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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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page 1 of 11 recent posts

Thread: University reputation , supervisor reputation or funding?

posted
20-Feb-17, 09:26
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 5 days 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 week 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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 3 weeks 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 3 weeks 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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!

Thread: Opportunities for researchers in their 50s

posted
11-Jan-17, 11:47
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Yes agree about jobs.ac.uk (despite the name, they advertise international jobs), and the New Scientist job search is usually good. Maybe a subject-specific publication in your field might advertise relevant opportunities. Or look at university websites, including individual research group's pages.

I don't know how your age would affect things exactly - I think your experience would be in your favour, compared with younger applicants who maybe `only' have the experience of their PhD, although if you don't have a recent publication record that could be an obstacle in applying for a research post. Depends on the role and the institution though (it might matter less for a more teaching-focused position).

It seems like you have nothing to lose by applying. Good luck!

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
10-Jan-17, 12:03
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
This is the study I was thinking of, which talks about the 'dangers' of inexperienced examiners: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/555a/7e7198c9faca2656451c05bc1d51d55cb7cc.pdf
It does focus on the Australian system, which is different from many other countries (no viva, I think), but some of the findings might apply.

I guess if you're not in a particular rush to get your result, why not wait a couple of months and have the examiner you prefer?

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
10-Jan-17, 07:24
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
I have also heard that early-career/young academics tend to be tougher as they have more to prove and less experience of the range of acceptable work - there was a survey with that finding that I'll try to find the link to.

Thread: Examiner's Report - How much detail should there be?

posted
06-Jan-17, 22:00
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
My viva report was about a page and a half, and includes 7 bullet points describing the particular areas I needed to focus on. This is for a revise & resubmit. It was a bit less detailed than I was expecting, but we did discuss all the points in much more detail during the viva itself so I had a chance to ask questions and make notes.

I do think this is going to vary greatly between different examiners and different subject areas, so not sure you can necessarily compare. But the corrections should be clearly explained, and (in my opinion) should relate to concerns raised during the viva, not be completely new things never mentioned before.

Good luck getting this sorted out. It's beyond belief how badly you've been treated and how long this has dragged on.

Thread: Modest (6 months) Corrections despite publications

posted
05-Jan-17, 20:51
by Ephiny 1 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
I completely understand the nervousness - I am in the middle of corrections myself and have similar doubts sometimes. But we can only do our best. Good luck!
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