How to write a phd synopsis,positive things about kissing video,quotes to make you positive - Reviews

Author: admin, 07.05.2014. Category: The Power Of Attraction

When I look back on graduate school the one thing that I am forever grateful for is the fact I played in a rock band. When a PhD student graduates depends not only on how hard they work, but also on the luck of their experiments (and the nature of their overall project). Sometimes I just needed to wind down instead of thinking about the scientific problem that haunted me and what remained. Now I’m not saying that I got some epiphany when I was on stage playing a show, but I will say that the band helped me hit the reset button.
This article’s main focus is to shed some light on a story of how to keep the balance by doing things outside of lab to keep your sanity. If you have not read my previous article on how to keep up a good social life (and why this is important), check it out here. You can ask anyone who completed their PhD and they will identify one factor that made it hard.
If you want to say a PhD program was easy and you didn’t need any sort of social outlet outside of graduate school in order to get through- you are a very rare breed.
There are so many articles out there that tell you to network outside of lab (and GradStudentWay has written about it too). But what I am telling you is to take your mind off all of this for once and put it elsewhere.
These articles tend to tirelessly repeat like there is some new found holy grail of graduate school. Graduate school may not be viewed as fun to a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be so cut and dry. When my graduate student friends all passed their preliminary exam around the same time that I did, it seems that social life started on a rapid decline. If you haven’t already, check out the article How To Effectively Deal With PhD Stress and How To Graduate Faster.
The purpose of this blog post is not to promote myself but to open your eyes to possibilities that lie outside of lab. I can tell you that if you focus on nothing but lab and graduating as soon as possible you will be on the path to burn out. I will just say that I was often criticized for doing things outside of lab (and not wanting to pursue academic research). The fact that I did things and got into the habit of doing things outside of lab (in addition to being in a band) helped me stand out from the crowd. I had no idea that being in a band would connect me with so many people and created a whole new social outlet for me. Everything has to be taken in small steps to essentially become a reality, but you need a starting point. I had no idea that a simple craiglist ad with a demo of me playing on stage at my uncle’s wedding would connect me with a great group of musicians.
We played covers (Metallica, Shinedown, Godsmack, Pearl Jam) and even wrote some originals.
Towards the end of my PhD, when I had to write my thesis in about 3 month’s time, I did have to withdraw from the band.
When I think back to the PhD, I think about the physical and emotional stress that I had to go through, especially the final months leading up to the defense.
Whatever you have experienced up until this point whether you are in your first, second, third, fourth of fifth years and beyond-You know what’s crazy? The point is that many PhDs may experience similar pain points and stress, but many will handle it in different ways-as the reason to start, endure, and finish a PhD is entirely individualistic. What you have to keep in mind is that once you defend, these feelings that you are experiencing now will fade into the background. If you do an informational interview with a PhD 10 or 20 years out, they will carry nostalgic memories and certain stories with them like how they used to be in lab till 2 in the morning. If you haven’t already, check out my previous article on 10 Ways to Successfully Defend Your PhD. I am approaching the end of my PhD cycle and becoming increasingly nervous and anxious about the public discussion of my thesis! Just read your “10 Ways To Successfully Defend Your PhD,” which I found both enjoyable and stimulating.
You’ve done a lot of work, keep your energy high and stress low by getting a good night of sleep. The last two months before the defense were a challenge but they went fairly smooth despite many small road bumps. When all else failed, I took lots of walks, lots of bike rides, and sometimes just sat on the porch with a beer and watched the world pass by, remembering that in the big scheme of things life is just too short to waste time worrying. 2) If you are just a stressed out person by nature no matter what you do, and you are doing a combo of many of the things listed above (i.e. A) If you are very motivated and really stressed out, then you need to find ways to deal with your stress until you defend (see above).
B) If you are someone who is lacking motivation and is stressed out, you will benefit from the additional #1, #8, #9 tips. C) If you are someone who is highly motivated and has low stress all the way up until your defense, then you’re lucky. Remember at the beginning of this article I said, “What you have to keep in mind is that once you defend, these feelings that you are experiencing now will fade into the background.
Overall- if you follow some of these tips to keep motivation levels high and your stress levels low, you will increase your chances of successfully defending your PhD and moving on to the next chapter of your life. The starting point for any newbie graduate student is to read boatloads of relevant papers so that you can learn your advisor’s repertoire of experimental techniques or areas of interest, what has been done so far in the field, what questions remain to be answered, and where your research will contribute.
Note that in Pubmed, you will need to go to “Advanced Search,” where the builder constructs the Boolean search for you (Figure 1). I am a big fan of saving paper and not printing out reams of articles to be read and then stuffed into filing cabinets. Think of your thesis or dissertation proposal and any grant applications as being a big first step toward the first chapter of your final document: the introduction. You’ve received the greenlight to “start” writing your thesis or dissertation from your committee. You know the part where the clerk at the grad school pulls out the ruler and measures your margins, page number position and other random stuff while you hold your breath?
Also, before you get down to the serious writing, sit down with your advisor and come up with a plan of action.
I would suggest asking your advisor for blocks of time to hole up at the library, or wherever it is that you do your best work. Just because you have a deadline that you are sticking to like an embedded tick does not mean that your advisor will adhere to similar deadlines in getting you edits and feedback.
If at all possible, try to get your thesis printed off for your committee a day or two in advance. You want your dissertation to look nice for your committee and to be easy for them to handle and write in. You may have loads of changes to make to your thesis or dissertation based on your committee members’ comments. Once you have deposited your thesis or dissertation with the graduate school (congratulations!), investigate how many bound copies you need. In summary, it is possible to write your thesis or dissertation in under a month with good preparation, organization, and planning. I know some graduate students that would work 12+ hour days (even on weekends) just to try and get some quality data. I’m sure you already know that once you answer one scientific question it raises yet another question to be answered. When you don’t have luck on your side and you’re banging your head against the wall, you need some sort of outlet.
Loneliness, lack of money, burn out at the bench, health issues, fear of the unknown, demotivation, mistreatment by their professor, lack of career direction, interest in other fields… The list goes on and on. It ignores the realities that a PhD program is not easy and it takes a mixture of perseverance, tenacity, and cogency.
But I can tell you had I done nothing but straight lab work I would have dropped out with a Master’s. It is important to have goal with an actionable plan and follow through, but at the same time it is important to enjoy your life along the way before, during and after graduate school. Aside from all the networking outside of academia, running a blog on the side, and worrying about my future I needed a different social outlet. These articles will give you some additional advice to how you can combat the difficulties of a PhD and keep things under control when the pressure is on. Now the band is not something I would put on my resume, but it did mix things up and throw in some variety. When a Friday night rolled around and all my graduate student friends were busy, I could call up the guys from my band to jam (and even people I met after shows). In retrospect (once you have actually seen what comes of your efforts), it is so much easier not being cynical or skeptical of all the different possibilities-especially the ones where you doubted yourself but still pushed through to see where it would take you.


I had prior music experience (I have been playing guitar since I was 13), so I used this to my advantage. But the fact of the matter is, they have moved on (they have a job, a family, and aren’t eating out of a soup can everyday).
Due to overwhelming requests and emails asking for my defense video and for additional tips on how to keep stress levels low, I decided to write an additional article focusing just on the stress issue. I think it is very useful for me; however, I want to request an example video of a defense talk that you suggest in your blog. Your defense should not be the first time you’ve talked to them since your last committee meeting. You now have to take your research in one little area and weave it into a greater body of knowledge.
You spend so much time thinking critically about experiments, data, and other people’s papers. First, a little background: my PI is a new PI, so not very experienced in the process of matriculating students. I had to let that go and realize that some days are going to be more productive than others. I had weddings and family functions to attend as well as some other extracurricular activities. Like when your PI gets you all of your corrections back three days after it was due to the committee and they blame you for it (despite the aforementioned PI having ample time to work on it).
You remember all that coffee and red bull you’ve been pounding to get those chapters of your thesis hammered out late at night?
Let’s say the state track meet is a month away and you will be running the 400 meter dash. Not only does stress weigh you down, but it can affect how you perform those final weeks leading up to your defense-the weeks that really count. Overcoming a certain fear isn’t exactly easy if it is something that has stuck with you for a long time.
The trick is to get a head start, set goals and deadlines, and work steadily—not feverishly—toward that ultimate satisfaction of handing your magnum opus to the graduate school. Pubmed offers another great strategy: you can set up citation alerts that notify you via e-mail every time one of these pivotal articles is cited. Realize that unless you are a genius, you will probably have to revisit these nuggets of wisdom several times during your graduate career, particularly when you have a better grasp on the research.
In addition, the program has a lovely feature called Cite-While-You-Write that links with Microsoft Word.
Preparation of these documents entails a thorough review of pertinent literature to set the stage and explain the rationale for the research you are proposing. Before you start (well, continue) writing, find a colleague who has recently turned in their thesis or dissertation and still has their final word document kicking around.
I like using a story board approach to planning papers: a few lines about what will be covered in each chapter, then rudimentary sketches of the figures that will be included and how they will be designed.
Run spell check and do all the basics before you offer up your baby to the red pen of death. Many advisors, bless their hearts, are procrastinators (erm…busy with grant deadlines, writing their own papers, editing, and other important stuff that advisors do).
I’m a fan of bindings—I used three ring binders with pockets so that I could also include a CD with a copy of the document. When an experiment failed or when I felt like a failure in lab, I was up on stage having fun.
I also know those that worked only 8 hours on average, got more quality data, and ended up graduating sooner. There are certainly other combinatorial factors here, but keeping a balance for me played a very crucial role, and it may for you as well. You can imagine what may end up happening when you do this for years on end during a PhD program. There are also hundreds of articles and ongoing discussions that shove the awareness of the post-doc plight down everyone’s throats. The mindset is that if you complain you are viewed as nothing but a whiner and someone who is weak (and you need to change your attitude).
One of my thesis committee members caught wind of it and viewed me as someone who isn’t dedicating enough time to lab (therefore I am less deserving of a PhD). The point here is that had I focused on nothing but graduating (which I call ‘grad student tunnel vision’) I have no doubt I would be quite unhappy and currently doing a post-doc. What I mean by this-is that when most think “rock band” they may view it as too much work, too distracting from graduate school, or something that will just be some bad sounding garage band that won’t lead to anything. The plan was not to make a profession out of this (or even make money off it), but to simply just have fun.
And dealing with the stress is one key factor that you must overcome in order to successfully graduate.
They don’t want to remember the feelings of doubt, stress, and pressure (although when you spend 5+ years of your life in grad school there are just some things you will never forget).
Hopefully your thesis is in good working order and now you just need to prepare for the big day. If you have committee members in close proximity, take some time to chat about your progress. Make sure you have done everything that needs to get done and clue your PI into these deadlines.
You are making major life changes, and it’s totally normal that they affect you on a physical level!
Try and find an activity that lets you focus on one thing, like running, paddleboarding, or yoga. That being the case, I didn’t have my PI to rely on to know what to do so I had to figure a lot of things out for myself. I had mornings where I did a little bit, then goofed off all afternoon, but then was super-productive in the evening…even missing dinner. I found that these things reduced the stress level quite a bit, but needed to be planned for well so I didn’t have the writing monster always looming behind me.
I was lucky enough to have a good support structure for those times, and don’t know what I would have done without them. That is why you have 3 different people who have successfully defended their PhDs (included myself) providing you with advice and what worked for them. If you have a fear then come up with a plan, break it into chunks, and come up with ways to boost your confidence.
Yes, it is hard to get through but remember it is only temporary?” Therefore feeling burned out or lonely is also temporary. The first three sections of this article are devoted to ways that you can get way ahead of the curve from the very beginning of your graduate program—BEFORE push comes to shove.
Hopefully, your advisor will provide you with a few of the original papers that got the ball rolling.
Also, unless you are a genius, you will find yourself wondering, “What was that paper that explained________?” This is where being organized will save you TONS of time. Find out which program your advisor uses (see if he or she will let you install the program on your computer).
Google Scholar also recently added a very nice “Cite” function that lets you import citations directly into your citation manager (Figure 7). So by this logic, you should have taken a very large bite out of the first chapter of your thesis or dissertation by the time you take your preliminary exams.
You know how you write detailed notes on the conditions of each experiment every time you do them in your lab notebook? Ask your colleague for permission to use their document in the following way: you are not going to copy anything in that document…EXCEPT THE FORMATTING. This gives you and your advisor a visual aid so that you both know you’re on the same page—this will spare you much pain later. If you really struggle with writing, or if you are not a native English speaker, there are services out there that will clean up your document on a by-the-hour basis. Don’t sweat it…the ball is now in your advisor’s court, and you will now move steadily on to the next installment.
You should have MULTIPLE copies saved: on your computer, in Dropbox, on an external hard drive, etc. After the effects of the all-night post-defense bender have worn off, try to work diligently on the edits so that you don’t run up against the grad school’s deposit deadline. You generally have to figure up the number of color-copy and high-resolution pages you have versus regular black and white. Keep in mind that if you move on to a postdoc or any other position that requires writing papers and grants, these same strategies apply. And in the end, a band on a gel can play a large role in deciding how soon and when I graduate (in addition to thesis committee politics). Many even end up quitting the PhD altogether after many years of hard work and frustration.


That is why towards the end of your PhD, it can be hard to know when you are actually “done.” And your PI can keep you longer, by simply adding one more ‘final experiment’. What did the successful PhD graduate do to keep stress levels low, prevent burnout, and overcome the feeling of failure? The misconception is that this is the default career choice after graduate school, when in disguise it is nothing but an extension of graduate school. Both groups were fun (don’t get me wrong), but having that ‘extra’ group filled in the gaps when my science friends simply didn’t have the time to go out for a beer and when I really needed a break from lab.
If you’ve seen other good defenses on youtube or elsewhere and have any additional links, those too would be much appreciated. I gave two talks to public audiences, (set up by a partnership through my university), two job talks, posters, and practice talks to lab mates. I met with my primary care physician and we developed a strategy to make sure my health did not fall to the wayside during this time.
Having to talk to a lot of different people to figure this out was crucial, and communication was absolutely vital.
Forcing myself to stick to some arbitrary 9-5 schedule was stressful because if I wasn’t productive, my “relax time” wasn’t really relaxing.
I also kept the important “life things” scheduled but made sure not to accept any extra responsibilities that would just add stress.
Once you have turned in your thesis to your committee and it comes down to those final weeks, if you are still taking in large amounts of caffeine- your nerves are still going to be running high.
That I wouldn’t be able to answer the questions the audience or my thesis committee members were going to ask me.
In fact, I was working a 20+ hour a week internship in industry while writing a thesis, doing paper revisions and experiments, and maintaining tissue culture.
You can control how often you receive these alerts, or adjust later based on how inundated your inbox becomes. With the CWYW feature, you can pull up all of the papers in your Endnote library that pertain to your text, and with the click of one button in Word—voila! Just use the document as a template—delete ALL of the text and leave the margins and other formatting alone.
Then, based on how much time you are still expected to spend in the lab, decide a set number of hours per day that you will spend on nothing but writing. Adjust as necessary—you may need to have an additional meeting with your advisor to request more time away from lab. These copies should be clearly marked with dates in case you have to revert back to a prior version. Spiral bindings are just as good, but again, require planning because you’ll have to take your stack of documents somewhere like FedEx Kinkos.
Make an appointment for a pre-check of your document to catch any formatting errors well in advance of the deadline.
You send this estimate along with a digital copy of your dissertation and your selections for binding color, lettering, etc. I also knew that if I did things outside of graduate school that this would be frowned upon. Each study I see reports the percentages are decreasing and the problem is becoming worse-most likely to just get more attention-but we know it is nothing new. We still tried to plan things and do social events every now and then, but we all just got busy.
Proper diet and exercise and having hobbies outside of grad school (sports, clubs, etc.) are going to help you dramatically during your time in graduate school. For those that wish to pursue a post-doc and know this is the right path for you, I applaud you.
Turns out that within only about a month we were able to piece together a full rock band with a bassist, a drummer, a rhythm guitarist, a lead guitarist (me), and a singer. I am forever grateful for the experience I started when I was just 25 years old and will carry with me my whole life. I have also made many lifelong friends. And most of all-don’t be afraid to approach your thesis advisor about your career or pursuing something outside of academia. Of course you won’t always be giving the same talk as your defense talk, but you can gain a lot of insight for your Big Presentation. Your committee will see that you have thought about future directions for the lab, for your career, and for society. You don’t want to be messed up by an administrative technicality or forgetting to get a form.
Even if your health is fine, your insurance may cover things like massages or dental cleanings that will boost your confidence and reduce your stress. Every time I went into lab I was asked so many questions and everyone needed so much help, I couldn’t get any work done.
Most importantly, if I didn’t keep some time for friends and socializing, I wouldn’t have been able to keep the stress down.
Or are you going to run that same race over and over to make sure when that day comes you are going to get the best possible time (to the best of your ability)?  The more and more you run that same race, it doesn’t seem as bad. I can tell you for those who skip the post-doc and go directly into industry working a fulfilling job, this is the case (this will be a future post on the Post-PhD Life).
And that was for 7 months with 80+ hour weeks.  To this day, these are still the Top 10 Things that got me through and what helped me keep my motivation.
You can perform Boolean searches in Pubmed and Google Scholar (great tips explaining how to do this can be found at Boolean.pdf).
Not only are all of the citations in your library searchable, but you can also file them into folders based on the subject matter (Figure 6). Check out the previous papers from your advisor to get ideas on wording, and then re-work it so it’s your own (citing relevant papers, of course).
Be sure to check out the deadlines not only for getting your document to your committee, but also for depositing it with the graduate school. I finished the edits by midnight and had the whole thing printed off by about 2 in the morning. Even though it can be like herding cats to track down all the members of your committee, try to personally deliver your documents to them—not only for security’s sake, but to remind them of who you are. There is something deeply satisfying about finally holding that beautifully bound book—that YOU wrote—in your hands at last.
Many great ideas can come at a time when you least expect it, and are doing something you ‘really shouldn’t be doing’ or at least your Professor may not approve of. So if your goal is to graduate in the shortest amount of time, you are in for a surprise for what awaits you.
But for many, they simply need to be made aware of other options available to them and take action. It was enough to buy a few drinks and have fun after a show and that was all I cared about.
It’s your life and your career (and your happiness-not theirs) and you have control over where you go next.
Things like timing, clarity, and other people’s critiques can be carried over from other talks. I also had to make a lot of figures, and making them on a laptop was just annoying, so the library wasn’t the best option for me either.
Obviously there were deadlines to meet, so sometimes I couldn’t afford that luxury, but when possible, it was a great stress reducer.
You will feel like someone locked you in a cave and you haven’t seen daylight for weeks. You can format the bibliography later, when your behemoth is completely written—yet another convenient, automatic feature. By the time you actually for-real start writing your thesis or dissertation, your methods chapter can be practically done already! Wouldn’t it stink to defend your thesis in April, but not graduate until December because you missed the deadline? That’s where you come in and how well you fight for your graduation (you certainly have to convince your thesis committee that you have done a satisfactory level of work).
It is no surprise that many may choose to delay marriage (or buy a house) until after they graduate, especially when they are not yet financially secure or working in a stable career. In the end, the band helped me accomplish my goals of getting through the hardships of graduate school, and I was out in 5 years with a job waiting for me in industry. If your mind says, “I’m terrible at public speaking, I can’t do it” remember you have spoken in public before, you aren’t terrible, and you have improved greatly in the last few years. But do whatever it takes to unwind, and keep the stress low-even if that means you go out for a night with your friends. A PhD is the same way, except you are sprinting that last 400 meter dash of the 26 mile marathon.



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