Thesis Horror Stories

Thesis Horror Stories-56
I feared my competitor might be working on a follow-up paper.” Working on a project at the cutting edge can make a thesis or postdoctoral project worth the long hours and tedious experiments.But it also increases the odds that another group will find those answers first.Tian addressed the significant research question that the withdrawn paper left unanswered, published his results, and became a much more competitive job candidate in 2003 as a result.

I feared my competitor might be working on a follow-up paper.” Working on a project at the cutting edge can make a thesis or postdoctoral project worth the long hours and tedious experiments.But it also increases the odds that another group will find those answers first.Tian addressed the significant research question that the withdrawn paper left unanswered, published his results, and became a much more competitive job candidate in 2003 as a result.

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Halawani, a Ph D candidate at Mc Gill University in Montreal, Canada, had spent the previous 18 months building the tools to investigate a key energy-transport enzyme.

Two days later, a competing group published the answer in a paper that followed Halawani’s plan exactly. “I thought that there was nothing left for me to address.

By Kendall Powell Science is cut-throat by nature, but how should young scientists handle working on competitive projects — or worse, getting scooped?

Kendall Powell investigates how to release the pressure valve.

When Queloz said he was sure, Mayor supported him and his data to ensure they published a strong paper.

“There will still be stress and pressure, but if you are in a good environment, that will translate into excitement and wanting to work the weekend,” says Queloz.One should be high-profile, with a higher risk of getting scooped, and the other less ambitious but more likely to get published.Having returned to academia from industry, Latterich also takes a lesson from the business world: “Create a niche that is truly unique and play to your strengths.” For example, use a model system, assay or bioinformatics approach that no one else is using.If you know someone is way ahead of you, don’t waste your time, Tian says.But he warns against getting too anxious about rumours: “If you have an idea you think is good, then just do your best to pursue it.” Besides, he says, you never know when another group might get stuck with a technical problem or decide to switch directions.In many disciplines, researchers hesitate to discuss unpublished results at conferences.Instead, much of this information comes from informal conversations at the pub, casual phone calls or the rumour mill.with the family joyously driving as Duke’s character sings along to Luniz’s “I Got Five on It” (which gets a creepy remix once the trailer takes a dark turn). Later, the son sees mysterious figures in the driveway.Once they arrive at their destination, they hang out with another couple, played by Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss—as the kind of woman who quips, “It’s vodka o’clock.”While on the beach, their son runs off—and, because this is a horror movie, he sees a dark omen: a bloodied man (or a demon in human form? Duke’s character goes outside, bat in hand, to ward them off—and that‘s when he realizes that they‘re twisted, clone versions of his partner and kids, except wearing orange jumpsuits and full of bloodlust.As a postdoctoral fellow, Tian worked on characterizing the DNA recombination events crucial to forming antibodies, competing with other groups that were doing the same thing.In fact, a competitor published during Tian’s postdoc, but the paper was later retracted.

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