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Ephiny 1 star member
Sunday, 1 November 2009 at 4:56pm
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 8:05pm
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Thread: Viva outcomes: major corrections, minor corrections, revise and resubmit

posted
21-Mar-17, 20:33
edited about 28 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 3 days ago
Yes it depends on the examiners' judgement, and different institutions have different regulations, so there isn't really much clarity or consistency! At my university, for example, there is no such thing as major corrections: you can only have minor corrections (12 weeks) or revise and resubmit (18 months).

My examiners actually gave me the choice between the two outcomes, but they strongly advised me to go for the R&R option (with no need to re-take the viva) as they wanted quite a lot of corrections and thought I would struggle to complete them in the 12 weeks, especially as I work full-time. So it can depend on your circumstances as well.

Honestly there is no point worrying about the thesis now it's submitted; no thesis is perfect, and you can't change it at this stage anyway. The important thing is to prepare well for the viva (e.g. if you felt some of your arguments were unclear in the thesis, make sure you can explain them clearly and confidently in person). Good luck and stay positive, it will most likely all be fine!

Thread: Going mad?

posted
21-Mar-17, 20:19
edited about 4 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 3 days ago
It's worth remembering that many published papers are really badly written - either because the authors don't have particularly good English, or they're not skilled at expressing themselves clearly, or both - and some journals don't copy edit as thoroughly as you might think.

Otherwise, I agree about taking short breaks when you can, instead of trying to work for long stretches at a time - if you find you're getting mentally tired or losing focus, step away from the books/papers/screen and take a walk or do something else, then come back to it with your brain and eyes a bit fresher.

If you find anxiety is a problem, maybe look into some mindfulness/relaxation/breathing exercises. Getting regular exercise and enough sleep can help, all the usual self-care stuff.

Thread: Examiner Disagreement

posted
08-Mar-17, 12:35
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Wonderful news! I've followed your story and hoped to see good news every time I see your name on here - so happy for you that it's finally happened :). Can't even imagine how relieved and glad you must be after all you've been through.

Thank you too for sharing your story here. So often in real life you only hear about the good, 'normal' outcomes, which is very isolating for those of us who have complications and difficulties with the process. And you persisted and got there in the end - it give me hope to keep going with my re-submission and not give up hope.

Congratulations!! I hope you're able to celebrate, relax and move on with your life, and finally put all this awfulness behind you.

Thread: Feeling really embarrased after bad interview and have to see panel again

posted
02-Mar-17, 11:59
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 3 weeks ago
It might not have been as bad as you think - I've had interviews I thought went embarassingly badly but then got offered the job; others I thought went quite well but no offer. You can never tell, and you never know if other candidates did even worse!

Either way, it's really common to get nervous in interviews, I'm sure the panel have seen it all before, and quite possibly some have had the same experience themselves in the past.

Good luck!

Thread: Leaving contract with 1 year left to go for Perm?

posted
01-Mar-17, 09:00
edited about 6 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 3 weeks ago
I don't see what you have to lose by applying. If you don't get the job, the decision is made for you :). If you do...well, then you can make a decision based on actual options not what-ifs.

Check your current contract and what it says about early termination. If you abide by the terms of the contract (e.g. giving the appropriate notice period to your current employer), you're not doing anything wrong. Maybe some people will be annoyed/inconvenienced, but I think most will understand. Also, if it was the other way round, and your employer wanted to lay you off, they'd think nothing of doing it if the contract allowed; that's how the world of employment works.

Thread: University reputation , supervisor reputation or funding?

posted
20-Feb-17, 09:26
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
I would go for the funded place, if you can get it. As well as it being hugely useful financially to have the regular stipend and not have to worry too much about money while you're studying, it will look good that you managed to win a competitive studentship.

After that, I would place a good supervisor above a high-ranked university. I went to a 'prestigious' university but had an awful supervisor who was no help to me at all, and I've really struggled. If you can, check whether they have a good record of students passing their PhDs and co-authoring papers (their research group website should have details of past and present members, and a list of publications).

Thread: 12 days until final submission and feel like I am walking through treacle

posted
16-Feb-17, 11:46
edited about 24 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
I think sometimes there's a fear of finishing, in case it's not good enough. Or just that the final tasks remaining to do are the ones you're (subconsciously or otherwise) been putting off because they're difficult or boring or you feel uncertain about them.

Or you're just tired after working so hard for so long - obviously you can't spare much time with only days to go, but sometimes taking a short break/having an evening off can help you come back to it with your mind refreshed and make faster progress.

Thread: PhD offer - Conditional or Unconditional?

posted
06-Feb-17, 11:47
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
If you've met the academic requirements already, then I would guess it's probably unconditional. But there's not much point any of us speculating about what the offer details might or might not be, because we have no way of knowing! Can you call or email someone at the university (there's probably a PG administrator who manages admissions, maybe the person who informed you of the offer) and ask for clarification?

Thread: Strange Situation

posted
06-Feb-17, 11:32
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Generally I would say just do what the examiners ask for, even if you don't agree with their opinion, because that's what will get you your PhD. Unless you think this examiner is so unreasonable that he will look for any excuse not to pass you - but even then, you would not be helping your case in any future appeal by refusing to do the corrections asked for. What do your supervisors think?

I'm slightly confused by what you say about moving forward to viva - does this mean you haven't had your viva yet? I'm guessing this isn't the UK system then, where you wouldn't normally get your examiners' reports until after the viva. If you say what country you're in, maybe someone can advise on transferring to another university, as I don't think you can do that in the UK (you could potentially start over at a new university, but that doesn't seem a good option when you're only a few corrections away from passing).

Thread: Am I suited for a PhD?

posted
29-Jan-17, 16:12
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 months ago
Supervisors do vary a lot in how hands-on they are, but it's normal for a PhD project to be quite unstructured and for you to have to plan your own work and how to spend your time. Some students thrive on that freedom, but others can end up a bit aimless and unfocused. It sounds like this supervisor may not be a good fit for you - and maybe the project isn't either, if you're struggling to get anywhere with developing your proposal and coming up with ideas that interest you.

Maybe you would be better going for the industry job? You can always re-apply for a PhD later in your career if you feel the need, with the benefit of more experience and confidence.

Alternatively, there are some more structured PhD programs, e.g. those that start with a MSc/MRes year where you attend classes and have more organised activities together with the rest of your cohort, or the type where the first year involves doing several lab rotations with shorter, well-defined projects (this is good if you haven't yet figured out exactly what you want to do).

Thread: Examiner Disagreement

posted
29-Jan-17, 15:58
edited about 24 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 months ago
I agree this is progress towards getting the situation resolved, and therefore a good thing - although I completely understand your frustration at still not having a result for your PhD!

If you can show clearly that the corrections address all the examiners comments (agree that preparing a table/spreadsheet is a great idea) then I think it's going to be incredibly hard for them to fail you - remember, even your external wasn't able to claim that your corrections were not as requested, only that she'd suddenly decided she wanted wanted more/different corrections.

Good luck once again, and let us know how it goes.

Thread: female gym users required for dissertation research

posted
19-Jan-17, 11:53
edited about 23 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 months ago
I did the survey but got an what looks like an error 'System Message: Invalid survey_code' at the end.

Not sure if this means the results didn't go through, but if you don't seem to be getting many responses, maybe check in case that's why!

Thread: Sick of 2.2 haunting me. Please read and help me understand what I have to do!

posted
13-Jan-17, 10:18
edited about 16 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 months ago
I don't understand why you don't have a grade for your MSc? I did a Master's by research (MRes) and it was graded (pass, merit, distinction). Was this in the UK?

Otherwise, unfortunately the competition is just very tough for funded PhD places, and many of the applicants you're competing against may have a good undergraduate degree and a MSc as well. It's great that you have research experience though, I think that would be a strong point in your favour. Keep trying, but maybe also look into other options such as whether you can self-fund while working part time, or if you could be sponsored by an employer?

Thread: First rewritten chapter a disaster

posted
11-Jan-17, 15:02
edited about 3 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 months ago
Only you can decide whether you want to continue or not, but I agree with having a face-to-face chat with your supervisors first. Ask for their honest opinion about how far you are from a PhD-standard thesis - it might not be as bad as you think, and if it is, at least you know where you stand and can make a decision based on that.

Also, are there other options you can consider, e.g. if you decide you can't face going through the full process of resubmitting for the PhD, could the work you've done already be considered for an MPhil instead?

Thread: Examiner Disagreement

posted
11-Jan-17, 11:58
edited about 24 seconds later
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 2 months ago
In my opinion your supervisor is right and you can't fail, as you've done the minor revisions that your pass was dependent on. I suspect your external knows that, hence all the delaying tactics.

I hope you hear something from the chair soon, and glad you're managing to stay positive. Hopefully the end is in sight now!
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