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Overview

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tru
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 at 11:28am
Sunday, 12 August 2018 at 5:29am
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page 1 of 15 recent posts

Thread: Abandoned by Mentor

posted
12-Aug-18, 05:33
by tru
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posted about 5 days ago
Get another supervisor with similar background or change to a different project completely. Or, is it possible to join your former supervisor in the new institution?

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
12-Aug-18, 05:29
edited about 16 seconds later
by tru
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posted about 5 days ago
Hi,Tudor_Queen,

I agree with Tester that it all depends on the relationship with the supervisor. I know of students who chose to downgrade to MPhil due to circumstances with the approval of the supervisor and got good references for future jobs. I also heard of students who had unwanted downgrade to MPhil and the relationship with the supervisor was so awful that there was no way to get a good reference. While the supervisor is unable to give bad written reference legally, there is no regulation on giving mediocre reference by email or horrible phone reference. In the unwanted downgrade case, I would advise the student to get someone else eg. postdoc or lab manager to be the reference rather than the supervisor.

I also agree with bewildered that if the person chooses MPhil over PhD, it would be best to look for a job outside academia. A Phd is necessary for career progression in academia but not essential in the industry (but could be an advantage over other candidates in industry).

Is all well, Tudor_Queen?

Thread: Need advice on the thesis

posted
05-Aug-18, 02:52
by tru
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi, Tudor_Queen,

Have you had a look at Dora Farkas's Finish Your Thesis on https://finishyourthesis.com/? Might be a handy resource for you.

Thread: Keeping yourself motivated around people who aren't that driven. In search of a study buddy.

posted
05-Aug-18, 02:44
edited about 29 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 week ago
Hi, Stargazer000,

Study buddies are great to encourage one another when we encounter a slump, which happens to everyone including the very best. You have had plenty of good advice here already. I feel that a local buddy is best. He/She doesn't have to be from the same field of study or even institute or university. Could you attend some student presentations/workshops/conferences and see if you can find people with chemistry with you? Then meet up, maybe once a fortnight or something to chat about progress or study issues...

If you really really cannot find anyone local, perhaps you could try being a member of PhinisheD and find an online buddy there? There are good active members there, so hopefully you will find a suitable buddy.

Thread: The cost of quitting a PhD

posted
05-Aug-18, 00:29
edited about 10 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 week ago
Quote From Kamali:
Bad decision! When you think to study Phd you should have understood many obstacles would come across. I finished my PHD in jan 2018 after 6 years struggling different issues but never thought to quit ! If you feel your decision was wrong dont waste time any more try to renrol again.
I have PhD but still jobless, but proud bout my achievement regardless any thing else!


Hi, Kamali,

I don't think it is anyone's position to judge on another person's decision to terminate their PhD. The other person may have many valid reasons which we may be unaware of: toxic lab environment, harassment from lab mates, health issues, family issues, major financial issues, etc. Termination of PhD is normally a last resort when all other actions to solve the issues have failed. The confidence of the person who has recently terminated his/her PhD is usually quite fragile while still recovering from the shock, so please use gentler words on this forum.

I am glad that you finished your own PhD and good luck with your own job search.

Thread: Academic interview attire

posted
01-Aug-18, 09:48
by tru
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I have seen people attending postdoc interviews in T-shirt and jeans. However, I still feel that smart business wear is still best for good first impression.

Thread: The cost of quitting a PhD

posted
31-Jul-18, 14:15
edited about 15 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi, iwan,

You have had plenty of good advice here. My friends who terminated their PhD all had good jobs after. I do not know how long it took them. They rephrased it as refocusing their energy into something that would benefit their career in the long term since their career goal was no longer in academia.They did not bad mouth their supervisor in any way, but emphasised on the skills they gained during the period of time and how staying longer in their PhD would not contribute to future career goals.

I am unsure about the cultural difference to viewing the termination of a PhD in Singapore. However, if it is an issue in your specific country for whatever reason, could you temporarily get a job in a neighbouring country short term to gain new work reference? Otherwise, would you consider doing internship short term in Singapore to demonstrate your capability to future employers?

Thread: A terrible supervisor

posted
16-Jul-18, 12:50
edited about 9 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
So you have three supervisors and have not met them regularly? And you have not read your PhD contract agreement and your responsibilities?

I truly am sorry that you are depressed and angry. It is hard to be in your situation. Unfortunately, horrible supervisors exist, star or not. However, in this case, it is not entirely your supervisors fault as you too must push for their attention and not meekly accept things as they are.

My question to you is, after you have calmed down, what do you want to do? Since they are such rubbish of supervisors, do you and could you change to another project and supervisor? You said your supervisors behavious cannot change and I think you might lose your sanity if you stay in this situation much longer. You can't change them, but can you change yourself? Don't quit, but just change to another project and supervisor under the same uni?

Thread: Long term academia

posted
16-Jul-18, 12:37
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
I am sorry that things turn out this way for you, CannonKing. It must be so hard.

I do not encourage students to self fund, especially since there is no guarantee for a job at the end of a PhD. Your supervisor could ideally have been more supportive in terms of supervision and helping you apply for scholarships.

Are you near finishing your PhD? If not and if you do not see yourself being an academic researcher in the future, would you consider looking for a job you love and wrapping up after you found one? I encourage students to finish their PhD if they are nearly there but if they are self-paying, still in early candidature, not having a supportive supervisor, not considering academia as a long-tern career or having financial/health/family stresses, then I would encourage students to rethink if they really need the PhD or if they are better off with a master and a job.

Is an academic job worth it? Hmmm... It's a bit personal and hard to answer. I know of many academics who absolutely hate the grant-writing and uncertainty of their job. It certainly is "funny" if you think that academia is one of the few places whereby your employer (the university) not only doesn't pay you (and you have to find your own salary and project funds), but you have to pay them extensive admin/facility fee as well... On the other hand, I also know of a very minor few who do very well and enjoy a steady stream of grants plus backing of other big shot profs... And there are a few others who a bit in between love/hate and trying to make things work.

Thread: PhD and Pregnancy

posted
16-Jul-18, 12:12
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
I agree with pm133. Your decision to try for a baby is yours and your husband's personal matter. You do not need to inform or ask for permission from your future supervisor.

However, have a think about your challenge to balance a PhD with your new role as a new mum. It is not impossible, but it can be a bit stressful. Do you also have support from your husband and maybe other family members to help make it work? Both roles as a new mum and a PhD student are very challenging, so every little support counts. All the best....

Thread: To continue Phd or not

posted
16-Jul-18, 12:05
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
I strongly suspect that your supervisor is not going to ask you to stay since he is delaying his meeting with you. However, I wish you all the best if you really want to make things work. Let us know how it goes.

Thread: To continue Phd or not

posted
11-Jul-18, 15:26
edited about 14 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
Hmmmm... I am trying to understand. You wrote to him that you want to quit Phd since it looks like he doesn't want to support you. But if he asks you to go, you will be really be unhappy that he supported an intern and the annotation team. Yet you are really getting scared now since he is too busy to meet with you.

What do you really want from him? Do you actually have any intention of leaving or are you just using that as a bargaining chip. He is a prof and it is possible that he has many students lined up to take your place if you go. You have also described a toxic environment with your supervisor not wanting to put in time for students. Depending on his personality, you may have insulted him by saying you want to leave because he is not supportive.

If he asks you to stay, great. But, have you thought of a plan B if he supports your decision to go? What will you do? Hunt for a new supervisor? Or just pack up and go? Have you thought this through before you wrote that first email to him saying you want to quit?

Calmly have a think about all these points.. You may find an answer for yourself through this chaos.

Thread: Applying for RA positions instead of role requiring PhD...

posted
05-Jul-18, 10:22
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
From what I observed in the last few years in my institute, RA position was offerred to PhD graduates, generally by their former supervisor for a short term of up to 6 months while they are doing thesis corrections or looking for a postdoc position. Another scenario is when a PhD holder is coming back from maternity leave and needed something in the short term to bridge the gap before moving on to something more solid. I have also seen, although not as frequent, PhD holder who chose a RA/technician role because they became sick of chasing after grants and doing long hours at the bench on their own projects. In this case, it was a permanent career choice.

Personally, I do not like the idea of being hired as a RA with intention of moving up to a postdoc because that opens up the door to potential abuse. Picture this: You are a PI + you pay low rate for a RA who does postdoc level work for you. Why would you want to pay more if you can use the savings from the salary difference to do your project? Plus, this RA needs your letter of recommendation anyway, so you have absolute control. Nope, this idea does not sit well with me. But... these are just my thoughts and I leave it up to you.

Thread: Supervision of one master student gone bad

posted
03-Jul-18, 22:46
edited about 13 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
Hi, skyisnotthelimit,

I agree with rewt that it is unfair for you to supervise a master's student by yourself. You have done to the best of your capability, are definitely good enough and should not be too hard on yourself. It is not your duty as a PhD student to supervise as your primary role is to focus on your own PhD research. It is usually a postdoc and the primary supervisor who should do their supervisory role. So, you have taken on extra responsibility, did your best and while it did not turn out the way you wanted, it is not your fault.

Your supervisor though is another matter all together. Him not supervising and then simply failing the student without trying to help in any way speak volumes about his character. I would think twice about a supervisor who is less enthusiastic and harsh on his students... I know academics can be hardened by the system, but still a heartless supervisor who really doesn't care at all? It's awful...

While you can't do anything about the unfortunate masters student, have you thought about your own situation? Are you ok with no supervision or guidance for the entire length of your PhD? Training to be an independent researcher does not mean being left on your own completely. That's not training but neglect. Can you get another secondary supervisor (someone who actually will supervise you) on board? Or do you need to change project and supervisor? I am just worried that history may repeat itself and that this time, it will be you who will be the one in trouble. You can read up about iwan's posts here on this forum to learn from his experience on bad non-supervising supervisor. I believe Tudor_Queen, one of our top posters here, also had a pretty bad time with her first supervisor and again, you can learn from their experience or even message them...

Don't feel like sh!t. You have done nothing wrong. Take actions to secure a better future...

All the best

Thread: Searching for postdocs

posted
03-Jul-18, 11:34
edited about 20 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 month ago
Have you tried Nature jobs?

https://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs?job_type=Postdoctoral
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