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rewt
Friday, 3 November 2017 at 1:37pm
Sunday, 8 December 2019 at 1:57pm
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page 1 of 40 recent posts

Thread: PhD Formal Offer, but still in the pool for 1st choice PhD. Help!

posted
18-May-20, 18:16
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Accept it and politely withdraw if you need to.

Thee repercussions of leaving a PhD are minimal and you funding can be recyled. The supervisor might be a bit annoyed but the academic world is huge and there is very little they can do, especially if it is another country. Although having a guaranteed PhD offer must be a relief and congratulations! Goodluck!

Thread: Choosing a dissertaion topic

posted
18-May-20, 13:25
by rewt
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Coronavirus is kinda a big deal at the minute and people love to read, talk, moan, complain and celebrate coronavirus/lockdown. So literally anything with coronavirus in it is relevant and you don't need to be too picky with your coronavirus topic. I would recommend focusing on a topic you are interested in and tack on coronavirus somewhere (preferably in the introduction). However if you want something more long term, do a meta analysis of coronoavirus in your chosen topic. As coronavirus analysis is such a novel topic, you can probably research whatever you want.

Thread: PhD Grant rejected. Any advise?

posted
15-May-20, 19:16
by rewt
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Email or call them back and ask for feedback. They may say no but you may also get very useful feedback on what you are missing.

Thread: Going around in circles and feel pretty lost

posted
15-May-20, 19:11
edited about 21 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 weeks ago
I might not be the best person to give advice on computer science. However you won't find a PhD topic by reading a broad range of papers and hoping for inspiration. You need to have a deep understanding of one topic to properly develop a research question and understand what is feasible. A PhD thesis only needs to incrementally find new knowledge and I think you should be looking for small problems that have already been partially explored.

I understand you feel limited by your prior knowledge but I know a scary number of cross-disciplinary PhD students who have done PhDs in subjects unrelated to their Bachelors/Masters. From talking with them, they feel lost at the start but after a couple years working on one topic, they learn what they need to know. You are not expected to be an expert on the field when you start but you just have to be committed enough to follow it through. As most PhD students are not productive until they have already spent 1-2 years working on their project.

Goodluck!

Thread: Recently started my PhD and completely lost

posted
08-May-20, 14:03
by rewt
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posted about 1 month ago
Quote From Araneo:
I don't want to sound rude or anything but every time I have some concrete questions and ask him, he sort of gives me a 4-hour lecture talk about general stuff (which does not really answer my questions and makes much sense) and then I even forget what I asked... I don't know how else to describe this. Maybe someone can relate to this?


I had a similar problem with my supervisor. I would ask a question and she would ramble on, wanting to explain the wider context of the problem before getting lost in her own thoughts. She knew so much and wanted to explain how several phenomena interact before explaining how each phenomena interact with my question. However I got around it by phrasing my questions better. I stopped asking generic open ended question, but instead reloaded the question with context of what I already thought the answer might be (even if I had no clue) and what I was unsure of. So that she knew exactly what I was asking. Another way to get a succinct answer is to ask an agree/disagree question, so that they give a quick opinion before rambling on.

Areano, I understand what it is like being your supervisors first PhD student. I will say that your supervision will get better but you need to express your concerns to your supervisor. If they are a normal person, they will welcome constructive feedback if you politely ask to try new ways . You could try sending your supervisor powerpoint slides of your work, or ask them to read drafts, or get coffee, or have informal Skype meetings, or discuss interesting papers. You just need to find what works for you.

With regards to being completely lost. Follow what you are interested in. You have a large scope and you can explore it to find what you are interested in. It is perfectly fine to choose a research question because you are personally want to know the answer and think someone else might want to know.

Thread: Mistake in my experiment

posted
06-May-20, 18:07
by rewt
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posted about 1 month ago
I wouldn't worry as a small flaw will not invalidate the whole thesis. The data may be slightly skewed but still usable as it will not significantly alter the conclusions. If the examiners mention it you can just acknowledge it, say you would have done it differently with hindsight and then explain how small of an affect it will have. No thesis project is perfect and understanding the limitations of your work is a key part of a viva.

Goodluck!

Thread: Underrated universities in Europe for a PhD in Life Sciences

posted
27-Apr-20, 12:18
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
If you want to game the system, you need to do a lot more research. I agree that there are a lot of underrated universities that might be easier to get into. However the underrated universities will have specialities in different fields, subfields, or specific topics. My university has world class lung function group in an otherwise mediocre life science department. That trend will be replicated throughout Europe; mediocre university but contains a couple of world class research groups.

So if you want to game the system; choose a topic, research it extensively, look at the university affiliations on highly cited papers and then apply there. I don't agree with this strategy but it might work.

Thread: Need help with skills development

posted
27-Apr-20, 12:07
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
Are you talking about a Data Management plan? I hear they can be an utter pain but you can copy the structure from other postgrad students.

Thread: Writing master thesis in G Suite?

posted
27-Apr-20, 12:05
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
You can write it in whatever makes you feel comfortable. However, I think you should consider; what software your supervisor/department likes, can you do the required formatting and will you exceed the 50MB docs limit. I would say most formatting requirements (journals, thesis) are written around MS Word and LaTeX. Google Docs is not that common so you may have issues with people accepting the file format. I would recommend LaTeX as you have complete control over the formatting and doesn't have any compatibility issues.

Thread: Connect to a current PhD student after my interview: What does this mean?

posted
20-Apr-20, 10:21
edited a moment later
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
HR doesn't usually contact rejected applicant. It sounds like they need to complete formalities and they want you accept the offer it comes.

Thread: Foreign language requirements for Modern Languages graduate

posted
20-Apr-20, 10:17
edited about 15 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
Contact the university. Most admissions offices are flexible with language entry requirements but you need to talk with each one individually.

Thread: Information

posted
20-Apr-20, 10:14
edited about 4 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
I am doing an engineering PhD and I can tell you an engineering PhD does not improve your job prospects but severely curtails them. Employers will suddenly think you are overqualified for most jobs and the jobs you are qualified for are very competitive. A masters is a far better investment and better for your overall job prospects. Most reputable universities offer part time masters via distance learning over 2-3 years, which require 2-8 hours a week of work (I am guessing). Masters allows a certain degree in specialisation in a specific sub field (bioengineering, business, H&S etc) and you can choose the course that suits your interest the best. Most of the work will be coursework or exam based. I would only recommend a PhD if you are passionate about your project/topic as it is a far more substantial degree than a masters (with regards to effort).

Thread: I have secured a PhD Admission in Auckland, but need funding/scholarship. Please Help

posted
20-Apr-20, 10:03
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
You should talk with the university that has offered you the place. They will know the most relevant funding sources and deadlines. You may find that they can partially subsidise it and offer you teaching assitance work, or that funding is field specific.

Thread: Is there any other experimental science PhD student who's feeling as lost and anxious as me now

posted
14-Apr-20, 18:41
edited about 1 minute later
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
People are being affected differently by COVID-19 and have to respond differently. So don't compare yourself to other student who may be affected differently to you. There is no point doing a side project unless it benefits you in the long term and you can finish it. If you start something irrelevant to your PhD and don't finish it during your lockdown you may just waste your time. As when the labs reopen, you will be super busy and not have time for side projects. So if there isn't a side project that that is both relevant to you and smallish you might as well lie on the sofa. Working on your thesis now is useful as you can use the 6 months at the end of your PhD to do more lab work.

I have started too many side projects that I haven't finished. I would do the first few experiments and then find that the project requires soo much work than I initially intended. My preliminary data would not be enough for a paper and so irrelevant to my main work that it is now useless. It is easy to start a side project but difficult to "finish" it.

Thread: Do you suggest reviewers?

posted
14-Apr-20, 18:31
edited about 18 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 2 months ago
I also had to suggest reviewers for my papers. I usually submit people in my area who I am friendly with or have non-contradictory opinions to me. Reportedly editors will only use one if any of your suggested reviewers, so you can't completely game the system.
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