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Writing conference abstract before starting research

Quote From chickpea:
The conference I'm looking at is a major one and the recommendation to submit has come from my supervisor, so I've emailed him with my concerns about having nothing really to present.

Bearing in mind your presentation would reflect on your supervisor also, so he should have an interest in this. I assume you haven't heard back from him yet. It would be interesting to find out what he says.

Working post-submission / pre-defending - tax etc?

I'd second HazyJane's wisdom here. I would add that my current position is "post viva-corrections approved-thesis deposited in library-awaiting degree certificate" and I am still holding on to my student status like grim death. I still appear to be registered and am currently getting pestered by the students union to vote in upcoming student elections, so I can substantiate this. As far as I'm concerned, my last day as a student will be the date on my degree certificate.

In fact your future employer's position is nonsense and I am guessing the person you're dealing with is unfamiliar with the procedure. Is this an academic institution? By "de-registering" as a student you would be withdrawing from your studies, so an unreasonable expectation at this stage. I have seen one or two people start post-doc jobs prior to their defence without problems (at least, not that I'm aware of). Just explain it to them or deal with someone who knows what they're talking about. As a last resort, you could always insist on being paid in cash - which you have a legal right to do - and say you'll submit your own tax return rather than PAYE.

BTW congratulations!

How long to hear if you've got an interview?

Hi Boo,

Some would say it's never too early to start, though the rule of thumb is around six months before submission. Unless you're lucky enough to get a prospective job offer via a contact, that is. I personally would say that given the lather some people on here seem to work themselves up into over their theses, it has to be balanced, i.e. the amount of time you're prepared to spend applying vs the amount of work you have to do to finish your thesis. Obviously the latter must take precedence. But conversely having a job offer can concentrate the mind and add the extra motivation to get finished faster.

To answer your question about time scale, I applied for a lectureship post and (astonishingly) was offered an interview, the invitation for which arrived over one month post-application. After another job application (different institution), I was told that the short-listing would be completed in about three months. My impression therefore is that the selection procedure is variable in terms of length for post-doc jobs. But it can be very slow.

UK Visa System

Hi Heinz,

No. Denmark is a member of the EU and as a Danish citizen, you are as free to work and study in the UK as a British citizen. In addition, in most cases, you would also find funded studentships that are open to Brits are open to EU nationals, including you.

I wish you luck in your application.

Submit thesis with published papers

As an afterthought, I would add that only papers with you as first author would be relevant.

Submit thesis with published papers

Hi piere,

It shouldn't be an advantage. You get a PhD (unless you're doing it through publications, which is not the norm) on the basis of your thesis. Why then tit around producing a thesis in the first place when you can concentrate on papers? The only real advantage of submitting papers with your thesis is it demonstrates that the work - already in your thesis - is of publishable standard, as it's been published! But then competent examiners should be able to make that determination anyway. But it makes it more difficult for the examiners to dispute the standard of your work.

Is there something wrong with my phd supervision

Echoing what HazyJane said yes, it is not unusual for supervisors to co-author their PhD students' papers. In my field (biological science), the important thing is to make sure you are first author.

However the impression I get is you feel repeatedly pressured by your supervisor to keep chopping and changing. But it is your thesis. I repeat YOUR thesis. You want a PhD don't you? Then you need to take ownership. That's a large part of what it's all about. At this stage, you should be telling your supervisor what you are doing and he should broadly be offering you useful support and mentoring. And if he's still trying to micromanage and p*** you about, you need to either work on your assertiveness or take it to a higher level, as appropriate.

I wish you luck with it.

Studentship presentation

I would echo what ApolloBullit said. Five minutes is a very small slice of time so yes, they would presumably want to see your enthusiasm and possibly, make sure you're the one that actually wrote the proposal.

I wish you luck with it!

(easy) PHD in Biology with no prior knowledge?

And ruin our fun? :-P

Shall I apply for this uni.

Dear ieee2,

No. Though I guess the litmus test as to whether hard feelings are being harboured, would be if you applied to them, would they take you on? But as happyclappy said, don't give them the satisfaction of being able to reject you.

I'm intrigued about why you'd want to do your PhD [presumed, as you didn't specify] there anyway? You complained about them so were unhappy with them. A new head of department alone isn't going to change that.

Move onto pastures-new. It's healthier anyway.

paper authorship question

Dear Satchi,

Like a lot else that goes on in academia, co-authorship of papers has the smell of corruption about it. At best, what is done isn't how it should be done. The rule is supposed to be that any co-author of a paper can defend the entire paper. The common etiquette however (certainly in my field, i.e. biological science) is that supervisors get their names on the paper. Probably, first supervisor last. That, of course, is often tosh as - in my case as with many other PhD students - the supervisor hasn't the first idea about the paper content or the science/rationale behind it. But you have to think of ongoing relationships and references after you finish.

I would think if you signed your intellectual property rights away, you would remember and it would surely relate to some ongoing commercial or other specific interest that you would have been aware of from quite early on in the project. Otherwise, it's your intellectual property. Especially if it's a good thesis, it's one important "power" you retain. So although your PI (supervisor) might throw his/her weight around wanting to sort out the authors, order, etc., you have the final say.

In truth, what's important is that you get first authorship. No one really looks at the others, except perhaps the last one if they want to know whose group it is.

PS: I'm presuming you're not talking about co-first authorship. That really is a racket!

Advice Needed Regarding PhD Choices

@ Fled - for the sake of balance, I disagree. Though the essence of a lot of what you say is valid, respectfully, your comments are quite sweeping and would probably alienate quite a lot of people on here reading it.

I think the passion for research, the initiative, the self-motivation and the drive are all vital, yes. So should be very high intellect and creative thinking, which actually seem to be attributes lacking in a surprising number of PhDs. I encountered several-such just in my school.

There is a role for your extreme "go-getters", of course. But as in any field, there has to be a balance. Perhaps the "Tier 1" professionals who often seem to get to the top in academia and peddle their own particular brand of bull**** and bully others into not questioning their eminence might not get away with it if they were surrounded by more of "the others" who might temper their delusions. In addition, these types are surely the individuals often responsible for the large number of threads on here from PhD students and post-docs who have serious bullying problems with their supervisors.

@MurderOfCrows: Fully-funded for four years? Woah! Well, there's something positive that's come out of your PhD, i.e. your decision not to go into academia. Though after just 5 months? Personally, I think you should stick it out for at least a year. It's still quite early days. And there is value in completing it even if you don't want to pursue a career in academia. The achievement, and contrary to popular belief, a lot of jobs outside of academia want or prefer PhDs.

However, it's a decision only you can make. I wish you luck with it.

Supervisor pressuring me to attend summer school

Hi Fatbunneh,

Reading your thread, I'm not entirely clear why your supervisor wants you to study Turkish. Is it because your PhD requires it or because of where you're studying? I get the impression it's the latter. Either way, this sounds like something that should have been clarified and sorted prior to you starting your doctorate last October.

Advice needed

Hi MicroWest,

I did this, too, for one of my thesis chapters. I designed the experiments, prepared the samples, handed them over to a collaborator who produced chromatograms and numerical data, and then I did the data analysis and wrote it up.

Quote From TreeofLife:
I think it's ok as you make it clear what you have done and what they did. You just need to make sure you are still making a substantial contribution I guess.

Yep. It's still your study. You just asked someone else to use an established [presumed] method which was unavailable in your lab, and for which they were [presumably] paid. If you initiated the collaboration (as I did), it might count in your favour, as it shows you've got the gumption to do so.

I would add a cave, however: if a paper is coming out of this, sort out authorship, especially first authorship. I've recently been having problems over this, though not actually because of my collaborator. He's cool, semi-retired and has a s***-load of papers. Nonetheless, my supervisor decided - off his own bat - to offer him co-first authorship. I tore him off a strip and he's had to back track. Hopefully, he's suitably embarrassed. But just be mindful of it...

PhD possibilities

Hi Teresa,

Similar to TreeofLife, I studied in a school (UK) with an Italian post-doc, who had recently gained his PhD within the school. He was extremely smart, hard-working, personable and helpful. He's now in his second post-doc position in the north of England.

Re point 1, I couldn't comment on UK v Germany. Depending on how strong your preference for the UK is, you could look at both countries or just the UK and see which projects you like best.

Re point 2, £14000 (16948 Euros, at today's exchange rates) - as TreeofLife said - is about the going rate for funded students per year. And it is a stipend, so not taxable. And guaranteed, but normally just for three years. It's generally adequate, but bear in mind the cost of living over here is hugely variable. London and the South-East of England are generally very expensive, whereas other parts of the UK are much more reasonable, so do your research (or ask on here!). :)

As for getting projects, most funded projects are for EU students or worldwide students - there seem to be very few just for UK citizens. On this very site (i.e. www.findaphd.com) projects are listed with the availability and nature of funding clearly indicated. And I found my project on the site, so it does work.

I guess the only other imponderable is the suitability of your own qualification. But if you've got a good degree from an accredited Italian institution, I doubt you'd have a problem: I have encountered lots of non-British European postgraduate students (plus from further afield) studying here.

I wish you lots of luck!