I have a student who will graduate this spring. She has done a kickass job. She has three chapters of her thesis published or in press at good (albeit not great) journals. She got a small grant to support her work, and has an NIH individual funding for the next stage of her career.
But now, the department committee in charge of such things has decided that she needs to write a “real thesis” and can’t just put her papers plus three more manuscripts (which will be submitted within the next 6 mo window) together. They’ve decided that her thesis committee MUST have an intro and a methods chapter and a discussion beyond what is in the papers. Her committee doesn’t give a damn. The department (being that we are a MRU) feels it needs standards for its students.
I am frustrated. What the fuck is the point of doing something that is NOT training for the future????? In the olden days, when scientists wrote books or monographs, it was reasonable to do a thesis that was a book or monograph. I am lucky that my mentor let me bind papers together back when that was not the norm. Now writing a book is training for NOTHING that anyone will be doing in science, at least for many years to come.
I tried to discuss this, but was slapped down. In the cost benefit analysis for the student, this is not worth fighting. She’s not nearly as pissed off as I am (she just wants to be done).
So lift a glass of beverage of choice (Langvulin 16 at the moment) to a job well done, and another person of color succeeding.