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Zutterfly
Thursday, 11 September 2014 at 9:03pm
Thursday, 12 January 2017 at 10:54pm
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Thread: Long feedback times

posted
14-Sep-14, 13:22
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posted about 3 years ago
Thank you so much for your advice Tester. Unfortunately I do not have a second supervisor, many students in my department do not, but some do. I am in the social sciences.

My first ever piece of writing was turned around in 1 month early this year which I was happy with, but it was after this things started slipping. Due to a 3 month delay with feedback on my upgrade report, I am stil waiting 5 months after sending this for my exam which has still not been arranged. I know it isnt right but im scared to raise it with another member of staff.

I plan to speak to my supervisor face to face next week. I have attempted email but I got quite a frustrating response, which said they were going to enforce a 'one draft policy' to which I agreed with, but pointed out that I have not even had one draft of some things that I submitted some time ago. I stick to deadlines, work very hard to meet them and then do not get feedback. It is so disheartening and I cannot see it improving.

Thread: Obtaining PhD

posted
13-Sep-14, 17:18
edited about 25 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
I am really glad that I have reassured you and have taken some of the panic away Becky! Your areas are very similar to mine.

You are completely right regarding remembering the 'worst parts'; people are often more likely to broadcast issues they are having for a vent. At the moment im having some issues with supervision which I have posted on here about, which seems to be a common issue ive heard on the forum, but that is because there is no set 'rule' for how supervision should work at PhD level, just vague guidance. But then I have heard of people passing their PhDs even when they have been less than pleased with their supervision, so again, the qualities of 'perseverence' and 'determination' can overcome such problems to an extent.

If your research is of value in the current economic and political climate, I have noticed those projects tend to get funded in the social sciences frequently; mine incorporated both of these areas. Your MRes too will provide you with a good opportunity to strengthen your writing and get to grops with more of the literature which will be very beneficial for when you have to write a proposal for your PhD. It will go very fast and it is intensive but I found I was much stronger academically by the end of it.

I worked all the way through my undergraduate and masters degree in jobs and it was exhausting. I think this is why I feel (when things are going well and im in a chipper mood) the PhD is not horrific really, because I had the experience of working so many hours and very long days with my job and university in the past- I find a PhD is much less exhausting as it is flexible e.g. you may have an unproductive few days but you can make this up on the days where you are speeding through your work :) if you did that in a real job you would have people giving you a hard time!

Thread: Obtaining PhD

posted
13-Sep-14, 13:23
edited about 10 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
My area is Higher Education but I do not want to say too much to maintain my identity on here- hope you understand! Yes when I applied to my PhD, older students already half way through that I had met during my MA instilled fear in me e.g. 'oh you will regret it' 'you will lose motivation fast and be sleeping all day and struggle to get anything done' but actually, I have never had an instance where ive slept all day or long periods of drift. There has been the odd week where I have felt frustrated or a little bit disheartened over typical problems with research and make an informed decision to put my work aside for a day etc. to clear my head, but I have not encountered any of the scenarios that the older students said to me.

Frankly, I feel if people are 'trying' to put fear into you they are just projecting their own issues with motivation onto you to make themselves feel better. It is good to discuss your phd with other students but I have come across some that continue with this negative 'advice' when they see you are doing quite well and I think that is to do with their own insecurities.

A 2.1 is what is typically required when applying for a PhD along with your MA. I got a first in my undergraduate but I do not know how far that went in the decision to provide me with the funding. I think it is more to do with proposing realistic yet useful and innovative research that will make a good contribution to your field.

Also, 'high flyers' at undergrad do not always equate to 'high flyers' at PhD level. During my PhD I have certainly noticed there is a huge variation in 'ability' and really, it is your skills of initiative, organisation, focus and perseverence that will help!

Thread: Obtaining PhD

posted
12-Sep-14, 23:09
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posted about 3 years ago
You are very welcome :) Yes I am. It is going ok I think! The negative things you hear about doing a PhD are not really linked to 'ability' in my opinion, its more like issues with supervisors and people feeling a bit like they have been chucked in the deep end and other problems.

With a PhD you are expected to work independently, but this varies depending on what supervisor you get from various stories ive read on here, and also in my own and colleagues experience; the amount of assistance you get varies a lot. I have always been told by older students and those who had come out of the other side alive is that the most important quality you need is 'perseverance' which I completely agree with as there are ups, downs, crashes, bends in the journey and moments of panic. My experience has been varied, if you come across another recent post on here by me you will see why I say this lol but during the good times I wouldn't have it any other way as on the whole im enjoying it :)

Thread: Long feedback times

posted
12-Sep-14, 22:15
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posted about 3 years ago
Anyone? Feeling quite demotivated by all of this, any advice would be appreciated!

Thread: Obtaining PhD

posted
12-Sep-14, 14:07
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posted about 3 years ago
Hi there Becky,

In the social sciences, you can apply for an ESRC studentship. I applied for this during my MA (in the same subject as you) for PhD funding. From my knowledge, various departments at each university have a quota of places that are ESRC funded, for mine it was just 1 place. Some departments also offer their own funding, again, a set number of places. Your university webpages may advertise what funding is available for PhD study and in what departments as well as how many funded places they have.

If you are successful in gaining funding, you have your fees paid for you, and also get a stipend for living costs (roughly 14k, but usually more in London).

Obtaining funding is not 'impossible' (living proof typing here!) but it is incredibly competitive (particularly ESRC funding).

Thread: Too Much Zen & The Eleventh Hour PhD

posted
11-Sep-14, 23:51
edited about 13 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
I chuckled at the description of your mindset at this time- I know what you mean, but the way I have described it in the past is that your brain gets so overwhelmed it just suddenly says 'nooope!' and treats you to some blissful calm. I am not that far into my PhD but I have a friend that hammered out their thesis in a massive rush in such a short space of time (due to full time work commitments mainly) and recently passed with minor corrections which consisted of typos due to rushing. So, there is hope :)

Thread: Final year - stress and mood swings

posted
11-Sep-14, 23:42
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posted about 3 years ago
Hi Tulip

I can empathise with the mood swings and the slightest thing being able to alter ones moods dramatically. This is likely a result of you entering a later stage of your PhD, and you feeling down about progress, as you say you are not close to having a draft of your thesis. I think the first thing to remember is, although you are being mindful of how this is impacting on those around you which is very considerate, you do have the right to feel angry or upset at times and everyone needs someone to have a little rant to from time to time. From what you have written, it sounds as though this has been triggered by you getting closer to the end of your phd.

Even though you are taking good care of yourself from the sounds e.g. eating healthily, and ensuring some 'you time' which is great and does remedy some issues related to stress with may people, this must be frustrating as it has not resolved the way you feel. I get the sense that even though you are having some relaxation time, that your thought about your phd are still 'running in the background' of your mind-some become so accostomed to this that they do not notice but it can still impact on your emotions.

Have you tried meditation? There are guided mediations on YouTube and the like which instruct you how to breath etc. This can be a good way of ensuring everything is 'off' in your mind completely which may help-maybe doing ten mins of this just before your allocated relaxation time? Also, as Caro has said, some universities have support lines you can phone which are just there to listen and not advise which may be a good outlet. Just saying your feelings outloud to another person can help you organise them and process them.


Take care x

Thread: Master's thesis

posted
11-Sep-14, 23:22
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
I completed my MA thesis some time ago, but my objectives came before the literature review as was part of an introduction chapter e.g. I wrote a bit of background, then outlined the aims of the study before branching into the literature review. After the literature review, that is where the 'plan' is detailed if by this you mean your methods and approach etc?

Thread: Supervisor leaving...

posted
11-Sep-14, 22:58
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posted about 3 years ago
I agree with many others on here; depending on the field that you are in, having some data collection is not always common until a little later on. Also, I empathise with having a distanced supervisor before they left (I am in the same boat and lack of others in my department are knowledgable about my area). It is really important that you speak to some one at the univesity though for help and support of what to do next, maybe see if someone can help in locating another supervisor. As others have said, maybe a supervisor in another department who may have knowledge of your area could work? This is the main thing that you need to address at the moment. If it takes a while to sort out, focus your energy on reading/writing detailed notes and keeping records of what you are doing- this can do wonders for your motivation when you look back at your progress :) Doing any sort of writing even if it is bits of note making can help keep some momentum as it will all help later on. Fingers crossed for you DeepEnd.

Thread: Long feedback times

posted
11-Sep-14, 21:32
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posted about 3 years ago
Hi

I am a long time lurker and first time poster. This site has been a blessed source of information for me in the past and I really need to ask for some advice.
I have seen similar threads but I do feel I need some specific advice on my situation.

I have begun my second year of my PhD and I had a busy first year and have done a great deal of writing. At the start of my PhD my sup was fast to respond to queries and I was having monthly meetings. Feedback used to be reasonable; I submitted some writing at the start of the year and received feedback one month later with very detailed comments- the feedback I received was detailed and helpful. The next time I submitted some writing which was for my upgrade report and exam to be taken within the first 12 months, it took months and a lot of chasing up to get any feedback. I was advised to make amendments then re send. I turned this around quickly and sent this. 2 months later, I have not had this back despite me sending reminder emails and asking them face to face. The upgrade exam has not been arranged and I am 2 weeks away of being 12 months into my course. The sup always tells me how busy they are and has multiple roles. I have always been understanding, but after submitting more writing , they gave me a deadline for feedback to be provided which was weeks ago, and I am losing faith very fast about being able to complete on time as I feel as though I am being held back.

My sup is very knowledgable and when I do receive feedback it is very good and we get along well, but I am not sure how to approach them in asking them if they can be faster with feedback; I know I will get told about how busy they are. I don't want to put in a complaint as this causes more trouble in academia.

Zutterfly x
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