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Maternity leave vs. Postdoc research

I think it will depend on your specific role/institution/country. My postdoc is in a UK institution and funded by a research council. When I fell pregnant I applied for a) maternity leave from the University as a member of staff (full pay for 5 months, statutory maternity pay for 5 months) and b) an extension from the funding body.

If you have been in the role for the required amount of time (check your institutions maternity policy) you might be eligible for paid maternity leave. How much pay etc will depend really on your situation. I believe that in the UK you are allowed to request leave irrespective of length of employment, but I don't think you will necessarily be entitled to pay. In my case I was required to take at least 2 weeks, but I needed much longer to recover.

For some projects you might find that your PI will want to replace you during your maternity leave rather than extend the project, but I can't give you any advice on this other than to fight for an extension if you can - obviously extra time is better.

Viva - feeling relaxed!?!

Hi Bilbo, thanks for the reply! The que sera approach does feel sooo much better than the 'end of the world is nigh' place I've just left. Found about 20 things that need changing in the first half of the thesis. Fingers crossed it won't reach 40 :$

Viva - feeling relaxed!?!

Hi all, I have my viva in the next few days and I'm feeling relaxed!! I have been nauseated for a few days, with hear thumping and dread down to my socks but now it has completely passed. I think I'm resigned to the fact that I can do nothing about the things I am worrying about, my examiners have read it now and there is no way to take it back. But of course there are still questions :-). I've been finding some errors in the text (some things like a letter missing, an in text citation in the wrong order, a page number that hasn't printed etc.). So if these add up to major corrections (I don't think they will but humour me) and I go with a list of the corrections I've made, would the examiners pass me? barring any others problems of course. Part of me thinks that handing over a list of corrections straight off is just going to draw attention to them!

having a baby now?

looking for some advise. I'm on a three year project (love my work!), but I want a baby. Here are the issues I'm trying to figure out: If I have a baby in 9 months (half way through project) is it going to piss off my boss and stop me getting another job afterwards? Is it going to cause problems for the research as a whole? Even if I take a short maternity leave, will they want someone to replace me (and therefore it won,t be just my research any more!)?

If I wait until the end of the project: I might not get another job straight away therefore making it more difficult to justify trying, I might get a job straight away and have all of the issues above still - especially if its another short contract job. Plus I'm not getting any younger ,-)

Probably no-one can answer the questions but I appreciate any advise/personal experience/thoughts that you can offer.

PS for parents - in your experience will it be possible for me to work from home with a baby there?

'bad reputation' in academia

is it possible that this person was on the committee that dealt with your MA thesis? I agreewith the other comment, people talk (probablymore about negative than positive things unfortunately). Don't worry about it, masters is not the end of the world and you are now in a position to prove those who might have a bad impression wrong. Work hard, meet dealines and do alyou can to be an asset to your department (organise discussion groups, academic meetings if you can) people will forget very quickly.

writing on the toilet?

Hi everyone. Yesterday I happended to start talking to another phd student on the train (do we have some sort of radar that allows us to identify other phd students?!?) and she told me about a friend of a friend who could only write while sitting on the downstairs loo of his ex-wifes house.

Does anyone else experience this kind of block? I change desk sometimes but nothing so extreme!

Standard studentship stipend.....

Hi! £150 for food for one person is a bit high so you should have some left over (thats if you shop at markets rather than the horribly over priced supermarket), and I think £80 for bills is fine but could vary a lot over the coming months. Some companies offer inclusive bills. For example I pay one company a set rate for my gas, elec, and water, then get any money I dont spend back at the end of the year. The company if called glide if you want to look it up.

Other costs associated with phd life:
Photocopying and printing- always much more than you expect
Books - you know the library wont have that essential text
Things to keep you sane - eg drinks with friend, cinema
Shmoozing- lunch/drinks/coffee with supervisor, visiting academics etc.

What can I do as my PhD? ZOOLOGY...

It shouldnt be a huge consideration, but also think about the places you might like to travel to. I chose england as my study area (cold, wet, fish and chip cuisine) whereas some of my colleagues work in Greece, Russia, France, China and parts of Africa. Remember that there will be funds that you can apply to for travel and subsistence and that the first year or two of your phd may be the best chance you get to take advantage of them. Having said that I wouldnt swap my research in yorkshire for a less interesting project in a sunnier clime

article unavailable in the library Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I hate the library. They never have the article I want, and tease me by providing a link to an electronic text only for it to say you don't have access to this article. Is this a universal source of frustration?

TEFL qualification- good for the CV?

Thanks Smilodon! I admit the prospect of earning some money and having something to fall back on during the dreaded (and looming!) post-submission phase is tempting.

I agree that teaching experience isnt a very high priority - but we do seem to need it all. Papers, teaching experience, conference presentationa, collaboration and brilliant ideas of what research to do next. All on top of the thesis!

Good luck, and thanks again

TEFL qualification- good for the CV?

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone had done a TEFL course? I'm desperately trying to increase my teaching experience but find it impossible to find work without any qualification and/or loads of experience. Would teaching english as a foreign language be a good thing to put on my CV for university teaching posts? Or will I just waste time and money?
Any advice gratefully received!