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faded07
Monday, 16 April 2012 at 10:17am
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 at 6:18pm
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page 1 of 6 recent posts

Thread: Terrified of my viva

posted
25-Apr-16, 15:46
edited about 23 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 10 months ago
The best advice I can give you from my experience is to anticipate the kind of questions your examiners are likely to ask based on their research expertise. Also, be wary of your internal. Often students assume that it is the external who calls the shots but I found my internal also put me through her paces! Whatever the research interests are of your examiners, expect questions emerging from this. Good luck!

Thread: Relieved but still terrified: minor revisions

posted
22-Feb-16, 15:37
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 1 year ago
I thought I would update anyone who was interested in my ongoing situation as to what has happened now. (Long story short: had viva, given R&R, did revisions & resubmitted within a year, waited 3 months for result and was told by admin office two weeks ago that examiners had failed my thesis, got hysterical, then was told by the school to wait as the examiner reports were incomplete).

I have received my examiner's reports (much earlier than I had anticipated) and I have been given minor revisions! I was so incredibly relieved to hear this. Considering I'd been told that I'd failed two weeks ago, it was like my thesis was given back to me after I thought I'd never get control of it again. So obviously I am very happy and rang my partner followed by my mum in tears of joy!

However, having read the reports I'm feeling terrified again. Firstly: there are two distinct categories of minor CORRECTIONS (within 2 months) and minor REVISIONS (within 6 months). I got the latter. What my examiners have asked me to do makes very little sense and is incredibly vague. It is only my external who will see the thesis again but the short report I received from her was wholly critical and gave no positive feedback whatsoever. Although the official letter I received from my university says that "the thesis has met the standards for the award of PhD, but require me to make satisfactory revisions to the thesis within six months", the report from my external says that my 12 months of R&R corrections have "improved the thesis somewhat but do not bring it up to the standard required for a PhD".

Although these minor revisions are of course great news, I'm still terrified that I will do them (and they are not as 'minor' as the title suggests) and will still be failed. Bearing in mind my word count is 153,000 and will now rise even more.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice and support!

Thread: Inconsolable - Failed PhD after R&R

posted
18-Feb-16, 13:03
edited about 12 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 1 year ago
Hi everyone,

Thank you all so much for your helpful and insightful responses. It really has meant so much during this difficult time.

I thought I would give you all an update...the situation has (perhaps unsurprisingly) become even more bizarre. I was told by the school last week that the reports received by the admin office were incomplete. Apparently they had only been sent the examiner's preliminary (individual) reports and an incomplete joint report. As a result of this, I've been told that my result cannot be confirmed until a completed joint report has been received. I was told that I'd have another 3 week wait for this.

I continue to be upset about the situation - am currently in bed with a bad dose of flu...I guess the stress hasn't helped. What's worse now is that the school have put a 5% glimmer of hope in my mind about my result. Maybe they hadn't failed it? Maybe it was only the verdict of one examiner and not the other? Maybe the overall result will change once they have met and discussed things further? All probably futile questions seeing as I spoke to my internal on the phone in tears and told her that I couldn't believe I had failed. Surely if they weren't going to fail me, she would have said something?!

Anyway, I will keep you all updated. I will of course appeal on varying grounds (not academic judgement as I understand) but will be keeping these confidential in case examiners look at this forum...you never know. I am unable to begin the appeal until my result has been confirmed by the board of examiners which, like I said, should be in the next few weeks. And there I was thinking I could finally shift all my focus to my career...sigh.

Thank you all again for your advice :)

Thread: Inconsolable - Failed PhD after R&R

posted
04-Feb-16, 14:17
edited about 6 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 1 year ago
I don't even know what to write. I've been crying for hours trying to understand what has happened.

I submitted my PhD, did my viva and was given an R&R (please see my old posts for more details). I worked so hard over a 9 month capacity to do all the corrections asked of me. I provided my examiners with a separate document detailing all my corrections etc. My resubmitted thesis was massive (153,000 words) but they had asked me for more chapters and told me to take NOTHING out.

After a 3 month wait, I received an email this morning from the office saying that I had been given 6 months revisions. After much confusion, they then clarified that this meant minor corrections. I was relatively happy with this - it looked like no second viva needed to happen and that the end, although prolonged, was in sight.

An hour later I received another email from the office apologizing that they had given me the wrong result and that my examiners had actually decided it was insufficient standard for a doctoral award and that I could resubmit in 6 months and endure another viva if I wanted to go for an MPhil.

I've been ringing my supervisors and they're not responding to my emails or phone calls. I just got off the phone with my internal examiner (she was the only person to pick up the phone). She was clearly gobsmacked by the fact I had called her in tears but no one is giving me any answers. The office said the reports from my examiners are still incomplete so I can't even find out the reasons why they failed it.

I have wasted five years of my life, have bound copies of two massive PhD thesis' just staring at me...all my career prospects have just shattered in front of me (I'm currently lecturing and wanted a career in academia).

Please can anyone tell me what my options are? I'm absolutely devastated. Crying whilst typing.

Thread: I've Reached the Peak of PhD Stress: Waiting for my Result Post-Viva

posted
21-Jan-16, 17:26
edited about 22 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 1 year ago
As per the title, I'm waiting for my PhD result after receiving an R&R verdict a year ago. To summarise how I'm currently feeling, I think the words impatient, anxious and borderline insane aptly sum my mood up.

As I'm sure everyone in this forum knows, embarking on a PhD is one hell of a journey. I've been looking back at my old posts from years ago where I was sat in the good old university library starting out on this turbulent journey. I've endured the stress of writing, re-writing and then re-writing some more. I've endured stress concerning the ineptness of both my supervisors. I've endured stress over my viva being a shambles. I've endured the stress of my university losing my viva report. I've endured the stress of a years worth of corrections to my thesis. I've endured the stress of editing, re-editing and resubmitting. But this stress of waiting for my (perhaps) final result....I CAN NO LONGER TAKE IT PEOPLE!!

I resubmitted my thesis 9 weeks ago (November 2015). My supervisor expected a two week turn around...I think not. I got told that my result would probably be with me this week. Well, tomorrow's Friday and I've heard absolutely nothing.

My result could be anything from a pass, to minor corrections, to a re-viva...even a downgrade to an MPhil. I've got a temporary lecturing contract coming to an end soon and I desperately need this PhD. I've worked so hard and dedicated five long years of my life to it. I'm terrified that after all this hard work...it still won't be mine. The possibility of actually receiving an email tomorrow saying "congratulations, we recommend to the board that you be awarded your doctorate"...I just don't see it happening. My journey just ain't been like that.

So that's it. Just needed to rant. Is anyone else with me in the struggle?!

Thread: Resubmission and unsupportive supervisor

posted
04-Jan-16, 17:16
edited about 15 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 1 year ago
Hi Ephiny,

Reading your story was like reading my own! I was given an R&R just over a year ago and had the same problem with my supervisor who told me he wouldn't be reading any of my work. Considering my examiners asked me to write two new chapters I was very concerned that having no supervisor feedback would put me in a comprising position.

In the end, I didn't make a formal complaint as such. I ended up writing to the admin office and asking what the official guidelines were on PhD supervision after viva. My enquiry concerned them as it was obvious I was receiving no supervision. They ended up forwarding my e-mail to the head of school even though I never asked for this to be done! Anyway, a week later my supervisor got back in touch with me and told me that he "didn't remember" saying he wouldn't read my work (a convenient memory lapse there!). Yes, my supervisor is a dirty liar but at least he made contact with me again and offered to read my new chapters which, at the end of the day, was all I wanted and was entitled to.

I hope my story helps in some way. I wish you all the best, good luck! :)

Thread: Waiting for R&R Result

posted
02-Dec-15, 18:22
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Thank you so much JStanley - your support throughout this process has really helped! I don't blame you for choosing a non-academic career. I'm still in academia part-time but not sure I could commit to it full-time...there are parts of it I love (such as teaching/inspiring) but other parts (such as this ridiculous bureaucratic system) that I hate. Fortunately I don't have any mental health issues (no more than the average person anyway!) but the stress of this PhD has certainly made me feel, at times, depressed, angry and isolated. Like you say, for people who have been diagnosed with mental health problems situations like this would be an immense struggle for them.

I will of course let you know how I get on as soon as I hear anything. I've decided to check my relevant email box twice a day (once in the morning and once late-afternoon) so as to structure my agitated mind!! If not I'll be checking it every hour and probably for the sake of nothing! Thank you again for all your help & advice - keep enjoying life outside the insanity that is academia! :)

Thread: Success! Thanks to all :)

posted
01-Dec-15, 20:48
edited about 10 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Congratulations!! It sounds like you really deserved this - proof that hard work and perseverance pays off! Enjoy your celebrations :)

Thread: Waiting for R&R Result

posted
01-Dec-15, 17:07
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From Hugh:
It must be a very difficult wait! But the good thing is you do not need to go through a viva again?

If you have addressed all the concerns of examiners point by point, I do not think you have much to worry about :)


Thanks Hugh. Unfortunately I may well have to endure another viva...it is a possible outcome. I could get a pass, minor corrections, second viva, downgrade to MPhil or straight out fail. I've done everything my examiners asked me to do...the wait, however, is making me panic. I'll let you know of the outcome! :)

Thread: Waiting for R&R Result

posted
01-Dec-15, 14:14
edited about 27 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
I submitted my revised thesis 2 weeks ago now but the wait feels more like 2 years. I'm really hoping to get my result back before Christmas but perhaps I'm being a little optimistic.

I wrote to the school today to ask what the official turnaround time for my result is. I was expecting it to be anything up to 3 months but instead got told the following from the postgraduate office:

"I can’t give you a definitive answer on this I’m afraid. It all depends on the examiners current workload and how long it takes them to read, analyse and make comments on your thesis."

Now I'm panicking that I might have to wait six months for my result...bearing in mind I originally submitted my thesis over a year ago. Is it just me or has the PhD system in the UK got some major flaws in it? No one in the process seems to care about the mental health of the student (at least not at my university) and the whole process seems so open-ended and torturous. Anyway, rant over...I think I need to practice the art of patience! To say mine is wearing thin after five years would be an understatement...

Thread: Resubmitting Thesis After Major Corrections/R&R

posted
20-Nov-15, 08:17
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From Eds:
Sounds like a roller coaster mate- a slow moving and not-always enjoyable one, but at least- now! -an inevitable one. Would you be able to reveal your discipline? Just that 100,000 words I though was trad the max, give or take?

BEST OF LUCK!


Thanks Eds! Yes of course, my discipline is Sociology. When I initially submitted a year ago there was no official word count to adhere to (strange but true). Although the school has now implemented a word count of 80,000, I've been told it doesn't apply to me as I submitted before this was in place. My viva report didn't tell me to take anything out of my thesis or cut back in any way - my examiners wanted me to add more chapters. Fellow academics have been shocked by this but it is what it is...I just hope all my hard work pays off now. Will let you know! :)

Thread: Finally, viva!

posted
18-Nov-15, 20:13
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Good luck! I hope it is a rewarding experience for you and that you manage to enjoy it amidst the stress! Let us know how you get on :)

Thread: Resubmitting Thesis After Major Corrections/R&R

posted
18-Nov-15, 20:11
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
As per the title, I am finally resubmitting my very long thesis (153,000 words!) after a tedious year of corrections. I thought I would write a post for anyone who has been given major corrections or an R&R verdict in the hopes that it will give them some encouragement.

I was absolutely devastated to be given major corrections after my viva. The amount of work on my corrections list seemed impossible, to the extent that I didn't even know where to start. There were also some serious issues with both my school and my supervisor and I was let down on many levels quite spectacularly.

In light of all this, I am handing in my revised thesis tomorrow (yippee!) and wanted to share what I have learnt from this soul destroying experience:

1. I really want this PhD. I thought I wanted it a year ago but my determination to get a doctorate has definitely reached another level through this correction period. If I do get my PhD, I know I will appreciate it much more than if I had passed or been given minor corrections.

2. My examiners, to some extent, were right. My new chapters have made my thesis so much stronger. Although I still feel quite hard done by, my corrections have made me a more rounded academic.

3. Stress is inevitable but you should never let it take its toll on your health. I fainted (completely blacked out) whilst at the peak of my PhD stress and also felt very run down and short tempered. It didn't do me any favours. Be sure to make time for the things outside academia that make you happy.

Good luck to anyone working on their corrections - don't lose hope! I have to endure the long wait for my result now...which could be minor corrections, another viva, a pass or a fail. I'll keep you all updated! Thank you to the many fellow PhD'ers who took the time to write to me over the past year, it helped me enormously.

Thread: Revise & Resubmit :(

posted
30-Oct-15, 13:11
edited about 25 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From charliebrown:
Thanks everyone for the advice :)

Just received an e-mail from my sup informing me that the post-viva report would be ready in two weeks' time. Meanwhile, I've booked a short holiday for me & the family. I will also try to get hold of motivational books to keep myself upbeat about the whole situation.

Many thanks again !


Hi Charliebrown, just wondering if you have any update on your situation? I got exactly the same result as you last December and am due to resubmit in the next couple of weeks. Would love to hear how you got on if you've resubmitted?

Thread: :( Revise and resubmit PhD thesis in 12 months!!! Success stories?

posted
30-Oct-15, 09:34
edited about 29 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From ariahar:
My viva was today... I got major corrections and 6 months to resubmit... Did all of you feel worthless and hopeless and cried for hours? I cant stop crying... ALthough I know I'll correct it and (probably) get the phd... But still... It seems so unfair. I did so much work, self funded all of it for 5 years and now I have to re-register and pay a continuation fee... And I have no money for that, which means a bank loan (if I can even get that with the way my account looks.....) Seriously would be easier to just get a regular job and throw this phd to the bin... but so many years! ........ Cant stop crying............. :-(


Hi ariahar, I'm so sorry to hear how upset you are. I was given major corrections last December and felt exactly the same way as you. I was absolutely devastated and it took me a good couple of months to even look at my thesis again. My viva was awful and I went away feeling uninspired and lost. My supervisor has also been rubbish since that day and has given me limited supervision and very little support. However, fast forward 10 months later and here I am now *almost* ready to resubmit (hoping to do it in the next two weeks!) It has been such a difficult year...but, what I will say, is that it's made me a much stronger person and a much more rounded academic. PhD's mean something completely different to those who are given major corrections or an R&R verdict. Give yourself a bit of a break and then just jump back into it. Find the passion you once had for your topic and work from that basis. I wish you all the luck in the world - keep pushing forward!
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