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BilboBaggins 5 star member
Sunday, 25 May 2008 at 9:59pm
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 at 8:11pm
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page 1 of 131 recent posts

Thread: PhD post-viva revision works

posted
02-Oct-13, 10:12
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
The corrections don't need to be perfect, so don't worry about that. They just need to be good enough to satisfy the examiners. And the examiners should have given you very precise instructions on what they are not happy with and want fixed.

You have not passed your PhD properly - even if you were given a pass with minor corrections - until those corrections are submitted and approved, so get on with them. I found that very motivating myself!

Draw up a list - based on the examiners' report - of what you need to do. Start with the easy things, and cross them off as you do them. Then move onto the slightly trickier things. Give yourself treats/rewards for completing tasks on your list. And that way you will get there, probably much quicker than the time you are allowed.

Best of luck!

Thread: Two Discouraging Verdicts on Publications

posted
01-Oct-13, 16:20
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posted about 4 years ago
Sorry to hear your news, but you need to take it on the chin and move on. And you should be really grateful that they rejected you quickly. Sometimes journals can take up to 2 years, in some fields, before rejecting outright. Thank you not!

Concentrate for now on the revise and resubmit. You've got a foot in the door. I've had quite a few revise and resubmits, and although they can initially be a bit tough to take I now view them very positively. Make the changes they say, resubmit. You stand a very high chance of being published.

With the other paper, possibly rewrite it a bit, but certainly find another journal. It's likely the one you aimed at has a very low acceptance rate for papers, and will only accept the very very best. It isn't enough that your work has passed a PhD - journals have higher more discriminating standards than that! They can pick what they like. So look for other journals, perhaps one slightly more closely suited to your research, and submit there.

But don't be disheartened. As others have said this happens to the very best academics. And remember as I said getting a revise and resubmit is very good and positive.

Thread: funding, and PhD help/advice need!

posted
24-Sep-13, 00:46
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posted about 4 years ago
Funding options tend to vary by subject, and also by country and student status.

Self-funding is straightforward as you say, albeit expensive for the individual. It sometimes leads towards people studying part-time, so they can pay for the fees, either in (nearly) full-time work, or part-time work.

Funding often comes from research councils, and this is probably more typically the case with science subjects like yours. Such funding tends to be funnelled through universities, and must be applied for a long time in advance of the anticipated PhD starting date. There really should be people at your university who can advise on this, if not the lecturers, then try Registry or Student Services.

Sometimes though there are other options. For example for Scottish students (ok you're not in Scotland!) there is the option of Carnegie Trust funding, albeit very competitive. Or there can be funding from other charities or trusts. And if your research has an industry application you may be able to get funding from a company, whether you work for them. That last one is probably more relevant in the sciences.

But funding can be very hard to get, even in sciences where it is more available than e.g. in humanities, so prepare yourself for quite a competitive battle to get it. If you get it very well done. If not, consider very seriously whether self-funding would be viable for you, whether it would help or hinder your future career (sometimes a PhD can be a hindrance, unless you are working in academia), and if you could afford it.

Thread: Submitted incomplete PhD thesis

posted
23-Sep-13, 13:12
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 4 years ago
You are in a very difficult place, and I'm afraid I share many of Ian's views. I think a good outcome for you will be a revise and resubmit option. Not including conclusions is pretty catastrophic, when the whole point of your PhD is to show your contribution to knowledge and originality of thought. And that is what you do, primarily, in the conclusions. It's not enough that the material is elsewhere in the thesis. It has to be spelled out for the examiners.

So assuming there is a viva, you need to work on what your conclusions would have been. They don't have to be written out fully at this stage, but you need to get them very clear in your head, so that you can defend yourself in the viva properly on the day. Above all you need to stress why your research is PhD worthy, even with that terribly incomplete thesis, and how you can fix your thesis in any resubmission to make things right.

I sympathise with the health concerns. I had to leave one full-time science PhD after a severely disabling progressive disease started. Years later I managed to complete a part-time history PhD, but would often go many months without working on the PhD. I managed it without an extension, juggling my time ferociously (usually managing no more than 5 hours PhD work completed each week - total). But it can be very very difficult.

Thread: PhD done before?

posted
17-Sep-13, 18:26
edited about 26 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
And in case I wasn't very clear in my last message: *do* speak to your supervisor about this, and get their advice about the best way ahead. But do not worry.

Thread: PhD done before?

posted
17-Sep-13, 18:25
edited about 10 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
A similar thing happened to me at a roughly similar time in my part-time PhD. I spoke to my supervisor, and he reassured me. So don't worry, you will be fine. But you need to take care to distinguish what is original about your work. And if all else fails it is perfectly fine for two people to (independently) cover the same area. There was a significant overlap between my PhD and the other person in my case, in terms of source material analysed etc.

Thread: health issue

posted
17-Sep-13, 08:02
edited about 12 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
If an ambulance picked you up then that's a big red warning sign. You're overdoing things, and if you keep going like this - even for a short time - you might do yourself serious damage.

See your doctor, see what he/she advises, and apply for an extension if need be. You will have no trouble getting one on medical grounds given everything.

And don't work yourself into the ground. Nothing is worth that, and you can get an extension.

Also if you carry on past the PhD into academia then you're going to have to find a way of working that isn't so hard on yourself. It isn't necessary to overwork to ill health. And you can get help with stress and insomnia.

Good luck!

Thread: 60 K - can I stop now ?

posted
15-Sep-13, 22:54
edited about 25 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Oh and your university should have a counselling service that could help you work through the emotional side of things and cope better. Counselling services at universities are free for students. Look into this. Or if you're more religious (or not) you could even talk to the university chaplain. I'm agnostic, and speaking to the chaplain at my uni was of more help than the counsellors ha!

Thread: 60 K - can I stop now ?

posted
15-Sep-13, 22:53
Avatar for BilboBaggins
posted about 4 years ago
You sound worn out. You've got 6 months to submission, so you could afford a break now. A short break, maybe a weekend away, or a few days. Either going on holiday (could be in the same country, not far), or just chilling out at home. You deserve it. It will also envigorate you to carry on.

If you submit now, based on what you've described, you will fail. You don't want that. And it's not as if you don't have time in hand. So push onwards. But I do think a break right now would be beneficial, and should be easy to arrange.

Good luck!

Thread: Let me get this straight - Dr title.

posted
12-Sep-13, 09:22
Avatar for BilboBaggins
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From MeaninginLife:
When three nobel laureates replied to me in email, not even one used the title, PhD or Dr.
Some prominent scientists even write their names in lowercase letters.


I think that's quite common even in academia. I don't put my title in emails. It doesn't mean the title isn't used in other situations.

Thread: Let me get this straight - Dr title.

posted
11-Sep-13, 16:10
edited about 7 minutes later
Avatar for BilboBaggins
posted about 4 years ago
I really have a problem with some of the replies here, which are speaking from a non-academia environment, or, I believe, speaking from outside the UK.

In the UK the Dr title is *not* redundant in an academic environment. Though when it is used it should be Dr John Smith, not Dr John Smith PhD. So if you are working as an academic of course it can be on your business cards.

I do not use my title outside academia, but I do have it on my bank card. The reason is that it gives me extra ID with my doctorness on it, which can be useful. But I never speak to any banking person who would see it, so it never comes up in that kind of conversation. Nor does it come up in any shop setting, because I'm the one bunging the card in the Chip and PIN unit.

I am a non-affiliated academic, due to severely disabling progressive neurological disease. But I have an honorary research fellowship (ongoing, probably for life), and am pursuing an academic path as much as I can, as an independent academic historian, publishing academic journal papers, speaking at academic conferences, and taking part in my university department's research community. In no way in any of these settings is my 'Dr' redundant.

I think the situation is very different for anyone working outside academia, and it can be different in other countries. But do not make broad claims for its misuse in academia in the UK.

Thread: Ph.D. What exactly counts in the word limit?

posted
03-Sep-13, 18:58
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for BilboBaggins
posted about 4 years ago
Rules vary by institution. Your university registry should be able to clarify things.

But generally the word count includes main text (including intro) and footnotes. But not bibliography or appendices.

And you should not go over the upper limit at all. It would just be giving your examiners an excuse for problems.

Thread: Second PhD

posted
06-Aug-13, 16:35
edited about 27 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
I think they might offer you a place if you are the one covering the fees the second time around. But I think you'd be very unlikely to get any sort of funding. And then when you look for a job afterwards, I think you'd run into big problems in many ways. For academic jobs potential employers would wonder why you had gone for a second PhD rather than moved your career on, and outside academia it just makes you look even more over-qualified for non-academic jobs.

Bad idea all round I say. There are rare occasions of people doing second PhDs that I think may be worthwhile. For example I know one lady who originally did a PhD in Russian history, who switched over to do research in computer science, and is now doing a part-time PhD in that to cement her new role. But there have to be very good reasons. There are very big potential downsides to it that need to be overcome.

Thread: PhD studies directly after a BA

posted
01-Aug-13, 17:23
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
I think going straight from BA to PhD in your case would be a big mistake. Aside from the issues that you're unlikely to get funding and may even struggle to get a place at all with that BA grade (many PhD programmes in the UK will only take 2.1 and upwards) a taught Masters teaches you how to do postgraduate research, and most UK humanities PhD programmes assume that entrants have acquired that knowledge. You are more likely to drop out of your PhD IMHO if you don't do a Masters first. Even if you stay the course you are likely to find it much more of a personal struggle than it would be if you'd done the right training.

I have a history PhD. I completed a taught Masters first. I don't think I could have completed my part-time PhD, which was very much driven by myself defining my own research topic, and fortunately winning funding from the second year onwards, without it.

Thread: 3 degree trying to apply for 2:1/ 2:2 course (any chance?)

posted
16-Jul-13, 22:30
edited about 14 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Replying to myself :) Looks like they have changed the rules since my time. Shucks. I could have got a higher degree grade!
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