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awsoci
Sunday, 27 July 2014 at 10:11am
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 at 9:30pm
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page 1 of 16 recent posts

Thread: PhD Topic Help

posted
12-Jan-17, 07:33
by awsoci
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posted about 1 month ago
What interests you? What's something that 'turns you on' (as I have had many profs etc ask me in the context of research).

While it might be prudent to pick a topic that is in demand, you might find yourself bored to tears with it. You want to think about something that concerns you, or interests you, and then go from there.

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
11-Jan-17, 00:05
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From butterfly20:
Quote From drkl:
I tend to agree with awosci. I have seen young scholars (usually fresh PhD graduates) being unduly harsh on students, partly because they were too eager to show how critical they can be and partly due to their lack of experience in examining theses.



That's strange, in my field fresh PhD graduates would never be allowed to act as an external. You have to be at the level of at least senior lecturer.

I guess it's different for different fields.


Depends on the country too. In Australia, at least in my experience because we don't have vivas or panel committees (the latter depends really on the university), both examiners were external (i.e. not employed at the university). In this case, one of the externals could be a young scholar like what I had.

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
10-Jan-17, 02:53
edited about 17 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From butterfly20:
What I have heard is that well-established professors tend to be a lot tougher if that helps!


I've heard the opposite actually! Suppose it depends on the field, but I've heard and experienced that younger scholars tend to be much tougher, generally because they are still finding their feet, needing to really demonstrate their expertise, and lacking in confidence that builds over time. To give an example, the much more well-known, esteemed and respected examiner (who had examined 12 PhDs) on my PhD gave me no corrections, while the young scholar I had (who I was the first one they examined) did. It's not enough of an example to make a substantial claim though.

I would also think about how many PhDs these individuals have already examined. Ideally you would want at least one examiner who has examined a number of PhD theses and years of experience. While others say you'd want two, I suppose we all have to remember that scholars do have to start somewhere, and they can't get the experience needed without actually doing it, so a young scholar isn't necessarily a bad thing (after all, for those of us continuing in Academia, we are/will be the young scholars examining theses).

I guess it depends on how long you want to wait, do you have that time available (i.e. work?) Could you work while you wait, maybe publish? You could use that time to your advantage. However, it's a long time to wait for a Viva, an extra two months. Do you want to wait that long?

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

posted
08-Jan-17, 23:01
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 1 month ago
Hi faded07,

I had two reports. The one with no corrections was 2 full pages single spaced size 11 font.

The one with minor corrections was half a page and the corrections were not listed in a detailed way, just 'questions' that I had to answer as small paragraphs in my thesis (total of 3 different sections).

Thread: Examiner Disagreement

posted
05-Jan-17, 23:51
edited about 20 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 1 month ago
Hi Faded,

What a horrible situation. A third round of revisions! Ideally, at least at my former university it would have gone to a third examiner if an agreement could not be made as opposed to making you do yet ANOTHER round.

I agree with what tru has said, try those methods and keep us up to date!

Thread: How blunt should you be with your supervisor?

posted
05-Jan-17, 23:49
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 1 month ago
Fourth, it is not up to you or other PhD students to 'take up the slack' if the post-doc isn't pulling their weight. If that student is meant to be supervised by the post-doc, and the post-doc isn't doing their job, the only thing you can and should do is encourage that student to go to a higher up and indicate their concern about not getting the support they need. While I understand that taking them under your wing is to be supportive, the issue is you are only enabling this post-doc's behaviour. If you and other students keep doing it (i.e. picking up the slack), why would the post-doc bother to stop taking advantage?

Thread: How blunt should you be with your supervisor?

posted
05-Jan-17, 23:48
edited about 29 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 1 month ago
Okay, I don't have any experience when it comes to lab and training as I am a cultural studies/social science PhD.

First, is the post-doc required by their job description to assist you and other PhD students with *training?* Were you introduced to the post-doc by your supervisor who made some comment such as 'this is such and such. They will be training you in the techniques you need to know etc' with the post-doc present? Is the post-doc ONLY RESPONSIBLE for any PhDs under their supervision? For example, I'm a post-doc, I have one PhD student under my wing. I am not responsible for assisting other PhDs (unless they approached me and asked me something based on my expertise area).

Second, as others have suggested, having responsibility to other students such as undergrads and masters is a huge opportunity and responsibility, do not whine about it or waste it because it can go a very long way on your CV when you finish and are competing with hundreds of other freshly minted PhDs.

Third, stop worrying about other PhD students and worry about your own work. If you aren't getting the training you need, you need to sit your supervisor down, and say "I am struggling with X. I need assistance and some training, do you know where I might be able to access some support around this?" If your supervisor says 'yes see the Post-doc' that's when you can say, 'I've tried but the post-doc is unwilling to help me'. <--on that, have you actually approached the post-doc DIRECTLY and said 'hey, I see that you are proficient in using X, can you help me with it?'

Thread: Phd supervisor behavior

posted
14-Dec-16, 21:28
edited about 23 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 2 months ago
I just want to point out that that behaviour is very common at the end of romantic relationships, has led to multiple homicides via the way of domestic violence and other tragedies. I'm just pointing that out because while this is a postgrad forum, everyone on here is still a person, some who may unfortunately be in abusive relationships, or have had history of being in one, or whose parents may have been. So to say that it 'doesn't happen in romantic relationships' is incorrect. It's just that it's not talked about or recognised as much as it should be.

In saying that, the behaviour of your supervisor is peculiar, however, as TreeofLife said, that supervisor is a human as well, and will react in human ways. My one concern is whether or not the supervisor has 'pull' and will use that to deter any future plans of yours in an academic career. That can and does happen unfortunately.

Thread: Submit abstract to more than one conference?

posted
03-Dec-16, 04:58
edited about 24 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 2 months ago
I think it really depends to be honest on the field and the conference. In social sciences, at least at the conferences I've been to or colleagues promoting our work, the same paper has been presented multiple times.

To give an example, my colleague is currently presenting our work at a few difference conferences, each a different but intersecting field but it's essentially the same paper with a few tweaks but to a different audience, and that can be really helpful in getting work out and making new connections.

There's like an unspoken rule that you shouldn't but considering conferences are really about getting your work out and letting people know who you are and what you do, I personally don't see an issue in seeing the same paper presented at multiple places, or a series that are very similar.

Thread: Copyright owners during PostDoc

posted
23-Nov-16, 04:37
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 3 months ago
This is actually quite a complicated question I think. It really depends on whether your PhD is considered a publication post-examination and thus copyrighted by the university. In my experience (but does not equate to universal truth) post-docs are meant to build on research ideas, or work on new ones, I don't know if post-docs are given just to allow to write a book from a PhD, I've known people who tried to submit post-doc applications like that and get knocked down pretty quick. However, those people were just rewriting their PhD, where it sounds like yours would be a new project.

Different countries have different laws relating to PhDs and publications, I know in some countries PhDs are automatically considered publications, while in others, unless you opt to have it published as is as a university e-book, it is not and you can propose it as a proper book because the copyright is yours (but again, this varies across disciplines as well). Australia, or at least Victoria where I am, does not consider PhDs publications (at least humanities/social sciences, can't speak for hard sciences) UNLESS you opt in for the e-book option, which I didn't do and thus allowed me to publish journal articles and secure a book contract based on my PhD research while currently completing a post-doc (on a different topic).

To get a contract for publishing, what worked for me was reaching out to commissioning editors in my discipline at publishing houses with a brief summary of my idea. If interested, they requested some materials from me which I provided, this was then followed by a full and proper book proposal including sample chapters that was sent out for review. Research the presses, see what they produce and be sure to avoid predatory presses. Before contacting a commissioning editor it's a good idea to have written the proposal and have a sample chapter ready.

Thread: Post-PhDers...where did you end up?

posted
16-Nov-16, 21:35
edited about 13 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 3 months ago
Ended up applying, interviewing and getting the job, negotiated four days a week so I could continue working at my teaching and research role one day a week to see out my teaching obligations, as this role would start in the middle of the semester. So now I’ve been at my research centre for over a year now, and even though I’m actually getting less money than I did at my old University, I’m getting a heap of experience I wasn’t getting, in particular getting publications etc out.

You might be wondering, what on earth did the applied social research project have to do with anything? Well, because the project was dealing with a particular topic that this major ARC project is dealing with, that gave me some extra experience they were looking for, and because this particular research centre does a mixture of theoretical, cultural, quant/qual and applied research, I had a strong background in those areas. That little project that I did just to get some extra experience, I was able to publish in a good high impact journal with my mentor as well.

For me, I’m still not 100% sold on Academia but I’m giving it a go. I’ve been really lucky in that I had a heap of teaching experience (tutoring, lecturing, unit development/coordination, chief examination) and really needed to get my research experience up. But I might not stay, and have back-ups in place that including teaching, project management, community development and applied social research.

My advice here is that do volunteer work and take on pro-bono work once in a while when you can, as that might lead to other things. And depending on your PhD, think about what other areas you can explore if Academia is just not where you want to be, project management is a great one, technical writing, if you did community stuff then community development, applied social research, etc.

Thread: Post-PhDers...where did you end up?

posted
16-Nov-16, 21:35
edited about 28 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 3 months ago
What a great question!

I did a social sciences/cultural studies PhD. About two months before I submitted I began considering alternative career paths, particularly market/social research with an eye on the social research aspect. I ended up joining a recruitment agency in that field but sadly that never went anywhere. I too fluttered on the academia aspects as I just wasn't sure. I joined a market/social research org and through linkedin, I ended up putting my hand up to do a pro-bono applied social research project, with a view to start thinking about getting into the industry.

What happened though, was I was also teaching at my university at this time, submitted PhD, and was the chief examiner for a major unit that I was handling all on my own. End of November as I was about to go do the applied social research project, my PhD results came through (pass very very minor corrections from one examiner). I was then asked if I'd be interested in a teaching/research position so I said sure and sent off my CV, then went to do the project (Had to drive to a different state and stay there for a week).

During that time while I was completing that project with a mentor and my eye on thinking about doing social research, I was offered a teaching and research position at my university on a one year full-time salary contract. I took the position because I thought "I'll give it a go and I do love teaching.' I finished the applied social project as well.

Took up the position, was asked to turn applied social project into a potential journal article as the data was quite good and innovative, then about 5 months in a research only 2.5 year contract (kind of a postdoc if you will on a major ARC discovery project) popped up at a research centre I had my eye on for a few years.

Thread: Reviewing article

posted
17-Oct-16, 23:00
edited about 11 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 4 months ago
Agree with the above comments. The field/discipline is very important, as how this is done will differ greatly across disciplines.

Another thing to note is focusing on the point of the article as that will also help direct your focus, or the type of article it is.

I.e. is this a more theoretical piece? In which case you would want to pay particular attention to the interpretation of theory and how it's being utilised. Is this a presentation of results and findings? Then acute focus would be on methodology, data analysis and discussion. Have they provided a sufficient survey of the field in their literature review? Are there key people they've excluded, or literature you feel could benefit the paper?

Does the article actually achieve what it's trying to set out to do? Are they referencing original sources or constantly relying on interpretations? Do you think the discussion of the results is good or misinformed? Is the 'so what' present in the piece?

The best and most helpful reviews I've had on my own stuff (qualitative sociology/cultural studies) have been those who take a structured approach, so go section by section (i.e. argument, theory, method, etc).

Thread: Supporting PhD student

posted
03-Oct-16, 23:11
edited about 11 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 4 months ago
Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions.

I will definitely bring to light the key article summarisations as well as being a bit more 'strict' about progress and pending confirmation, and chatting to them to see why they haven't completed the work they were tasked, and whether a PhD is something they still want to do.

I wouldn't be able to wave them through, they'll be up against a strict progress panel as they are being supported through a research centre that only has soft funding, and the RC won't want to 'waste' for a lack of a better word that kind of money if the student doesn't pull through.

We have asked for a draft outline of their project and a literature review to-date by October 13th so hopefully we'll get some work.

Thank you!

Thread: Supporting PhD student

posted
03-Oct-16, 05:47
edited about 3 seconds later
by awsoci
Avatar for awsoci
posted about 4 months ago
Hi everyone,

I'm new to PhD supervision, and not being long from having completed a PhD myself, am definitely seeing more clearly the difficulties in being a co-supervisor, as well as remembering the difficulties of being a PhD student.

I'm struggling with my first PhD student, who just doesn't seem to be doing the reading (cultural analysis/sociology) they've been tasked. 7 months in and I haven't seen anything of the literature review despite asking, and there's still no real direction regarding their project, and they'll need to confirm by month 12. They also seem really stuck on this one argument they worked with from their honours thesis, and can't seem to move beyond it or think more broadly about the concepts they are working with, In discussions, it's clear that despite giving them some clear direction relating to the reading we've asked (i.e. topic areas and theoretical frameworks), this hasn't been done when we ask them about some of the major arguments coming from these areas.

Those who did cultural analysis or qualitative sociological theses, what assisted/helping you currently in getting past difficult points? What were things your supervisors provided or assisted with to help you get along?

I think my student has really good potential, and I think the project (from the vague ideas around it) is quite interesting and original. I'm trying to be as supportive and encouraging as possible, and repeatedly trying to provide some direction, but without seeing any work this is becoming increasingly difficult. Do I need to get a bit harsher/stricter?
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