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sciencephd
Friday, 14 June 2019 at 11:07pm
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 at 9:01pm
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Thread: Is there any other experimental science PhD student who's feeling as lost and anxious as me now

posted
14-Apr-20, 15:03
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posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Nead:
Its understandable to feel how you do. Being a scientist and being away from the lab can be testing. In my research group, everyone has been task with thesis writing (Students) and postdocs(me) have been told to write papers.
I know it hard to write full time, but that is what you'll have to do in the last 6 months. I would imagine it would be better to write what you can now, just in case you need those final months to do experimental work.
In term of I have" nothing to do", can you make some graphical abstract, create imagines or double-check all the references you have used to date? Can you take any courses online, such as an R stats course etc? It doesn't all have to be about writing.
In terms of a side project, I personally wouldn't want one, this will distract from your thesis, and may not be useful towards your PhD.
I would thread lightly about sending an email to your supervisor about how angry you are. You don't want to upset a relationship. Also, see it from their side, s/he more than likely has PhD students, post-docs and classes that are now being done online, plus exams are coming up, s/he could be quite stressed. I would, however, ask if possible for a video call/meeting to discuss what exactly s/he would like to see from you during this time. Sometimes having smaller goals to work to can be helpful.

Thanks a lot, Nead. You're more helpful than my supervisor at the moment.

Thread: Publish after PhD

posted
13-Apr-20, 21:05
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posted about 4 months ago
If you didn't maintain a good relationship with your PhD supervisor and you don't think they have contributed to your work, then why contact them again. Then the only thing you need to think about is whether to add them in the acknowledgements. You are outside academia now, and your PhD supervisor can no longer influence your future, so you don't need to fear them any more.

Thread: Is there any other experimental science PhD student who's feeling as lost and anxious as me now

posted
13-Apr-20, 18:54
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posted about 4 months ago
Thanks to covid-19, we are in a lockdown, and no one knows how long it will last....I'm doing experimental science, but the lab is shut down....I'm feeling so anxious because apparently I have nothing to do! I can do no more experiment, and I've already analysed all the data from my old experiments.

My supervisor just tells me to write a chapter for my thesis. But doing the writing full-time is boring, so I hope I can do something else. Also, there'll be a 6-month period at the end of my PhD for writing the thesis, so I don't really need to work hard on it now. I have plenty of time now, but have nothing more meaningful to do.

I've heard another PhD student in my cohort has been assigned a side project by his supervisor for the lockdown period. I think that's a good idea. But when I asked my supervisor for a side project, he was like 'What side project? You don't need one. I'm sure you'll have enough data by the end for your thesis.' I didn't know what to say, but felt very disappointed. I emailed a postdoc, who's working in the same group as me, about how bored and anxious I'm feeling. I thought he would understand my feelings cos we share the same supervisor and do similar experiments. To my surprise, he didn't reply. But today I heard from someone else that my supervisor gave the postdoc a side project and he's busy working on it! You know how frustrated I'm feeling now! I'm even feeling angry. I've already written an email expressing my anger, but I'm hesitating whether I should send it to my supervisor right away!

Thread: What is the role of your second supervisor?

posted
02-Mar-20, 18:51
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 5 months ago
My supervisor has done little to support my research....The only use of him is when my primary supervisor is away and I need a signature, he can do it on behalf of my primary supervisor...So don't expect too much from your second supervisor

Thread: Looking for grants for visiting fellowships

posted
02-Mar-20, 18:47
edited about 17 seconds later
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posted about 5 months ago
It's better for them to ask their government or the EU to provide funding. The UK government is quite thrifty when it comes to funding foreign students.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
02-Mar-20, 18:39
edited about 1 second later
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posted about 5 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
How about asking your supervisor how you can get a first authored paper? It sounds as though he runs the lab and has a strategy about papers and projects. If he realises you aren't happy to take no as an answer, he may start to include your interests in that strategy. I think this would need a conversation where he saw that you were serious and not about to easily back down. But also I don't think it would help to say you want to use the existing results that he already has plans for. You could see what he says when you state your position about needing an opportunity to publish some first author papers during your PhD. I'd say papers plural, as then you're more likely to get at least one paper out of a negotiation.

Many thanks for your suggestions. I asked my supervisor a few days ago, but he looked impatient. He couldn't understand why I need a first-authored paper. I insisted I need to get a postdoc position right after my PhD, so a 1st authored paper is important. He then asked me to work harder and do more experiments so that there may be more results for a paper. But he doubted if I could write a paper in a timely manner, because I've never written a paper before. I don't think this conversation is successful. Everything is still in uncertainty, and he seemed very impatient.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
02-Mar-20, 18:29
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posted about 5 months ago
Quote From pm133:


I should add that my ex-PhD colleagues who came from a non-RG background and secured RG postdocs were in the fields of Chemistry, Physics and Biochem. Two of them have now secured permanent positions within those RG unis. Perhaps it would be different if they were in the Humanities. I have no idea.


Several of your ex-PhD colleagues have secured permanent jobs at RG unis! Wow that's impressive!
I'm in chemistry, so I'm interested in those stories. As far as you know, what made them become permanent academics? Is that because they have many brilliant first-authored papers? Did they make a big breakthrough in their field? Or is there anything else that's important for securing permanent academic jobs at top unis?

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
02-Mar-20, 18:22
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 5 months ago
Congrats sciencegirl3456! This is encouraging, but it also scares me because you mentioned the fact that you have been competing with lots of postdocs all the time! That means I will also need to compete with postdocs and stand out! But they have more lab experience, their experimental skills are better than mine, and they have more papers....All of these are daunting!
I'll try and improve my presentation skills and hopefully that will help me impress the search committee.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
24-Jan-20, 03:07
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posted about 7 months ago
After my PhD I was approached by two different supervisors and offered postdoc positions. Both were at RG universities and both were leaders in their fields. I didn't have to apply for either. They approached me.

Could you say more about this story? I'm wondering how a PhD student can get two PIs to approach them and offer them postdoc positions. How did the PIs get to know you? Did they know your supervisor? Was your supervisor famous? What did you do to impress the two PIs? I can't imagine any PI approaching me and offering me jobs. People other than my supervisor and co-supervisor simply don't know my existence. I've no idea how to make them know me. I would appreciate it if you could advice me on that.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
24-Jan-20, 03:00
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
The thing is, sciencephd seems concerned that s/he does not yet have a first author publication... something must be causing this. Maybe others at the same level in the lab DO already have some papers? Facing up to it and trying to remedy it is probably the most positive thing a person can do if that is the case.

Other students in my group all have at least two first-authored papers on top journals before the end of their PhD. My supervisor gave me a project that is very different from theirs. My project is very boring. Although it's relatively easy to get some results, the results are not impactful and cannot reach top journals. My supervisor thinks it's better to use my results to complement other papers and make those papers easier to get to top journals rather than publish my story on a mediocre journal.
And by the way, the other students have all secured a postdoc job right after their PhD, in a world famous group in this field. By comparison, my achievements look miserable and I don't think I can find a postdoc job so easily.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
24-Jan-20, 02:48
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 7 months ago

You don't need his permission to write a paper. Your rationale can be that you have already written it and you want his feedback before you publish. As you have taken the initiative he will have to give some reason for not wanting you to publish from which you can work with. He might tear your work to shreds and further dent your self confidence but he might decide to include other people's work in your first name paper.


Thank you, Tudor_Queen and rewt, for coming back and giving me further advice.
I've done 5 major experiments so far. The results from Experiments 1 & 3 have been inserted into other people's papers (not submitted yet). So now I have the results from only 2, 4 & 5, but these 3 experiments can't form a complete story. Experiment 1 is the most important one - later experiments are all based on it. Therefore, in order to write my own paper, I need to ask 1 & 3 back and use 1,2,3 & 4 to write a decent paper. But I've already agreed that my supervisor can use 1 & 3 for other papers. If I tell him I need them back, then there'll be scuffles. Another option is, let him publish the two papers, and then I still use 1,2,3&4 to write my own paper. But 1&3 are already published, so will any journals still accept my paper? I doubt it.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
18-Jan-20, 07:03
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 7 months ago
Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement, Jamie!
My supervisor cares only about his own career but not my development. His indifference to my needs has made me lose my confidence. I've already reminded him that I need more advice on my development, but he couldn't care less and just told me to follow his instruction. Well, at this moment, his instruction is that I have to tailor my data to other people's papers. I'm struggling to find enough rationale to convince him to give me a chance to write my own paper.

Thread: Abstract For Conference Poster Without Results

posted
15-Jan-20, 22:26
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 7 months ago
You don't need any results to be included in your abstract. When you get your results, just put them onto your poster. Even if you don't have any results for your poster, it'll also be fine cos I've seen several posters without any results shown, and some of them even won best poster prizes.

Thread: Job woes

posted
15-Jan-20, 19:36
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 7 months ago
[quote]Quote From sciencegirl3456:
I am hoping that now Christmas is over that there will be more jobs to apply for. I am going to widen my search to abroad (not UK) as well but the thought of moving abroad terrifies me but I need money... I have tried speculatively for the USA but unfortunately the only lab interested did not get the funding but I agree it might be worth trying again. I guess if I don't get anything soon I will take some related science job not research based and just accept research wasn't meant to be.

You are 100% right about the thesis corrections, my supervisor gave me a telling off for not doing them as she says it will increase my chance of getting a job when they are done because they know for sure I have a PhD awarded. I ddi start the corrections today.

Thank you!

[quote]
Actually you don't need to worry about money. As far as I know, US universities pay new postdocs a 'relocation fee', which will make your moving easier.

Thread: Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?

posted
15-Jan-20, 19:32
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From sciencegirl3456:
I am in a similar situation due to an issue of an author on my paper that should be first name. I am applying for postdocs and have had 4 interviews, my lack of publishing has never openly been said as a reason I did not get a postdoc. I can think of quite a few people I know who got postdocs without a first author publication in science.

Hi sciencegirl3456
Thank you for letting me know there are postdocs who didn't have first authored papers. You said 'my lack of publishing has never openly been said as a reason I did not get a postdoc', but what did they openly tell you? What's the reason for their refusing to give you the job? I'm wondering what I need to show them to convince them to hire me if I lack good papers. Do you know how those postdocs who didn't have first-authored papers got their postdoc job? What do the PIs seek from applicants?
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