Applying Phd with mediocre Masters with Dissertation + conference paper

posted
03-May-18, 23:38
edited about 18 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From chaotic1328:
FFS, I was looking at some student accommodations in Leeds, and some of the student halls (note; privately run student halls, not shared rented houses where the sitting tenants express their preference about a new housemate) have a stated maximum age of 32. Is this even legal?


That is actually quite funny.
People should have the right to choose who they do and dont live with in my opinion.
posted
03-May-18, 23:46
edited about 25 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From chantedsnicker:
Quote From pm133:

People can absolutely get PhD positions with a 2:1 and I agree you need to show some other skills or abilities but most crucially you need to hope someone with a 1st doesn't also apply for that post. If that happens, your application is as good as dead unless you are physically related to the supervisor or can persuade them to take a bribe. I think it is very important that people with lower grades understand that.


I think there's a lot more to it than what you got in your undergraduate degree. To say that I wouldn't have got my PhD if someone with a 1st had applied is, I think rather unfair.

I don't know who the other candidates were, but I do know that having spend 10+ years working (and getting a Masters part-time) before deciding to do my PhD means that I'm not the same person I was when I was when I graduated at 22 and can demonstrate a lot more of the skills necessary for a PhD than someone who has just graduated with a 1st from an equivalent university.


When it comes to PhD funding grades are the number one deciding factor. You would only consider lesser qualified people if you were short of top applicants or if the top applicants had serious character defects. I dont know why you would consider it fair to fund a 2:1 candidate over some who was technically superior. That would be a very odd thing to do when technical excellence should be a prerequesite for such a role.

i would be genuinely inteested in hearing if anyone has experience of a first class candidate being overlooked for funding in favour of a second class student.
posted
03-May-18, 23:59
edited about 4 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From rewt:


I would agree that if everything was equal bar grades the person with a first wins. And that you need to really need to show something

The point of a PhD is to become capable of doing independent research and academic grades are not the ultimatum holy grade for assessing capability to become a good researcher. You can have good grades because you work very hard, know the very well course well but do not have any initiative or scientific curiosity. You can also get good grades while having no concept of experimental design which is crucial is some science/engineering PhDs. You can get good grades but have zero passion or interest in the topic you are applying for. There are a lot of other variables that affect PhD success and assuming that grades are absolute is reckless. As the interviewers should be looking for well-rounded applicants.

I personally know two other people who did PhDs with 2:1s. Both of those people did well on their final year dissertation to the extent that they continued working in those areas. One with the same supervisor at the uni while the other somehow got a paper and got a Ph.D. off that. Despite them being pretty poor undergrads with woeful grades they got through by showing aptitude in their chosen fields. Though chemical engineering in the UK may have a different standard than other courses.

The OP has a conference paper and still got a 2:1 despite working full time. I would say he has a small chance and should at least try.


It's all very well saying all this (and I do understand your points) but it doesn't work like this. You dont consider all other factors and THEN look at the grades as though they were a tie breaker. You start interviewing those with the high grades first and only if you can't find someone capable do you start going down the grades list. The reason is obvious. Academia is about intellectual excellence and the only way we have of demonstrating that right now is solid grades and an ability to answer good technical interview questions which demonstrate you understand the material you have soent years learning. Maybe when it comes to other types of jobs, intellectual excellence is not the main thing but academia is a different ball game. The only reason people with a 2:1 get PhD funding is when there are not enough suitable 1st class candidates. That would appear to be a fact of life. I dont recall seeing too many posts on this forum where those with 1st class degrees are asking for help because they are losing out on funding. It is always those with second class degrees.

By the way, the original poster should definitely apply for funding. Personally I dont think we should be funding PhDs for anyone but those with 1st class degrees. We have too many PhDs and most appear to be a compete waste of time. From what I have experienced it is very rare to see anyone fail them. Academia is less fussy than me and will literally do anything for money these days.
posted
04-May-18, 00:29
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From chaotic1328:
FFS, I was looking at some student accommodations in Leeds, and some of the student halls (note; privately run student halls, not shared rented houses where the sitting tenants express their preference about a new housemate) have a stated maximum age of 32. Is this even legal?


That is actually quite funny.
People should have the right to choose who they do and dont live with in my opinion.


They do. Hence I stressed the difference between sitting tenants in a shared house expressing a preference about the type of housemates they want, and student halls run as businesses stating that they would not do business with customers above a certain age.

Given your impeccable academic record, I am surprised at your poor reading comprehension.

However, assuming that your reading comprehension is as good as your academic achievements, why would this blatant age discrimination by a business opened to the public be in anyway funny? Please expend.
posted
04-May-18, 00:43
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 3 months ago


By the way, the original poster should definitely apply for funding. Personally I dont think we should be funding PhDs for anyone but those with 1st class degrees. We have too many PhDs and most appear to be a compete waste of time. From what I have experienced it is very rare to see anyone fail them. Academia is less fussy than me and will literally do anything for money these days.


Why are we getting stuck on undergrad grades, and ignoring Master's? The OP asked about his chances with a 2:1 and a 'mediocre' (Good pass? Low merit?) Master's. I can see the case that someone with a 1st-Distinction combination will have an edge over someone with a high 2:1 plus Distinction. But is it the case that a 1st plus a Merit will always trump a 2:1 plus a Distinctions when it comes to funding?

I always thought that a good Master's will mitigate a less than perfect Bachelors, but it seems, not according to you. And before your ask, yes, I do know someone from my cohort with a good first from a 'top' uni getting 'only' a high merit at Master's level.
posted
04-May-18, 00:49
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 months ago
Deary me :-D
Maybe you should go to bed and come back in a less touchy mood tomorrow.
It would help if you stop taking things so personally. It's just an exchange of ideas.
That massive chip on your shoulder is not really conducive to a decent discussion.
posted
04-May-18, 01:38
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Deary me :-D
Maybe you should go to bed and come back in a less touchy mood tomorrow.
It would help if you stop taking things so personally. It's just an exchange of ideas.
That massive chip on your shoulder is not really conducive to a decent discussion.


Platitudes without content. I really had expected better from you...
posted
04-May-18, 09:32
Avatar for chantedsnicker
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From pm133:
When it comes to PhD funding grades are the number one deciding factor. You would only consider lesser qualified people if you were short of top applicants or if the top applicants had serious character defects. I dont know why you would consider it fair to fund a 2:1 candidate over some who was technically superior. That would be a very odd thing to do when technical excellence should be a prerequesite for such a role.

i would be genuinely inteested in hearing if anyone has experience of a first class candidate being overlooked for funding in favour of a second class student.


I don't think you're going to hear form anyone. It would be really bad form to be informed about the candidates you beat - I certainly don't know how many were interviewed or why I was chosen over anyone else for my PhD.

I agree with you that if we were talking about a scenario where two recent graduates applied and one had a 2:1 and one had a 1st.... You would almost certainly go for the person with a 1st.

What I'm saying is that as life goes on, that having a 1st becomes less important, people have other life experiences, they evolve, hopefully become better with more skills. Basing a decision purely on degree marks and not considering anything else, I feel is a naive view. Plus, what really is the different between a 1st and a high 2:1 (which is what I have)? 5 marks on an exam paper? I certainly don't feel I was "technically superior" to others who got lower than me in my undergrad... I just remembered stuff better for the exam and probably didn't have as much going on in the background.

If what you are saying it true, my 2:1 at a mediocre university means I shouldn't be here and I should have applied for dozens and dozens of PhD before I got a second rate offer because no one else wanted it.
posted
14-May-18, 18:53
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From pm133:
[quote]Quote From chantedsnicker:
[quote]Quote From pm133:


i would be genuinely interested in hearing if anyone has experience of a first class candidate being overlooked for funding in favour of a second class student.


Hi, I can give you an example. My group hired a PhD student this year who had a 2.1 over someone with a first. The decision was based on this student was really keen, had lab experience in the area, had links with some of our collaborators and seemed a good fit with the lab.

Not going to lie, he takes longer to 'get' stuff than I expected, but overall was a good choice. Our take on the 1st class candidate was that he would get bored quickly in our not very advanced lab and that he was a bit arrogant and we didn't like it.

I also know why I was hired over other PhD candidates (although I do have a 1st) - again because of lab fit, because I also had a masters, because I had a job first (perception of maturity/experience) and because I showed a genuine interest in the project and did my homework on background reading for the project. The next candidate in line got a PhD a few years later, so I don't feel too bad :P

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