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rewt
Friday, 3 November 2017 at 1:37pm
Monday, 24 December 2018 at 9:44pm
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page 1 of 15 recent posts

Thread: How Much Do My Exam Results Matter

posted
02-Oct-18, 21:31
edited about 17 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
It is not the degree that counts, it is the skills. If you have a pass with relevant experience and maybe some references/publications everything will be fine. If you get a pass while sitting on your bum the entire time, it is not good.

You just need to figure out a way to sell yourself and not the grade.

Thread: Should a budget for a grant take account for the PhD student as rise stipend or a bonus?

posted
02-Oct-18, 21:28
edited about 8 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi MyWorld,

Most universities have a set wage for wage for PhD students. The UK government also sets the PhD bursary for the country as a whole. I don't think it is common for PhD students to get raises unless other PhD students in your lab got a raise. It means that PhD students are equal and that supervisors don't give raises to their favourites.

At least you get conferences with everything paid for! Also, it is nice to be in a well-funded lab which can make research and publications easier. You also now have a chance of getting a funded post-doc and work with other good people. There are a lot of positives, even if you don't get a raise.

PS: I am from the UK

Thread: Quality of PhD graduates

posted
01-Oct-18, 15:24
edited about 9 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Universities in the UK get assessed/ranked by the government on the number of PhD completions and the completion rate. It is in their interest then to pass as many PhDs as possible to get more funding. Which is what I think is the underlying issue.

Another point is that academic freedom is on the wane. Undergraduate and masters courses are more and more, do as you are told and get a first/2:1, which isn't really good preparation for a PhD. As well as, funded PhDs usually having set topics/goals because that is how you get funding in the first place. So again, you can do as your supervisor says and you get a PhD. Academic rigor and curiosity is being driven out by "competitive market" funding models.

That is my opinion. The world changes and standards must change. PhDs are not were they once were because the government treats them as sources of cheap research not by the old academic standards.

Thread: Still no research question after a year

posted
27-Sep-18, 16:05
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
What do you want to know?

While reading do you find yourself asking questions about the work? Just follow them up and see if you can answer them through literature. If you can't find an answer, try and solve it yourself. think what can you do to solve that question and can you do it? If necessary break it down into smaller question or if it is too small, ask what can it lead to.

It is not about just reading literature but reading it and going what else?

Thread: Definging the success in innovation

posted
27-Sep-18, 15:55
edited about 14 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
That makes a bit more sense.
Looking at the management of innovation with focus on manufacturing.
While trying to identify persistent innovators and how they meet goals (i know i have butchered that)
Want to investigate written records of 8-10 companies and make comparisons
That sounds very interesting though I have a few things

I did a placement year were I was on a project that was about 3-5 years old. It was the pet project of the MD and he wanted a very particular design to work but we kept hitting problems. We kept trying to modify the machine to make it work but it never did and I know that the project is still active 3 years later. It is conceptually flawed and competitors made a better design work. Yet the MD keeps "persevering" with this project and I bet they will never tell you anything about this project. However as a whole the company is quite innovative and if they gave you positive examples, it would look very successful. So what I am trying to say is that companies could hide failures, diluting there success culture. I don't know how you can account for this but could have a significant impact.

Also you might have trouble defining were one project ends and another begins. Again during the placement year there was a very large broad project that spawned many sub-projects. One of the sub-projects developed into an idea for a brand new processing plant that technically addressed the goals of that first project. However the new plant should be a separate project, as it is a 5 year+ project and would require substantial investment. This might be very common, where there are several interlinked projects that together may reach the goal but the individual project was a failure.

My honest opinion is that you will have trouble getting companies on board unless you make a very anonymous system. Or you look at IT sector were everything moves fast and the management would be more open to outsiders.

Thread: Sharing my viva experience

posted
27-Sep-18, 10:27
edited about 21 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Walkerfree:

I have to admit, the viva process is massively flawed. Examination is subjective to the examiners decision which will vary from one person to another. It just highlights the importance that choosing a fair examiner can make a world of difference. I also feel that the choice of supervisors at the beginning plays a big part! If you have a supportive supervisor then that alone can get you from A to B!


100% agree. I am in my second year and my supervisor is already discussing external examiners. She
is pushing hard to get a particular person (who she knows through association) that is known as a soft touch. He reportedly has been external examiner 3-4 times and always gives minor corrections - he also goes to the pub with you after the viva. I know that if I get him, my viva will be a joke but it still counts as a PhD.

There needs to be some sort of standard but assessing a thesis is so subjective I don't there ever will be.

Thread: Help with starting out on PhD

posted
26-Sep-18, 09:33
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
Agree with kenziebob, no reason to feel ashamed. Most people take a break before a PhD and you are no exception.

Thread: Definging the success in innovation

posted
25-Sep-18, 16:12
edited about 9 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
This is quite an interesting topic.

What discipline is this from engineering, science or management? Because what do you define a process as? I see a process could include any methodology from how to optimally pack parcels to how to make plastic parts. Are you comparing like with like or allowing cross-field comparison. Because that could cause a massive impact on the results.

Also how do you control the goal setting process. For example a company could see a 10% improvement, get 15% in real life but there is actually 25% possible improvement. They look successful but they had minimal ambition that makes them look successful.

10 years is a very long time period. How many companies have someone working on the same project for that long? You may have better luck at looking companies with multiple department/branches looking at similar projects simultaneously.

Thread: MA or MSc in Sociology for PhD in History

posted
25-Sep-18, 16:03
edited about 12 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
Engineering student here.

Do they require different modules to get either an MSc or MA?
Have you looked at history PhD advertisements to see what they want?

Thread: Sharing my viva experience

posted
25-Sep-18, 16:02
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
Congratulations Dr Walker!

Also it sounds nice to hear that despite them disliking your results, your writing was more than enough to make up for it. A lovely reminder for people with awful experimental results that it is possible (even if yours were good).

Thread: Help with starting out on PhD

posted
25-Sep-18, 15:58
edited about 1 second later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
TAKE A HOLIDAY!!!

You have just finished your Masters and the stress of submitting the Master's thesis is hard. I had a friend in the same position, who didn't take a holiday and got massive burnout. Your supervisor should understand this and taking 1-2 weeks out now won't matter. But it gives you a chance to recharge and "have a life". Taking it now also allows you to relax without knowing what you are missing. That ability to forget your PhD is lovely (I miss it)

You might come back felling better or felling worse but I can assure you that you won't feel better by slogging through. Don't waste this opportunity because you were too stubborn to take a holiday.

Thread: PhD application waiting time

posted
19-Sep-18, 14:27
edited about 13 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
It can take a while to get replies, supervisors are busy people. I wouldn't be worried unless it is a month at which point I would drop a second email asking if the place is still available.

Don't be disheartened though as it sounds like you are inquiring early in the process which looks good. Some supervisors like to wait until they get a few replies before moving forward or they are busy with term starting.

Thread: Feeling stupid after a month

posted
18-Sep-18, 13:46
edited about 28 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
Quote From chantedsnicker:
Different supervisors will have different methods, I know some who were getting their students to write review papers in their first few months


I got something better. Day 2 of my PhD, my supervisor gives me a huge spreadsheet of data and I was asked to help interpret it/ write the discussion part of the paper. I have no clue on the area and spend forever trying to get some conclusions.

After 3 months of feeling so stupid, my supervisor tells me that she doesn't understand the results either. And that none of the co-authors have any idea. So I spent 3 months thinking that this was a mundane thing and that I was problem. Talk about starting with an inferiority complex.

Thread: Perfectionism, procrastination and thesis writing

posted
18-Sep-18, 13:40
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
I agree with pm133, breaking it down can make it far less daunting. One of the things I do is, write sub sections as separate documents. Where I know that no-one else will read it but I try to cover that little area in as much detail as possible, far more than I will ever need it to be. So that I have 2000 words of okay-ish writing on a topic, that I can then refer to. Most of the writing isn't useful and I can probably fit it into 500 words but it gets me writing and lets me see what is actually important. Because one of my problems is that there is so much I want to mention but in fact doesn't add to the work

It is not efficient but can gets you writing and I want to help people in similar positions

Thread: Feeling stupid after a month

posted
18-Sep-18, 10:28
edited about 3 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 4 months ago
We all feel the same, including them! No matter your prior experience, you all deserve to be there. You all passed the entrance interviews and a supervisor sees potential in you to succeed. What you have done before means nothing, you are starting over and you have just as right to be there as them.

You are suffering from impostor syndrome, and it is very common in PhD students. You can find a lot of help out there and on here to help. So don't feel alone

Just do something or say something with confidence and people will think you know what you are doing. It doesn't matter if you have no clue because a PhD is a training program were a uni is a safe space to fail. I know it is hard to contemplate but just doing stuff will help you get past this.
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