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acecard
Monday, 23 February 2015 at 12:11pm
Friday, 10 March 2017 at 6:30pm
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Thread: Will my literature review be read?!

posted
10-Mar-17, 18:29
edited about 10 seconds later
by acecard
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posted about 5 months ago
I'm my supervisors first PhDer and to be fair he is very enthusiastic so i do believe he will read it. But do you think my examiners will??!!

Thread: Will my literature review be read?!

posted
10-Mar-17, 12:09
edited about 4 seconds later
by acecard
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posted about 5 months ago
Hi all,

As you may see from my previous posts, I have been tackling my literature review, which I am gladly coming to the end of within the next few weeks! Phew!!

I've put all this effort into constructing what I believe to be a comprehensive review of the specifics of my topic, but do you think it will even be read???

Thanks
AC

Thread: Am I overthinking the literature review?

posted
03-Feb-17, 21:50
by acecard
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posted about 6 months ago
Thanks for the responses. I guess I have been over thinking things a little. I will be able to relax a bit more without feeling like I HAVE to find something wrong with people's work! fract, I believe you are right......I have a meeting with my sup on Tuesday so will get his opinion also!

Thread: Am I overthinking the literature review?

posted
01-Feb-17, 19:31
edited about 2 seconds later
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 6 months ago
Hi all,

The last post I made was me stressing out about how to start my literature review. I took the advice of the responses I received and I am now progressing through it very well. Strangely, however, I feel like I am over thinking it a little! When reading papers for my review, I am always trying to be as analytical as possible, making correlations between multiple authors, highlighting differences in opinion/method, highlighting areas that may have been of some concern in the methodology and adding my own opinions based on my own knowledge etc.

Reading back through my work, I felt like I perhaps wasn't being analytical enough, so I sought some inspiration from other thesis in our research group (two of which were authored by my 2 supervisors), and downloaded a thesis supervised by someone internationally prominent in my field (engineering). I must admit, I was shocked by how "un-analytical" (excuse the made up term!) they all were. Most read like a textbook narrative with the odd bit of critique here and there. To be honest, my wife's undergrad social science dissertation had more critical content than most of these.

This got me thinking about literature reviews in engineering; are they perhaps not supposed to be as critical as I thought? One of my supervisors has mentioned that he feels that too much emphasis is placed on the literature review and he doesn't feel that it is as important as people make out.

Any views much appreciated!
AC

Thread: 6 months behind on everything!!

posted
24-Oct-16, 21:27
edited about 15 seconds later
by acecard
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posted about 10 months ago
These really are great nuggets of advice guys, thank you. I feel more confident already. I think that part of what has been stressing me out was the thought of not having good discipline and writing about EVERYTHING! I now have a better idea of how I can fuel my knowledge requirement, whilst being very direct in my approach.

Thanks!
AC

Thread: 6 months behind on everything!!

posted
21-Oct-16, 14:46
edited a moment later
by acecard
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posted about 10 months ago
Hi,

TreeofLife, that makes sense. So essentially, use the writing to drive the reading? It would be interesting to know how you dealt with the difference between the "textbook" literature that is relevant, and the literature relating to "current trends" in the area? In my mind, they are both very different. The literature review is obviously to determine what has been done specific to my field so as to know where I fit into the equation. However, I feel like I should include some textbook fundamentals in the thesis to give some context. Is this something for the introduction chapter, or to be included in the literature review as well? I'm just concerned that my tendency to "over work" things will kick in and I will have a literature review of 100+ pages! I've asked some of the ex-PhDers in the group and get different responses and my supervisor is biased as his literature review was "EXTENSIVE"!

Thread: 6 months behind on everything!!

posted
21-Oct-16, 14:11
edited about 13 seconds later
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 10 months ago
Hi,

No, as it was "gift" funding for a newly appointed professor in the group, apparently it had to be taken up by that date or be lost! Not sure of the exact technicalities of that.

With regards to it being a problem, are you referring to the clause that funding bodies use to say that you can't do more than 6hrs paid work a week (or something to that tune)? If so, it's ok; as the funding is provided by my university and not a research council, there are no restrictions on this. It was something that we looked at during the whole process.

Thread: 6 months behind on everything!!

posted
21-Oct-16, 13:00
edited about 28 seconds later
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 10 months ago
Hi all,

Whilst being officially a full time PhDer from April this year, I have basically done nothing and am looking for some motivation/comfort. Please don't think I am lazy though......let me explain my situation!

I am currently a member of staff at my university on a fixed term research assistant contract that is due to finish in a week. However, when the opportunity for a full-time funded PhD came up in my group in April, I couldn't let it pass! I got the position, but agreed with my supervisory team (who were also my employers) that I would stay as a full time staff member as well until my contract lapsed....this sounded ideal for both parties; they wouldn't need to retrain someone for the sake of 6 months, and I would be able to save enough money to sustain my family when I became a full time student again......hope I have explained myself properly!! Now from the point of view of my studies, I know this wasn't the ideal thing to do, but to be honest, if I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have been able to take the PhD due to money. So no option really.

As an employee, I was working on a really interesting yet demanding project that took up basically all of my time during the day, and I was unable to muster the motivation to work during the evenings and weekends. So, as I prefaced this thread with, I have basically done nothing to show for my 6 months to date, which is seriously killing my motivation going forward!

The previous 6 months haven't been a waste though as I have been running a test cell which has given me fantastic experience for when I come to do the same for my PhD......however it is the literature review that is weighing on my mind at the moment. I keep collecting papers upon papers and have a MASSIVE reading list (and I am currently quite slow reading as I like to absorb the content).

Am I alone?! How much do you guys manage to read daily? I just want to gauge whether I can "catch-up" on all the reading I should have done!!

Thanks!

AC

Thread: Will be enrolling soon!.....what does each year of a PhD actually consist of?!

posted
18-Dec-15, 16:20
edited about 13 seconds later
by acecard
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posted about 2 years ago
Hi all,

I will become a regular poster on here now as I am finally on track for postgraduate study!

I managed to secure my dream job after completing my MEng last academic year......a role as a research assistant in an area that I am truly passionate about (Vehicle and Powertrain research), in a fantastic department who specialise in industrial collaborations. This will allow me to gain relevant work experience, whilst studying for my doctorate part-time, which I am expecting to register for in about a year, after the dust has settled (mutual agreement between my supervisor and I to give me time to acclimatise to the job, environment, and my newborn baby!!!). I'm also hoping that i will be able to submit within a reasonable time as the plan would be to align my PhD with an industrial project deliverable within the department. In the mean time, and as part of my preparation, I have been feeling out some of the experiences of the post-docs and current postgrads in the department in order to better understand the process of completing a PhD, and am extending my survey here to all that can help.

So, after the waffle (!), the main question is: what is your year-by-year activity split on a PhD? I have read some passing comments on here about the literature review taking the best part of the first year, the experimental work forming the next, and then writing up forming the latter (assuming a 3 year full time work load); is this true?

Any experiences are much appreciated, particularly in the engineering field.

Thread: Part-time PhD alongside a related full-time job

posted
25-Feb-15, 15:50
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 2 years ago
Thanks, that's encouraging to hear! During my undergrad and masters I became very good at using every spare moment I had! Guess I will get even better at it over the next few years!

Thread: Part-time PhD alongside a related full-time job

posted
23-Feb-15, 12:56
by acecard
Avatar for acecard
posted about 2 years ago
Hi all, long-time trawler here, now officially signed up! Apologies if this question has been asked before, I just haven't been able to find a post that fits my particular set of circumstances!

I'm dead set on studying for a PhD in mechanical engineering, and going the academic route; this is has come from nearly 5 years of career path evolution since the start of my higher education. Unfortunately, there is no available funding for me and thus I would certainly need to work full time in order to support my family etc. I have liaised with the department within which I wish to undertake my studies and they have enlightened me to the possibility of applying for a role as a salaried member of staff within the research group at the university, and enrolling as a part-time PhD student; this is something that they have done on a number of occasions. The obvious benefits here are the ability to earn a sufficient wage whilst studying, as well as the fact that fees are vastly discounted. Of course, the down-side is that I would be dedicating less time to personal study, and thus, completion time would be extended; should I be able to secure such a role and pursue this route, I anticipate that I would only be able to allocate only 12 -15 hrs/week to my studies due to family and other commitments.

Of course, full-time employment in a related field, with part-time PhD study would be much better than working a job that had no relevance; in my case, the job would involve working as an experimental technician for a specific research project, so I envisage that much of what I would be doing would feed directly into my PhD. Is there anyone here who has had any experience that bares any similarities with my proposed route? How has this worked out for you, and how long did you take to complete?

Thanks
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