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Jamie_Wizard
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 at 4:13pm
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 at 8:34pm
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Thread: Advice wanted - Feeling hopeless in PhD and wanting to quit

posted
21-Jan-18, 13:10
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posted about 2 days ago
Hi Melodie, Sorry to hear about your scan results. I do hope your health improves, as does your PhD situation.

As for my end, things are improving a bit, but I still feel a bit overwhelmed and exhausted by it all.

Anyway, I do hope things improve for you, in particular with your health. I wish you all the best!

Thread: Advice wanted - Feeling hopeless in PhD and wanting to quit

posted
16-Jan-18, 20:54
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 6 days ago
Hi Melodie,

Thank you for your kind words and support! I'm so sorry to hear about your parents. How are you doing now?

My supervisor has been really good over the years. It was only because I had to quit the job, and he probably felt embarassed in the department, and perhaps didn't want to ask the head of department to help me out. I did complain because I didn't find that this was appropriate behaviour -- possibly he had a bad day himself, or was just detering me from seeking his support - but no excuse really.

As for conflicts in prioritising, I can completely relate to that.

I do hope things work out for you.

Good luck!

Thread: Advice wanted - Feeling hopeless in PhD and wanting to quit

posted
15-Jan-18, 12:50
edited about 4 minutes later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 week ago
Hi Melodie,

You are not alone in facing troubles during your PhD. My father passed away in 2015 after losing his businesses. In the last two weeks, I have been diagnosed with diabetes. Over christmas, what was supposed to be a peaceful and time to recover from my viva and the stress of ongoing corrections, was unbearably difficult because my mother was sectioned for a depressive crises -- she was accidently overdosing due to confusion. I myself had suffered from depression/anxiety in the past but have overcome it. However, recently I've faced tremendous difficulties - my funding stopped last summer, leaving me to deplete my savings. I've had to apply for jobs whilst also doing corrections and tending to my mothers health (which had declined because of mistakes made by her GP in managing her medicines/depression). To make matters worse, a driver crashed into me and wrote off my old, but very reliable BMW. It has all been to much for me, but what can we do in such a situation? except keep on at things with patience, and get support from those around us.

I secured a good job in my department in a different field (machine learning), but was unable to postpone the post due to my corrections. I had planned to learn this new area and looked forwards to the challenging learning curve once my PhD had finished, but I didn't expect major corrections. The workload, and fact that the option to postpone wasn't available, meant I had to quit, leaving me in a very difficult position financially.

When I explained to my department my dire financial situation and requested them to give me some work for 2-3 days/week -- work that I could complete well and allow me time for corrections -- I was yelled at by my supervisor because I said I was finding it mentally hard to cope with it all. I didn't ask for continuation of the funding, just for work, such as programming projects for their or other departments - I worked very well on this sort of work previously whilst doing my PhD.

I am currently completing my corrections and applying for work. I am also having to liase with my mother's hospital until she is able to return. Given the stress levels and emotional turmoil I've faced I should really seek counselling from my university, but I live rather far away, and I have so much work to do :-/

My point is that sometimes multiple problems come at once, and we just have to prioritise and keep on at what we feel is most important for our future.

I wish you the best of luck.

Thread: Major corrections and no financial support! :-(

posted
11-Jan-18, 17:40
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posted about 1 week ago
Thanks for the suggestions. An update: My university won't issue me a letter stating I'm no longer a student -- even though my enrolment ended late September (viva in October), and this was only extended for me to use the library and my office. This is problematic because my funding ended in Summer. I'm currently actively seeking work, and have finished the bulk of my corrections. The difficulty is juggling the remaining part (which is quite tedious and complex), looking after my mother (who has now been hospitalised temporarily), and finding work :-( Trying to remain positive and focused, though it is hard.

Thread: Post-PhD employment anxiety

posted
11-Jan-18, 17:32
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
I still stand by my suggestion even if people disagree - that it would be good to explore the job market and see what organisations are seeking which subset of skills from your skillset. It will open up avenues and reduce anxiety to have job opportunities within your field (or related if there are transferrable skills you can rely on). Of course, applications do need to be tailored for each job, despite me using the phrase "firing off cvs", they still need to be targeted for each role.

Thread: Post-PhD employment anxiety

posted
11-Jan-18, 11:41
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 week ago
You're in a great field! I also tend to be a bit of a worrier. Just fire out CVs and something will turn up, especially nowadays were there is so much research being undertaken in Molecular Biology. You might also want to develop your Bioinformatics skills (presumably you already have skills in this area, but there are many new techniques and technologies emerging) to give you more scope for finding work in the field. Perhaps some online courses could get you started whilst you search for jobs and it could provide a useful distraction from your worrying.

Good luck!

Thread: Major corrections and no financial support! :-(

posted
01-Jan-18, 19:57
edited about 22 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Thank you so much everyone, your kind and supportive messages have really lifted my spirits. I guess I shouldn't be so proud and make use of any resources I can during this difficult time.

Thanks again and Happy New Year :-)

Thread: Major corrections and no financial support! :-(

posted
01-Jan-18, 14:05
edited about 53 minutes later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 3 weeks ago
I'm currently looking for work and finishing corrections simoultaneously. I guess I will have to apply for JSA in the meantime, although I've always tried to avoid using such services.

At the end of the day, there is a culture of of people saying oh, so what you're writing up, but this should not be the case that funding ceases, especially when candidates have come so far, and especially after making such financial sacrifices. In my department, practically all of the PhD students have their write-up funded, but this doesn't extend to corrections, even if just 2-3 months more of funding would avoid the problem,

Thread: Major corrections and no financial support! :-(

posted
31-Dec-17, 19:49
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Thanks Helebon, I'll look into those things.

Best wishes,
J

Thread: Major corrections and no financial support! :-(

posted
31-Dec-17, 18:21
edited about 2 minutes later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hello,

I am facing extreme financial difficulties since having the outcome of Major corrections in October. My thesis was submitted in early July, at the time my funding ran out, with my viva in October. I've since survived on savings which are now depleted.

I originally planned to start a new, challenging position straight after my viva. This would've combined my Chemistry background and distributed computing research with Machine Learning, which is a signicant but totally new area for me. However, when I had recieved major corrections, I was not able to cope with the workload -- in particular learning a new field whilst doing my corrections at the same time. The stress was too much to do both, and also look after an ill mother. I have since done a substantial part of my corrections but I face financial ruin. I was unable to postpone the start of the position with the university until January, but only by 3 weeks which didn't fix the situation.

My university and department, despite having ample financial resources, haven't at all been understanding of the situaton, and although I requested work, for instance in marking, or programming related projects, before Christmas, nothing has turned up.

It's totally shocking to have ended up in this situation, if I had known this would happen I may have not embarked on a PhD as I am unable to get financial support from family. I emailed the Leverhulme trust, as I completed a Pharmacy degree in 2011, but they flat out refused to help me.

I have slightly more work to do on my corrections and I would like to start actively looking for work shortly.
In the meantime I am panicking because I have little money for daily living.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

J

Thread: Examiner's reports and results.

posted
20-Dec-17, 10:57
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 month ago
Congratulations on your pass! I sympathise with having corrections, but I'm sure you'll get through it.

All the best!

Thread: Submitted manuscript awaiting recommendation - what does this mean?

posted
14-Dec-17, 10:26
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 1 month ago
Good luck!

Thread: Revise & Resubmit - feeling humiliated

posted
22-Nov-17, 16:46
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Ciniselli:
Thanks for your messages, all.

I have calmed down somewhat and taken a more pragmatic view. Fundamentally, my examiners are just trying to guide me towards better scholarship. It is difficult - and to be really honest, quite embarrassing - to accept that I still need such extensive guidance when many of my peers do not, but I clearly do and denial won't help. Much as it hurts, I do feel grateful to my examiners for taking such a detailed look at my work and providing me with detailed instruction about how to improve. Guess I kinda forgot rule #1 in academia: don't take feedback personally.

Some (but by no means all) of the major points my examiners had a problem with are things my supervisor directly told me to do. My meeting with him was very, very encouraging, though. He was very supportive and I came out of the meeting feeling considerably less defeated than I did earlier int he day.

So, bit of a short-term meltdown, I suppose. I imagine it won't be the last one, either - PhD students are no stranger to those. But I am determined to finish this project and to finish it well.


Cool :-)

Thread: Revise & Resubmit - feeling humiliated

posted
22-Nov-17, 16:44
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Ciniselli:
I'm a PhD student in history. Had my viva a month ago... I felt it had been pretty average at the time. Before the viva, my supervisor had told me multiple times that I had every reason to be confident and that my work was very good. I was, therefore, quite shocked when my examiners gave me a revise & resubmit verdict with an 18-month deadline (albeit with no second viva).

On Friday, I got my examiners' report, and it was absolutely devastating. They completely tore me apart. I had made very serious errors in approach and write-up, gotten terminology wrong, and in general had presented my thesis very poorly. While my thesis had the "potential" to pass, it will require significant reworking.

Needless to say, this is an extremely humiliating experience, not least as I really thought I had produced something solid. I feel I have let myself down and wasted the last 3 years. I had niggling doubts about the quality of my work but I just figured that was normal for a PhD. What's worse is that I also teach - and I can't help but feel like a complete fraud when marking students' essays.

Meeting my supervisor later today. Not an experience I'm looking forward to.

Anybody have some R&R success stories to give me hope?


Hi Ciniselli.

The requirements for examining a PhD thesis are extremely strict with respect to the different aspects that are examined. This does not mean your work is not of value to your research area, nor does it mean that you are a fraud. Whilst examination can be subjective, it is likely that the examiners have found areas for improvement with respect to the requirements necessary of a PhD thesis. It can be very shocking to recieve this sort of result, but once you feel you have overcome the emotional shock, I would focus on addressing the issues the examiners mentioned and try to approach it as a learning experience (which it definite is!), and I'm sure with the focused effort you can succeed.

The people on this forum are extremely kindm helpful and supportive, so there's always support if here you require it. I myself have experienced this when I received a pass with major corrections (that left me in shock too). Although it involves more hard work, which believe me I have put in over the years, I view my situation as a learning experience. Hope it works out for you.

Best of luck!
Jamie

Thread: PhD pass with Major corrections! :-( ....

posted
05-Nov-17, 13:59
Avatar for Jamie_Wizard
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From chickpea:
In my experience, it takes a while to work through the post-viva emotions if you've had any kind of curveball experience with it. When you think about how long we spend on the PhD, how much feedback we get along the way and how much work goes into responding to that feedback, and then all the pressure of the viva occasion, it's not surprising that it can knock us for six at the end. And to be honest, I've now heard such hugely varying accounts of viva practice that I just think it's all subjective anyway. I have more faith in my Masters result, if that makes sense, because of all the exams I had to pass along the way for that. Good luck with your new job, hope all goes well :-)


Thanks Chickpea and Tudor.
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