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Need advice about appeal procedures against the results of the university examination
T

Hi, withhope,

Do read the past posts by faded07. She fought against her examiners and won. It was a long hard battle. See her strategy.

Do you have access to student union or postgrad coordinator's support? You will need everything you can get to fight your examiners. If you have access to lawyers through your student union, grab that. Do not tell your supervisor or examiners that you are going to fight their verdict before you are ready. They usually will close ranks and would rather lose you then lose their relationship before in academia, they are high likely to peer review each other and collaborate on projects.

still haven't found a postdoc position, feeling disheartened
T

Hi, sciencephd

This is going to be a hard pill to swallow.

For someone wanting to pursue a career in research, having no first author paper during your PhD is pretty much a death sentence. PIs will think that perhaps you were lazy or couldn't write or that you couldn't generate solid data in your work. I know that you feel that it is not your fault. But, it will take a miracle for some generous PI in academia to want to take a chance on you when they have so many other options.

One possible solution I can think of is to ask your PhD supervisor to either 1) take you as a postdoc to allow you the opportunity to publish as first author or 2) ask his friend to take you in as postdoc so you can at least have that chance.

I am sorry. This might not be what you want to hear. But truly a PhD graduate with no first author publication has an extremely challenging path ahead to continue the research career. You will be playing catch up all the time with all the other PhD graduates who are well-published. It is a very competitive world and unfortunately you are not in a position of advantage.

I am quitting my PhD
T

If you are leaving your first PhD for a second one, yes, it will definitely look very bad to your potential PhD interviewers. They will highly likely get turned off.

You could say that you were doing some research, but they will likely want to talk to your supervisors to verify. Do you have a friendly postdoc who could say some nice things about you? Did you do anything else during that time? Like volunteering, casual work, etc?

Publishing from PhD thesis
T

Just asking, did you aim to publish in journals that were a tad bit too high impact factor? Have you tried going for lower tier ones?

Don't know what to do with my life
T

Hi, lostgrad,

Here are my two cents.

I agree that further studies may not be best for you at this stage. If you have not held a longer term employment (eg 12 months) for a long time, studying again will not make you more competitive in the eyes of the employer.

Employers will always favour young fresh grads as they require lower pay and are easily trained into whatever roles needed. Mature graduates without much work experience looking for entry level roles usually find it hard to compete. Fortunately for you, it is the employees market at the moment and this may be the chance for you to break into a new role.

Without knowing your interest, some roles for physics graduates are below:
Accelerator Operator
Applications Engineer
Data Analyst
Design Engineer
Software Developer
Systems Analyst
Technical Specialist

You could consider a role in a start up and multitask a lot. The other option is to ask for internship (yes, directly ask the employer and not wait for internship programs) and see if they can put you up for 6 months to one year. This could be a trial period for both of you and if you play your cards right, you may land a long term contract.

shock result_referral & resubmission_what can I do?
T

Hi, designphd,

1) Download and keep all your emails in a folder. Green amber red positioning means different things to different people. It could be tiering of difficulty/time urgency eg. red- superhard, time-consuming, super urgent to green -least difficult, least urgent or not time consuming.

2) Write to your student support too and keep the email

3) Talk to your postgrad coordinator and supervisor. Bear in mind, if you change your examiners now, you will deeply offend the two external that you have currently. And if you are unsuccessful in changing and have two deeply grudgeful externals, your life ahead may be challenging. So tread carefully.

4) You don't have to publish everything in one paper. However, having papers accepted and published will strengthen your case that your PhD study is solid

Masters in Data Science
T

Hi, rodsms,

I don't do data science. But I can suggest the following:
1) Look for your contacts on LinkedIn who are in data science and ask them
2) Is it possible for you to transition directly into data science job? You have a lot of experience. With the current employees market, you should be in high demand. Perhaps get the job first and then learn on the job? Or ask your current employer or future one once you get the job to sponsor you on a short course?

Applying for a PhD programe
Thesis Abbreviations
T

Hi rewt,

I would suggest that you keep it consistent. if you do not want to use abbreviations, then don't. If you want to use them, then introduce the full word the first time and then use abbreviations there after.

shock result_referral & resubmission_what can I do?
T

Dear designphd,

I am so sorry for your shock and horrible experience.

PhD examination especially with external examiners can sometimes result in horrible outcomes, as you have experienced. Sometimes, it could even be due to something unrelated to you, such as your supervisor and said examiners having a disagreement and someone is being petty. Or your point of view in the thesis is opposite to their theory and work, hence they are motivated to give you a really hard time.

First of, strategise.
1) Chat to your chairperson of examination (if you have such a position), postgrad coordinator and student union. The more people you talk to to seek advice, the better. You want people to know your case so that if things go horribly wrong, no one can sweep this under the carpet
2) Ideally you would have identified the issue that none of the examiners were in your area and corrected this before your submission. However, now that they have been finalised, wait for your r&r result guide. If the r&r result guide is unclear, make sure you request for further details.
3) I do not know if you can change your examiners at this point. You could explore. If you can add rather than change completely, you could explore that too. Bear in mind that research is such a small field where collaboration is vital and it is possible that this third examiner would not publicly contradict what two previous examiners have agreed upon.
4) Can you quickly get those manuscripts published? that will help your case significantly

PostDoc Interview Baiting
T

Quote From DrHopeIsOutThere:

I'm considering reaching out to industry based teams to get some 'other' experience. Possibly R&D, analytics work but they usually require quantitative experience.


If you are intending to jump into industry, you are at the best time. Fresh PhD graduates are always welcomed and have an easier transition from research academia to industry. Postdocs who have been in academia for a few years do face some hurdles to transition, although not impossible.

Perhaps have a think what your options are. Have you checked out the following?
- Highest Paying Jobs for Political Science Majors
https://www.geteducated.com/careers/jobs-for-political-science-majors/

- Political Science Careers
https://www.bestcolleges.com/careers/humanities-and-social-sciences/political-science/

It seems like half of those in your field go into government. https://data.bls.gov/projections/nationalMatrix?queryParams=19-3094&ioType=o

Perhaps you can even consider a short internship as an entry into industry or government.

I wish you good luck!

Help! First months of study and really confused
T

You started in October and it's now December and you only had 2 meetings with your supervisor??? I would have expected your supervisor to guide you more than that, especially at the start. Are there any other students who are further along that you can talk to? Is there a reference introduction that you can look at to guide your writing structure?

One thing I am more concerned about than your PhD is your health. You are working while doing your PhD and had been ill. That's a lot. A leave of absence sounds like a good thing to do to ensure you are healthy again. Check with your PhD coordinator to address your concerns on student loan. You can always come back when you feel better. Health comes first

Pregnant and contemplating 🤔
T

Given that you have concerns on burnout and finance on top of having a wonderful new baby on the way, it would be wise to pause for now. You can always do your PhD later. Just make sure you continue keeping in touch with your supervisor.

career advice_how to address an academic gap and is a second MSc the solution?
T

I suggest a different approach to your application.

Since you are a mature student with work experience, you could use that to your advantage. Can you ask your work to sponsor your study? I have known friends who were sponsored PhD by work. Have you tried speaking to your work supervisor about this?

It is true that a more recent master may help you update your knowledge. However, it will not solve the issue of potential ageism, if that's what you are worried about. I would suggest that you look for the supervisor first, have a chat, and if the supervisor is keen to take you on, do the master and then PhD under him/her. What you don't want is to spend money doing your master and still not get that PhD in the end. So work backwards with the end goal in mind. And if you want to do a PhD, always go for MRes instead of MSc.

Lastly, have you thought about the real reason that you are wanting to do a PhD? If you want a career in academia, know that there is very little job security and even lower prospect of tenure. Do you now have the financial security to allow you to do this now that your child is in university? If you want this PhD just to switch career, know that you don't need another piece of qualification just to do this. I would suggest networking for the right opportunity. I am not wanting to discourage you, rather I would like you to think deeply and make the best decision that is right for you.

PostDoc Interview Baiting
T

Quite a lot of first postdoc position is obtained via recommendation from the PhD supervisor. Ie PhD supervisor asked their friend to take in their student. Could you try asking you supervisor for help?

Here is my personal thought though. Your area is in humanities. It is quite a challenging field to get grant funding, and even harder to get tenure. Would you consider going into industry for a more secure and better paid job?


You can read up about the challengies for humanities graduate here:
Humanities PhD Graduates: Desperately Seeking Careers?
https://journals.sfu.ca/cjhe/index.php/cjhe/article/download/188157/pdf/