Overview of Nesrine87

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Nesrine87
Friday, 14 November 2014 at 9:52am
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 at 10:05am
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page 1 of 8 recent posts

Thread: Networking? Tips for meeting a more senior person in the field...

posted
18-Jul-17, 19:33
edited about 23 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi Tudor_Queen,

Your initial ideas are all good and I think they'd get conversation going unless this senior person is super awkward and shy which hopefully won't be the case! If the conference is in an interesting location, you could also ask whether they're visited the place before and/or whether they'll have any time for sightseeing? I've had success with that in the past, as sometimes people do like to take a break from academic matters.

You could also ask about more 'technical' things like experience with fieldwork or whether they've been to a certain library/archives (sorry, I don't know what field you're in...but I'm guessing history from your username?). I have to access lots of collections for my field (art history) and people love trading 'war stories' about dealing with difficult staff! Asking for their opinion about specific conference presentations or papers you've found interesting might work too? This can stress me out a bit but if you're more confident than me, it could be a fruitful line of enquiry. Or maybe if you're thinking of submitting an article, they might be able to tell you about their experience with certain journals? Sorry, I'm rambling a bit but just trying to think of some options! Hope I helped!

Thread: Familiarising myself with examiners' work...?

posted
12-Jul-17, 10:09
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi chickpea,

Thanks a lot for this. I'll try to focus on where our work overlaps or where they have a strong POV rather than trying to skim read everything they've ever written...

It feels like I've forgotten everything in the three months since handing in my thesis but hopefully it'll all come back to me with the adrenaline rush!

Thread: Familiarising myself with examiners' work...?

posted
11-Jul-17, 12:48
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi everyone,

I'm preparing for my viva which is next Monday. I've read advice recommending that you should be familiar with your examiners' work, which makes sense.

However, I don't know exactly what that means in practical terms. I've referenced my examiners (both external by the way) several times in my thesis but I wouldn't say I know their work inside out. They're both pretty senior as well so I don't think I'll have time to read loads of article by both of them!

I'm also not sure how to translate what they've written about into potential questions they might ask. Maybe I'm over-thinking this? I just want to be prepared and not make a fool of myself.

I'm also 8 months pregnant so I feel like my brain is slowly turning to mush D:

Thanks for your help!

Thread: Asking examiners questions at the end of the viva

posted
06-Jul-17, 09:11
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 months ago
Thanks everyone for your replies.

Yeah I thought it was a bit weird that I hadn't come across anything about asking the examiners questions...clearly I need to do a bit more reading!

Either way, it's good to know that I could have the opportunity to ask a couple of questions after the main discussion is over.

Thread: Asking examiners questions at the end of the viva

posted
05-Jul-17, 16:14
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 months ago
After the main discussion is finished, I was wondering whether it was normal for the examiners to ask the candidate whether they had any questions. Or, if they don't ask, whether the candidate could ask if it's okay to ask a few questions (assuming it hasn't gone terribly and I just want to run away and cry). I couldn't find any information on the internet/in books about this and wonder whether it's purely up to the examiners.

For example, since I'm being examined by two senior, respected scholars, I'd like to know their opinion on turning my thesis into a monograph and what advice they might have. I thought it would also be a good opportunity for some general careers advice from someone other than my supervisor. However, I don't know if it's inappropriate during the viva or whether they might think it's a bit weird.

Thanks for your help!

Thread: Mentioning difficult family members in thesis acknowledgements

posted
16-Mar-17, 10:16
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posted about 7 months ago
Great, thanks a lot Hugh!

Thread: Mentioning difficult family members in thesis acknowledgements

posted
15-Mar-17, 14:29
edited about 17 seconds later
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posted about 7 months ago
Hi TreeofLife,

Thanks for this. I've started drafting in the meantime and have come up with this (not dissimilar to what you wrote):

"Thank you to my family for their love and support, particularly my brother (xxx), for (silly joke that I won't put online)."

I've thanked my mum on a separate dedication page.

Thread: Mentioning difficult family members in thesis acknowledgements

posted
15-Mar-17, 14:04
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 7 months ago
Hi everyone,

I've read a few threads on here already about how people are planning on writing their acknowledgements. I have a specific question and would be grateful for any advice from someone who's been through something similar.

I don't have a problem thanking anybody except my father. We have a very difficult relationship and he was not a good father to me (I don't want to go into more details). We maintain a very limited amount of contact especially as he lives thousands of miles away.

Technically, he's not been unsupportive of the PhD process but rather uninterested. He asks 'how's it going?' once in a while and I say 'fine'. I don't feel the need to thank him as everyone I am thanking actually did help/support me in some way. However, I feel guilty as he has helped me financially prior to the PhD. I also know that he may lash out if he finds out that I didn't thank him (though part of me doesn't care as I'm not responsible for his reaction).

This is a bit silly I guess, but I also wonder what to say if people question why I didn't thank him. I will probably appear cold...

I am thanking my brother, who has been great, and dedicating the thesis to my mum who died 6 years ago.

I hope this makes sense. Sorry if not. Hopefully someone here knows what I'm talking about and can help me decide what to do. Thanks!

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
11-Jan-17, 10:40
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 9 months ago
Thanks again for your responses!

I'm not exactly sure about their reputations as examiners - to be honest, I know very little about this aspect in relation to scholars from my field but my supervisor is on friendly terms with both examiners and has known them for a long time so I would hope that they would want to be 'on my side' if you know what I mean. My supervisor (and I) made a mistake in the past picking someone who was quite hostile for my upgrade which was a nightmare so I think we're both being very wary about that again.

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
10-Jan-17, 10:20
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 9 months ago
Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your responses so far!

I have also heard that younger scholars can be harsher for the same reasons that you've already outlined but as awsoci said, I suppose this is mainly based on anecdotal evidence.

I am able to wait for a couple of extra months since after I hand in my thesis, I will be starting a part-time research assistant position with my supervisor. I could also spend time trying to get articles published.

After thinking about it and hearing your advice, I will probably go for the more experienced examiner in July. My SO (who's also a PhD student) pointed out that examiners can also act as academic references so it could be useful to have two 'big names' to ask if necessary.

Thread: How important are PhD examiners' reputations?

posted
09-Jan-17, 21:07
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 9 months ago
Hi everyone,

I'm on course to submit my thesis by the end of February (assuming nothing disastrous happens). Hopefully, this means I can have my viva in around May. In my uni, PhD candidates have two examiners.

One has already agreed. He is a leader in my subject area and would be a great examiner so I'm happy about that. My supervisor has just found out that the other proposed examiner unfortunately is on sabbatical in America (I'm in the U.K.) until July so if we picked her as the second examiner, my viva would be delayed until July. This potential examiner is very well respected professor and has a good publication record.

The alternate is a good scholar but she is younger and her publication record is understandably much shorter. I think she got her PhD in 2011. She is currently an assistant prof.

Do you think it is worth delaying the viva for the more well-established scholar? I almost never see 'examiners' mentioned on CVs etc so maybe it's not that much of a big deal? My supervisor knows both women personally and can vouch that both would be good examiners so it'd probably be fine to go for either but I'd be grateful for others' opinions. As you can imagine, I don't have much experience in this area!

Thanks a lot for your help!

Thread: Competition instead of Collaboration

posted
09-Nov-16, 09:34
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 11 months ago
Hi Bah,

I'm the OP of the thread linked by Tudor_Queen.

I don't know if this will be helpful but I'll give you an update to my situation. Long story short, it has improved. I took the advice of those who responded to me and decided to stop wasting my time with people who were rude/competitive/unresponsive. I spend time with my husband, keep up with 'pre-PhD' friends around the UK and see two other PhD students for drinks from time to time, where we complain about other people in the department :)

It will take some time but hopefully you will find one or two people (you don't need more than that) who are on your wavelength. It's definitely easier said than done but try to remember that you got accepted for the programme, so you have no reason to feel inferior. It's tough but you'll get there. If you are a bit older than the average PhD student, maybe there's a club for mature students? Or look outside the uni for hobby clubs or sports that interest you and meet people that way. It's good to get out the PhD bubble especially if you're feeling anxious or upset.

Good luck!

Thread: Need Singaporeans to answer a survey for PhD research

posted
09-Nov-16, 09:22
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 11 months ago
Maybe try /r/Singapore (or similar) on Reddit?

Thread: I've been offered a post that my friend really wanted. Feeling guilty.

posted
04-Nov-16, 14:57
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 11 months ago
Hi TreeofLife,

Thanks for your response. I agree that I would make a more likely candidate due to my experience, and that I will hopefully have more time as I'll have handed in my thesis. But, I know that Adam had his heart set on the post, whether or not that was practical.

My supervisor is quite socially-aware and we get on very well, so I wonder whether I should make him aware of the situation. Perhaps he already has some inkling of it.

Thread: I've been offered a post that my friend really wanted. Feeling guilty.

posted
04-Nov-16, 12:27
edited about 4 minutes later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 11 months ago
Hey everyone,

I'm in an awkward situation and I'm not sure what to do, if anything. I’ve given minimal background to avoid a wall of text but feel free to ask for more details.

My friend (Adam), who is a first-year PhD student and has the same supervisor as me, just finished a two-year unfunded MPhil at the same uni and got really high exam results. He was really disappointed to then not get any funding for PhD living expenses but did get his tuition covered. I’m a fourth-year, hoping to submit early next year.

When speaking a few weeks ago, Adam told me that our sup had won a big grant and was looking for a research assistant from early next year, and that he hoped he’d get the post since he desperately needed the extra money (our sup knows this). I assumed he would get the post, and kinda forgot about our conversation.

Today my sup informally asks me whether I’m available/willing for the post (I am). He said I’m qualified and already know the necessary material. Nothing’s set in stone but it looks unlikely that Adam will get offered the post.

I feel really guilty. I don’t need the money as much as Adam. I am very lucky to have had full funding and also other sources of income. However, my field is very niche and the experience will be great for my CV especially as I’m hoping to take the following year out for maternity leave (if my body cooperates…)

I guess my question is…should I do or say anything? Is it better for Adam to hear the decision from our sup? Should I apologise? We’re quite close and I don’t have many friends in academia. I know he’s going to be really upset when he hears the news even if he acts happy for me.

Thanks for your help!

EDIT: maybe relevant? Adam mentioned that our sup advised him against applying for a PhD.
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