Overview of VerucaSalt

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VerucaSalt
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 5:35am
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 at 9:56pm
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Thread: Writing up as you go along

posted
10-Jan-12, 21:58
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 8 years ago
I'm a genetics PhD student, and I had that intention when I started, I think its a nice idea, but hard to put to in practice. If I had started writing up as I went along, I would pages of wasted words. Projects change direction, I would say, try and write up results as you go along and your methods, leave your lit review and discussion until last (if you are a science student!).

Hope that helps!

Thread: To those who are in science field...

posted
11-Oct-11, 05:32
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posted about 9 years ago
I'm nearing the end of my lab work for my PhD (molecular biology), I loved being in the lab during undergrad and honours so my natural thought was, I should do a PhD, I'll learn more and get more out of the science field as a profession in the future. Fast track 3 years down the track after starting... I have lost all motivation, have learnt how unstable the field is, and now wondering why on earth I chose to do it. I love the lab work, politics not so much. Have just come out of a rough 12 months were both my sups were made redundant (for no good reason other than to apparently get rid of two tenured academics to make way for young guns. Don't get me started.). This showed me that it doesn't matter how brilliant you are, you have an expiry date. So screw the PhD, screw science.

I'll probably still be an arsehole and do a few postdocs o/s, then we will see if I stay in it...

Thread: BIG BLOW---Am totally lost!!! Urgency in help...!!!plzz

posted
09-Feb-11, 03:42
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 9 years ago
Wow, sounds like a bad blow for you, but you will get through it by talking to your supervisor, other students etc.

Firstly, I'd start with, the difference between MSc and PhD is HUGE (in Australia, where I am from). Basically, it seems as you experienced during yours, a MSc is and hand-held walk through lab based research, which your supervisor dictates protocols and experiments for you to do, and it's but to you to analyse. A PhD is completely different. You are on your own, leading your own research designing and researching protocols etc, I assume is this was not explained to you when you began (which is either due to a crappy supervisor or perhaps by you not realising how difficult a PhD is, especially for scientists, which from what I have seen, many fresh PhD students don't realise).

First of al, your lit review (although I cant comment too much because I havent seen it) is far too basic. A scientific lit review should be relevant exploration of all research done in your project area where you provide details, holes and gaps that are apparent in the research. No basic mumbo jumbo.

Of course, lab work is not meant to be easy, if it was easy everyone would do it. It's common to have problems in your first, second and third years etc. so don't beat yourself up too much about poor results thus far. I would go back to square one and look at experiemental design which is VERY important aspect to have down pat at the beginning of your PhD.

In Australia we have panel members which "guide us" through our PhD (from an outside supervisory perspective) and are there if we have any problems. I assume you would have someone like this for you as well, discuss your concerns about your supervisor with them, thats what they are there for.

As for quitting your PhD, it's only the beginning. I say rewrite and resubmit and talk to people about this who may have gone through this before. It's sometimes better to talk to people face to face, get your feelings out and destress.

I hope that helps, I'm sorry if some of it sounded a little harsh, I didn't mean to be!

Good luck with everything and let us all know how you go.

Thread: When am I goin to start my lab????

posted
12-Jan-11, 05:09
edited about 22 seconds later
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posted about 9 years ago
Ok, in my experience (i'm a 3rd year genetics PhD):

1. On my first day of PhD i was completing risk assessments (which are laborious, but you must do), within the week I had started working in the lab whilst writing my lit review/project proposal.

2. A lit review is an up to date critical review of all relevant current literature on your PhD topic, a continuation report (which I am assuming is like a confirmation report where you say what your progress is) usually involves a lit review, methods and results you have obtained thus far

3. Conferences: you need to go when you start getting results, I went on my first 8 months into my PhD, I didn't have a whole lot, but I gave a poster of my research thus far, then I spoke at my 2nd conference (1.5 years in) and I am speaking at an international conference (2.5 years in).

4. Not exactly sure what you are asking here, is this about money to support your study? If so, think about applying for a scholarship, saved me, and also doing some demo/teaching hours, MAX 5 hours per week.

5. In Australia, finding is generally considered before you begin your PhD, so if the lab has no money to support you, they won't take you, so I can't really help you on that one i'm sorry.

Anyway, thats my two cents! Everything is very stressful at the beginning, I was so nervous, I couldn't sleep at night I was so anxious, then you eventually settle and will love being there, promise!

Thread: Question for lab-based PhD students

posted
11-Jan-11, 03:21
edited about 13 seconds later
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posted about 9 years ago
Yeah I totally agree, a lot of my research is done using transgenic plants, tissue culture, cloning, etc, some days I find i'm crazy busy, other days I come in, look at my to do list and see "data analysis from that crappy ABA tolerance/drought tolerance/salt tolerance test or design primers or work out this reading frame for cloning" and will sit on my arse in front of the computer all day, drink coffee and eat lolly pops, and maybe have a 2 hours lunch with my lab mates for the hell of it.

Enjoy them while they are there!

Thread: The exercise thread

posted
02-Mar-10, 00:43
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 10 years ago
I feel you!

I felt exactly the same, I wanted the rosy glow and smile on my face too. So, I take boxing circuit classes twice a week, and on a nice day, take a walk around campus at lunch time. The walks around campus are great, especially when I go past the coffee shop! But I really found just going to the boxing class was the best. I'm surrounded by beginners/intermediates so i don't feel like a fool that i cant punch like a muay thai fighter and most of the time the punching bag represents the PCR machine/transgenic plants that wont set seed/supervisor so i work pretty hard. At the end of it i feel great, and sleep a lot better too! Oh and i go with a friend, so gossiping is also fun!

Also, taking a class makes sure you actually work hard and gets your mind of the PhD, if i go to the gym on my own for weights/treadmill, i tend to think "oh I came, been here 30 mins now i better get home and finish writing that paper".

So there is my two cents!

Thread: I had a dream....

posted
01-Feb-10, 02:45
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 10 years ago
On reading everyones replies you sure aren't alone! I get some pretty messed up dreams sometimes, which are clearly a load of c-rap. BUT, like you, I do get this one dream which without a doubt, always occurs when i'm coming up to a stressful event, or i'm putting pressure on myself to get something done. So on that note, i'll add my dream story here too!

I'm dreams about laying in bed, sort of just about to wake up, i'm always lying on my side, facing the window and it's daylight outside (which means i've slept in, because usually I leave for the lab before dawn, mainly because i work better in the mornings, and secretly, I want to be home to watch trashy 7pm television). Then i roll over onto my back and open my eyes and I see this massive spider coming down towards my face on his web like he is absailing, which usually results in me screaming and jumping out of bed and waking up terrified across the other side of the bedroom and my boyfriend looking at me like i'm nuts.

Wish I knew what that MEANT, although I know when it will occur.

Anyways, weird dreams, you aren't alone!

Thread: finish in 3 years?

posted
15-Dec-09, 05:07
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posted about 11 years ago
Any PhD in any science discipline, no hope in hell of finishing the 3 years. It's more like four, one person in my lab is reaching 6. I'm doing my PhD in genetics, so like many others in my department we are all tired, grumpy and know we will be here for years and years to come. That when the pub across the road is handy.

I hate cloning.

The end.

Thread: ANY BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES, BIOCHEMISTRY STUDENTs

posted
29-Nov-09, 07:04
edited about 14 seconds later
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posted about 11 years ago
I'm doing genetics, almost finished first year so strangely still loving it while at the same time getting fed up... depending on what day and if I'm doing radiation work or not ;)

Thread: Office problems..I want to work at home!

posted
12-Nov-09, 03:25
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posted about 11 years ago
I wouldn't worry too much about it. I can't say I am in a similar situation myself, as I am doing my PhD in genetics. So on that note, there is ALOT of down time in molecular biology where I and many others think, ok well, i'm not staying if I don't have too, so i'm going home. And we go home, especially if we are hanging around for no reason just to drive home in peak hour traffic!

I have the opinion that if you study better alone, then study alone. You are doing the right thing by coming in, networking, attending meetings etc. and if a few other PhD's have a problem with that then so be it. The bottom line is, you feel better working at home, you supervisor knows you work better at home, and they are happy for you to do that, then do it. The people that have a go at you for things like that are often not making progress themselves and are very insecure. However there are some instances where students leave early for no reason and they are just plain lazy so we might say something, BUT you definitely don't sound like one of those people.

If it gets that bad that she keeps saying things to you then say something back. I certainly would but I can be fiery sometimes! Just say something like "I understand where you are coming from, however it is more convenient for me to work at home, and my supervisor does not have a problem with this. I am making progress and I am not lazy, so please, mind your own business".

Hope that helps!

Thread: Four weeks in to my PhD - first impressions

posted
05-Nov-09, 04:55
edited about 3 seconds later
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posted about 11 years ago
I agree, it's great to hear you are going well! I remember when I started my PhD about 9 months ago, I almost died of anxiety. My first month or two were horrible. I was at a new uni, in a new lab, with new people, I didn't know anyone and I didn't know my way around. It was horrible. On top of that my supervisor expected so much from me, I think all my manged to do in the first two months was read, do a few PCRs and a little cloning. I couldn't sleep at night sometime and I didn't want to go in. Then, one week. It magically changed. I came in a new person, I was finally comfortable with everyone and everything and fell completely in love with my project and now I don't want to leave! Although I'm still frustrated with my supervisor expecting so much!

The teaching really settles you in i think, I found when i started that I felt like I belonged there and t really helps solidify your own knowledge, that and you are god to aspiring undergrads haha.

Anyway, those are my thoughts!

Thread: demanding undergraduate students

posted
04-Nov-09, 02:00
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posted about 11 years ago
I completely agree with you. I'm a first year PhD and I have taken on demonstrating, in lab classes god forbid for about 6 hours per week. And all I can say is the students are horrible. I remember that myself or any other of my classmates were never quite so rude, demanding and just plain horrible but then again, I did my undergraduate at a different uni, so many is a different uni thing...

These students would pester you for the stupidest thing, I had 3rd years that didnt know how to use a micropipette :-s and others that would yell at me (not joking) for not telling them the answer. They are like children and they had the nerve to tell me "in the real world we wouldn't have to do it like this" I felt like saying well in the REAL world, if you can't do this basic task, you won't even be good enough to put our dirty schott bottles through the dishwasher!!!! And they can't even follow clear but instructions on how to write a lab report. They wanted a good example of one. They beg to be spoon fed, like they don't want to think for themselves, probably too hard for them.

Grrr! I'm glad someone else feels the same!

Thread: I don't know what I want to do after PhD!

posted
21-Oct-09, 06:50
Avatar for VerucaSalt
posted about 11 years ago
Hi, just wanting some advice from everyone here I feel like I'm lost. I know I love what im doing my PhD on (plant genetics) BUT I'm not sure where I should go after I finish. I know I don't want to be in the lab all my life so I was thinking a few post-docs then lecturing, BUT I don't really want to be a crusty old academic. SO I was thinking patent law, but I don't know how to get into that..

arrrrgggghhhh I'm so lost

Any advice? Anyone feel the same way????? :-(
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