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What is the earliest you have ever arrived at the lab/office

5.45 - but its an hour drive from home so I have to leave my bed at 4.30 to be at this time at work.

Normally its between 6.15 and 7.15, depending if I can have to car or need to take a bus.

Morning person here, too (and mother - hence I live constantly with 5 hours of sleep), and I have to make sure that I am at home when my small one is done with kindergarden ;-)

Can the title Dr. be transferred to a spouse?

Here in Austria it was an accepted pratice years ago .... My mum was "Mrs Dipl.Ing" (MSc.) and had never a qualification for university at all ;-)

But nowadays? Nope, not correct at all ;-)

Data storage and syncing data - tips needed

Depends which data you need to access regularly. For papers, I am very happy with Mendeley. I have my papers sorted into thematic folders - works most of the time.

For media content I prefer Evernote. There I use also notebooks to group things together and use tags for further identification.

For data (Excel, etc) I use a dropbox account and make sure that they are again sorted (mainly method, then date and a name that helps me identifying the experiment). These data get also a short entry into Evernote (mainly folder/data name and date) - so its searchable and I can put it in context with other things I have found.

I have to keep a labbook anyway - so Evernote serves as my own electronic version of a personal labbook.

From time to time I have to reorganize stuff (mainly when I get new ideas and don't bother to categorize them the minute I generate them) - but normally I find my things again ;-)

a question for people who english is 1st or 2nd language

Quote From Hiini:
Quote From emmaki:
I am not a native speaker and I did my PhD in English.
I found that my writing improved by reading! I read a lot and not only related to my research. I think it helps to get a grip of the language. Of course I still make mistakes and I cannot use the language as a native speaker, but I have improved a lot

the same. but it seems that we're never good enough and can never be perfect.=( how to be perfect in academic writing.

Read, read more .. and then go back and read even more. Btw, there is no such thing as perfect academic writing. Everybody, even the best native speakers, make mistakes. ;-)

I started my research career with "Writing Scientific English" (T. Skern) which helped me a lot to understand how the parts of a paper "behave". Since then, I have read a lot of papers, picked nice sentence and tried to incorporate them into my writing style. I am still not the fastest writer, but improved a lot over the last years.

If you want to improve your understanding of the English language in a more general approach I would recommend watching television. I watch them always with subtitles on - so its reading and watching at the same time ;-).


Hi there, unlikely that the minor revision publication will be shot down ;). Nobody went through the trouble giving you minor just to say afterwards: "No thanks". Try to get the rejected ones out again as soon as you thought about the attached comments - for us its always going one journal "down" in impact points. ;)

I have no idea about social sciences (guessing from your name), but from a biological science point of view I would be impressed about what you have done. Even if the whole stuff doesn't count for your reviewing board now (which I find nonsense btw) I assume it will help you afterwards with finding the next position.

Good luck and hang in there!

in desperate need of advice.. getting cold feet please help

Hi, depends what you expect from your supervisor. Holding hands and guiding you every step of the way? Than I would say "hands off" - chances are high that he will spend more time on the high impact topic. Do you prefer to do things your own way and are looking for an academic "sparring buddy" that helps you develop and refine ideas? Then I would say go for it ;).

You havent specified why the RA is intimidating. Is she more experienced than you and you fear you cant compete? Is she a bully that tries to drive people out of the lab?

Will be enrolling soon!.....what does each year of a PhD actually consist of?!

Hi, I am not in Engineering, but have a similar story. First year as research assistant, second year enrolled as part time phD. My first year (without phd) was basically getting my methods up and running, the first true phd year was then ironing out some kinks and data generation. So I am now in the fortunate situation of thinking about publication in year two, which is normally unlikely in my area of research. If I understand it correct, you will be employed next year both as RA and as phD? Then please make sure that everybody knows "about the deal". I am constantly having troubles with collegues about what I work, when I work and how much I work.

Good luck!

Final stages of writing & personal life stress

If I had to guess I would say its both. What I see from phDs around me is loss of motivation during the final year which gets even worse when it comes to the final months of writing the thesis. Some get really cranky, others are hiding (and speak only the absolute minimum of words per day), the next one explodes on regular basis... different ways to cope with stress, I guess.

Your stress level is probably even worse since you lost a relative and had turbulences in your private life. So please hang in there, you are nearly at the end and giving up at this point is something you will probably regret later on. You could talk with your supervisor and ask about an extension if you think that you can't finish in time - or if you feel that external help is needed visit perhaps a counselor at your university.

Resubmission and unsupportive supervisor

Tough one - I would go for a formal complaint because I highly doubt that you would get good references from your supervisor anyway, so you can do yourself no further harm here.

Technically, I have no idea if its possible to change supervisor at this point. Do you have any academic cooperations/friendships where someone could at least act as an informative supervisor? So someone more senior than you who can spot some troubles in your thesis while your doing the corrections?

Even if you complain now I doubt that you will get a new supervisor within lets say 2 months from now - so someone who can help you through for the moment would reduce the risk of "wasted" time in the end.

Changing supervisors at 14 months.......

sorry to hear that you are going through lots of trouble. I have no experience in changing supervisors, but some in academic collaborations ;-). Do you have anyone at your university who is familiar with the methods your using? If not, who else in the field is working with the method? Can you talk to your supervisor about some time in another lab to learn the method/troubleshoot? Do your supervisors have any helpful contacts?

Presenting other people's work at a conference

Since its just a poster and everybody agrees with his/her position I would go first name. They did the work - but you prepare the figures and submit the abstract. Without you they wouldn't have the poster for their cv, so if nobody minds go first.

I have at the moment two cases where its different: One where a collegue prepared abstract and poster but cannot attend the conference - so I fill the gap and just underline my name (I am third on said poster)

Second case, a former postdoc left without getting his paper done - data are there, figures too - just writing is needed. I will get second author there and will do all the writing and possible corrections. Here its fair that he gets first because basically its his work and I just bring it out into the public ;)

Presenting other people's work at a conference

Depends on who does the writing, normally. If you write the abstract and prepare the poster (making figures, etc), you are normally first name - and the one who did most work is second name. Depending on your lab ethics this can be switched - so the one with most of the work gets first name, you second name.

If you have an abstract/poster which was prepared by somebody else, you just underline your name to visualize that you are the presenting author - there you definitely won't get first name.

In case of doubt I would have a frank talk with your supervisor about whats usual in his lab. As a fresh postdoc, you don't want to step on too many peoples toes in the beginning ;-).

Extremly frustrated (Danger of venting)

Hi, thank you. My boss is supportive, otherwise I woul have thrown the towel latest by now ;). It just hits me on a very very wrong foot - I am working since twelve years as a technician and are constantly fighting what people expect me to do - or not. Thats why I kind of exploded today ;).

Yeah, academia is a cut-throath business and as soon as you stick out some way or another, you will become a target. At the end of the day, it only counts what m boss is believing (and hes believing luckily in me) - but it can be exhausting..

Extremly frustrated (Danger of venting)

Hi there, sorry I have to vent - other option would be throwing somebody out of the window..

I had a chat with my boss today who basically told me that trouble is ahead because my coworkers think I dont work enough and therefore doesn't deserve the higher payment that I get. (I am paid for 40 hours instead of 30)

Basically, I am a hybrid between technician, labmanager and phD. Technically I am "entiteled" to do 50 percent of my time research, the other 50 percent are technical support. I am responsible for ordering, storage, restocking and remaking of buffers, the cryo tanks, organizing general lab cleanings and infrastructure. So when something is broken - I am responsible for fixing. Beside that I am at the end of my first year of my phd and the plan for next year says 2 co-author papers (done, just need to find the right journal), another co-author paper where I have to supply a significant amount of writing (data done) and two first name papers (one data collection nearly done - other needs some substantial work).

I am constantly working more than 40 hours to get things done - and I am just seriously pissed that someone thinks I don't do enough. And my boss doesn't help when he tells me that his normal justfication to other people is:"At least it will take her longer to achieve the phD" which doesn't work any longer because I am way ahead of plan....

*hits a wall with her head*

co-First author: is the order list important ?

Its difficult and topic in a lot of discussions lately. The problem is, with the general citation mechanism in place (XXX et al) people keep fighting over the first position, even if they are equally contributing. I have also heard that people start to mess with the order of authors in their CV to reflect their own contribution better.

In an ideal world, both would be cited as main authors - but this change hasn't arrived yet. Although I am sure it will be standard within a few years because more and more researchers work interdisciplinary and share the main workload with someone from another field.

For the time being, if possible I personally would try to keep things as equal as possible and switch the position of both co-authors every other paper. Its not absolutely fair but the best one can do at the moment I guess.