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About StressedPhD

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    2019 Fall
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  1. I definitely agree with you, there will always be parts of a project that you don't entirely like or are interested in. However I'm starting to think that I don't necessarily want to study what my lab is focusing on. I find the idea of it interesting but actually doing research on it isn't doing it for me. On my previous project in undergrad I was constantly reading papers and trying to understand more and more. However here, I find myself not reading into it as much. And when I have to read into things I read much further into the biomedical side of it than what I'm actually working on. I'm wondering if this is a sign that I should switch to a lab that is more involved in the biomedical field. This is certainly a driving factor for me as well. I think if the research really did align with my interests I would maybe stay, but it seems like it might be too much of a risk. That is a good point, I think I will talk with him. Thanks for all of your advice!
  2. Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to read this. I am freaking out a bit about whether or not I should switch labs and Could use your advice on what to do in this situation. I will lay out the whole thing here: So, I am one semester into my PhD and up until about a month ago I have been really enjoying it. I thankfully got into a lab right away but it is in a field entirely new to me. I received my bachelors in biomedical engineering and did research on electrochemical biosensors. My current research is on 3D printable temperature sensitive hydrogels. My project does have a biomedical application but the actual research is strict materials science. At first I really liked the idea but my initial excitement is starting to wear off. I still really like working with the 3D printer but I fear I may not want to work with temperature sensitive hydrogels for the rest of my life, or at least the rest of the phd (but isnt your research now going to determine what jobs you get later on?). Our lab is strictly temperature sensitive hydrogels right now but we are a very new lab and our direction hasn't been entirely solidified I suppose. However, what if the lab and my projects stay like this or stray even further from my interests? I am not sure if I should look to switch labs now or just stick with my current direction. I left biomedical engineering behind so far but I am feeling drawn back to it. I am even debating maybe switching my degree from nanoengineering to bioengineering. I don't know if this is necessary or not but I like to consider all of my options, for better or worse. I am nervous to speak with my advisor about this since we recently just had one person fired from the lab. Also before I joined another person was also fired. The reason for the last person to be fired was due to his inability to make enough progress on his project and that he wasn't suited for research. The other person was fired, from my knowledge, for simply not being productive enough. this person currently works in a new lab at the school apparently. My PI has mentioned that she thinks I may not be as interested in my work as the other people in the lab, but at the time I told her I didnt feel that way and that I would be doubling down on my productivity. I said this because I was scared of being fired. Since she is a new lab and funding is tight, I understand why she is so cutthroat; she wants to make sure she is investing what little money she has into those who will be the most dedicated and productive (we dont have any grants yet). I am worried that if she finds out that I have these feelings and am maybe considering switching, she will fire me for not being dedicated enough or because it is wasteful to invest in me if I may leave. I am still looking around at the research in other labs but one in particular that I like is a professor that is friendly with my PI. I am worried that if I speak with him word may get back to my PI about it and I'll be in a really bad situation. I am also worried about switching labs and how it will set me back. I don't really know what to do here. I would really appreciate any advice on what to do in this situation or just from others who are experiencing something similar. Thanks again.
  3. I completely forgot that turbotax was a thing. Thanks for the reminder!! I am definitely going to look into that
  4. Hey everyone, I just got my first check from my stipend! My excitement has been dampened slightly by the prospect of having to pay my own taxes but I am resilient. Does anyone have any idea on how to go about this stuff? Do we pay all at once at the end of the year or at various points for example. I figured starting a thread like this would be a good idea since I'm sure there are many people in my position as well.
  5. I am moving to california and will be applying for residency for tuition purposes once I arrive. I was hoping to go back to my home state to visit my family for christmas, but I just saw that if I return to my home state on any of the breaks in the year before I am awarded residency I am considered as only being in california for school. How would the school even know if I went to visit my parents over break unless I told them? I don't really see how they could get access to the information...maybe they'll install trackers in our school IDs lol. Does anyone know how the school could find out if I went back to my home state? Are they able to look up plane tickets bought in my name or something? Thanks for the help everyone!
  6. Thanks for the response! I'll def give those a shot!!
  7. Oh wow this is a great idea! I didn't think to maybe apply for F20. I just got awarded one year of full funding so thats amazing! But if I run into the same problem after that year is up (that labs aren't taking on more students w/o external funding) having a back up plan sounds great. I could master out and get into a different PhD program now with a stronger application. I think I will do this, maybe apply to a program or two to be safe!
  8. This is really good advice, thank you. I didn't realize there was a general time in which grant notifications went out. Perhaps I should ask my potential PI if she has applied to any grants recently! I will thankfully be debt free now but if I have to TA the second year I may just be eating pasta every night to get by, but thats life haha. And the if things don't work out I certainly can master out, I shouldn't force something thats not clicking, solid point!
  9. Hey feralgrad, where would I go about finding this type of information? Do schools generally have info on where their grads end up?
  10. I agree as well now that I think about it, I've always been under the impression that funding was much simpler and that there is no way I would have to pay anything but I appear to be wrong. Things have actually worked out now, I got the one year fellowship and a PI that I was originally interested who already filled her positions changed her mind about me after an interview today. She also told me she could pay the non resident fees for me! She's a new professor but she said as soon as she gets the money to take me on a GRA she will! I think I'm going to go with this option because she also said she could fill in the gaps TAing doesn't fill if I have to TA for a year
  11. Thanks for your input! One thing I would be worried about though is going back on my acceptance. I've heard that it can sometimes be very bad for you in the future. It's almost like you get blacklisted. I may be off base but thats how it was described to me! also perhaps you are right, but the nanoengineering program is on the newer side so they may not have as much funding as other programs.
  12. Alright, I'm guessing tuesday April 9th for us. def not this week because of the shutdown and April 12th seems a bit too late
  13. So I've been accepted to UCSD PhD for the fall but the funding situation seems really confusing and unstable. They don't guarantee funding at all, it's up to me to secure it. I either need to find an advisor willing to fund me for my duration there, or I have to TA. But TAing is not guaranteed, not a consistent amount of money, and doesnt pay for the non resident tuition fees (15,000 per year). And as for finding an advisor, a lot of the groups are huge and all of the professors im interested in dont really have enough funding to take on another student since they have so many already. I'm moving a little out of my interests now to find a lab that can take me on but I'm wondering if I should turn down the offer. I'm on the waitlist for a one year fellowship from the school but if I dont get that, and can't find an advisor that has both funding and research that I'm interested in, what should I do? I'm on the waitlist for one other school and I might not hear back for a while. Should I just accept and figure out funding. Or maybe try to TA and take loans out for one year before i get resident tuition? I also applied for the NSF fellowship, but I dont want to bank on that due to it being such a selective fellowship. I appreciate any feedback on this!
  14. Thanks for the response! I just looked into what a data scientist is and it seems pretty cool! If you don't mind me asking, what do you like about being one and what don't you like about it? Also is there a specific name for the type of job you have?
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