Signup date: 18 Jul 2007 at 10:04pm
Last login: 07 Jun 2020 at 3:42pm
Post count: 738
I think you should always be able to answer the standard interview questions.
You should be able to answer: why do you want to do a PhD? how is it going to progress your career? (consider that you dont necessarily need a PhD to do research in many feilds )
what is your interest in the specific project? what skills/experience do you have which makes you suited to doctoral study?
Also remeber an interview is a two way process: you are interviewing them as well. find out as much as you can about the supervisor. read their publications ask intelligent questions about their projects.....
I suppose it depends on what kind of relationship you have with your supervisor? if it's bad I wouldnt bother asking. if its good then I don't see any problem in asking.
I didn't exactly leave on speaking terms with my supervisor so I've never wanted to give him the pleasure of telling me to $%ck off by asking for a reference. My second supervisor and college tutor have been amazing and because of them Ive been offered a PhD and two masters since leaving my PhD
VeryPoor. That is a fair point. If the depression/ stress someone suffers is for reasons other than their PhD that is one thing. Quite a lot of my family suffer from depression but do manage get by in their daily lives
However if depression is induced or exacerbated by doctoral studies to the point were it seriously affects a person's health I would think it is a good idea to at least consider other alternative careers....
You are quite correct in that I would say the kind of project I took on just didnt suite me. I didnt drop out because the PHD was too much hard work. I didnt like he kind of work it involved. Any research I had done previous to my PhD was theoretical and I did mange to get my name on a paper as an undergradaute which was published in a respected journal. So if i do sign up for another PhD it will be in a teorethical topic
Very poor. I think it is an achievemnt for anyone to complete a PhD and I dont mean to belittle the degree but I wonder how many people would undertake a doctorate if they didnt get the title after? I do feel that many people do it for the title
Im not encouraging Zingo to quit but you have draw the line somewhere.
There is a differnece between bailing ship the moment a Phder starts to feel the heat and leaving a PhD to preserve one's health. Ive been and gone through the process so I'm better placed to give advice on this than you.
Smilodon. It is interesting what you said in your last post. My PhD was completely lab based work which I hated and I do love theorethical work. There is a good chance I will do a PhD again in which case I Plan to go completely theoretical
It's a very weak arument to claim that PhDs in the UK or any where else for that mattter are all of the same standard. I think this kind of rubbish comes from people who don't want to accept the fact that despite their best efforts at PhD level there might be other people out there who are smarter and more competant reseachers. They want to delude themselves by saying : I've passed so I must be as good as anyone else who has a PhD!!
As regards publications. I would say what's the point of doing a PhD if you don't publish (Unless of course your only doing a PhD to prove something to yourself). A PhD thesis is only ever likey to be read by a handful of people, so if you dont publish in journals your research isnt much good to anyone.
Zingo. I do hope you get better soon. I think im well placed to give advice on this. I dropped out after my first year. The pressure really started to get to me in the last few months. I was on an extremely demanding project with a very unsupportive supervisor and so I took my leave not long after my first year review.
My advice is: Your health is a lot more important than having a few more letters your name. There is no great shame in dropping out. Very few people ever consider doing a PhD in the first place so not many people are in a position to judge.
If you dont mind me asking? Is your depression related to your studies. ? Maybe you are expecting too much of your self. If your depression is primarliy work related, im sure with appropriate support you can learn to manage your stress?
I may be mistaken but I think I remember you saying in a previous thread that you are in Cambridge? If so I can understand your position. I think some supervisors at Cambridge( not all) seem to have the opinion that supervision should consist of: hello your project is this!! I'll see you at your viva in three years time. That appraoch didn't work very well for me as I took early retirement from my PhD.
I do hope everything works out well for you
its a weak argument to say that everyone should be thrown into the deep and from day one in their PhD. Everyone needs spoon feeding to some extent or another. If this wasnt the case why bother with undergrad degrees just go striaght to PhD after secondary school
I wouldn't say every PhD student necessarily needs two years of structured training. It will depend on the individual project and student.
Some projects can be very well suited to a students undergrad backround: The student may already have a reasonably good grounding in the theories/ experimental methods relevant to the research project in question. In this case there may well be little need for spoon feeding. However other projects can be more ambitious, multidisiplinary and as such have a much bigger learning curve. So I can see the value of a structured training progrma for these kinds of projects. There are quite a few new 4 year PhD programs in the UK which do incorperate a masters in the first year. so the funding bodies obviously recognise the vlaue of this approach
More often than not, students in the UK are expected to achieve this with little formal training in the feild of study, whereas in the US students are given the opportunity to spent a couple of years taking courses and undertaking coursework relevant to the PhD, before they start their PhD. I would imagine this prepares students a lot more than if they had been thrown straight into the deep end ( as happens quite lot in the UK ) and this can potentially make for a more productive PhD research project.
Forgive the generalisation, but I would argue that in many respects the UK system may be a more challenging place to pursue doctoral studies than in the US. Consider that regardless of what country you are doing your PhD in: Your thesis will ultimately be examined by an international expert in your feild of study. This person will judge your work based on its contribution to knowledge rather than the style of graduate education you have recieved ( US Vs UK or otherwise)
Interesting point you make. I once said to my mother that even though I was surrounded by people in the department were I did my PhD, I had never felt so loney than when I was doing my PhD.
I could never really put my finger on why this was the case and it has nothing to do with physical isolation. I have plenty of friends and socialised quite a bit but still felt lonely.
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