My APG Presentation
Posted by Pete Hague on 08 Jul 2012
In the Leicester Physics Department, PhD students are for their first year, not technically PhD students (although in almost every case other than in documentation, they are referred to as such). According to the university, they are 'Advance PostGraduate' or APG students. Progression to the second year, and the PhD program proper is dependent on a presentation and a report handed in ~8 months into the students postgraduate studies.
I am in this process at the moment; I have made my presentation to the department, and handed in my report - the remaining step is for me to meet with my thesis committee and discuss the report. My thesis committee consists of my supervisor, my second supervisor (aka my advisor) and my personal tutor.
I am reasonably confident about being allowed to proceed; the main hurdle seems to have been the presentation, in that the only person I am aware of not being allowed to proceed onto the full PhD was unable to complete his presentation when his nerves got the better of him. As I understand it, he is being allowed to have another crack at getting through - and this appears to me to be the worst case scenario. The aim of this process doesn't seem to be to kick people out, it is more of a progress check.
I had intended to record my presentation, and upload it to this blog so others could see what sort of thing would be expected at this point in a PhD. However, due to the department apparently buying SD cards from dodgy electronics grey markets in China, only the first 47 seconds were recorded. Instead, I plan to upload the presentation itself, or make a new recording it.
In any case, my supervisor has recommended to me that I do not put the presentation on my blog, until the work that it is based on is published. The reasoning behind this is that, if something I've said in the presentation is unclear, people can refer to the paper for clarification, avoiding any possibly offence-causing misconceptions about my work.
This brings me on to another subject; the paper I have in preperation. This is my main excuse for posts being a little thin on the ground of late. As I have said before I'm not going to talk about my work very much before it is published, but I can talk about the process.
We expect to be able to complete the paper before the end of this month. Then there will be some back-and-forth between us and the referees, until (hopefully) the paper is accepted. At that point, I'll do a post fully describing what I've done, and a link to the paper for the curious.
Until then, I'll only be able to post about other aspects of science, other random stuff that interests me, or general stuff about the process of peer review - which I hope will be interesting in itself!