Signup date: 14 Dec 2007 at 9:59pm
Last login: 10 Apr 2011 at 9:34pm
Post count: 2276
You're a bit isolated it seems and have typical 2nd yr blues (which becomes final yr panic). Do you have contact with neighboring labs and other students? I've been very isolated during my PhD and I think that really breeds worry and insecurity. And you're right - lab based PhDs often have all the results at the end. Sounds like you got of to a flying start though - but of course now that makes you feel you're not acheiving anything.
I think isolation and keeping your own morale and motivation going are the really big challenges - much more than the work itself.
Assuming you are not self-funding, it is generally only funded PhDs in science subjects that take people with a relevant degree (upper second or first class) but no masters. There is no list of schools - you should look to see what funded PhDs are being advertised and apply for them wherever they are.
Perhaps you could give private tuition, either through an agency or put your own ad out. Agencies should be on the internet.
Just a warning that teaching is a lot of work when you add in prep and marking (and school teaching can be very stressful). It might not be the best option if you are also writing up. Private tuitions might be better.
As far as I know you need some kind of teaching qualification to teach in a school. That training could be a PGCE, or there is some kind of on the job training scheme on a reduced salary. You can't teach in a secondary school without the relevant training though. Further education colleges also have training requirements - and FE is much sort after as an option - competition is fierce.
I know people who have got jobs at private schools without teacher training - perhaps you could look into that if there are any near your parents.
The universities I'm familiar with would not allow you to teach yet unless you have formally applied for a position and are very close to submitting - but I would look at the area and see what HE institutions are local and ask them directly. Some universities employ tutors who only need a first degree.
Perhaps he is seen as more irresponsible than a women in the same position would be, as there is an expectation that he should be supporting his family financially. I'm not sure anyone would be asking the husband if they 'had a life', if it were the other way around.
It may not be an ideal way to plan your life (it's not something I can imagine doing myself) - but it's not so bad if you want to change direction badly enough. Many universities will not allow you to research in a field distinct from the field of your PhD. It almost happened to me - but fortunately I didn't do a PhD in my original subject.
And how is his wife's situation any different to my husband's? She wasn't around for the first PhD. Both my friend and I have taken an extra 2 years due to having children - only he is male and I am female (although actually some people do think my husband is some kind of saint for 'allowing' me to do this...). Surely you don't think he owes his wife (who has a very good job) to be the breadwinner - or do you? Perhaps his wife prefers him to be happy following his interests - after all - it may seem like a very long time if you're relatively young but actually it's just a few years out of a long professional life.
Hmmm. Well I have changed direction a few times - sometimes it takes time for your interests to develop and mature. Not sure that it's ever a waste of a life though - there are usually ways to capitalise on having thorough knowledge or experience in different areas. I sometimes wish I had just known where I was going from the start - but I think to write off whole chunks of your life as 'a waste' just because you feel the direction you took doesn't suit you is destructively negative thinking - really not a useful mindset.
Sorry you are feeling sad about coming over to the UK. Try to think of it as an interesting life experience (although this is perhaps not the most interesting of countries - depending on your outlook). I would advise everyone to try living in another country at some time in their lives. Which country are you in now?
Maybe that's the case for some people - but my friend did his second degree while working and then had 2 kids during his 2nd PhD. He just felt that his interests had radically changed although he still wanted to be in research. He was very focussed, very committed and worked very hard - but certainly still had a life and remained in the real world. I don't think it was a waste of time at all. If you know what your goal is, and you know this is what you need to do - then it makes sense.
I think some postgrads are in for a nasty shock if they think their working lives will be plain sailing after the PhD. Most competitive professions require long hours - get used to it! And I am married and had a baby at the end of my 2nd year - you don't have to put your life on hold but you do have to think hard about how to manage your time and relationships.
If you really want to be face a challenge to going out and having fun - have kids. At least you don't need a baby-sitter for your research while you go to the pub...
If you know the labs you are interested in you should contact the lab leader directly. There is usually a residency requirement but there is some flexibility. I'm at Cambridge and have friends who have had leave to work away - although they have spent some time here (but that might be possible if you and your employer were willing for you te spend some time over here). It would really depend on how interesting your proposed project is to the lab here - if it is something they really like they might be motivated to make it work (especially if you have funding and especially if you have funding for the research itself). No harm in asking - although I think the odds are not all that good.
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