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Fallen at the final hurdle; what can I do now?

Sorry to hear this.

I think you may be able to challenge on the grounds of deviation from standard procedure. Why two vivas? Was your examiner bias? Did your supervisor give sufficient supervision? Can you chat with your students union about this?

Have a look at the posts of faded07 who had an external examiner from hell and how he/she fought against it and won. https://www.postgraduateforum.com/faded07-profile

Is this the real life? Is this what an academic's job looks like?

Yes, you have described an academic day to day. Read and write papers, apply for grants, lecture and supervise students, all under a low pay with very little career progression towards the elusive tenure.

You have spent many years studying. Now you have to work and earn an income. There is a transition between study and work, and it may come with work deadline and pressure to hit your KPI. If you do not like academia, maybe explore something else then. Medical writing, science communication are all possible career paths if you like writing

Unsuccessful PhD application

I would suggest a different approach. Get a job with a major company, work there as an industry researcher for 1-2 years and then ask for them to sponsor you to further your study.

That way you have work experience and may have the opportunity to do a PhD and still have a job to return to at the end of your study. Plus, you may have a better idea of what PhD project to work on with industry input.

Finding a Job after PhD

I think you will find that a PhD is less appreciated outside of academia.

However, you can definitely find a career path beyond academia. You may be reporting to a Bsc or MSc holder.

You can check out articles such as https://cheekyscientist.com/top-10-list-of-alternative-careers-for-phd-science-graduates/ for ideas on what else is out there. You don't need to join Cheeky Scientist to read their other articles. Until you narrowed down on the type of role you want, you won't be able to do a good search on job sites.

Postdoc impostor syndrome .... lol

Your current Prof's hands off attitude is the norm. As a postdoc, you are expected to be a completely independent researcher with little input from the Prof. You propose ideas, carry out the study and publish, using the brand name prof to ensure a smoother publication process. With more publications, you apply for grants after grants and repeat the cycle until you hopefully get tenured. The prof is usually very busy with management to be bothered by actual technical science.

Hands on prof who actually cares about intellectual discussions and professional dev of postdocs is exceptionally rare. Your imposter syndrome may be masking a far more important matter - your emotional and professional needs are not being met.

Unfortunately this toxic work environment is prevalent in academia. Have a think if this lab and importantly if this career path is right for you. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind to suit your current needs and I think mental health is important.

How should I approach a re-viva with a potentially corrupt examiner?

Tough luck. Your problematic examiner is good friends with your second supervisor. The only way to remove this problematic person would be for both your first and second supervisor to agree to the changing of examiner, citing conflict. Your second supervisor would likely rather you fail than destroy his current relationship with this problematic person.

So, you have two options. Try talking to both your supervisors to change the examiner. Most likely will not get through.

Second and best way in my opinion is the softer approach. Give the problematic person all that he wants and get this over and done with. If he is as close to your second supervisor as you said, he probably only wants to soothe his bruised ego when you didn't cite him but will likely still let you pass after giving you a really hard time.

Doctoral Education, Job Mismatch, and Wage Consequences

Found a paper that is pretty depressing.

...this study provides evidence of the negative influence of over-education on wages (i.e., the over-education wage penalty) once potential sources of bias are adequately considered. While the current analysis is focused on one country, South Korea, its results might be relevant for many other countries that have experienced a rapid expansion in the supply of DHs over recent years...

Park, K. (2022). Doctoral Education, Job Mismatch, and Wage Consequences in South Korea: A Propensity Score Matching Approach. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 57(7), 1325–1342. https://doi.org/10.1177/00219096211052978

singapore graduated phd looking for postdoc opportunities in the states

Ask you prof to introduce you to his/her US colleagues. That is the only sure fire way to get a response.

If you decide to stay in the US, do know it is hard to get green card as foreigner too.

The easiest country to get postdoc position would be canada. You can even apply for PR first.

Value of optional TA position?

Volunteer to be a TA? As in unpaid? Please don't do that. If you work, you should be paid.

I would suggest that you gain work experience in start ups as a industry researcher or any other role that may interest you. This will give you the option of going to academia and industry once you finish.

What are the next steps after leaving or being kicked out of a grad program?

So you started a PhD but did not finish? ow long were you in the program for? If less than a year, you don't have to mention your PhD at all. Just say to your interviewers that you were job hunting

Considering dropping out of a funded PhD…

I disagree on treating a PhD as a job. Financially, it is one of the worst possible move. The minimum stipend in UK is £17,668 a year. The average salary for a Project Administrator is £27666 per year in United Kingdom according to Glassdoor. Multiply that for 3-4 years, can you imagine the huge financial and career seniority losses?

Only do a PhD on a project that you love with a team that is good. Otherwise, it is totally not worth it. These days, a PhD no longer guarantees a job anyway. What you don't want is to suffer emotionally and financially to complete 3-4 years of PhD that you hate only to graduate and find that you cannot get grants to continue supporting your academic career due to the dwindling grant pool and lack of tenure.

Considering dropping out of a funded PhD…

If you know that there is absolutely no way to turn your current project into one that you have some interest in, leave. No point prolonging your pain.

You can leave in two ways. One, by looking for a new project and supervisor and transferring your scholarship across. Two, if you have no intention of being in academia, a PhD is probably less useful to your career move and so it would be best financial wise for you to get a job.

Don't waste your time staying hoping things will change. Red flags should not be ignored. I have seen so many PhD students holding on far too long and nearly all the time, the decision to stay was a bad one and the PhD student suffered and some failed their PhD completely due to bad project/supervisor.

Unfinished PhD

I am not sure where the problems lie. Same results? No real importance? Results correct but not justifiable? As long as you generate data and can tie it to your hypothesis, you should be able to submit a thesis and graduate either with a PhD or at least an MPhil.

Can you try to salvage what you have and submit your thesis? Even getting a MPhil is better than nothing. If you intend to leave, five years gap is hard to explain

Struggling to find a PhD Scholarship in the realm of International Entrepreneurship

It is easier for you to break into a consulting career at internship or apprenticeship level. I don’t think your age matters too much. What is important for you to convince the employer to take a chance on you. What can you offer that other interns, especially younger ones cannot?

You can frame it as a career track change, approach potential employers on LinkedIn, offer your services either for free or severely low pay and slowly work your way up. Considering you were willing to do a PhD for many years for extremely low allowance, a short 6 months stint unpaid or reduced rate is nothing.

If you are freshly minted master graduate, Look at PWC, Deloitte, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group etc for their graduate program. If not, check out potential managers on LinkedIn or attend networking events to build rapport and ask them to take a chance on you. Be prepared to face many rejections. Another way is to work freelance while waiting to get full time employment with the big organisations. This would directly give you a portfolio to show future employers. Charge extremely low to get the first few clients through the door

Supervisor Concerns

Dear lordfarquaat,

So, you are three months in, self-funding, being dismissed constantly and not having any say in your research plan nor panel? Why on earth would you stay in such a dysfunctional relationship?

You are three months in and can jump ship without needing to explain a gap in your resume. You are self-funded so have a good chance of being accepted into a new team that you want because hey, who doesn't want a student who pays. A self funded student should have every say in the research plan and panel.

I would suggest that you have a look at other potential supervisors within or external to your university. Research the supervisors, talk to the students and postdocs in the group to see if you like the environment. Don't tell you current supervisor until you are ready to jump ship.