Signup date: 12 Apr 2011 at 3:58pm
Last login: 26 Apr 2019 at 5:18pm
Post count: 2853
When you get back from holiday, make reading about how to survive your PhD a priority - and by priority I mean make it the first thing you do. Read through this forum, read some blogs on Thesiswhisperer.com and consider a book such as The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research.
No you're not desperate. It's hard for an outside observer to know what your relationship is like, but I do know what a PhD can be like. It sounds like he's struggling to cope with his PhD and everything else combined. I would tell him that you still what to be with him but that you'll give him some space at the moment. Tell him you'll still go to the city he's in as planned and he can see how he feels then.
Of course, there's always the thing that he didn't want to be with you and he is using this as an excuse, or that he has met someone else, but if you don't think these are options then I would do the above.
Ok, seems your main issue is overcoming writers block. There are many techniques for overcoming this. Have you tried some of them? Like telling yourself you're going to write for 5 minutes without editing? Or saying you're going to write rubbish but it's ok because you're going to delete it after (and then don't)? Or just making some bullet points? Or pomodoros where you work for 20 mins then take a 10 minute break?
I've tried all of these things and they all work for me (although sometimes it's like pulling teeth). My general daily technique though is clearing all the little things I have to do, until there's nothing else to do, but start work. Even then sometimes I can't face it, so I start by formatting things. Once I've got a nicely formatted title/headings or table or something, then I'm motivated to start writing something. For the last 2-3 months, my work procrastination has been terrible. I think it's because my deadlines seem so far away. It's starting to pick up now finally (probably because I have 3000 words to write by Monday and I haven't written one word yet!).
Attach your cover letter as with the other things they have asked for. There's almost a standard format for these, so make sure you google that.
I've not seen critical writing asked for. Do you have something you've already done for a master's thesis or something? If you've done some research, your discussion should have been critical. If you're writing something from scratch, then pick a relevant topic and write a short analysis of it comparing and contrasting different theories or results.
I know an Italian who was in a similar position. He got an Erasmus scholarship in the UK for 3 months, made a bunch of contacts via his supervisor and from going to conferences etc, and then got on to a fully funded PhD in Life Sciences. So, it's more than possible.
I wouldn't worry about publications at this stage. In the UK, this isn't expected before PhD level.
If you need English improvement, maybe come to the UK and take a language course if that's an option? Live with English people and you should improve quickly.
But before doing a PhD, think about the future. What do you want to do afterwards? Are you prepared to move around chasing short term contracts with no guarantee of a job at the end of it?
Just for clarification, I think I did my PhD the right way. I threw myself into it and gave it everything I had. I didn't just write up my thesis as quickly as I could, I read widely and deeply, like a proper scholar should, and that's why it took me a whole year to write up working 60-70 hour weeks.. I could have done it a lot quicker if I was just churning out results with a superficial intro and discussion (like many people do). I published 3 papers from my PhD, plus a popular science article (all written completely myself, just reviewed by my supervisors). And one of those papers just won paper of the year from the journal it was published in.
I'm interested in learning for learning's sake. I wanted the Dr title, but it would be meaningless to me if I didn't feel like I had earned it.
My point about faking it, is about impostor syndrome, but also about being realistic. Do I think I'm as knowledge as my former PhD supervisors? No. Do my students think I am? Yes. So I have to fake it to some extent. Also, many senior academics are so arrogant (and many technicians are very condescending), so I often feel like people are trying to catch me out, show up my gaps in knowledge if you like. Academia is a dog eat dog world and showing weakness is not advantageous.
Is something wrong with this forum today? Because it keeps deleting my text.
Don't do this. Molecular Biology is a practical science. You learn by doing. Just read a text book if you want the background, or something like AddGene Plasmid 101 if it's relevant.
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest