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emmafraggle
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 11:40pm
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 3:48pm
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Thread: Postdoc, long distance, am duchess family life

posted
12-Jul-17, 15:51
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posted about 2 months ago
Hi there,

I am on my 3rd long-distance postdoc so hopefully should be able to add something. I work in the arts & humanities and can do my research from anywhere (most of the time).

I live in Oxford and am currently working on a project in Edinburgh.

For my current postdoc, I helped write the funding application and so was able to build in regular meetings in Edinburgh.

My 2nd long-distance postdoc was in Norwich. The Norwich PI was very understanding - he told me that he didn't expect me to move to Norwich for a year and we had monthly meetings in Norwich and fairly regular email contact - our research partner was based in London so it was advantageous to be close to London as I travelled in regularly.

My 1st long-distance postdoc was also in Edinburgh - again, it was advantageous to be based near London, and I was working as a job-share with a colleague in Edinburgh on a mostly web-based project so location wasn't an issue.

So it can be done! You just need to a) have an understanding supervisor, and b) make a convincing case for why you should stay put.

Pros
- You don't have to move/disrupt your life

Cons
- It can be very isolating working so far away from your colleagues - Norwich wasn't so bad but sometimes I feel a long long way from Edinburgh ...
- Access to institutional facilities is often limited to when you are actually there (although you should hopefully be able to use the library of your nearest university)
- You probably won't feel part of the institution's research culture and it's difficult to make any impact remotely

I'm more than happy to ask any questions you may have.

Best of luck!

Thread: Problems seeing 'the bid picture'

posted
24-Jun-10, 14:21
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posted about 7 years ago
I've just been in contact with a friend of mine who has a PhD, who stated: 'Big Thoughts are rare, perhaps mythical. The work is the methodical carrying out of small and individually uncreative steps. You'll only see it for what it is when you can step back from it. In other words, in at least two years' time! "Carpet-straightening in the halls of knowledge". In my experience, perspective comes after completing the thesis, not before'

If that helps anyone . . .

Thread: Problems seeing 'the bid picture'

posted
24-Jun-10, 11:45
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posted about 7 years ago
Well, it's nice to know I'm not the only one (and I'm not that thick that I don't imagine many other PhD students to have similar problems!).

I think I'm just going to write and hope something comes to me that sounds halfway intelligent. The thing that worries me is that the field I'm writing about is, bizarrely, lacking in previous research, therefore I feel like I'm trying to cover all bases as nothing (much) has been written before, therefore I feel like I'm trying to do everything, rather than focus on one small thing that hasn't been covered before. It feels like I've got a whole new unexplored ocean to cover, rather than a small beach!

Any suggestions most welcome!

Thread: Problems seeing 'the bid picture'

posted
24-Jun-10, 00:45
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for emmafraggle
posted about 7 years ago
Hello there,

This is my first post, although I've lurked for a while. I'm 2 months in to the final (3rd) year of my PhD and am meant to be starting to write up. My PhD is based on interviews and participant observation and I appear to have a massive amount of data that I'm finding difficult to consolidate, or even find what my focus is as I could write about ten different theses based on what I have collected (not boasting, just finding it difficult to know where to start!). The thing I'm struggling with is that I don't seem to be able to 'theorise' anything, just report what people have told me, and I'm not sure how to do it. Is it OK just to say, 'So-and-so says this, therefore X' or should I be looking to say, 'So-and-so says this, therefore Big Grand Theory of What It Means'? I'm feeling way out of my depth at the moment, and while I have excellent supervisors who bizarrely seem to think I can do it, I don't seem to have the wherewithal to know how to start writing or even what I should be trying to do.

Any suggestions welcome (please!)

Thanks.

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