Saturday, March 14, 2009

English Writing Skills for Scientific Papers by Mariah Arnold

All UMT's postgraduate are welcome to attend a workshop by Miss Mariah C. Arnold (Fullbright Scholar) as follows:

workshop title: English Writing Skills for Scientific Papers
presenter: Miss Mariah C. Arnold
date: 16th March 2009
time: 10-12 pm
venue: INOS meeting room, UMT

please bring any of your papers or abstract that you are currently working on. Refreshments will be provided. It will be great if you can leave your name here.

organized by: AKUATROP Postgraduate Club (APaC)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tips for reducing stress

Lately, it can be clearly seen some postgrads students in UMT are stressed due to work, life and study. So lets share a few tips on reducing stress...

-Keep a positive attitude.
-Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
-Be assertive instead of aggressive. "Assert" your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of
becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
-Learn and practice relaxation techniques.
-Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
-Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
-Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
-Don't rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.
-Seek out social support.
-Learn to manage your time more effectively.

Information provided by Jerome F. Kiffer, MA, Department of Health Psychology and Applied Psychophysiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Stress Management - Ways to Relieve Stress

The best way to manage your stress is to learn healthy coping strategies. You can start practicing these tips right away. Try one or two until you find a few that work for you. Practice these techniques until they become habits you turn to when you feel stress.

Stress-relief techniques focus on relaxing your mind and your body.

Ways to relax your mind
Write. It may help to write about things that are bothering you.1 Write for 10 to 15 minutes a day about stressful events and how they made you feel. Or think about starting a stress journal. This helps you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. After you know, you can find better ways to cope.

Let your feelings out. Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. Talking with friends, family, a counselor, or a member of the clergy about your feelings is a healthy way to relieve stress.

Do something you enjoy. This can be:
-A hobby, such as gardening.
-A creative activity, such as writing, crafts, or art.
-Playing with and caring for pets.
-Volunteer work.

You may feel that you're too busy to do these things. But making time to do something you enjoy can help you relax. It might also help you get more done in other areas of your life.

Ways to relax your body
Exercise. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Walking is a great way to get started. Even everyday activities such as housecleaning or yard work can reduce stress. Stretching can also relieve muscle tension. For more information about becoming more active, see the topic Fitness.

Try techniques to relax. Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and yoga can help relieve stress.
Breathing exercises. These include roll breathing, a type of deep breathing.

Progressive muscle relaxation. This technique reduces muscle tension. You do it by relaxing separate groups of muscles one by one. Yoga, tai chi, and qi gong. These techniques combine exercise and meditation. You may need some training at first to learn them. Books and videos are also helpful. You can do all of these techniques at home.

Other techniques to reduce stress

In addition to meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises to relieve stress, you might try these other therapies.

Ways to relax your mind
-Self-hypnosis can open your mind to suggestions that can relieve stress or change the way you respond to stress.
-Autogenic training includes six exercises that make the body relax. Each exercise helps you relax your body in a different way.
-Music therapy can relax your body, improve your mood, and change the pace of your day.
-Humor therapy may reduce stress and boost your immune system.
Ways to relax your body
-Massage, such as a shoulder and neck massage, uses touch to relieve tension. You can see a massage therapist or have a friend or family member give you a massage. You can even give yourself a massage.
-Aromatherapy uses the aroma-producing oils from plants to help you relax.
Biofeedback teaches you how to use your mind to control skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. All of these things can be affected by stress.
-Herbal supplements
Some people use herbal supplements such as valerian, kava, gingko, St. John's Wort, and chamomile to relieve stress symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. But supplements like these can be sold with limited or no research on how well they work. Talk with your doctor if you are taking supplements, especially if you have another health condition.
Source and for further readings:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

postgrad study requirements in other country

sorry for the long break. everyone is busy nowadays. anyway just like to share with you guys the requirements for postgraduate studies in other countries. this might be useful for those planning to further your studies abroad.

From wikipedia...



Generally, the Australian higher education system follows that of its British counterpart. Programmes are divided into coursework-based and research-based degrees, and entrance is decided by merit (entrance to coursework-based programmes is usually not as strict); most universities usually require a "Credit" average (equivalent to the British B-) as entry to their taught programmes in a field related to their previous undergraduate. On average, however, a strong "Credit" or "Distinction" average is the norm for accepted students.
Ph.D. entrance requirements in the higher ranked schools typically require a student to have a master's degree by research, or a master's with a significant research component. Those who hold a first-class four-year honours degree may be considered, but are usually first admitted as probationary Ph.D.-students during the first year, then transfer to permanent candidacy contingent upon successful progress. The minimum duration of a Ph.D. programme is two years, but completing within this time span is unusual, with Ph.D.s usually taking an average of three to four years to be completed.

Most of the confusion with Australian postgraduate programmes occurs with the research-based programmes. Research degrees generally require candidates to have a minimum of a second-class four-year honours undergraduate degree to be considered for admission. There has been some debate over the acceptance of a three-year honours degree (as in the case of graduates from British universities) as equivalent entry requirement to graduate research programmes (M.Phil., Ph.D.) in Australian universities, even though British graduates hold equivalent honours classification (upper-second and above).
Professional programs

There are many professional programs such as medical and dental school require a previous bachelors for admission and are considered graduate or Graduate Entry programs even though they culminate in a bachelors degree. Example, the Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) or Bachelor of Dentistry (BDent).

There has also been some confusion over the conversion of the different marking schemes between British, U.S., and Australian systems for the purpose of assessment for entry to graduate programmes. The Australian grades are divided into four categories: High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, and Pass (though many institutions have idiosyncratic grading systems). Assessment and evaluation based on the Australian system is not equivalent to British or U.S. schemes because of the "low-marking" scheme used by Australian universities. For example, a British student who achieves 70+ will receive an A grade, whereas an Australian student with 70+ will receive a Distinction which is not the highest grade in the marking scheme. Hence, there have been many instances where Australian university admission officers have incorrectly assessed foreign grade marks as equivalent to their own.


The Australian government usually offer full funding (fees and a monthly stipend) to its citizens and permanent residents who are pursuing research-based higher degrees. There are also highly competitive scholarships for international candidates who intend to pursue research-based programmes. Taught-degree scholarships (certain masters' degrees, Grad. Dip., Grad. Cert., D.Eng., D.B.A.) are almost non-existent for international students, so they are usually required to be self-funded.

Requirements for completion

Requirements for the successful completion of a taught master's programme are that the student pass all the required modules. Some universities require eight taught modules for a one-year programme, twelve modules for a one-and-a-half-year programme, and twelve taught modules plus a thesis or dissertation for a two-year programme. The academic year for an Australian postgraduate programme is typically two semesters (eight months of study).

Requirements for research-based programmes vary among universities. Generally, however, a student is not required to take taught modules as part of their candidacy. It is now common that first-year Ph.D. candidates are not regarded as permanent Ph.D. students for fear that they may not be sufficiently prepared to undertake independent research. In such cases, an alternative degree will be awarded for their previous work, usually an M.Phil. or M.Sc. by research.



Admission to a master's program generally requires a bachelor's degree in a related field, with sufficiently high grades usually ranging from B+ and higher (note that different schools have different letter grade conventions, and this requirement may be significantly higher in some faculties), and recommendations from professors. Some schools require samples of the student's writing as well as a research proposal. At English-speaking universities, applicants from countries where English is not the primary language are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Admission to a doctoral program typically requires a master's degree in a related field, sufficiently high grades, recommendations, samples of writing, a research proposal, and typically an interview with a prospective supervisor. Requirements are often set higher than those for a master's program. In exceptional cases, a student holding an honours BA with sufficiently high grades and proven writing and research abilities may be admitted directly to a Ph.D. program without the requirement to first complete a master's. Many Canadian graduate programs allow students who start in a master's to "reclassify" into a Ph.D. program after satisfactory performance in the first year, bypassing the master's degree.

Graduate students must usually declare their research goal or submit a research proposal upon entering grad school; in the case of master's degrees, there will be some flexibility (that is, one is not held to one's research proposal, although major changes, for example from premodern to modern history, are discouraged). In the case of Ph.D.s, the research direction is usually known as it will typically follow the direction of the master's research.

Master's degrees can typically be completed in one year but normally take at least two; they typically may not exceed five years. Doctoral degrees require a minimum of two years but frequently take much longer, not usually exceeding six years.


Graduate students may take out student loans, but instead they often work as teaching or research assistants. Students often agree, as a condition of acceptance to a programme, not to devote more than twelve hours per week to work or outside interests.

Funding is available to first-year masters students whose transcripts reflect exceptionally high grades; this funding is normally given in the second year.

Funding for Ph.D. students comes from a variety of sources, and many universities waive tuition fees for doctoral candidates.

Funding is available in the form of scholarships, bursaries and other awards, both private and public.

Requirements for completion

Both master's and doctoral programs may be done by coursework or research or a combination of the two, depending on the subject and faculty. Most faculties require both, with the emphasis on research, and with coursework being directly related to the field of research.

Master's candidates undertaking research are typically required to complete a thesis comprising some original research and ranging from seventy to two-hundred pages. Some fields may require candidates to study at least one foreign language if they have not already earned sufficient foreign-language credits. Some faculties require candidates to defend their thesis, but many do not. Those that do not often have a requirement of taking two additional courses, minimum, in lieu of preparing a thesis.

Ph.D. candidates undertaking research must typically complete a thesis, or dissertation, consisting of original research representing a significant contribution to their field, and ranging from two-hundred to five-hundred pages. Most Ph.D. candidates will be required to sit comprehensive examinations—examinations testing general knowledge in their field of specialization—in their second or third year as a prerequisite to continuing their studies, and must defend their thesis as a final requirement. Some faculties require candidates to earn sufficient credits in a third or fourth foreign language; for example, most candidates in modern Japanese topics must demonstrate ability in English, Japanese, and Mandarin, while candidates in pre-modern Japanese topics must demonstrate ability in English, Japanese, Classical Chinese, and Classical Japanese.

At English-speaking Canadian universities, both master's and Ph.D. theses may be presented in English or in the language of the subject (German for German literature, for example), but if this is the case an extensive abstract must be also presented in English. In exceptional circumstances, a thesis may be presented in French.

French-speaking universities have varying sets of rules; some will accept students with little knowledge of French if they can communicate with their supervisors (usually in English).

United Kingdom


Admission to undertake a research degree in the UK typically requires a good bachelor's degree (at least lower second, but usually an upper second or first class). Students may or may not already have a Master's degree. Doctoral candidates are initially admitted to a Masters in Research Philosophy (M.Phil. or MRes), then later accede to a Ph.D. if they progress well.


Funding for postgraduate study in the UK is awarded competitively, and usually is disseminated by institution (in the form of a certain allocation of studentships for a given year) rather than directly to individuals. There are a number of scholarships for Master's courses, but these are relatively rare and dependent on the course and class of undergraduate degree obtained (usually requiring at least a lower second). Most Master's students are self-funded.

Funding is available for some Ph.D. courses. As at the Master's level, there is more funding available to those in the sciences than in other disciplines. Such funding generally comes from Research Councils such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and others.

For overseas students, most major funding applications are due as early as twelve months or more before the intended graduate course will begin. This funding is also often highly competitive. The most widely available, and thus important, award for overseas students is the Overseas Research Student Award, which pays the difference in university fees between an overseas student and a British or EU resident. However, a student can only apply for the ORS for one university, often before he or she knows whether they have been accepted.

Students studying part-time for a Master's degree can apply for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance provided their timetabled hours are less than 16 hours per week. This also entitles the student to housing benefit provided by their local councilFull-time students (of any type) are not normally eligible for state benefits, including during vacation time.