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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    PhD study

    I'm thinking of applying to do one before I get too old. I know Topographic Hibby has studied for a PhD; has anyone else, and is there any essential advice you would offer?

    Three years is a big commitment, then there's finances to consider. Any advice on funding options? I'd like to do it, but it's a big sacrifice.
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    @hibs.net private member danhibees1875's Avatar
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    Is it in a field where you could get any form of sponsorship to do it? Or do it in conjuction with a company who would pay your way in exchange for you also doing work for them/sharing your results?

    Otherwise, I'd say so long as it's something you're interested in/passionate about then I'm sure you'll be able to stick out 3 years of hard work.



    *Not based on having done a PhD myself.
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    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    My wife has a doctorate. It was a lot of hard work and it took about 5 years.

    You can call her Doctor now, but I still have to call her Sir.
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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    My wife has a doctorate. It was a lot of hard work and it took about 5 years.

    You can call her Doctor now, but I still have to call her Sir.
    What's her subject? Did she work on it full time?
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    I completed mine in 2013, inside 3 years. It's probably the toughest thing I've ever done, but I've no regrets.

    I assume you've undertaken a degree/postgraduate (e.g., Masters?) study already? If not, I'd recommend doing a Masters first, or finding a "1+3" PhD programme (where you do a Masters for a year before diving in).

    Have a look on jobs.ac.uk - you should be able to search for funding/studentships under particular topics that you'd find interesting.

    It's a gruelling 3 (oftentimes longer) years, so you absolutely HAVE to be interested in your chosen topic and have some kind of rapport with your supervisor. I'd always advise meeting with them before you apply.

    Don't hesitate to email possible PhD supervisors about your interests - they may know of upcoming funding or be looking for someone and be willing to chat to you over the phone. My newest PhD student came after they proactively got in touch and I was looking for a suitable candidate to apply for something. You never know.

    If you're not doing it to pursue a career in academia (or an academically intensive field), think carefully about the costs/benefits. Something a chat with a potential supervisor may help you focus on.

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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylar View Post
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    I completed mine in 2013, inside 3 years. It's probably the toughest thing I've ever done, but I've no regrets.

    I assume you've undertaken a degree/postgraduate (e.g., Masters?) study already? If not, I'd recommend doing a Masters first, or finding a "1+3" PhD programme (where you do a Masters for a year before diving in).

    Have a look on jobs.ac.uk - you should be able to search for funding/studentships under particular topics that you'd find interesting.

    It's a gruelling 3 (oftentimes longer) years, so you absolutely HAVE to be interested in your chosen topic and have some kind of rapport with your supervisor. I'd always advise meeting with them before you apply.

    Don't hesitate to email possible PhD supervisors about your interests - they may know of upcoming funding or be looking for someone and be willing to chat to you over the phone. My newest PhD student came after they proactively got in touch and I was looking for a suitable candidate to apply for something. You never know.

    If you're not doing it to pursue a career in academia (or an academically intensive field), think carefully about the costs/benefits. Something a chat with a potential supervisor may help you focus on.
    Many thanks for the advice, Sylar. Yes, I have an M.A. already and have wanted to do the PhD for a long time now, but life gets in the way. I will have a look at the site you recommend and e-mail my old MA dissertation supervisor, then go from there. Early days and there is no deadline to make a decision by. Did you work on it like a full time job for three years?
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    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    What's her subject? Did she work on it full time?
    "The effect of social support on employee well being in the workplace" or something like that.

    She was employed by Edinburgh University while she worked on it.
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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    "The effect of social support on employee well being in the workplace" or something like that.

    She was employed by Edinburgh University while she worked on it.
    Smart lady. I this point I should ask, facetiously, what she's doing with you, but I wouldn't dream of it, mate.
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    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    Smart lady. I this point I should ask, facetiously, what she's doing with you, but I wouldn't dream of it, mate.
    Bright as a button, but bereft of common sense

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    Coaching Staff Sylar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    Many thanks for the advice, Sylar. Yes, I have an M.A. already and have wanted to do the PhD for a long time now, but life gets in the way. I will have a look at the site you recommend and e-mail my old MA dissertation supervisor, then go from there. Early days and there is no deadline to make a decision by. Did you work on it like a full time job for three years?
    I did it full time for 3 years but was funded for both fees and a generous stipend.

    My wife did hers part time and combined it with her full time job. Took her around 6 years all in.

    Best of luck with your search. If I can answer any other questions for you, do feel free to ask (unless that question is, "do you want to supervise me", as I'm at capacity right now ).

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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylar View Post
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    I did it full time for 3 years but was funded for both fees and a generous stipend.

    My wife did hers part time and combined it with her full time job. Took her around 6 years all in.

    Best of luck with your search. If I can answer any other questions for you, do feel free to ask (unless that question is, "do you want to supervise me", as I'm at capacity right now ).
    Thanks again. What's your subject, by the way, should I decide to pester you?
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    Coaching Staff Sylar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    Thanks again. What's your subject, by the way, should I decide to pester you?
    I've become a bit of a "multidisciplinary mutt" - environmental science (particularly hydrology/limnology/climate change), economics (natural resources and trade) and environmental policy is the general theme, with some applied physics thrown in for good measure!

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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylar View Post
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    I've become a bit of a "multidisciplinary mutt" - environmental science (particularly hydrology/limnology/climate change), economics (natural resources and trade) and environmental policy is the general theme, with some applied physics thrown in for good measure!
    You're safe from me then: I'm history or philosophy. Stuff that is of no use to anyone and doesn't prepare you for any kind of career.
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    @hibs.net private member Radium's Avatar
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    Did mine 25 years ago with a bit of funding through SERC.

    Your commitment level will need to be high for two reasons. Rarely does everything come off so itís needed to overcome the setbacks. Probably more importantly, it will be expected.

    I set off on the wrong foot with my supervisor and struggled to get the relationship back. Faults on both sides, complicated by a late change in topic and no ground rules being set.

    Good luck




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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
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    Did mine 25 years ago with a bit of funding through SERC.

    Your commitment level will need to be high for two reasons. Rarely does everything come off so itís needed to overcome the setbacks. Probably more importantly, it will be expected.

    I set off on the wrong foot with my supervisor and struggled to get the relationship back. Faults on both sides, complicated by a late change in topic and no ground rules being set.

    Good luck




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    Thanks for the info there. What's your subject, mate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    I'm thinking of applying to do one before I get too old. I know Topographic Hibby has studied for a PhD; has anyone else, and is there any essential advice you would offer?

    Three years is a big commitment, then there's finances to consider. Any advice on funding options? I'd like to do it, but it's a big sacrifice.
    I thought about this and discussed it with my masters supervisor, but his advice was that unless you want to work in academia, there isnt much advantage to be gained. Financially it wont help, and it wont really help with getting a job - and it is a major sacrifice in time and money. I didnt do it in the end.

    However it depends on whether you want to do it for your own fulfilment or to advance your career. If its the latter, think carefully about whether it will be a help or a hindrance, especially if you are studying humanities subjects.

    Good luck either way!

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    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hibrandenburg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    I'm thinking of applying to do one before I get too old. I know Topographic Hibby has studied for a PhD; has anyone else, and is there any essential advice you would offer?

    Three years is a big commitment, then there's finances to consider. Any advice on funding options? I'd like to do it, but it's a big sacrifice.
    My wife has Dr Mathematics. She moved into IT afterwards and specialises in software development. She's hard of hearing so maths was something she not only enjoyed but was also something she could get lost in by retreating into her own little world of numbers and formulas without being reliant on too much contact with the outside world.

    I dared to look into her university work when we recently moved home, it was pretty mind blowing to look at and was unfathomable for a thicko like me. There's no doubt it opened many doors for her though and she's constantly being approached with job offers.

    If you have the time, capability and inclination then go for it H&A, I'd love to have had the chance to do so.

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    @hibs.net private member Diclonius's Avatar
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    I'm in the final year of my PhD; it can be pretty brutal and academia is an exhausting profession to carve a career out of. Only do it if you really, really like your research and are prepared to take numerous temporary contracts and work extremely hard for pay far below your skill level for many years.

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    @hibs.net private member Radium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    Thanks for the info there. What's your subject, mate?
    Was Chemistry, Oxygen atom transfer reactions of cis-dioxomolybdenum (VI) complexes.

    Changed career having completed it.


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    Coaching Staff Sylar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diclonius View Post
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    I'm in the final year of my PhD; it can be pretty brutal and academia is an exhausting profession to carve a career out of. Only do it if you really, really like your research and are prepared to take numerous temporary contracts and work extremely hard for pay far below your skill level for many years.
    I agree with much of what you say, but academia can be an especially rewarding career. I don't feel poorly paid, though the lack of a permanent contract definitely is constant source of concern. I do appreciate research jobs in the private sector pay far more handsomely though.

    Academia has offered me some excellent opportunities - I get to travel the world, attending conferences and speaking to some of the greatest minds around (including a previous Nobel winning scientist, and one who's about to receive the Nobel Prize for Physics). I get to spend time with the political elite, spending time in both the Scottish and UK Parliaments, affecting change through my research. I also get to spend my days investigating issues I'm especially interested in, and watching my students become increasingly interest in similar areas. Finally, I'm not bound by strict hours - flexible working is definitely a very good perk of academia, including frequently being able to work from home or while travelling during out-of-term time.

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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
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    Was Chemistry, Oxygen atom transfer reactions of cis-dioxomolybdenum (VI) complexes.

    Changed career having completed it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk





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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylar View Post
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    I agree with much of what you say, but academia can be an especially rewarding career. I don't feel poorly paid, though the lack of a permanent contract definitely is constant source of concern. I do appreciate research jobs in the private sector pay far more handsomely though.

    Academia has offered me some excellent opportunities - I get to travel the world, attending conferences and speaking to some of the greatest minds around (including a previous Nobel winning scientist, and one who's about to receive the Nobel Prize for Physics). I get to spend time with the political elite, spending time in both the Scottish and UK Parliaments, affecting change through my research. I also get to spend my days investigating issues I'm especially interested in, and watching my students become increasingly interest in similar areas. Finally, I'm not bound by strict hours - flexible working is definitely a very good perk of academia, including frequently being able to work from home or while travelling during out-of-term time.
    The ancient Greeks defined happiness as the ability to use one's capacities to the fullest, in the pursuit of a cause greater than oneself. Sounds like you've cracked it.
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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diclonius View Post
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    I'm in the final year of my PhD; it can be pretty brutal and academia is an exhausting profession to carve a career out of. Only do it if you really, really like your research and are prepared to take numerous temporary contracts and work extremely hard for pay far below your skill level for many years.
    What subject is your thesis on, Diclonius
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    @hibs.net private member Radium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    Well said.

    Mixed two clear liquids together to make orange. Added brown powder and got orange powder.

    Orange powder and white powder in absolute alcohol makes purple.

    Unfortunately this turned into brown sludge and green liquid, and there the hard work started. *

    Proper chemistry, although dissolving sodium metal into liquid ammonia as an undergrad during my dissertation project is up there.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
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    Well said.

    Mixed two clear liquids together to make orange. Added brown powder and got orange powder.

    Orange powder and white powder in absolute alcohol makes purple.

    Unfortunately this turned into brown sludge and green liquid, and there the hard work started. *

    Proper chemistry, although dissolving sodium metal into liquid ammonia as an undergrad during my dissertation project is up there.



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    Organic chemistry.

  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member Radium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLake View Post
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    Organic chemistry.
    ... where everything is measured in shades of white.

    d-block rules

    (amazing how quickly the rivalry reignites)


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    @hibs.net private member Hibernia&Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
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    ... where everything is measured in shades of white.

    d-block rules

    (amazing how quickly the rivalry reignites)


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    Is that only possible due to the presence of oxygen?
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  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member Radium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibernia&Alba View Post
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    Is that only possible due to the presence of oxygen?
    Radical suggestion


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