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rewt
Friday, 3 November 2017 at 1:37pm
Saturday, 10 November 2018 at 12:52pm
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page 1 of 12 recent posts

Thread: I need some advice, I don’t have a good relationship with my supervisor

posted
21-Nov-18, 11:02
edited about 21 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 hours ago
Hi Zena,

It sounds like you have had an awful experience. I really do feel for you.

Academia's office politics can brutal and looks like you annoyed some important people over that paper. I am publishing my first paper and I have a name on it of a person I have never met (allegedly one of my supervisors). Unfortunately senior academics expect names on PhD student papers to boost their publications and in return they help you. They have limited time, so you helping them boost there publication count encourages them to help you publish. If you aren't going to put their name on it why should they use their time to help you publish? It is an awful Faustian bargain but it is academia.

Honestly just focus on the viva, you can't change your thesis at the minute. Your HoD may have been two faced but he also may be honest. There have been people on this forum completely shocked about resubmission, he is at least warning you. Take his advice and understand how you could improve it, the results are good enough which is actually great. Don't take it personally and show that you are self aware enough to understand the faults and take take feedback.

Also just submit the abstract.

Thread: Accessing journal articles

posted
21-Nov-18, 10:47
edited about 5 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 hours ago
sci-hub.tw

Thread: 2nd year blues?

posted
21-Nov-18, 10:46
edited about 6 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 hours ago
That sounds typical. I know people who didnt get any results until their 3rd year. It can feel like a bummer but it is necessary and it is better that you do all that admin stuff. Though you have published a review paper, which is more than most people can say. Also once you get started you will be surprised how fast the results can come in.

Thread: Taking a Break

posted
19-Nov-18, 13:01
by rewt
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posted about 2 days ago
I agree with eng77, take a break. A few weeks or months were you forget about the project and work and rediscover other things. Meet old friends, rekindle old interests find a new hobby. After a while out you will probably come back to your PhD with new found enthusiasm. Burn-out is real and most PhD students will suffer some sort of it.

Thread: PhD proposal, more theoretical depth

posted
19-Nov-18, 12:41
edited about 12 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 days ago
Hi S81,

That is hard to answer but I would think that the proposal isn't big enough for a PhD. I would start at the literature review and make clear there is a gap in knowledge that you can solve. Base the proposal of that literature review, not the methods, so that you are focusing on answering a question. While also explaining why you need to answer the question. It sounds like you need to improve the proposal and show that there is enough work for 3 years of work. The idea itself could be amazing but you need to sell it to the department.

Thread: I need some advice, I don’t have a good relationship with my supervisor

posted
19-Nov-18, 12:34
by rewt
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posted about 2 days ago
Hi Zena,

You have a toxic supervisor, no doubt about that. He should be mentoring you but and not constantly belittling you. I would try and change supervisors if possible but I know circumstances can make that hard.

Though a few things might be useful; like what year are you, is he like this with everyone in the lab, do you have other supervisors?

Thread: 1.5 months into PhD and I'm really struggling. How long to give it before considering quitting?

posted
19-Nov-18, 09:25
by rewt
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posted about 2 days ago
I am sorry for the delayed response.

I am in a very similar position to you; 23, engineering, north of England, FOMO, procrastinating but unfortunately no girlfriend. The only thing I can recommend is to decide what you want to do with your life. We can't do/have everything and sacrifices need to be made to achieve bigger things. To me it sounds like you want everything and failing at everything.

Seriously, I would sit down and decide if you want the PhD. You wanted a PhD enough to apply but now you know more about what it will actually require. Determine your priorities and stick to them.

Also about sports clubs, it is only awkward if you make it awkward. Just join and go about normally, there will be an element of you being the older guy but most people won't care that much.

Thread: Help choosing an institution/supervisor

posted
14-Nov-18, 14:33
edited about 49 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 6 days ago
I think it is hard to judge a supervisor from the limited contact you have during the application process. Just go with your gut feeling and don't over analyse it.

Though one thing I would consider is the lab/ wider research group or if the supervisor has any other PhD students. I am in a research group of one, which is massively frustrating. While you will have more support if a supervisor who has a couple of students and post-docs, though the supervisor may be distant.

If you will be their first PhD student, run away, seriously.

Thread: Thoughts of a PhD student at his wit's end

posted
10-Nov-18, 13:23
edited about 3 minutes later
by rewt
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi Zimmerman, you are not alone. Most PHD students go through the same.

Quote From Zimmerman:
I'm wondering how I got here. I like science and was initially attracted to medicine, but I was never fully comfortable in the lab environment. Being honest, my reasoning for doing a PhD was not purely research-based, but perhaps more career-orientated.

So what that you did a PhD for other reasons. Embrace that reason and make it your own. Not everyone is married to research and you don't need to be to finish a PhD. Most people will go into industry after finishing and do

Quote From Zimmerman:

Over the past two years I have struggled almost on a daily basis: my suitability for lab work, my place in research, and my overall mental wellbeing.

A PhD is not all about labwork, sure it is important but it is a means to end. You are doing labwork to discover X or investigate Y. It is just one skill a PhD student needs among; ability to analyse literature, critically analyse literature, design experiments, analyse results, communicating those results, time management, writing skills amoung others. I don't like lab work either but I do it to get results so I can do other things. So don't be down because you aren't great at one thing, try and be good at one other things a PhD student has to do.

Quote From Zimmerman:

All at the same time I feel stupid for feeling like this, like a failure for not grabbing life by the bullhorns and pushing through.

I totally know the feeling. The only advice I can give is, is stop thinking and do. If you zone out and do some tasks, you break the procrastination cycle. You may start feeling more confident and can do more. The first step is always the hardest.

Thread: Submitted thesis, now dreading viva

posted
05-Nov-18, 16:04
edited about 13 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Congratulations on submitting! You have done very well to get this far. Take a break you have earned it.

Having not submitted myself I may not be the most helpful but want to bump this as this might be me in 2 years. Though there isn't much you can do until the viva which is like 3months away? So sort out your life and organise your future (and take a holiday), worrying will not help you.

Your arguments against yourself are very persuasive, now make some arguments of why you deserve to call yourself Dr. You are self aware enough to see your flaws, so just think of counter arguments. Research your examiners, learn what they are interested in and if possible what their opinions are. Ask your supervisor what his opinions are and what to do. You have a patent and data so hype it up. Most people get amendments and you have to be very bad to get a straight fail.

Hopefully someone else can be more helpful

Thread: To cite or not to cite (conference paper)

posted
05-Nov-18, 14:41
edited about 13 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Only cite something, if it is relevant and scientifically credible. It is doesn't explain the methodology and isn't reproducible you can ignore it, most other people will.

Thread: Are these signs of a toxic postdoc relationship?

posted
04-Nov-18, 12:47
edited about 29 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From cypress:
No, the postdoc funding does not come from the gov department, it comes from the postdoc fellowship. I suggested I extend the gov job another 2 years with postdoc funding from a separate entity.


Honestly, that sounds like you over complicated the job application. They wanted someone for one year because they either a) only had enough money for a year, or b) wanted it to be finished with in a year, or c) it was a trial job for something permanent. If it was b or c you over complicated the job, with the post-doc application.

So to answer your original question, it is not the agency's fault. Probably someone just as qualified with simpler demands also applied and got the job. But there are plenty more jobs out there, don't be disheartened by this.

Thread: Whether or not to leave PhD and plan on how to leave

posted
03-Nov-18, 21:14
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Honestly give the project a go and give it your best but only work 40 hours a week. Try and make it work while looking for another job. Keeping the PhD makes financial sense and is ethically okay to stay on the PhD if you are at least working on the project (in my opinion).

Thread: Are these signs of a toxic postdoc relationship?

posted
03-Nov-18, 21:08
edited about 48 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I am still lost.

You saw a job at a government department and got an interview for the job. At the same you thought the job would be a good post-doc idea. So you started organizing the post-doc with that department funding the post doc for after your job ended. While assuming you had the job.

But you didn't get the job. So you are now asking if that same department will now reject you post-doc funding. Is that right?

Thread: Not alone?

posted
02-Nov-18, 15:08
edited a moment later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From kate2112:
on condition that i pass my MPhil/PhD transfer.


It is only a transfer report, I have seen some awful reports pass the transfer stage. They aren't asking you to complete the PhD, just be good enough to pass that first report. If you pass, you will do something a lot of post-docs will never, get a lecturer job :) Seriously you are doing better than a lot of us here.
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