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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 22 recent posts

Thread: Working PT alongside EPSRC funded FT PhD?

posted
25-Jan-19, 19:44
edited about 13 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
At my university there is a limit of 16 hours a week on external/teaching hours. I think that is part of the EPRSC rules on teaching which is designed so that you are a full-time student.

Thread: Supervisor vs University - MSc (Life Sciences)

posted
25-Jan-19, 19:40
edited about 18 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
This is a hard one but I would go with the first supervisor. They may not be in the best university but is an expert in their field which will help if you want a PhD in another uni. The lab may not be as good but the people there may be more knowledgeable/useful in your field than the higher ranked uni.

Thread: Co-Supervisor Leaving

posted
25-Jan-19, 19:37
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi,

My second supervisor has just announced she is leaving for a promotion and move closer to her long-term partner. Don't blame her at all but it leaves me in the lurch.

She is taking all her other PhD students, post-docs and equipment with her but she isn't my director of Studies (DoS), so I get to stay. The problem is that I am a cross-disciplinary project and I used her equipment/lab space. She was my link to that department and helped with all politics in that department, as there is a massive shortage of lab space. I have this feeling that the department will just drop me as my project doesn't fit with their new research goals, but I need access. From talking with my DoS, she doesn't really know anyone else in that department with the same research area. I have also been informed that my second supervisor's departure was less than acrimonious and

I only found out out today and I really should wait to talk with her properly. Yet has anyone been in a similar position?

Thread: Better to be very emotionally invested in your PhD or maintain clearer emotional boundaries?

posted
23-Jan-19, 18:34
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
I am massively emotionally invested and wish I wasn't. I find that the PhD work is far more interesting than a lot of other activities, so just become overly dependent on my work for gratification. I think that is the mentality of a lot of researchers, were we are paid to become obsessed over a specific area. Why worry about reality TV or large friendship groups when we can try and solve an interesting problem. It usually turns into me having an existential crisis while making a conference poster at 11pm but again it is far more interesting than playing FIFA (which I used to love). I think a major difference is that I enjoy thinking, I don't want to sit down and turn off, while academia/research is a huge source of thought provoking research

What I am trying to say is academia attracts a certain type of person that likes being mentally stimulated, in my opinion. And therefore we treat our PhDs like a drug and are addicted, in my opinion. If the rest of the world was just as interesting we would be fine.

Thread: Good way to present multiple regression?

posted
23-Jan-19, 18:14
edited about 12 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Would a radar chart work?

Thread: I am pondering whether to Tell the truth that I was a first year PhD student for future interviews

posted
23-Jan-19, 18:13
edited about 26 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi Monkia, I am sorry to hear about you not getting it. Though you don't know if it was the reference or one of the other 3 was more suited for the role. Can you be cheeky and ask that potential supervisor what your reference was like? Mention how your old PI contacted you afterwards and had made threats in the past. You may find out that this PhD was just not suited for you and not your previous history.

Thread: Choosing a PhD position

posted
22-Jan-19, 10:42
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
This is a personal decision that I think you need to make with your spouse. It looks like there is no easy option and some compromises need to be made. I wish you the best of luck!

Thread: Variety in PhD Program Prospects - Exciting flexibility, or potential identity crisis?

posted
22-Jan-19, 10:38
edited a moment later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
The PhD systems are massively different between Ireland and the USA (don't know about Canada). 3 vs 7 years is a big difference and I think that is something you should really consider. Also the scholarships/teaching requirements may differ a lot and you should consider them before choosing.

Though I understand your question about being perceived differently depending on your home department. I am on the boundary of chemistry and mechanical engineering with a bit of bioscience. Depending on the conference, I am the random chemist or pessimistic engineer but people will still listen to me. I feel am in both fields despite being in the Mechanical Engineering department, I just tailor my output for the audience. Academic fields are inherently diverse and multi-skilled and it is possible to change fields in your later career (though can be hard). If you are worried about being shoe-horned into a way of thinking, get a diverse supervisory team. See if you can get three supervisors in the three fields so that you get a bit of everything. Hope that helps.

Thread: PhD Interview Presentation

posted
19-Jan-19, 21:29
edited about 28 minutes later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From aralez:
Haha I don't think so!! The PhD program is extremely competitive!

Has anyone else gone to a competitive PhD interview that's requested a similar presentation?


What a way to respond to someone who is trying to help you.
Looks like self confidence isn't going to be a problem.


LOL

When they ask what research you have done before, they aren't asking what the research exactly was. They want to know how you went about the research and what skills you showed. Generally they are looking to see that you
1. Can research an area and can find an interesting problem or question. Check if the question has been answered, that it is possible to answer and that it is relevant to solving some bigger problem. Possibly forming a hypothesis of what you expect to find
2. Form a rigorous method to answer this question. Possibly talking about other methods, what other people have done, possible problems with this method etc.
3. Show that you analysed the results (the results could be awful) and how they match your hypothesis. Defend your ideas and mention the limitations of your work. Basically have an opinion.
4. Make conclusions on your work. How you could have done it better and future work based on this

In my interview, I talked about my disseratation and focused on points 2&4. I had a really awkward methodology that I explained and fully justified. Then explained how my results showed that only 2 of the 12 variables really mattered which meant future people could just focus on them. The results were awful and barely statistically significant but I showed them all skills I used. So talk about anything that can show those show those skills, even how you went about ranking the best pub in the local area.

Thread: Please help - applying for PhD in Law

posted
19-Jan-19, 21:10
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Have you contacted any potential supervisors who might be interested in your work and would be able to answer these questions better? Talk to them about your idea and if they would give advice, as they will know the reviewers expectations.

Thread: Major Corrections questions! Contacting old supervisor?

posted
19-Jan-19, 21:07
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
1. 6 months sounds right
2. You can usually ask for clarifications and comments but you can't send them any new work
3. Definitely. If your old supervisor is willing to help and it won't offend your current team, do it.
4. Pass, haven't heard about many people get rejected after corrections but maybe they don't want to tell anyone

Thread: MA / MRES choice

posted
19-Jan-19, 21:00
edited about 13 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
I think it depends, an MA is more understood by employers and in my opinion is a more rounded course if you ever need a job outside research. An MRes feels a lot more specialised which can help with PhD applications and certain job roles but you can limit your options..

Though, if one courses looks more interesting and you think you will get a better grade, go for it. Choosing the right course and not the brand is far more important.

Thread: Taking A Break

posted
17-Jan-19, 14:59
edited about 2 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
What is your motivation? What made you do this in the first place? If it was because it sounded interesting, make it interesting. If it was for job prospects, remember how awful your current job is. If it is to prove to yourself you can do it, then focus on how you don't want to fail. Motivation is the key to any PhD.

So I would say, take a break and if you have no motivation after a month or so. Make a clean break. Dragging it on will make you feel worse.

Thread: Motivational advice

posted
17-Jan-19, 14:50
edited about 5 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
I am in my second year and half my project is a completely different field. I found that you just got to be patient as you can't become an expert in a day. Recognize everytime you do something new and try and learn something everyday. Asking people for help usually work and can result in new friends as well.

Also you will be surprised how many PhD students think they are idiots. Impostor syndrome is well studied in PhD students and is a separate issue that can be overcome with more practice, just don't let it beat you down. Getting a hobby and keeping a clear separation between social life and research can also help.

Thread: Formal Complaint?

posted
17-Jan-19, 14:46
by rewt
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posted about 3 months ago
Investigations should be conducted better. In the case I mentioned earlier they investigators decided the result beforehand (extension and change of supervisor) which really shouldn't happen. A possible method would be to get the student's union more involved or have an external arbitrator during the investigation. Unfortunately in these cases the academics have far more experience defending themselves and can use the knowledge of the system to prevent real investigations. Giving the students access to more support/power during this investigation would probably be the easiest way forward.

The problem is there is that PhD students and supervisors vary so much in ability/expectations/time/ personality that there will also be problems. We could blacklist every bad supervisor and there will still be complaints. Past experience is not always an indication of future issues and we are negating the possibility of people improving. Therefore we should focus on minimizing the issues once they have happened ie, change supervisor or help going to a new university or the supervisor/student getting a massive kick up the ass. It is just these situations drag on until someone breaks and the more civil approach is to recognize it before it gets there. But that is my opinion and I know it will not work in practice.
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