Ten steps to PhD failure

posted
27-Aug-15, 15:44
edited about 45 seconds later
Avatar for BilboBaggins
posted about 2 years ago
I found this article exasperating to be honest. It's quite badly biased against humanities, where funding is so scarce that part-time study and self-funding is much more common, and those people *do* sometimes get academic jobs including lectureships at the end.

I also totally disagreed with point 5. I've seen more PhD students failing for not focusing on their thesis, and doing anything but it, than the reverse. Yes for academic employment purposes it is important to do other career-related things like journal publishing and attending and organising conferences. But ultimately if you don't focus on your thesis enough - and this is particularly important for ca100,000 word thesis as in humanities - failure is guaranteed.

Quite a few of my Twitter friends were Twittering about it just after midnight too, rather exasperated.
posted
27-Aug-15, 16:16
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 years ago
Yeah it's definitely quite focused on sciences. I found most of it to be good advice though.
posted
27-Aug-15, 18:45
Avatar for catalinbond
posted about 2 years ago
I've always disliked the fact that point 1 exists as a factor. Whilst a lot of people are able to move for a PhD, not everyone can. There are a whole host of social, family and other reasons people might want or need to stay in the same place for UG and PhD, and to look down on (such as viewing them as lacking scholarly breadth and independence, or as not being wise or committed enough) discriminates against those who are not able to move to a new place to take up a PhD.
posted
27-Aug-15, 18:56
Avatar for Montanita
posted about 2 years ago
I would say this article is pretty much what all lecturers have told me in private conversations about a PhD
posted
28-Aug-15, 00:01
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Barramack
posted about 2 years ago
People fail or drop out of PhD’s for numerous reasons, not necessarily for the 10 outlined in the article. Some of the points raised by the author could lead to failure, but I would have used the word ‘difficulty’ in the title rather than ‘failure’. But of course that wouldn’t catch the attention of readers in the same way.
posted
28-Aug-15, 07:17
edited about 12 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 2 years ago
Quote From BilboBaggins:
I found......


I think it is more about the hard sciences, where you have to be in the lab and also have to present data to your supervisors regularly. It seldom happens that someone is not focused enough as this would be often immediately recognized.

Quote From catalinbond:
I've always disliked the fact that point 1 exists as a factor. Whilst a lot of people are able to move for a PhD, not everyone can. There are a whole host of social, family and other reasons people might want or need to stay in the same place for UG and PhD, and to look down on (such as viewing them as lacking scholarly breadth and independence, or as not being wise or committed enough) discriminates against those who are not able to move to a new place to take up a PhD.


I think this "not able to move" thing is a myth for most of the people. It somehow suggests that everyone who moves has no friends, no family and doesn't care. Most people could definitely move, but it is of course more comfortable to stay at one place. I am pretty sure almost everyone who relocates leaves family and friends behind. That's how it is. That's what you can expect after a post doc when it comes to permanent positions. It is rather unlikely that the same uni you started your bachelor hires you as a lecturer after being there for ten years, although things like that happen sometime. People who change locations often network better. There is a huge difference between some chat at a conference and actually working for long periods with several renowned figures in the field. If you check the CVs of academic staff you almost always find one or two relocations, so I guess it increases the chances for permanent positions. You appear more interesting and obviously show a high level of commitment/dedication to your job. I guess universities like that.

However, if you have a nature and a science paper after your post doc, people won't give a fuck about the fact that you stayed at the same university. In the end your record counts and outstanding work will be always better ;)

I still think that it will increase your chances (on average)
posted
28-Aug-15, 07:33
edited about 7 seconds later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 2 years ago


Thanks for that ! Looks promising. Will read it this evening :)

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