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Cat123
Friday, 29 September 2017 at 12:15am
Thursday, 8 February 2018 at 8:21pm
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Thread: Applying for a new PhD

posted
02-Feb-18, 20:20
edited about 5 seconds later
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I sent an email in response to an advertised PhD, with personal statement and CV as required at this stage. I mentioned the earlier unexpected project changes and restrictions to the project not allowing me to fully follow my interests. This is factual, although alone it wouldn't have stopped me doing the PhD. I've been invited to an interview next week, before making a full application.

Thread: Applying for a new PhD

posted
01-Feb-18, 19:59
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Dunham - I have questioned why this is happening myself. Unfortunately some do jump to the conclusion that I must have done something wrong, the Uni automatically seems to assume this anyway. The only thing I could have been perceived to do wrong by some is letting the supervisor know he had upset me after he first did this, he didn't respond well, and I think he has had it in for me ever since, and maybe thought I might speak about this to someone and tried to cover his back. I have worked hard and progressed well. I found out from some RAs a few months ago that this supervisor has a reputation for treating students as he does, although its felt he went too far in my case. I am the only female in my research group. One problem may be that the lead supervisor took on too many students and postdocs at the same time.

Thread: Applying for a new PhD

posted
01-Feb-18, 11:03
edited about 1 second later
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
There is no-one who can give me a reference from my current Uni. The only other option, outside the supervisory team, was the Postgrad Tutor, who should be there to offer independent advice, he won't even communicate with me now. He was communicating with me, expressing his concern etc, then as soon as the dept said I couldn't change supervisor unless I self-funded his support went. My previous uni, where I did my UG course will give a reference again. Feels unfair as this situation really is through no fault of my own. Thee SU Advisor is not responding to emails when I ask for guidance on specific matters, they just want to be kept informed. My current approach is to stand my ground and push for a new supervisor, and in the meantime apply for any other suitable PhDs of interest. I made one enquiry on Monday, had no response.

Thread: Leaving out poor grade qualifications when applying for funded PhDs

posted
31-Jan-18, 18:35
edited about 19 seconds later
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
For every PhD I have applied for I have had to provide my degree transcript. I was also in employment for a number of years before starting a PhD. A good result in your MSc should hopefully make up for any poor results in your degree. Requirements and preferences can differ dependent on the funding source and University. My advice therefore is to email the supervisors before applying for PhDs and give a brief overview of your background so that they can advise further with regards to your application, I would always do this. Sometimes I have been able to submit industry references, other times they have all had to be academic ones.

Thread: Making a complaint

posted
31-Jan-18, 18:27
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I've had this at complaint stage one. I think you will just have to persevere and escalate. Maybe speak to your SU for advice. As you have evidence you have a case to pursue.

Thread: Applying for a new PhD

posted
31-Jan-18, 18:21
edited about 20 seconds later
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I'm unhappy and other students in my area have started isolating me, some will no longer speak to me and look through me when I say Hi to them. My department would not consider a change of supervision, yet we get told we can change supervisors if needed. I made an informal complaint, the department escalated it to a formal one so it could be dealt with outside the dept. Now it is being investigated by the Dean for my area, I expected this to be undertaken by someone from another faculty.
My lead supervisor isn't going to be bothered if I leave as he has someone else to do the work. I've been working really hard and been very engaged. There would need to be a new supervisory team to continue now. I have identified one very good supervisor who wishes to supervise me. I expect my funding may just get taken away though.
I am looking into applying for other PhDs. I would appreciate any advice on how I explain my current situation on an application?

Thread: Applying for a new PhD

posted
31-Jan-18, 18:16
edited about 27 seconds later
by Cat123
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I'm 7 months in, completed the literature review and written up as much of the thesis intro and experimental development as I can and completed various courses but things have come to a standstill pretty much now. I found out a new post doc is pretty much doing my project now. I did know about them starting at some point but it wasn't made clear what they were doing. A few months into my PhD I was asked to come up with a number of ideas and was advised that this postdoc would then choose which of these they took up. I did express some concern at this, as I felt I may not get to pursue my preferred ideas, and no more was mentioned of them after. I only heard about their start date from someone else as it had been postponed. I then got informed they wished to use the lab materials I had sourced for my project, then it got made impossible for me to use the lab now - no space, my supervisor being difficult etc.
There have been ongoing issues with my lead supervisor I can only describe as bullying - intimidating behaviour that has left me in tears after meetings, being belittled, information witheld from me about past work my PhD relates to. He seems controlling and doesn't allow me to contact my 2nd supervisors direct, they sit in silence in meetings and take notes at times, I can't meet with any supervisor individually. Meetings are formal, uncomfortable and brief and I have had very little guidance to date, supervisors seemed uninterested in my work. I was advised I would be an assistant to the postdoc. It all just makes me feel a bit used, not respected, not supported and that they don't care about me as a PhD student. I was offered no teaching support work at the department, various opportunities were promised such as this at the first meeting, none have transpired.

Thread: Formal complaint

posted
13-Jan-18, 23:48
edited about 5 seconds later
by Cat123
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posted about 1 month ago
I had to withdraw the complaint, I was informed things may not go well for me if I pursued it. I was also informed my primary supervisor has full control as its a funded PhD, since its their funding. So nothing will change. I secured teaching support work in another dept. after making some inquiries, that was surprisingly easy to obtain, there didn't seem to be the barriers I am encountering in my own dept. I am being held back with regards to how far I will be able to go with my PhD. My stipend payment has been delayed without explanation now, when I will get that I don't know. Through making inquiries and having a meeting with another prospective supervisor I have identified other sources of technical support at least. I'm feeling pretty down currently and my confidence is low despite how well I know I have been doing. I feel it would be better to move elsewhere, for my career and health, but don't feel able to apply anywhere else currently.

Thread: Formal complaint

posted
22-Dec-17, 13:05
by Cat123
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posted about 2 months ago
Meetings fine now, just a bit anxious at first due to being somewhere new. I'm ahead of schedule, have come up with some innovative plans, and making very good progress and taking a lead on the project. No reason given for not getting opportunities. Things just not working out with supervisory team it seems, lacking in support from them, they admit to misunderstandings earlier on - i.e. too quick to judge. I've had concerns for a while and things still aren't right. Two of the team have more interest in other projects due to their background and those students have secured opportunities. The one who is less involved, who I feel uncomfortable around for some reason, was responsible for allocating some opportunities, expect they don't really know me. Think I just need to try and get supervisors who are interested in my project and more supportive. I didn't choose the team initially and the project is quite different to the one proposed when I applied.

Thread: Formal complaint

posted
20-Dec-17, 17:25
edited about 18 seconds later
by Cat123
Avatar for Cat123
posted about 2 months ago
I'm funded. My current course of action was the only way to resolve issues, I wasn't getting anywhere otherwise due to a lack of systems in place. I sought SU and postgrad support guidance first and have support there. There are other suitable supervisors. I think I just have to wait now.

Thread: Formal complaint

posted
20-Dec-17, 00:42
edited about 14 seconds later
by Cat123
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posted about 2 months ago
Started a PhD earlier this year, alarm bells were ringing early on when being made to feel stupid in meetings and subjected to intimidating behaviour that caused me upset. I had an opportunity elsewhere early on but couldn’t take it up for practical reasons and I don’t regret that as it wasn’t right for me. I am doing well in my PhD, having put in a lot of time and effort so far. I don’t have the support of my supervisors at all now I feel and never had the level of support they give their other students. When I found out they had blocked me from opportunities they gave to their other new students- demonstrating and teaching opportunities, it was the last straw and I made a complaint requesting a change in supervision and to be treated fairly with regards to opportunities. Any advice from anyone who has dealt with these situations and processes would be much appreciated.
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