates/PhD's about, industrial experience is a major factor that companies are on the look out for regardless of education (which I think is ridiculous!).

With a PhD, though, it is much easier to climb the ladder and get higher pay sooner than someone without in most decent industries/companies. Just be warned, though, that initially you may have no choice but to start out at a rather poor salary when you first move into industry from academia.

This is just my opinion and don't know if that really helps much... perhaps other people will have better ideas. Pharmacology and Biotechnology are still doing really well in Europe and there are a lot of good opportunities out there, so don't worry 8-)

Thread: Viva Prep

posted
23-Feb-10, 12:40
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
There's quite a few useful threads about viva prep. Take a look a Moomin's 'I Think I'm Going To Be Sick' one for example.

You need to know your thesis inside out, as ultimately the viva will involve going through it piece by piece and checking with you the what's, where's, why's and how's of what you did and wrote down.

If you know of any gaps in your thesis, don't worry about it too much but instead admit it to yourself and whoever's interviewing you. Then you can always go back and get more information, suggestions etc. if necessary and fill in the blanks. In your viva if you don't know something, it's better to say so than dig yourself into a deeper hole. There should be nothing aggressive or confrontational in a viva, just a general check-up that you did the work and understand it with some background knowledge on the side.


Try and correct all grammar and spelling mistakes first, well before the viva! You'll feel better and your thesis will be easier and (hopefully) more satisfying to read :-)


Relax, it's an awful time, but even the viva itself is better and more fun than the weeks leading up to it ;-)

Thread: Discussion With Ranking to Get

posted
23-Feb-10, 12:15
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
It's a good indication, but it's not the "be-all-and-end-all" when it comes to choosing your PhD. It may perhaps be useful to know what subject you're wanting to do, and which countries you're interested in. Remember, different universities specialise in different subjects, but that doesn't mean that a small, almost insignificant department in some institute that doesn't specialise in your subject/research wont have a great and exciting opportunity for a novel PhD topic, and vice-versa.

Thread: Real time PCR

posted
23-Feb-10, 12:07
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
DNA concentrations can be determined spectrophotometrically, but it's cumbersome and not very accurate. I had this problem during my PhD, but I stuck with the SYBR-green. Fold-differences in starting template concentration between any two samples can be found by using:

2[to the power of](Ct2-Ct1).

PCR is exponential, not linear, hence the 2[to the power of].

Hope this helps. (up)

Thread: Labelling tables

posted
22-Feb-10, 15:20
Avatar for R_U_4_REAL_NICK
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Teek,

It's good/common practice that all tables, graphs, figures etc. be fully labeled (and referenced accordingly if you've 'borrowed' or modified them from a paper or book) and then listed in your table/figure lists at the start of your thesis. But here's something I think you need to ask yourself and perhaps discuss with your supervisor:

If all these tables are so "basic" and just things like reagents etc. do you really need them? I'm a scientist (biochemistry) and I'm not sure if every university has the same rules, but basically I was told that if it's just simple, very common reagents/protocols you've used then it's fine to simply write something along the lines of: "reagent X was prepared exactly as described by Smith et al. 1998" and/or "the protocol was performed as described by Smith et al. 1999, except that reagent X was heated to 75 degrees C instead of 65..."

You get the idea right!? There's certainly no need to list every reagent and kit you use - that's very old fashioned, unless everything you're doing is completely novel.
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