PhD Thesis too Simple

posted
08-May-17, 03:54
edited about 15 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 weeks ago
Hello Everyone,

I am eight months into my PhD programme (Finance) and although I honestly feel absolutely privileged and grateful to be in the position I am currently in, there is just one thing that continuously seems to be troubling me. That is, I feel that my research isn't convoluted enough. Because my area of research is quite a niche, the questions I am studying are very original. However, the methods just seem too simple to me. For example, in one of my (three) papers, once I have the data I will apply a methodology which frankly requires no coding whatsoever and analyse the findings. My supervisors are very pleased with my research questions but being in a department where everyone seems to be using such rigorous math I feel quite vulnerable. Perhaps age has something to do with it too. I am the youngest (22) in the department and although I graduated with a 1st and Distinction in my BSc and MSc degrees, I obviously lack the real-world experiences gained by my colleagues who although graduated with 2:1s and Merits, are clearly doing something much more advanced than I am. I did originally submit quite a mathematically rigorous proposal however my supervisors told me that those topics would overwhelm me and that I should focus on completing a neat and original thesis within three years.

So I guess my question is, has anyone else been in a similar position? Is there any way of me getting over these worries that seem to be stinging me everyday? Aside from this problem I am enjoying the process very much :)

I would appreciate any advice or comments :)

Kahn
posted
08-May-17, 10:49
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 2 weeks ago
Mine felt very simple too but simple is good, examiners also find it easier to understand. You are less likely to fail and be questioned about it or asked to defend it. As long as the research will create new knowledge, don't worry about the "simple methods". All you'll have to prepare for in the viva is, was there another way to do this, what is it and did you consider it? I wouldn't worry at all.
posted
08-May-17, 15:25
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 weeks ago
Simple is good. There was another really helpful thread on this which I will try to find and post here.
posted
09-May-17, 03:52
edited about 26 seconds later
by Kahn
Avatar for Kahn
posted about 2 weeks ago
Thank you for your replies :)

This is actually what I was feeling from inside but having my thoughts reinforced by others surely does increase my confidence regarding this matter!
posted
15-May-17, 02:42
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Apastron
posted about 1 week ago
Remember, this is your dissertation, what may seem simple and easy to you may be hard and complex to others. For the simple fact that this is something you know more about than anyone else in the world. Good luck with your future studies. :)
posted
15-May-17, 14:04
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
I do get where Apastron is coming from, but I think it is also important to remember that science isn't good because it is complex, or because others perceive it as complex. In fact, it might be utter crap yet complex. On the other hand, it could be beautifully and almost flawlessly simple and GOOD science.

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