PhD peeps- motivation and the like

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by Kuso, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    You can think both! :D I certainly did.
  2. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    Going to depend on the field, university etc but in general both in the UK and Australia you're typically looking at 100-200 applications for lecturer position in physical sciences.
    Sunset Tree likes this.
  3. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Apparently the impression of PhD life I've been giving at home is working ludicrously hard to analyse/write a load of stuff, then chuck it all out and start again. Rinse and repeat. Somehow I don't mind this too much :D
    Job prospects-wise I've also learned to loathe what I call 'carrot dangling' and this blog calls 'cruel optimism' :mad:
    Pickman's model likes this.
  4. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    Where I work (on the admin side) it's a narrower field than redsquirrel mentions so we wouldn't get hundreds of applications for a lecturer, but I have to say there's no way someone would go directly into a lecturer post here from a PhD. The thing is they're not really separate career paths - it's like anywhere, you go in at the entry level role and work your way up, and fixed term researcher roles are the entry level positions. Once you have that on your CV you can look at lecturer roles. It might be different elsewhere but I think that probably holds in most places tbh.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
    equationgirl and Sunset Tree like this.
  5. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    That makes sense. My department has over 100 researchers but only a few are involved in any kind of lecturing. Was actually surprised just how many full time researchers are employed by the uni working away on projects in an office. Not how I pictured above academia somehow but I do like research.
  6. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Full time and permanent lecturer roles can be hard to get, as others have said dependent on field. One of my PhD buddies got one in criminology straight after graduation.

    Fractional and temporary junior contracts (associate/assistant lecturer) are more common. I know plenty of folk teaching on these with full responsibility for modules well before completing a PhD. And others who have been on these contracts for a decade or more.
    Sunset Tree and equationgirl like this.
  7. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    to be fair i was working in libraries for about 10 years before i got one full-time job (and i've still a fractional job on top of that). since 2007 i've had at least 2 and up to 4 jobs at any one time, so this sort of nonsense is spread across higher education.
  8. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    My mate has a PhD in IR from Glasgow, and a postdoc from a top University in the US that he's just about to complete, and he's struggling to get a permanent lectureship. :(
  9. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    It's shit, isn't it? Sorry he's having such difficulty in securing a post.

    This situation is exactly why I went back into industry.
    mango5 likes this.
  10. Hollis

    Hollis Bloody furious

  11. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Certainly there was stuff in the article that I related to, thanks for posting it.

    There was an article recently about the government funding more PhD places yet no mention of funding postdocs or lectureships. Then people wonder why PhDs don't always end up in academia.
  12. kenny g

    kenny g Totally Aware.

    Had a quick scan of the beginning of the article. I noticed the grieving process being mentioned but do people go through PTSD symptoms as well?
  13. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    my mental, and physical, health is shot to fuck atm
  14. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I find it difficult to be in situations that are similar to being with my supervisor. Not flashbacks as such.
  15. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Some prick has plagiarised my essay. Was looking forward to getting results tomorrow but one is being withheld due to similarities with another student.

    They can't give any details on who it is but I know who my money is on. So-called friend who said he'd finished his own assignment but could he see mine to make sure he hadn't missed anything. Sais he was just dotting 'i's and crossing 't's and wanted to check he hadn't done anything majorly wrong. I thought he'd give it a quick skim not copy it.

    I submitted my assignment two months before this happened and have evidence of him asking to see it and me sending it (WhatsApp chat).

    I've been told informally not to worry as although it's wrong to show someone your work, it is not the same as committing plagiarism. Especially with evidence that he asked to see it months after I formally submitted. So I might get a warning for that but I have evidence that my work is original.

    It was really awkward because he just approached me in class acting all cheerful and normal asking if I want a coffee. Got me doubting if it was even him, but there's no one else it could be. They can't tell me who it is and I don't want to mention it in the 1% chance I'm wrong. What if it's just a freak similarity to some other random student? I left quickly after class to avoid him.

    Horrible situation which I know I am ultimately responsible for by not protecting my work.
  16. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    That sounds rotten. What a headache :(. It's not wrong to show your work to other people. Glad you have evidence the work is yours. Defend yourself, don't blame yourself, and don't implicate anyone else unless asked.
    You might want to have a word with the mate once things are resolved for you. Or just cut them off.
    Sunset Tree likes this.
  17. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    I am so worried that I've done something horribly wrong by sending someone my work. I have vague memories of being told if you enable someone to cheat you are equally responsible.

    The faculty member I spoke to put me a bit more ease about that (as have you now).

    Five weeks left of classes with this guy. Looking back now the red flags were there, he was struggling with the course. I needed to help him a fair bit with exam revision.

    Example: three days before an exam I asked if he wanted to study. He said he'd done no studying at all, was deep in a stress meltdown, couldn't face looking at the work, had accepted he is going to fail. I convinced him to come to the library and face down the fear. We worked through the material together and he ended up quite confident. It was around that time he asked to see my assignment. I should've realised that if he was melting down over the exam, there's a chance he's not done the assignment too. Red flags that he was a bit unstable, had latched onto me a bit for support, rather than dealing with things himself.

    I was advised to explain all of this contextual information if I'm called to an investigation. The whole thing has caused me so much stress and made me so uncomfortable in class that I am starting to feel really angry, I don't care what happens to him.
  18. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    There are weird stresses in the academic world. Many ludicrous examples of 'person vs bureaucracy'. Pick your battles. Keep your head high. Marathon not sprint .. etc etc
    Sunset Tree likes this.
  19. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Let off steam here :) keep it cool in the arena
  20. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Good advice. I'm confident enough in my position that I think I'll be fairly calm. Fuming on the inside though. I don't get angry easily but it's the betrayal, the feeling of being used, the selfishness and laziness, the absolute stupidity in committing plagiarism this blatant. I'm sure in over the years many a student has causally shared their work with a friend, it's no big deal unless the friend literally rips off the work.
  21. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Wait til your supervisor does it!
    Pickman's model likes this.
  22. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    They wouldn't dare! (would they?).
  23. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Easy to find such stories online. This is not really the thread for that unless it happens to someone here.
  24. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    It's not wrong to show someone your work, Sunset Tree, however I'd be wary of emailing electronic copies to others you did nothing wrong.
  25. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    It's also very commonplace. I overheard a student in the library today bemoaning similar help given to a mate, "I didn't think he would use it word for word!".
    equationgirl and Sunset Tree like this.
  26. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    It's the electronic copy part where I really feel I messed up.

    For context, we were sitting in the computer lab when he asked if he could have a look. I said sure OK. He then asked if I could just drop it into our whatsapp chat so he could view it on his own screen.

    It's pretty common for us to share files back and forth like that for convenience. So I didn't think much of it. Somewhere at the back of my mind I felt a bit uncomfortable but he made it seem like this casual request.

    This is one thing that has comforted me. I'm sure the university senate have seen loads of cases like this. I searched online and found a few similar cases on the student room forums, so it doesn't seem uncommon. I need to keep remembering that it the plagiarism that is the real offence. I have evidence that I didn't plagiarism so fundamentally it has to be OK for me. I kind of hope the other guy gets punished really harshly, just for all the anxiety he's caused.
  27. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Also I got my other grades back today for last semester and they are decent - As and Bs with an A average. I even got an A for the statistics class I was worried about because this course is more 'sciencey' than anything I've done before. It's not directly related but I hope it provides an overall picture that I'm a competent student and helps my case.
  28. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Make a pdf copy of any electronic file and share that instead. Harder to copy from, although not impossible, but if they won't put effort in to an essay I doubt they'll spend time trying to crack a pdf. The important thing is to learn from this, and be more wary next time.
    Sunset Tree and mango5 like this.
  29. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    I won't be sharing any files with anyone from this point onwards! Not worth it at all. If someone is struggling with an essay they have other options. They can speak to the lecturer, approach their advisor, ask for an extension, whatever. It's not my job to put in the groundwork and let someone leech off it.

    Even the idea of helping someone get a slightly better grade than they would've otherwise is annoying me now. I can say that my grades are a reflection of my work. The guy probably still might've passed, but for some reason it was so important for him to check mine in case he'd missed a few marks. Therefore, even if he hadn't plagiarised it, he's still using my effort to give his grade a leg up. His grade wouldn't have been reflective of his true understanding of the material.

    I tend to learn best from bad experiences, nobody is ever getting so much as a glance at my work ever again.
  30. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    That's a shame. Sharing your best work with others can be one of the most interesting things about academia. If you are determined to stay in a bubble I assume you won't be presenting your work-in-progress at departmental seminars, conferences and the like? That's partly how good ideas are developed into great ones.

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