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Abstract For Conference Poster Without Results

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.

Job woes

[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!

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.

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

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?

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

Quote From rewt:
Can you explain your part in each publication? I agree having no first name papers doesn't look good but you can still get a post-doc with zero publications. I know a few post-docs in Science & Engineering who had no publications from their PhD due to some reason or another, so don't worry too much. There was also a lecturer at my uni in microbiology who had no first name publications when he originally got his lecturer job but had several second name papers in Cell and other high profile journals. So working as part of a large isn't frowned upon. Though I would still ask your supervisor about getting a first name paper.

Hi rewt,
So far the journals they chose don't require the authors to specify contributions....But thanks for telling me there are some science postdocs who don't have first-authored papers from their PhD! That makes me less worried.
You could see up there (in my reply to Tudor_Queen) I said my supervisor's decision to use my work to complement other people's work has led to the situation that I can't write my own paper. I hope I can get more experiments done, but there's only less than 10 months left. I'm not sure what I should do.

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

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
But will the publications be based on your own work? I am just wondering why you won't be the first author. I think that it is important to have at least one first authored one.

The papers are based on my work and other people's work. But they wrote the papers, so they are the first-authors. My supervisor combined my work with others' work to make papers. I've got lots of experimental results, and I expected to write a complete story of all my results. But my supervisor prefers not to do so. He wants to use my data to complement other people's work so that the papers they wrote look like a more complete story. Now my data has been broken into pieces and inserted into other people's work, and the rest of my data can no longer form a complete paper itself. I hope I will work harder and do more experiment so that there'll be enough data for me to write my own paper. But my supervisor suggests me not to do so - I'm already in my third year and running out of time.

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

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I haven't, but then I haven't seen every successful application ever made by a postdoc. I am sure it has happened before, but chances are lower. In my field at least. If you don't mind me asking, why is that you don't have a publication yet? Do you have any interesting results that you could publish? Even if you have one or some submitted manuscripts on your CV, this will look better than nothing at all. I'd say have a think about what you could publish from your thesis and ask your supervisor for their feedback and co-authorship.

Hi Tudor_Queen,
I expect to have four publications by the end of my PhD. But all four will be second- or third-authored papers. I'm not sure if not having a first-authored paper will be in the way.

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

I know that many years ago, PhD graduates without first-authored papers could be accepted to postdoc positions. But now the academic job market has become tighter. Have you seen anyone who finished their PhD in recent years (2017-2020) that became a postdoc without publishing any first-authored papers? Especially in science?
My concern is, currently I don't have any first-authored papers, and my supervisor isn't planning on making me write one. I'm in my third year, and I'm very worried about this. I hope I will become a postdoc right after I finish all my PhD work and three years later become a PI in a prestigious uni (Russell group level).

My PhD research is currently being done by another research group

You can contact them and ask if they want to collaborate with you, and if they want, you can publish a paper with them. If they don't or your supervisors don't, then try to publish before they do. If they still happen to publish before you do, then read what they have done and try to do some more work and make your work look more complete than theirs, and then you can still publish your work.

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?

Quote From tamecat:
Hi sciencephd

I am a part-time self funding PhD student. Part of the criteria for me to pass is to do a poster and presentation at conferences. I was lucky as my supervisor funded both conferences that I attended. Have you asked your supervisor for any financial support to go? My experience is they have pots of money around.

I find conferences are useful to see what is going on in my wider subject area and to learn about new techniques or analysis that could be useful for my project. I personally don't want a job in academia (I have a full time job already) so don't need or really want to network but conferences are one of the places to do it. At my last conference was one of the top academics for my subject area and he was very approachable. Perhaps you need to be a bit bolder and just go and start a conversation with people. Then in the future if you could email them to say 'we met at the XXX conference and I'd like to ask more about...'.

Hi tamecat, happy new year!
My supervisor has no money for me. That's why I had no choice but spent my own money on the trip.
I think you're right that I should strike up a conversation with someone I'm interested in next time at a conference (if it's not that expensive).

Advice on weather to continue

If your supervisor and labmates treat you well and you like your research project, then why not continue?
It indeed sounds a bit odd when a person from a developed country chooses to live in a developing country. But the country you live in isn't an usual developing country - it's China, which has lots of £££££ invested in scientific research. If you have a look at those prestigious journals in your field, you'll notice China has a big amount of research outputs. I'm not in your field, but I'm also doing science. When I read quality papers by authors working in China, I quite often notice that their lab equipment is as good as mine (I'm at a Russell group uni). You know, in experimental science, when you have loads of money and good equipment, you can achieve a lot.
But I do suggest that you come back to the UK or go to another developed country for your postdoc, unless you decide to permanently live in China. Many employers in the West will look down on you if you do both your PhD and posdoc in China.

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?

Quote From azhan:
I'm not really sure, people have been recommended me to do so but I'm not sure if it's worth my money? I don't see any traction, it's not as though it will help me pass my PhD. I guess if you have grants then why not but for the purpose of the PhD, it is not required.

Hi azhan, I also went to the conference because someone recommended me to do so. Now I'm very regretful - I feel my money is wasted! Just don't go to a conference because someone tells you to do so! Money is easily gone, but it's difficult to earn so much money by teaching undergrads....

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?

Quote From kenziebob:
For me the value has been in who I have met. I have met academics in my own and similar disciplines who I might want to work with one day (and my external examiner), other PhD students with interesting ideas and so forth. That being said, I wouldn't spend my own money on attending (I am funded).

Hi Kenziebob, thanks for your reply, but I'd like to know more about how you interact with those people. When you see the academics you're interested in, how do you make them get to know you? And how do you impress them and make them remember you? Are you in touch with them after the conference? If so, how do you do that without making them feel uncomfortable?

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?

Quote From PhDhere:
I really understand how you feel. I had the same experience attending one of the most prestigious conferences with three Nobel prizes laureates attending and giving lectures there. However, unlike you, I was fully funded to go there but still I felt like the week-long conference wasn't scientifically helpful to justify the cost . Like you said, you can read all their work online for free. From a touristic point of view, the trip was awesome. Poster sessions are always boring like that too and I normally get way more exposure and feedback when I share my poster on linkedin.

That being said, there are some hidden benefits that may not materialize themselves immediately but nonethless affect your way of work. You get to know how people present their work generally in your field, the trends, what they focus on, what kind of questions the get asked, what the audience normally focus on etc. There is always the chance of meeting your next employer in one of these but you don't know it at the time (you have more chance if you are near completion).

My advice to you as a PhD student is not to spend so much money out of your own pocket to attend these conferences. You can always ask the uni or supervisor to fund these conferences (this needs planning ahead) and many scientific societies provide travel bursaries for their members and particularly for PhD students to attend conferences. If you can't get funded, you can attend plenty of local conferences (there are many in the UK) and seminars where registration is free. You will get similar experience, and you will only have to pay for local travel cost.

Hi PhDhere, thank you for your informative reply. I’m curious how you get more exposure and advice for your poster on LinkedIn. Do you have lots of connections on LinkedIn in your field of study? If so, how did you do it? I’ve tried to connect to famous people in my field on LinkedIn, but they just ignored my request. If not, then is your profile visible to everyone? Are their comments on your poster usually positive?
Also, you said there's a chance of meeting future employers, but how should I interact with those people during a conference? How do I make them remember me?

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?

I’m a self-funded PhD student, so I have to pay for the costs myself if I attend a conference.
Is a conference worth so much money? I don’t think so.
I recently have been to an international conference, which is expensive. The registration fee is £500, accommodation not included. The conference was held in a luxury hotel with nothing else around (in the suburbs), so for the sake of convenience, I stayed in that hotel for the week-long conference. The whole trip cost me around £1,500.
However, I don’t think the trip is worth so much. I didn’t get much from the conference. Before I went to the conference, I had no idea why I should go there but my colleague suggested me to go – he said this was one of the most renowned conferences in our field. But I didn’t know what I needed to do during the conference. I brought my poster there, but no one was really keen to see my poster. The four-hour-long poster session was very boring with so few visitors. And none of the visitors said anything meaningful after I talked through my work. And of course I listened to all the lectures, but it seems bonkers to fork out £1500 to just listen to the lectures, whose content has already been published – why didn’t I just read them online for free? My supervisor was also at the conference, and it seemed people were always flooding to him to get a chance to chat with him. But that means I was alone all the time. So the conference was less than fun for me.
So now I don’t want to go to any more conferences. I need to pay for the trips, but I can’t come up with a good idea why the conferences worth the money.
What’s your opinion on this issue? Why do you go to conferences and what did you get from them?

Why does my supervisor ask the other student, rather than me, to make a poster?

I'm a 2nd-year PhD student who's just come back from an academic conference. I'm feeling really sad now.
I had been doing my PhD project alone since the start of my PhD program, and I made quite a lot of progress. But three months ago, my supervisor said that he would like a senior PhD student to work with me. I said 'fine, I'm gonna have a new perspective.' So a final year PhD student, let me call him 'Sam', joined this project. Sam has his own PhD project, so he doesn't have too much time for this one, and he has been making far less progress than I have.
A month ago, my supervisor registered both of us for a conference. A few days after the registration, he told me that he asked Sam to make a poster about our project and Sam had already started to make it. He said Sam might need some of my data to make this poster. I was shocked. I didn't understand why my supervisor asked Sam, not me, to make this poster - this poster is about my PhD project! I'm the main player in this project, and he just helped a bit, so what on earth was my supervisor thinking about? Also, this was the first time for me to attend a conference, and I'd never made a poster before (Sam had made quite a few before), so I needed the opportunity to learn and practice to make an academic poster. By no means should my supervisor have asked Sam rather than me to make this poster, right?
I was quite unhappy at that moment, but I'd been trying not to think about this issue any more. However, the poster session at the conference yesterday was really annoying! Many other group members (we're a huge group) also attended this conference, and one of them saw our poster, whose first author is Sam, and said to me surprisedly, 'I thought you were doing this by yourself! Was Sam guiding you through these experiments?' 'No,' I said, 'I learned all this stuff by myself. Sam has just joined. He hasn't done much to this project.' But she looked unbelieving. During the poster session, our group members and other conference attendees asked Sam loads of questions but almost ignored me. And Sam behaved like he was the main contributer to the project. Now the conference is finished, and I'm sure people have believed Sam has been leading this project, not me. I feel distraught. I don't understand why my supervisor made Sam the maker of the poster. Does he prefer Sam to me? Does he trust Sam more than trust me? I'm too scared to ask my supervisor these questions because I fear he says 'Yes'.
So what do you guys think? What's the possible reason that my supervisor chose Sam over me?
By the way, a few days before the conference, my supervisor said he wanted us to write a paper about this project. Sam looked excited and quickly proposed an outline for the paper. So I wonder if my supervisor's gonna make Sam the first author of the paper....I feel so scared now.