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rewt
Friday, 3 November 2017 at 1:37pm
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 at 10:18am
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page 1 of 33 recent posts

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 1 year 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
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posted about 1 year 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.

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

posted
02-Nov-18, 14:58
edited about 23 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
Honestly, you need to decide if you want to continue with your PhD. Don't think about the alternatives, think are you enjoying it and will it be worth it. A PhD is a lot of work and effort that needs commitment, so you either want to do or you don't. Once you decide that everything else will be simple.

I know what it is like doing a pointless project, I worked out 6 months in that the concept was fatally flawed and that all I would be doing is confirming that. Though I enjoy the work, the research areas, the 70hour weeks, the stress, the mostly useless supervisor(s) and the low career prospects. Yet I enjoy it and can't think of a more job (though more money would be nice). So I have slowly changed my project to something that will lead to publications while not stressing me out too much. What I am trying to say is, take control and re-find that passion that lead you to a PhD in the first place.

Also amendments are common, don't be dis-spirited, you would rather get that feedback now than after 3 years of work. Also have you taken a holiday to clear you head and realise what you actually enjoy. Burnout/second year blues is a period that can be easily solved, with some time out/relaxation. Also what is causing the stress, can you reduce it? Do you think the project is unrealistic and causing your stress, if so have you talked with your supervisor?

I might be coming across harsh but I seriously think you need to stop focusing on hypotheticals. You are capable of doing a PhD, so whatever you decide, you will be okay.

Thread: Disagreement with supervisor about a journal paper

posted
30-Oct-18, 16:54
edited about 1 minute later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
You are right, I should start the paper now. I think most of the interesting results will be ready by the time I finish writing the first draft of my current stuff (I am a slow writer). I will include them if they are ready but will submit anyway. Though I am going to make clear that I am doing the extra work anyway, even if just for my appendix.

My supervisor wants to go for a relatively good journal that readily accepts this work but is notoriously slow. So I can just include the later data in the revisions. I just feel a bit uncomfortable submitting something I know is not my best work and has clear flaws, just to speed up the process. Unfortunately that is academia, got to make compromises somewhere.

Thanks for the advice, sometimes I get stuck in my won thought chamber.

Thread: Messed up masters big time - options?

posted
30-Oct-18, 16:47
edited about 19 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
It depends on the software used to detect plagiarism. At my university most people in engineering scored up to 20% and the department followed up at 40% plagiarism. Some of the software is pretty clunky and if several people write in the same poor academic fashion, the system thinks you all cheated. They look for word associations and if you do the " the equation clearly shows .... which means .... resulting ..." they will see similarities and flash plagiarism.(I have had lots of fun reverse engineering plagiarism software (I earned my 2:1 without cheating!!!)) The OP has still not said what he/she did (and i hope they don't for anonymity sake) or even what section it is in.

There can also be methodology sections that if lifted verbatim with referenced, that get seen as plagiarism. It is easy to sub-consciously copy someones introduction when sleep deprived. Also if the software is badly configured references get flagged. What I am trying to say plagiarism is not cut and dry. And that the OP deserves some advice on how to save his degree.

pm133, I am an eternal optimist (until my PhD at least) and want to see good in people. Unless they do clearly do something wrong, I give people the benefit of the doubt. It is has occasionally failed me but it has done me alright as a whole. Also, I would rather be treated by a doctor who has made mistakes before but learned from them, than a doctor who claims to be perfect. So giving people second chances even if they did do it on purpose, is the way to go. Would you not want to be treated the same?

Thread: Disagreement with supervisor about a journal paper

posted
30-Oct-18, 13:14
edited a moment later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
Hi Guys,

I know this is not the typical problem posted here but a very relevant topic I think.

Somehow I have got some initial results that are slightly publishable. I think that I should do another 1-2 months work of lab work to round out the paper and get something that will make a good thesis chapter. As I can repeat the method with different starting reactants and hopefully find a nice trend or prove that the reactants are comparable. In my field using several reactants and comparing is normal for what I am doing.

The problem is my supervisor thinks I should just try and publish what I have now, otherwise I will have too much data. She believes that it will take 6 months to publish anyway, so better get in early and start the review process. She is rushing me to write something but I don't think it will be a quality paper, as there simply wont be enough data. I would rather do some work and do it right.

Should I just listen to her and write something now or this an issue I should fight over? I have had a lot of disagreements over the last few months on a range of issues, and I want some other opinions. I can elaborate more if necessary.

Thread: Messed up masters big time - options?

posted
29-Oct-18, 15:50
edited about 12 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
pm133, I completely agree that plagiarism should be punished heavily. But I also don't think 1 mistake in your 20s should affect your entire career. We have all done crazy stuff but unfortunately some mistakes are penalised far harsher than others. A more apt-solution is a capped mark that makes it obvious on a transcript that something happened but not a career killing mistake. Justice should include facilitation and not just penalties.

There was someone in my course who got a plagiarism content of 60% on his dissertation and won on appeal. The guy 100% cheated, his supervisor knew he cheated, we all knew he did it. But he went into the appeal with a half-plausible story (which his supervisor believed) and got told to resubmit a non-plagiarised dissertation. Granted he plagiarised the next dissertation as well and was kicked of the course. But he won that first appeal because he humanised himself and got his supervisor to help him.

Basically it looks bad for the university that someone failed and did plagiarism, it is far more convenient for the university that some other mistake happened. I am trusting LS932 that nothing untoward happened and this is a mistake, so supporting his/her case. I am not condoning plagiarism at all and think that there should be punishment appropriate to the degree of plagiarism.

Thread: Messed up masters big time - options?

posted
29-Oct-18, 10:24
edited about 15 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
That sounds brutal for one mistake. Life sometimes kicks you when you are already low. The secret is to always get back up and never let it keep you down.

Can you make any friends in the department like supervisors who will support you? Also might be worthy talking with the students union on the rules of this. I don't the exact details so can't help any further but humanizing the issue may be your best bet. Make it so that you are a person no just another cheater that they might feel empathy for.

Also about a PhD in future; if you get some years real world experience it will help in any application. Also your transcript will still show high achievement outside the 0, which you can sell as I did well except one mistake. I wish you all the best.

Thread: Imposter syndrome + feeling inadequate

posted
29-Oct-18, 10:17
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
You get feedback! My supervisors regularly give 2 lines of feedback which consists of fixing grammar problems on something I spent weeks working on. I pretty sure they don't read what I send them, except my diagrams (the feedback is always on something linked to a diagram). So

Have you looked at your old work and compared it to your new writing? Do you think it has improved? If you can see a difference it would be great, if not don't be disheartened. Your supervisors are taking the time to critique your work and they may be trying to mold your writing style to something closer to theirs. So it might be an idea to ask for a meeting on your overall writing with the pretext of there is a lot of feedback and taking a broader look might be beneficial. it might be another brutal meeting but it could condense the feedback and possibly get some compliments.

I recommend this to most people when they are feeling low, take a holiday or long weekend. Don do anything related to your PhD and you will come back feeling so much better. The number of PhD students with burnout is unbelievable.

Thread: Feeling so detached from my PhD

posted
29-Oct-18, 10:13
edited about 16 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
Take a holiday or small break and completely forget about your PhD. It will give you a chance to come back with a fresh perspective and re-find that passion that made you want to do a PhD. If you never take breaks the PhD work can become all consuming and you forget that you actually enjoy the work.

Thread: Looking to find a PhD - All advice is welcome!

posted
26-Oct-18, 11:36
edited about 26 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
Hi Talman,

It depends on what you did during those years since graduation and how you sell them. The admissions teams are very professional and will consider you just as much as everyone else, so don't worry about that.You will probably be considered a mature student and so will be judged more on your experience/skills/attitude than your grades which can help.

Honestly, you have a good chance for an admission somewhere if you sell yourself well and aren't too picky with institution. Show them that you are the best person for the job by showing something like; maturity, adaptability, raw knowledge, passion or hard working. They can teach you what you need to know, so at the admissions stage they just want to see if you can finish.

Hope that helps, and goodluck

Thread: Leave of Absence advice

posted
24-Oct-18, 19:14
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 year ago
You are sick. I have had my fair bit of anxiety issues and I am not a therapist. But it sounds to me like you don't know what you want to do and worrying about everything in a chain reaction, that destroys your health. From personal experience, you need to focus on what you want to achieve/do. Until you decide that, you will keep worrying about what is the right decision and get depressed that you haven't got anything (when you trying to achieve everything).

I would take a leave of absence and decide if a PhD is for you. A PhD is a long long process and I don't recommend it unless you are fully committed. It is your life, live it the way you want, not what other people want.

Thread: Advice needed re: past academic experience

posted
24-Oct-18, 19:04
edited about 30 seconds later
by rewt
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posted about 1 year ago
Hi Sivvyx,

You have 15 years of real world life experience that will look good on any application. They won't care as much about your grades if you can say that you have gained skills or experience that could be useful. Your recent accomplishments and work will be far more relevant, so just focus on them. There are a lot of mature students doing PhD's and the admissions department will consider you on your own merits. So don't worry, I would worry more about finding the right supervisor.

Good luck!

Thread: Research method combing descriptive and causal design?

posted
17-Oct-18, 12:15
edited about 9 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 year ago
Hi bermosa,

Engineering student here. Are the two projects linked other than same participants? If not you can probably separate them into 2 studies.

Though as rough rule, you can call it whatever you think is this most appropriate. If you can't find anyone else with the same method, you are free to call it whatever you want. What you call the work is trivial in comparison to the actual results. But I am engineering student.

Thread: Qualitative Research Methods Chapter

posted
17-Oct-18, 12:12
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 year ago
Explain what you did and why you did it.

With unusual methods the best way forwards is to systematically break down your method explaining each step and justifying them (or honestly explaining). It will be hard to structure initially but keep trying and ask for friends to read it until it is concise. Abuse footnotes or appendices if you can, to explain the less relevant points that hamper the flow of text. If you can't explains something, just be honest as covering up possible flaws usually draws attention to them. As most readers will skim the methodology and if you can concisely explain a method, they usually agree with it.
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