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How to Complete a PhD in the Medical and Clinical Sciences

Ashton Barnett-Vanes (Editor), Rachel Allen (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-18962-6 May 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 176 Pages


How to Complete a PhD in the Medical and Clinical Sciences provides fresh insight into the PhD process and a concise framework to aid current and prospective students undertaking research in the medical and clinical sciences.

Filled with useful hints, tips, and practical guidance, the book covers key topics relevant to a PhD researcher such as publishing and presenting, core principles and techniques in medical science, dealing with common pitfalls, and how to write up and move on.

Featuring contributions from authors with experience across the PhD research career spectrum, How to Complete a PhD in the Medical and Clinical Sciences is an invaluable resource for those undertaking their doctoral studies.

List of contributors, xi

About the editors, xv

Foreword, xvii

Preface, xix

Acknowledgements, xxi

Chapter 1: Introduction, 1
Ashton Barnett-Vanes and Rachel Allen

A PhD, 1

Perspective, 2

Why a book? How to use it, 5

References, 6

Chapter 2: Deciding on and finding a PhD, 7
Jonathan C.H. Lau and Ming He

Background, 7

Routes of entry, 8

How to find one, 11

Choosing a project, 13

Making an application, 16

Interviews, 17

How to fund one, 18

Reference, 22

Further reading, 22

Chapter 3: Anatomy of a PhD: Where you fit in the academic world, 23
Laura Lambert and John Tregoning

Background: Welcome to the new you, 23

You are here: PhD research versus undergraduate studies, 24

Lab types: A field guide, 25

It’s tricky: The student]supervisor interaction, 27

Check out my massive organogram, 28

Other dull, but important stuff, 29

Conclusion, 31

Reference, 32

Chapter 4: Core techniques, principles and statistics, 33
Andrew John Walley, Kyrillos N Adesina Georgiadis, Adel Benlahrech and Fiona Reid

Genomics, 33

Metabolomics, 38

Flow cytometry, 40

Statistics, 45

References, 49

Further reading, 49

Chapter 5: Take off: Year 1, 51
Ashton Barnett Vanes and Rachel Allen

Background, 51

Understanding your team and project, 52

The literature, 53

The research proposal, 55

Starting experiments, 56

Data management and record keeping, 57

The ‘transfer’, 58

Conclusion, 59

Common pitfalls, 59

Chapter 6: Dealing with problems, 63
Rachel Allen and David Salman

Background, 63

General problems, 64

Academic problems, 66

Common PhD problems, 69

Conclusions, 72

References, 73

Further reading, 73

Chapter 7: Breaking ground: Year 2, 75
Ashton Barnett-Vanes and Rebecca Ingram

Background, 75

Taking ownership of your project, 75

Shaping the research direction, 76

From preliminary to publishable data, 77

Supervising junior students, 79

The end of Year 2 review/assessment, 80

Conclusion, 82

Common pitfalls, 82

Chapter 8: Presenting and publishing as a PhD student, 85
Ashton Barnett-Vanes and Henry D.I. De ’Ath

Background, 85

Presentations, 85

How to present, 87

Publications, 89

Writing an original research article, 90

Writing a review article, 93

Narrative reviews, 95

Final steps, 95

Managing the process, 96

Other considerations, 98

Conclusion, 98

References, 98

Further reading, 98

Chapter 9: Landing and writing up: Year 3, 99
Manu Chhabra and E. Allison Green

Background, 99

An exit strategy, 99

The X Factor results, 100

Before you start writing, 101

Writing your thesis: Part 1, 102

Writing your thesis: Part 2, 105

Conclusion, 111

Common pitfalls, 111

Further reading, 112

Chapter 10: The viva and moving on, 113
Rachel Allen and Kate Gowers

Background, 113

An examiner’s perspective (Rachel), 113

The viva, 115

Corrections, 117

Career routes, 119

Conclusion, 123

Further reading, 123

Chapter 11: PhDs in veterinary science and medicine, 125
Fiona Cunningham, Jonathan Elliott, Fiona Tomley and Kristien Verheyen

Background, 125

Is it for me?, 126

Your project, 128

Presenting and publishing your findings, 130

Post]PhD, what’s next for me?, 131

Conclusion, 133

Possible concerns, 133

Acknowledgements, 134

Reference, 134

Chapter 12: International perspectives on medical and clinical science PhDs, 135
Celia A. Soares and Paul Langford

Background, 135

Choosing a country, 135

Finding a department, 136

‘Full’ PhDs versus ‘dual]PhDs’, 137

Interviewing in a lab abroad, 139

Funding, 140

Administrative issues, 140

Conclusion, 143

Common pitfalls, 143

Further reading, 144

Chapter 13: What I’m really thinking: The post]doc, 145
Adel Benlahrech

Background, 145

It is great to be a post]doc!, 145

Is it really that great?, 146

A post]doc’s advice, 146

Conclusion, 149

Further reading, 149

Chapter 14: What I’m really thinking: The Professor, 151
Michael Dustin

Index, 153

‘Intended as a step-by-step guide, the book is a good summary of the major steps, pitfalls along the way, and advice on how to be successful as a student … There are not many books that attempt to do what this one does, and there is not much written about this topic in general, so students should find this a useful resource. Doing a PhD is often fraught with uncertainty, and a written guide to the steps would be helpful for most students, especially as they begin the program.’ Doody’s, November 2017

'How to Complete a PhD in the Medical and Clinical Sciences
aims (and succeeds) in remaining concise, it examines every aspect of the PhD journey in a comprehensive and precise manner. I would strongly recommend the book to anyone doing or planning to do a PhD in Medical, Clinical, Biomedical or Life Sciences. As well as, frankly, any other subject.' Kristine Bagdassarian,