Signup date: 03 Nov 2017 at 1:37pm
Last login: 22 Feb 2023 at 10:08pm
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I would talk with your supervisor and students union ASAP about this. It seems very very weird that they have downgraded you to an MPhil but want you to continue working on your publishable research. Usually having publishable material is good barometer of how good your work is and just seems strange that they acknowledge that but downgrade anyway. I would fight it saying that you have a made a "significant contribution to literature" and give the papers as evidence.
Three weeks is around normal especially if they are interviewing a lot of people. If you haven't heard anything in 3-4 weeks you can send a polite email to the admissions staff or whoever organised your interview, asking if there is an update. I wouldn't worry because you might just have been unlucky and been the first person interviewed, so don't stress over it, it is normal.
The minimum PhD bursary through UK government funding is just over 15k per year, so most universities offer the minimum. You can get ore if you live in London but the money is tax free and they can't force you to do unpaid teaching. Depending on the department/university you get extra money as a teaching assistant in tutorials or marking which was about £1,500 a year for me (taxable though). Some universities or non-UK government funding sources pay more, though I don't know any specifically.
The site I used was findaphd.com which has a lot of UK based options. For particle physics, you should check the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Centre (EPSRC), who don't fund many PhDs directly but through doctoral training centers and grants awarded to supervisors.
Yeah, coursework sounds grim to me. The US system has some advantages and I think you come out with more experience at the expense of being a lab slave.
In the UK it is all about getting funding. Usually there are two options; a funded pre-selected PhD project or apply with your own research proposal via a research council (EPRSC for physics) , university or another funding body. The pre-selected PhD topic option is where the supervisor has already got funding for their research idea and is usually easier. Or if you are committed to your own idea you can apply through various schemes but it is generally more competitive. I would look at pre-selected PhD topics as you might find something you like. I wasn't planning on doing a PhD but saw a PhD project randomly and thought "woaw that is what I want to do" even though I never thought about it before. Also, the UK has no mandatory coursework and you start research from day one.
The biggest issues I can see is limitations on access and supervisory time. Part-time is cheaper because they expect you to use facilities and academics time less and if someone notices that you are effectively full-time they could put limits on you. I actually quite like your idea but you would have to be careful not to make it obvious.
Also, does your university have any regulations about early submission? I know my university makes it awkward to submit early, which might make it difficult to finish after exactly 36 months.
I am in the UK and have no direct experience of the US system. However, I have heard that some american universities will consider equivalence between your Masters degree modules and their coursework modules. If you email the admissions departments you might find that they will waive a lot of of the coursework modules but I am not sure if you can get out of all of them. Also, there is nothing wrong emailing the professors and asking directly.
Have you considered the UK?
I am sorry I didn't reply earlier.
The PhD student- supervisor relationship is critical to all PhD students and differs depending on circumstances. As your supervisor is a senior professor he will inherently have less time for you but the upside is they should have more grants and a bigger network. I can't speak from experience as my supervisor was a junior lecturer when I started and had plenty of time to help me but has zero grants and a negligible network. I know that doesn't help you right now but I am pointing out there are advantages to having a senior prof as a supervisor and you can potentially maximize them in the long term.
If you are having trouble arranging meetings a trick is to be explicit in what the meeting is about. Bringing a project plan, results or a conference abstract can sometimes make them take the meeting more seriously. Other than getting a second supervisor would be a massive benefit. At my university all the professors are expected to have second supervisors for their PhD students for the same reasons you have mentioned. You can either mention it to your supervisor or the head of department. Although it might be easier if you approach someone else in the department yourself for some support and then ask if they would be one of your supervisors. Junior faculty especially might have time to help you with simpler matters that the Prof would find superfluous, and they might want to get a PhD completion for their stats. You can also ask postdocs or research fellows to help you but their are rules about them being full second supervisors.
I wouldn't overthink this. Master's applications have been extra competitive this year and so they can be extra picky. If you reapply for January and get a masters, no-one will ever care you got rejected once before.
It is very unusual to do a second PhD and I doubt you would be allowed to do one. Saying that a posdoc could solve a lot of your problems. It is common that PhD students don't get any publications during their PhD but go on to publish frequently during a post doc. It is great that you already have a research fellowship job and you could possibly use that to get a postdoc in the USA/Europe.
hi Dr wing92518,
A massive congratulations on passing with minors!!!! That is a major achievement I am happy for you.
Your supervisor sounds toxic. You have passed and he was wrong. I haven't submitted my PhD myself so can't talk from experience and I hope someone else can give you solid advice. Though what do you want to do?
I am sorry to hear about your issues and can completely sympathise with you. I am a master procrastinator and have suffered at least 2 major bouts of depression during my PhD, as well as having major issues with anxiety and impostor syndrome. The simplest advice I can give you is try to learn to forgive yourself. We all have bad days, bad weeks and bad months. We all have lost motivation at one point and suffered issues during our PhDs. Don't think you are alone and what you are experiencing is incredibly common but most PhD students never admit it to one another.
This might sound counter productive but take a week break. Take a week to sort yourself out mentally and physically. Try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise outside, was regularly, meet friends and follow your hobbies. Take a week to sort yourself out and not have to worry because anxiety is a killer. When you think you are ready, start small and celebrate the little things. When having motivation issues at the end of the day I write down every little thing I did and that sometimes including just going for a walk. As it is easy to focus on the big goals when really it is just a lot of small accomplishments bundled together. I also make to-do lists filled with 5-10 minute jobs as I find I get a small dopamine rush checking things off. Big goals mean less things I have completed and therefore less dopamine. I also know some people who try to do their least favourite objective at the start of the day to get it out of the way. Finding little tricks to motivate yourself can help long term. There is a lot more advice on the internet but just remember you are not alone.
Also, I wouldn't worry about catching up. If everyone worked at their top pace all the time you could probably do a PhD in 18 months. Seriously, I think every PhD timeline includes several months of procrastination. So don't feel you have to catch up as the last month is gone, you can't get it back. That is completely outside your control and it is better to focus on what you can control. If you are worried about finishing, make a list of everything you want to do and prioritise. Everyone is overambitious at the start when in reality you probably only need to do half the things you wanted to in order to form solid conclusions. So just focus on one week at a time and things will start snowball.
Congratulations on getting accepted to your PhD! Am I correct to say you haven't started yet and if so I wouldn't worry too much. Enjoy your freedom before your PhD starts and don't stress yourself. A PhD is a long slog and you will wish you enjoyed your summer soon enough. Once you start you will have access to more resources to help you develop these necessary skills.
The paper you are looking at is in a prestigious journal and looks to be very ambitious in nature( and it is nature ...). If this is the first paper you are trying to replicate, I would not worry about not understanding everything at once as they are not written for the lay audience. When trying to dissect something like this I would read through it and make a list of every; concept, method, abbreviation and terminology you don't understand. Then investigate everything you don't know so you have a good basis. Other papers will explain different concepts in more detail and will give you the extra knowledge you need. If you desperately need to write something, I would focus on learning each step of the methodology and try to understand both what they are doing and why.
I hope that helps,
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