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Pjlu 4 star member
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 at 8:10pm
Saturday, 26 August 2017 at 7:13am
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Thread: Final year support thread

posted
24-Sep-17, 20:38
edited about 1 hour later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 12 hours ago
Quote From romana_sarwar:
Hi every one, I am in final year of my PhD in bio sciences (cancer genetics). I need help in statistics. Does anyone knows how to apply spear man correlation ? Also how to do haplotype analysis on case control study of polymorphisms. I have data and want to apply these. Please help.


Hi romana_sarwar, this thread might not be the best one to post in for a response to your specific question. If you post this inquiry as a new thread and give it a heading that highlights 'statistical inquiry', you may receive responses. I'm a statistics amateur (qualitative researcher) and can't help. Try re-posting though, there would be people out there who have knowledge in the area you are seeking. Best wishes, P.

Thread: Stubborn supervisor

posted
14-Sep-17, 22:05
edited about 4 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi there, my experience with supervisors is that when they are 'sticking to their guns' about a matter, then that is what usually occurs. It is your PhD, although you mentioned a grant which was obtained by the supervisor. Your supervisor's perception might be that while it is his name and reputation at stake on the grant application, then he would prefer that his structures and sample sizes are adhered to.

Do you think that sample size might be important here for the findings? Or perhaps that is behind your supervisor's thinking? If this is the case, is there a problem with having two groups of 7-8 for delivery of the intervention? (It may be that people drop out as well or have an inconsistent attendance pattern, so perhaps this is why he is thinking of 16).

When you talk to him about this, what does he say about the research that you provide as evidence for your claim? Does he read it or acknowledge any of your arguments?

Sorry, it is a pain. I have a couple of very good supervisors and the second supervisor is stubborn, experienced and set in her ways, very thorough and very busy. It causes me some frustration as I have to wait for ages for feedback and I have to follow most of it as she won't sign me off unless I do. I haven't found a way to change this though and have had to just be patient. My Masters supervisor was exactly the same. In the end I wanted to complete and pass my theses and had to go along with their processes.

Thread: Question about theory and theoretical implications

posted
03-Sep-17, 01:32
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi Tudor,

My thesis is a 'bog standard' type of thesis, and I have written and presented a conference paper but not published journal papers from this yet. (I will shortly though). So my response refers to my thesis, which is pretty much finished (just waiting on some final corrections from second supervisor).

I ended up just having an 'Implications of the study' section in my Chapter 8 Conclusion. There were both implications for practice, and some that questioned theory and policy but I didn't separate them out into separate sections, as in this final chapter I was trying to reduce the number of sections overall.

I indicated within the text and the section clearly whether the implication impacted on practice or theory but did not give these their own subheadings but synthesised it all together into the one section, which consisted of several paragraphs. (They did get their own paragraph though).

I don't know if this is helpful or not, just passing on what I have done. The heading 'theoretical implications' seems fine to me. I imagine your supervisors might comment if they didn't like it (mine certainly have over the process). Thinking as I write, if your implication is criticising a specific theoretical stance that is widely adhered to in practice, it might need more than a short comment however and a fairly rigorous analysis?

Thread: One month to submit my phd and I have a mental breakdown-cannot get extension. HELP!

posted
31-Aug-17, 09:18
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi Iamlost86,

Can you go and see a Medical doctor (on or off campus) and request some support through a counselling referral and a general wellbeing check. The doctor may be able to write a letter that helps you appeal your university's opinion that you 'MUST' submit in a month.

They may also be able to help with referrals to places that might provide some support with living arrangements, and they may also prescribe some medication that might assist you manage these difficult feelings you have described (temporarily at least). At the very least, they will check out your stress levels and listen to you in person, and that in itself can be supportive and help with clarifying issues for you.

There may be some scope for an extension for the submission, provided you are not asking for financial support in any way. Many people submit their PhD's over the stated time frame (both full and part timers). Usually the need for meeting an absolute submission date is tied to funding grants. (You would need to check this though with an academic advisor or student counsellor).

Even taking this one step towards self care, either contacting a counsellor, as has been suggested, or seeing a doctor can help you with making the next step, and then the one that follows that...just one small positive step at a time...just one...you are worth it, with or without the PhD.

Thread: Does anyone else not feel ready to move on?

posted
30-Aug-17, 21:45
edited about 21 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 weeks ago
It's great to learn of the range of perspectives about completing and how it affects individuals differently. I think it is important to acknowledge that it can affect people in various ways. There is no one size fits all with the PhD.

Some people are delighted it is over and can move on quickly. Others I have known, particularly very scholarly people who, for one reason or another, are not going to go into academia, finishing can be tricky, as although having the torment over is great, having spent that time on an activity that has become a part of their identity, which is now over, can lead one to wondering "well what is it that I do now? I love research but it isn't going to be my main occupation perhaps, and now it is up to me".

And generating a new project, that includes the love of research can take a while to develop. In my experience, friends and colleagues have made this transition successfully eventually. It hasn't always happened quickly though for all and the feelings are real and mixed-delight and loss, pain and relief. You can feel all of this at once. I think taking care of oneself during this time is important. (Personally, until my second supervisor returns the rest of my document and she has one day left, I won't really know how it is...but I'm open to the range of emotions). Wishing you all the best PhDCharlie for the next few weeks while you wait, after submission.

Thread: Does anyone else not feel ready to move on?

posted
27-Aug-17, 21:41
edited about 5 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Not quite PhDstudent Charlie, I am still waiting for my second supervisor to complete her final reading! She completed 3 chapters 3 weeks ago (and the changes took just a weekend) and has asked me for the rest of the month for the final chapters. I'm in the situation where I literally can't do anything more until I get the remaining chapters. From my perspective it is finished and I am feeling pretty stressed by having to wait before submission, although given her promise, I expect the final corrections or suggestions to be ready by the end of this week.

When I got to the point where you are-very close but feeling a bit over it, I made a list and a plan. Once I actually forced myself to start on the plan I couldn't stop as being so close to submission brought a momentum of its own.

Finishing does bring a sense of loss. These last few weeks, I have found I really miss working on it. Best wishes during this time.

Thread: Masters without honours

posted
26-Aug-17, 07:12
edited about 4 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
I would think that many universities offer a pathway to qualifying to apply for a research Masters or PhD if you have not completed honours, whether that is a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters with a combination of coursework research units and a minor or major thesis. They might call them by different titles though.

In the universities I have attended (or a friend has) in Australia, these have been called either Postgraduate Diplomas or Masters. The Postgraduate Diplomas have been the equivalent of what is the honours year in Australian universities (a fourth year after the initial degree, which roughly is made up of half coursework/research methods and half being a dissertation). Masters qualifiers are similar but set at a Masters coursework level initially for the first half.

If you achieve certain results in your Masters coursework units, you then qualify to enrol in the thesis component. If the minor or major thesis is graded at a 1st level or 2.1, then this usually is your entry to the research Masters or PhD. It generally means that you need to take an extra year to qualify. The Australian system is not identical to the UK but there seem to be a few similarities. I'd be fairly certain that universities in other countries offer similar pathways.

Do you think a way to start looking might be to research the universities, areas and disciplines you are interested in, and then inquire what these institutions offer? The websites usually will have this information available under the faculty page or research school page. Best of luck with it all :)

Thread: English language question

posted
24-Aug-17, 08:51
edited about 7 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
The word usually used is plagiarism Emaa, academic plagiarism.

Thread: Graduating with honors, is it really that important!?

posted
22-Aug-17, 22:13
edited about 1 minute later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi Earthquake, I don't think that there is one, definitive answer for this one. It really could depend on the discipline, country, proposal, faculty, institution and competition you are up against at the time.

Within Australia, most institutions will state that you need an honours degree (honours here is an extra year and qualification on top of your undergraduate degree for example). Generally institutions will request an honours degree with a 1st or 2.1, or alternatively, a research masters with an equivalent award, as a mandatory pre-requisite to any PhD study in Oz. There may be some exceptions in exceptional circumstances. However, this may well be different in other countries.However, you would usually need to demonstrate the capacity to engage in sustained and high level research somehow.

On top of that, if you are competing for scholarships, stipends and funding (which most of us are), you then might find that you are subject to a ranking of some sort, when these are considered and awarded. Sometimes also, having a potential supervisor or researcher endorse you (provide a reference) and a really interesting proposal in an innovative or niche research area can assist.

There will always be exceptions to the rule, but generally over here, these guidelines apply.

If positions and grants are competitive then any qualification or project that you can use to back your claim is an advantage. It costs the Australian government for example, around 60-80,000.00 to sponsor a student for fees over the 3-4 years of completing a doctorate. This figure does not include a living stipend. Once you add a living stipend of around 25,000.00 (or more) or so a year on top of this, you can see that quite a bit of money is invested in supporting a doctoral student to complete their PhD. This tends to make the process pretty competitive. Best of luck with it all.

Thread: What would you do with an extra year before grad school?

posted
14-Aug-17, 23:14
edited about 11 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
I'd work and save money, read widely in my field (as once on the PhD your reading becomes highly selective and for some time it narrows to fit your specific topic), and enjoy weekends or down time while you can. Not that you can't enjoy some time away from your thesis when in the thick of it-you can-but it is always present in your mind once you've started.

Some terrific ideas from other posters on this thread as well, best wishes.

Thread: Action research defn.

posted
10-Aug-17, 21:28
edited about 21 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
It can be both Linzedin.

Action Research refers to a specific type of project based research method, whereby you posit a theory or hypothesis, set up a response that uses this theory or method to inform a specific project in a specific context and you then carry out the project and measure the results. You may use or follow this process more than once while you are using an action research method. (Rather like a practical form of grounded theory in some ways although with grounded theory you are generating theory whereas with action research you begin with a theory or proposition and measure results in a sort of iterative spiral). This is a really simple explanation from the top of my head. You would find a more definitive and accurate definition in Creswell, J. (2005 for second edition but he most likely has some later editions by now). He writes about Educational Research Methods.

In the world of education, where I think action research is often found, sometimes it refers more to a style or way of doing things as well. By this I mean, teachers and schools often carry out action research projects without necessarily reporting formally on these or using them for a formal research degree such as a Masters or doctorate of some kind. So the principal of a school might say 'oh we are carrying out an action research project with the juniors, using this new reading instruction method to see whether it improves our literacy assessment results in Year 9 students with literacy problems'. The school would be measuring the results from using the new method by examining its Year 9 literacy assessment data after a trial period, but no formal reports would be made perhaps beyond the school newsletter or principal's report to the school board and discussion in staff and team meetings.

Thread: Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

posted
09-Aug-17, 09:07
edited about 2 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi Kahn, I think initially you need to see a doctor (general practitioner) and explain the symptoms you have described on your post and ensure that you are well physically.

Your doctor (GP) will be able to assess your symptoms and make recommendations from there. They may also recommend counselling to help alleviate anxiety and some other supports. This would be the first recommendation I would make if a student or parent raised this concern at my workplace. (I am an Assistant Principal with a major role in student welfare at a large secondary College and this is what we are recommended to do as part of our role.)

I do think there would be other steps you might take as well to help and I am sure other posters will provide much support. However what you describe in your post concerns me, and my initial thoughts and recommendation would be to start with a medical appointment and check up, rule out any physical concerns and see what the doctor recommends.

Your university may have a free health clinic or medical centre on campus that you could call into perhaps, that does not require appointments or payment. Please take the time to take care of yourself. If you do have supportive family near by or who you can contact, I am sure they would want to know that you are feeling this way.

Thread: No motivation, always procrastinating - is there any hope?

posted
08-Aug-17, 22:05
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi Coarvi, I think Helebon's suggestion for coaching is a positive way forward, and/or you could try your university's counselling support services, particularly to help with breaking the negative cycle of repetitive thoughts you are describing.

The content of the thoughts you have provided are similar to thoughts that many of us go through in the extended process of the PhD. Coaching sessions or accessing a counsellor to support you through this part of the PhD are both viable ways of moving forward, as these types of thoughts often gather a life of their own while we are immersed in them.

Would it help to join some university committees or postgraduate societies? This might assist in managing the feelings of isolation and need for community? Even a meeting once a week or fortnight with others might make a small positive difference that could help overall.

The other thing I would add is that it isn't that uncommon to find when you are quite a way through the PhD that you don't really want either an academic position at the end or to keep working in your particular field. However, there may still be value in completing the PhD, even if you decide that afterwards your goals have changed.

Thread: PhD Courses that start in January and/or Less than 3 years program

posted
07-Aug-17, 22:55
edited about 2 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Agree completely with Tree of Life. The other thing to consider is that the final elements of a PhD, which occur after you have written your study can take some time. Eg, even if you believe all is well and you have done all you can or need to do, before submission you have to be signed off and this process can take some time. In my case it will easily be a month all up for this to occur. Then on top of that once you have submitted you have an average of 6-8 weeks before your examiners will complete their reports (this time is quite quick, sometimes they can take longer). You may have a viva or defence presentation to make either before (in my university it is a presentation prior to submission) in UK universities, I think you have a viva or defence afterwards.

Once the examiners have compiled their reports, you then have to do corrections. Not many people have their thesis or dissertation returned without corrections (even minor ones). You are given from between 1 to 6 months to complete corrections (depending on how extensive they are). Once you have made these corrections to the satisfaction of your panel, chair or examiners (it depends on the type of corrections as to who approves them), then your university will confer the award and slot you in to the nearest grad ceremony to confer your degree. So this process also takes some time.

The reality is even if you wrote a thesis in just over two years (which would be a real push but possibly doable if you were not using much new data but were doing a type of review of existing materials), the rest of the process would take you to at least 2.75 to 3 years anyway and, in many cases as Tree as indicated, closer to 3.5 to 4 years all up.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
07-Aug-17, 11:04
edited about 20 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 month ago
Quote From PhD2017:
Hi Beasley and Pjlu, thank you for replying. I have written over half of my dissertation now and seeing as it is by articles, the rest (results and discussion) shouldn't take too long..I hope. I'm starting to feel like I will make it by the end of the month and my supervisor said that he will only need a day or two to make corrections. My supervisor is wonderful, I think I'd be a mess if it wasn't for his support. I'm still not sleeping well and still experience chest pain almost daily from unconsciously holding my breath and anxiety. It feels like I've been swimming deep under water for the past almost year and am only now about to reach the surface. I am an anxious person in general, and I'm very competitive, so I bring a lot of the stress on myself. Beasley, I think it is quite normal, I have read a lot about anxiety among grad students, the pressure to publish and apply for grants etc affects us now too, no longer just those in full-time positions, with limited post doc positions and a thesis to write at the end of it all, is it any wonder there are higher rates of mental health struggles among grads. Pjlu, I downloaded the app CBT-i Coach and it has helped a lot actually - especially the muscle relaxation exercises, and tea has always been a good friend of mine. Hope you are both doing well and best of luck with your submission!


That's great news PHD2017. Gee wish my supervisors only took a day or so! Mine take between 2-3 weeks and I am waiting for the final comments from my second supervisor for the last few chapters in the next couple of days. Once she has passed these over, I'll only take a day or so as the changes are final edits and not to do with theory, content or argument, thankfully. I'm hoping to post I've submitted any day now. Nice though that all is improving and you can see the way through.
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