Signup date: 18 Mar 2015 at 11:28am
Last login: 26 Mar 2023 at 1:27pm
Post count: 392
Understand that you have an uphill battle ahead of you. You are challenging an external examiner who is apparently a senior in the field. Very few people will support you because by doing so, they are going against him and may put their own career on the line should they need his assistance to peer review papers, collaborate or get recommendation for senior positions in the future.
I agree with Over1234's step by step strategy. You need good strategy and a hell lot of resilience to overcome this monumental challenge. I disagree on one point though as I have found excellent support from my student union when I went up against my supervisor on a major issue. Mine was not on examination outcome, but rather a major bias and financial irregularity. We had a lawyer ready to be deployed because I had excellent record keeping to prove my case. My personal experience was the university closed its ranks on me and gave a thinly veiled threat of failing me should I persist which I did and won. I do acknowledge though that I was one of the lucky ones as most people fail in their fights.
Think deeply about your strategy. Perhaps seek others who have fought and won in challenging examination outcome. Good luck
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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
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?
Definitely contact. Here are some websites that maybe useful to you. You can go search for more.
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
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
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.
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