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Thursday, 25 July 2013 at 11:10pm
Sunday, 13 August 2017 at 10:12pm
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Thread: What would you do with an extra year before grad school?

12-Aug-17, 21:20
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
I'm not in your field, so it 's hard to say. there are skills specific to each field, some you can brush up on at home ( ie stats or qualitative methodologies), some you need a lab and /or supervisor... so for that reason its hard to say exactly what you should be doing.

developing writing skills and improving your writing style are germane to everyone writing a thesis. writing regularly and reading other good writers are the best ways of improving in this area. As others have said, read some foundational literature and be very familiar with your area, theories and methodologies.

I would definitely do above, but i would if I were in your position.I would go travelling somewhere nice and relaxing for at least 2 months before you start. I know you said you didn't want to hear this. but as someone in their final year, I can't tell you how tired I feel at times, and how completely sick of my field and area I feel at times.

Start refreshed... 4/5 years is a long stretch and it will can be hard to maintain enthusiasm at times.

Another thing , if you have the means, would be be save some money, as funding is only barely enough, you will appreciate being able to treat your self to nice weekend away or a facial or whatever. I know it would probably be hard to take to take 2 months off and also save, but if you could, that's what I would do. maybe go stay with friends and family and do it cheaply or something.

I think a year is enough time to do all of the above.

Another thing I would do, if I could back in time, is simple things ... like having a good sleep routine and good exercise routine established..... little things like sleep/ being used to being in a routine/ not being too broke/ having a writing routine/ having exercise routine......these little things make doing a PhD so much easier or harder

Thread: How do you keep notes on your PhD learning?

27-Jul-17, 00:43
edited about 4 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
i could have wrote this post. Good to think about though, employing strategies from my undergrad maybe.

I feel like I don't remember what I read, there is too much information out there and I could spend forever making notes

Thread: Trying to figure out why I struggle with research

26-Jul-17, 11:33
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi Ecclestoned,

So it seems to me like you have some practical problems that needs solutions and also a type of attitude problem (don't know how else to phrase it)

So in relation the 'attitude problem' I have had the same issue. Firstly it is good in way way to know what your peers are up to and use it as a bench mark of what you should aiming for. But comparing yourself to others and making your self feel inadequate is just depressing and demotivating and ruins your confidence

You also say you had mental health problems, but you are pretty much back on track now. Give yourself some credit for this. You have dealt with some challenges and pushed on through so that's great..

In relation to your attitude, stop looking back (regret/should have done more/ect) and stop comparing yourself to others so much. It is hard to stay confident and motivated doing a Phd and doing both those things will sap your confidence and demotivate you (I'm speaking from experience here)

You need to be able to draw a line in the sand and move forward. Take what you have learned from past mistakes for sure, that is useful. But move on with knowledge about the project and yourself, and think about the future, not the past.

In relation to the practical issues, i.e you studies barely get past initial data collection phase, this seems like something you need to discuss with your supervisor. This is exactly what they are there for. So why don't the studies work out? I don't have enough information and I don't know your field. but maybe your being too ambitious with your projects, or maybe there are flaws in your design ect. You do need to figure this out. And your supervisor is best one to help you figure this out. Don't feel bad about it - this is why a Phd takes so long; You are learning, and part of that learning is making mistakes and then building on what you learned. you are not supposed to be perfect researcher; the phd is to train you to be good researcher and part of that is making mistakes and learning from them.

Thread: PhD thesis and fake results on papers

25-Jul-17, 09:42
edited about 6 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
It is completely understandable that you having trouble sleeping. This is a horrible and stressful situation.

If you can write your thesis, without any of the faked data and have a good explanation for why you your papers have additional analyses not in your thesis, this may be a good option (as others have said)

Other people suggested you say the papers were joint work ( you and your supervisor contributed) and you didn't include your supervisors contributions in your thesis because they weren't your own work.

maybe even put in a footnote at the end of those chapters saying something to the effect of ' a version of this chapter was published in X journal, with additional analyses conducted by by supervisor and co-author Dr.Y''

This seems like a good way of publicly distancing yourself from these results.... but maybe it is making to big a point about it... I would be interested in hearing what other people on the forum think about this idea.

I think you should also seek some counselling, just to deal with the stress...there a lot of psychologists , who have also done phd's as part of their training (not all have, in my country phd and clin psyc are different training, but in other countries you do a research phd first), so they may be able to understand what your going through and maybe even offer some advice.

Thread: PhD thesis and fake results on papers

24-Jul-17, 22:08
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
continued from abve

How many years have you spent at this phd,now?

If it's two or less, personally I would walk away for sure. I know even two years, they have been blood, sweat and tears years, but in grand scheme of things I would chalk it down to bad luck and walk away.

If its more than two years the choice becomes difficult and you have a lot of soul searching to do.
everyone is different and everyone has different motivations and reasons for wanting an academic career.
personally I don't think any career is worth the kind of drama and turmoil this may bring.
If it were me and I'm in year 5, I would still walk and just go do a practical masters and move on with my life .
but factored into my decision is the fact that I don't love academia anymore, and wouldn't like all that stress of waiting to be found out, It would suck, but hopefully i could get a job to fund masters and maybe even talk to the university about allowing fee waiver for practical masters, given the circumstances.

Thread: PhD thesis and fake results on papers

24-Jul-17, 22:08
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 1 month ago
I really feel for you Gauio. You are in a very difficult position. you have a few options at this stage and all involve a bit of risk.

1) include forged data in thesis and hope know one ever notices

2) write your thesis without fake data, and be prepared to explain why you don't have the additional graphs and analysis that were in papers in your thesis

3) just walk away now and start a new Phd somewhere else.

so option 1; if you or your supervisor ever gets found out or investigated you will lose your Phd and your academic reputation. This could happen next year, 2 years time or 10 years time . you will never know and it is largely out of your control because it depends on careless and risky your supervisor decides to be in the future. You can move on and distance yourself from him, but if he proceeds with this line of conduct there is a chance he will get found out down the line.
google Deidrick Staple_ he is a social psychologist who forged most of his data, was eventually found out and 10 Phd students who had over the years completed Phd with him got their Phd award taken off them.

maybe he never gets found out; but there are a lot of ways he could. If he is too careless people will doubt his findings, if not now, maybe in the future (I think this is what happened to Staple)
if he puts other students in your position, they may be forced to 'out' him.

Option 2: this to me is a better option, less likely you will get your phd award taken away from you (if it is awarded). but here's the rub__ how do explain the difference between the papers and the thesis without arousing suspicion?? i don't know your field and maybe if your examiners haven't read your papers you could get away with it... but they could easily google you and find your papers when they are reading the thesis.
so how do you explain it??
and if your arouse their suspicion, you will then be accused of including forged data in a published paper... I'm not even fully sure of the consequences of this but I would imagine its the end to academic career and you may not get your phd.

Option 3: very drastic, but you start again and this time 4 years you have phd and nothing to worry about.

response continued in second message

Thread: article request

04-Jul-17, 15:26
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 1 month ago
Hi , hoping someone can help with access to this article

Socioeconomic Status and Paranoia: The Role of Life Hassles, Self-Mastery, and Striving to Avoid Inferiority.
Anderson, Fraser;Freeman, Daniel
Source Title:
Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease
Year 2013
Vol 201
issue 8
pp 698-702


Thread: Quitting PhD

30-Jun-17, 19:48
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 2 months ago
You seem happy with decision and you should be. I also think you made the right choice. Academia is not such an attractive a career that it's worth five years of mental and financial stress. You sound smart, I'm sure there's lots of better options out there for you.

You quit at right time in my opinion.

Thread: Worried about possible struggles due to how my phd university operates

29-Jun-17, 00:18
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 2 months ago
I agree with all above posters.... but just for peace of mind, can you back them up yourself in some way (or is that what your trying to do?) either way, paranoia aside, backing up a lot is never, ever a bad thing. accidents can happen, viruses ect. so I have decided I will embrace paranoia when it comes to backing up my work. So I save important files in multiple locations ect.

However, having said that, without knowing any more details than you have given, it does appear that you are being a bit paranoid thinking someone would deliberately want to destroy your files, and somehow tell exam board and get your PhD award revoked. seems a bit far stretched.

I recommend finding a good counsellor or therapist ( there not all equally good) so be careful.

I also recommend this book ' overcoming paranoid and suspicious thoughts' by Daniel Freeman

under stress, anyone can become a bit paranoid, it doesn't mean you are pathologically abnormal or have a major mental illness. I'm not suggesting that. but just like under stress anyone can get depressed or anxious, anyone can become a little more suspicious than necessary too.

Best of luck and CONGRATULATIONS on the PhD!!!!

Thread: Funding in worse Uni or self funded top Uni?

29-Jun-17, 00:07
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 2 months ago
I am not fully certain what you should do, it depends, in part, on how important school ranking is to you. But I do know that being able to secure funding is an important part of being an academic and one of the criteria you will judged upon when applying for jobs in academia. Apparently, and this may not apply to your field, self-funded phders are sort of looked down and at a disadvantage when applying for jobs. so that's something to consider.

Also doing a Phd is hard enough, without financial stress, I say this as a partially funded Phd student. And i.m.o going into debt is not worth the investment, especially if you factor in lost earnings and even more especially when you consider how precarious the academic job market is.

One thing that could offset going to a lower ranked uni is getting publications in good journals.

Just some food for thought. can't say I know what you should do.... maybe it would good idea to speak with an academic (not one of your potential supervisors) and see what they think... if you know someone whose opinion you trust.
I found career services in my uni, are not all clued in.... so beware of them.

Thread: Is it still possible? PhD dreams...

08-May-17, 23:39
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 3 months ago
Congratulations Emmadreams... This is huge achievement. with your experience I m sure you will do brilliantly.

Thread: anyone else get this crazy spam message

08-May-17, 23:26
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 3 months ago
so i go this ridiculous spam into my direct message. clearly some kind of money scam... mods can you look into it... it was sent someone named 'trustee'

I have copied and pasted the message below

God bless you and thanks,
how are you? Happy to meet you. I got your contact via this site, I seriously have interest to invest on a profitable business in your country, the money I want to invest was acquired from my church member, and then I was his financial adviser. The amount to invest is ($14.5 million US dollars) presently, but I’m the present Catholic Church leader in my parish, if you will like to assist me as a partner, you must have the fear of God? kindly indicate your interest, and all other details relating to the funds will be revealed to you as we progress on. Confidentiality contact my direct e-mail address (couldn't paste the email address) also indicate your direct telephone number, when replying this mail, God will guide us and with good health Amen,
God bless you and your family,
Rev, Chris

Thread: always fail

07-May-17, 13:23
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 3 months ago
Hi Mako, I have couple of unrelated points to make in response to your post.

Firstly as with anything getting onto phd programme can be partly a matter of luck. having said that there a few things that can help your application..
1) good undergrad (good gpa)
2) masters with research experience (ideally a research thesis where you go a decent grade)
3) actual research experience.... so if you are finding it hard to get on PhD programme getting a job as research assistant where you learn research skills and have practical experience is great to improve your chances of getting accepted but will also be invaluable experience should you actually pursue a PhD.
4) presenting research at student conferences is also nice to have on your cv.

Aside from all this practical advice there is one thing that stood out from your post.... firstly you labelled it 'always fail' and you seem to be taking it very personally and getting emotionally down about not finding a suitable programme yet..... this sort of staking your value as a person and your self-esteem on academics (something I have been guilty of) is really not a good mental attitude to have if you are going to be a PhD student and later, academic. it leads to taking things too personally and subsequent stress. depression and burn out. and perfectionism and procrastination.
Nobody's worth as person is defined by doing a PhD.... very few people do a phd and plenty of smart successful people have exiting fulfilling meaningful lives doing other things....
Your focus seems to narrow and it seem like (to me) you can't see the woods (life) from the trees (this short term aim of doing a Phd). ....

sorry if I am guilty of interpreting your post from my own experiences.... maybe you don't feel this applies to you, so if doesn't just ignore it.

Thread: Crushed

12-Apr-17, 15:37
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 4 months ago
just wanted to add and hadn't space in last message

People are emotional beings at the end of the day, so you need to sell yourself and your case at meeting. 2 publications are great: this all universities really care about (my uni anyway). You have a lot going for you going going into this meeting. Don't let self-doubt take that away from you.

Good luck. every problem has a solution.

Thread: Crushed

12-Apr-17, 15:36
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 4 months ago
I am sorry to hear of your situation. But it does seem like there are solutions, provided others are prepared to work with you (not a given, I know, but you have reasonable grounds).

From what you wrote, it seems like if you had a year you could get it done, but you only have 6 months left. I would ask for a meeting with supervisors/committee/ head of dept. I would demonstrate 2 things in that meeting. Firstly, what you have been doing in last 3.5 years and as result why you need an extension. and secondly your plan for proceeding forward with time line. So you need to sit down and make realistic plan to finish before the meeting. Be realistic, but i think if you need 14 months not 12 better ask for that now not later. I wouldn't expect to be funded for that 6/8 month extension- not saying that is right- but i just wouldn't expect it. So that's another hurdle... if you can't get a loan from family member or friend , maybe credit union or bank (live frugally, it will be worth it, since you have come this far)

I would document meeting and try to keep record of as much as possible (emails ect) . Maybe if there is a grad student adviser I would go to him/her first. or if you think one of your supervisors would support you, go to them first . it would be nice to have someone in your corner at meeting.

You are not really in a bad position, asking in advance for extension. also you need it due to difficulties that weren't to do with laziness or procrastination; you have been working hard and have valid reasons for needing extension.
I know every school is different. But I know lots of people who got extensions and it wasn't seen as a big deal. some had to pay fees (or partial fees) and their funding wasn't extended, but they got it done and it was worth it.

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