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Hi everyone, I hope you're staying sane during the quarantine. I am nearing the end of my 4th year in my PhD program in Biology. Up until about a month ago I thought I would be able to graduate at the end of my 5th year, but my advisers very suddenly decided they wanted me to do more experiments. Meanwhile some of my committee members have emphasized that I should stop doing research and just write everything up and try to graduate. I very much side with them. Unfortunately, I feel pretty powerless against my advisers and they do not seem to understand why someone would want to try to graduate in 5 years as opposed to just working and working until the research seems full fleshed out in every possible direction. Further, they drag their feet on editing my documents and will at first approve something and then later decide it needs to be held back for longer just in case more changes occur to them. I do feel that my research is about 80-90% complete in terms of the original expectations for the project, but my advisers are very fickle with what they want from the project and so according to their new desires for the project I'm only about 60-70% finished. A few people have suggested that I need to stick up for myself more and create structure that will get my advisers to adhere to a set of expectations so I know what I need to do. This would possibly involve a checklist of very specific goals and times for things to be completed by which we would all have to adhere to, meaning I put in the work and they agree to do whatever editing they want and sign off on it within the time-frame, as long as my work is good enough. But I am not sure if this is normal or reasonable for someone in my position. I heard that some students have a contract or timeline like this with their advisers, but I haven't met any who have told me that they have one. I wanted to see if anyone has been in a similar situation and created such a document or used different techniques to bring advisers around to their side in terms of graduating and being allowed to finish pieces of writing. Any stories or advice?
I have a bit of a personal dilemma that I'm not quite sure how to address. I've been a grad student for two years now. I became a non thesis Masters so that I could graduate sooner and take more coursework that would prepare me for industry instead of academia. However, over the last few months, I've actually made some great progress with my research, and I'm not entirely sure how to proceed. After months of repetitive data analysis, I actually discovered something that has enough support and value that it could easily be published in a top-notch journal (Frontiers in Plant Science, to be exact) and there's lots of potential to make further notable discoveries. I switched from PhD to non thesis Masters because a) I personally don't feel that I am neither ambitious nor patient enough to make it all the way to a PhD, b) I want to leave town and relocate to a larger place (my grad school is in a VERY small town), and c) I'm ready to be done with school and find a job. On one hand, the research I'm doing seems like it could have real implications for future research projects. While I will definitely get at least one solid paper published with my name, I almost feel like it is a waste to graduate when you're on the cusp of a meaningful discovery. Sure the lab could easily continue the work and let another student take on the project, but it doesn't change the fact that I could still potentially stick around and make further discoveries/publications. On the other hand, I REALLY would like to graduate, get a job, and try to start living at least a semi-ordinary life, again. It would be great to get a job where I could actually make some real money for a change. Basically, I'd like to be done with grad school, enter the workforce, and stop living as an impoverished grad student, but part of me feels that I'm passing up a great opportunity to make some meaningful scientific discoveries. If I wanted to, I could postpone my graduation for a later date (I'd like to graduate this December) and continue to research in the same lab, so it's definitely an option if I chose to stay. Still, it would mean living in a small town while making very little money, which are two things I'd really like to avoid. Does anyone have any feedback on what I should do? I'm not sure what is the best choice for me, considering that I'm not planning to go into academia. Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer me some feedback.
Hi folks, I am in a situation where I may either graduate in Spring/Summer 2017 (lack of funding), or in Spring/Summer 2018 (if secure a dissertation fellowship). Since neither alumni from my lab nor alumni from my program (STEM) typically go into academia to be a postdoc, I would like to know at what point of time should I do such or certain things, so that I can ultimately getting a post-doctoral research position that I want, presumably at the beginning of a Fall semester/quarter or as soon as I fulfilled all the requirements that complete my program. I think that inputs from those who are graduating / graduated from grad school can be gathered and combined into a "timeline", so that future viewers/readers of the forum can use it as a guidance. I would assumed that the first step is when "you about to start / started writing your dissertation", or "meet individuals / POI who you wanted to work for as a postdoc". Many thanks in advance! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - [If necessary] The summer before graduation -- prepare research and/or teaching statement(s) - July-December the year before graduation -- apply post-doctoral research fellowship(s)