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Hope.for.the.best last won the day on July 4 2019

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  1. There is nothing wrong to date someone in your PhD cohort. It happens more often than you think. I have already seen a few couples along the way. As you said both of you can manage the relationship with your studies, then it should not be a problem. That said, make sure you remain professional at the office, i.e. nobody wants to see you get heated or argue with each other. Unless you two have conflict of interest, I doubt you need to inform the department. However, please check your department's policy to be sure.
  2. First of all, you can never be in a project that is 100% aligned to your interest. What you do right now does not dictate what you do in future. Something you learn in nanoengineering will be applicable to bioengineering. Even if you go to that professor who is in bioengineering, there would be bits of his project that you don't like. That said, if your PI is so tight on money that she may not be able to support your PhD, then you should indeed consider switching lab. Resources are important for timely completion. I agree with you that you should not reveal your thoughts to your PI
  3. I am nearly 2 years into my postdoc and hope I may be of help. I would say 6 months is a very short time in research. I am also in life sciences and I haven't produced any great results until very recently. It would be ideal to get some publications before you quit. Your CV would look much better. It's still helpful to have publications when you apply for jobs in industry. They would most likely want to hear about both your PhD and postdoc. It would also be easier to navigate the reference letter issue with your PI. PIs can be very upset if you leave without producing anything, as t
  4. I think "personal reasons" would suffice on an application form. You would only get them concerned whether you can finish the program if you mention anything about mental health. If they bring the withdrawal up in an interview, you could say you didn't do enough research on the school, programs etc. and found that it was not a right fit. Then, you could add that you learnt the lesson and did thorough research before applying to PhD programs. You could then elaborate on why you choose the programs you are applying. So long as you demonstrate to them that you have thought carefully before
  5. I am not sure how advisors from your school allocate preference to students. My school tends to be first come, first served, as advisors prefer to work with students they already know a fair bit. That said, it doesn't mean their most preferred student will work well with them. It all depends on whether both are willing to get along with each other. I am quoting my own example. If you read my previous posts, you would know I struggled immensely with 2 toxic advisors, *Andy and *Cecilia. I was their first choice student. (Well, they actually wanted to accept another student who did well at
  6. This must be a very stressful time for you, but you are getting there! I have been through the PhD defense stage and can totally relate. First of all, given you have done well in conferences, and your committee and supervisor also think you do well, please believe that you will do well! Prepare your oral defense as you did for your conference presentations. Go through your talk with your supervisor. Schedule for some practice, preferably in front of your supervisor and colleagues. Think of potential questions that you may get asked and prepare for them. Then you are ready to go! Now
  7. The fact that your supervisor has no funding and is affected by personal issues is a big red flag. You could end up in a helpless situation if you proceed to do a PhD with them. If at all possible, I would apply elsewhere to someone who is in your field of your interest and has the resources and capacity to support you. I second AP's advice on approaching the subject. (1) Office politics do exist in academia. Although your supervisor and the professor you suggest may appear to get along well, they may not want to work with each other for various reasons. You don't wish to get involved in
  8. From what you described, I would say you have done more than enough to get ready for grad school. The only thing I can think of is getting the paperwork ready for your studies, especially the ones where you need to recruit participants (if your advisor hasn't done so). If the paperwork is there, it would be good to start recruiting, as it takes time to get the numbers. Otherwise, please spend more of your free time to do something you enjoy, e.g. plan a good trip, as life gets busy and stressful once you start. It's rare to have a 2-month break! Take it easy. You will get there.
  9. Well, every supervisor is busy. No supervisors have the time to sit there and wait for you to get to them. That said, I agree that your supervisor has accepted too many students than she can comfortably manage. I don't know why your university doesn't step in to ensure the welfare of students, given they have a policy in place. A PhD student or postdoc can give you technical guidance (e.g. how an experiment is done), but they can't replace your supervisor for academic guidance. Anyway, I bet you have got all your data to get to the write-up stage. That's a big milestone. I would say finish you
  10. It is really hard to comment as I don't know your field. I would say your strategy is wise, i.e. applying to both. If you get accepted into a PhD program, then you are competitive enough. If not, then you can get there after completing MA. Please be reassured that if you are prepared for a MA, then you are also prepared for a PhD. In most cases, PhD is just an extended version of MA. FYI, I did my PhD straight after undergrad and I am doing fine. Good luck!
  11. I am sorry to hear what you are going through. Having problems with supervisor at grad school is more often than you think. So you are not alone, even though you feel that way. I too had a difficult time with my PhD supervisors. Feel free to read my previous posts. It sounds like your supervisor does not listen to students' concerns and offer them appropriate support. It is also bad for her to keep shaming her students for not knowing something. Nobody knows everything. If it is something essential for a student to know but he/she doesn't know, she can simply ask him/her to look that u
  12. Same here. I did not write mine in that order, but rather going to and forth between chapters. It is common to come up with new ideas and ways to organise your paragraphs as you go. I would not leave the intro till the very end, as you need a good background to justify your research. Have a framework and get the chapter done. Then when you finish other chapters, have a quick search and include newly published studies where applicable.
  13. Congrats on passing your viva with minor corrections! As someone who has also gone through the PhD journey, I can say these tips are more than helpful. Looking back, I wish I could have spent more time to relax than working too hard on my PhD. I have nearly burnt myself out in the process, and it took me ages to feel like myself again! One thing I would like to add though, is not to stress too much about career, but keep an eye on all possibilities. I have been told million times that I am screwed if I don't have a job lining up before finishing PhD. That got me quite worried at first. B
  14. I am sorry to hear that your thesis was failed, but I am also glad that you are persisting and working hard to try again. Unfortunately, failure happens all the time in research. I got a paper that was rejected twice before it got published. Guess what? Everyone in my department thought the work was great. I know your advisor is nice to work with and she wants you all the best. However, I am concerned about her lack of guidance and overestimation of your ability to do research, as you indicated. If it is a communication problem, then find ways to improve it. It would be difficult for her
  15. @oqowa I can totally relate to your situation. My 2 advisors in the department where I based my PhD studies in were like yours, i.e. focusing on publishing way more than my thesis. (Read my previous posts and you will know.) They had me to do an impossible-to-do experiment while writing up my thesis. It's an experiment that is indeed technically impossible to do, but they stubbornly insisted on that. In a sense, they wanted me to not graduate so I could continue to work for them for free, as they were running out of money. I was having a hard time, but fortunately I have another advisor in ano
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