Overview of PhoenixFortune

Recent Posts

Lack of teaching experience

I'm just coming to the end of Year 1 of my PhD in a humanities subject in the UK. I have enquired about getting teaching experience with my department, but the short answer is: "We don't have enough TA spots to go around; keep a look out of emailed advertisements, but don't hold your breath".

I have noticed that my department seems to prioritise current/former TAs (by not advertising posts and just reoffering them to the PhD students who taught the exact same modules/seminars last year), rather than allowing new students a chance. No PhD students at my university are getting enough teaching hours to qualify to do the PgCertHE, but any experience is better than none.

I am worried about my employability within academia if I have no teaching experience under my belt come completion, so I was wondering if anyone else has been in the same situation, or has advice on what to do? I don't have another university local to me who offers the subject I could teach in, so I can't offer my services elsewhere.

Humanities PhD: Lit review, theoretical framework/methodology

Your perspective on the literature review is accurate, but I think you're a bit confused about what a theoretical framework is. A theoretical framework is where you place your specific research problem/question within a pre-existing theory in order to create hypotheses, or develop your own theoretical framework from a combination of related theories which becomes the literal framework you use to structure your inquiries.

Can a different phd topic give you renewed enthusiasm

If they let you change topic, will they still allow you to study for 3 years, or is the year you've done now lost? Also, will changing topic affect your funding situation? Will this also affect your supervisory arrangements? Those are three pretty vital questions, which once answered, should help you make your decision.

Generally, I think people do enjoy their own research project more than pre-proposed ones, but it can depend on the discipline, how complicated you want your project to be etc.

Maybe think about why you're doing a PhD in the first place: if you don't want an academic career, then will it help you in other ways? If it presents more losses than benefits, realistically it might be worth considering leaving.

Printing thesis with colour

I know this might be a stupid question, but can't you remove the blue line? Or re-colour it into grey/black?

If not, you can sometimes print the thesis yourself and go to a binders after, but you'll need to contact the binders ahead of time to ask 1) if it's possible, and 2) if you need to format the document in a particular way (e.g. put a thicker margin on the left side).

Statistics help needed

Quote From Nishanthi:
I don't want to exclude them completely because they have values for other variables and i am not doing any interaction analysis between the variables. I think, i can do the analysis with the data i have by not including the missing values in the SPSS for each variable. Is that going to be fine? Thanks in advance.

I've never used missing data cells, but take a look here: https://www.spss-tutorials.com/spss-missing-values/

Statistics help needed

Quote From Nishanthi:
Hi, I have some data about who is attending the hospital for cervical screening. I have done the chi square to compare the two groups. But I have some missing values in the demographics and other variables. Can I do the analysis for only available values and leave the missing values? Thanks

I'm not sure about the statistical stance, but I'd say that you need to either use the data you have (and therefore not include participants with missing data in the analyses which require that missing data), or exclude participants with missing data entirely from all analyses. It kind of depends on what comparisons you are making, whether this affects the balance of the two groups etc.

What do you wish you had known or read before starting? Plus books!

In addition to MALVOR87's great advice, I recommend the book 'The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research' by Petre & Rugg. I believe there is a free pdf version available if you Google it.

I have a self employed company. Can I use dr title?

Quote From emekcan:
Hello to everyone. I have PhD education in Turkey l graduated... I live in England at the moment. and I have self employed company since two years in London. Can I use Dr. title in UK despite l didn’t get PhD education in UK universities.

I don't see why not... as long as you have the credentials to prove it if need be (i.e. PhD certificate).

PhD help

Quote From Ptw23:
Hi all,

I have just got my final grade back for my MSc in molecular medicine from bath university and have only just managed to get over 58% so a pass, I also have a 2:1/65% in veterinary biosciences from Aberystwyth university. I currently work full time at a microbiology lab with experience in pathogen culturing and many microbiological techniques and run my own team at the company.

Given how terrible this year has been, I am further devastated by the news that I have done so poorly in my master's.

I am just wondering what are my options regarding a PhD? I know that getting funding will be hard but is there any tips you can give me to improve my chances?

Any help would be massively appreciated.

Getting an unfunded PhD place may be quite simple (depending on the institution, supervisor etc.), but a funded one is going to be near-impossible with a pass at MSc level. Is a PhD essential to what you want to do?

A friend of mine in a similar situation to you applied for a second MSc in an attempt to get a better classification, but this isn't advisable for everyone.

R&R and the nasty supervisor is threatening me

Quote From Phd2020:
Perviously, I wrote that my supervisor first phd student failed her viva and got an Mphil. I submitted six months after him and got Revise and resubmit. Although my supervision was poor but I guess the reason for this is the internal examiner and I tried to change this examiner but my supervisor never listened to me.
After my viva I was at my lowest. I opened my email and went trough my old emails with my supervisor
( in one of the emails ,I was begging my supervisor to change my internal examiner because I was worried about this choice and the reply from my supervisor was ( You are worrying about nothing! ); I replied to this email and said this is the nothing that I was worried about and thanks for destroying me😭
I went through the other emails where the supervisor was for example trying to push me to submit in three years saying I had enough, or comments were the supervisor mentioned I am meticulous.

Anyway, I sent around 7 emails mai
commenting about how I wad misled by him , I did not say anything rude or aggressive.

Then the next day I have realized what I have done was totally immature and I sent my supervisor an apology and asked my supervisor to disregard all my emails

My supervisor replied that this is an online abuse and harassment and that this would be raised to the university

I am not shocked by my supervisor attitude as it is my fault that i did not change supervision from year one.

Now I am worried about my R&r, my nasty supervisor and my whole life and I have already started to see a therapist because I was really at my lowest after the viva.

Question is ; can my supervisor hurt me in anyway??

Your thread title is misleading. You sent (7!) resentful emails to your supervisor, and they are within their rights to report that behaviour to the university. They may not be a good supervisor, but doing such a thing was very ill-advised - that is not the way to vent about things. You might want to look up the conduct regulations for your university to see what consequences there may be for you. If you have a personal tutor, you might want to ask them for advice, or even contact your student union.

Part Time PhD - Thinking quitting

Quote From stevieb143:

I am currently struggling to see a way forward with my PhD and seriously thinking of quitting. As background, I am a part-time Student (Self Funded) and working fulltime. I started the PhD in March 2017.

Year 1 & 2 - Mar-17 to Mar19. All research went well and following the initial research plan.
Year 3 March 19 - Mar 20. My supervisor switched the direction of my research and looking back at my notes and progress, nothing has been done
Temp withdraw Mar20 to Sept20 - suspended study due to Covid
Sept20 to Now - absolutely no progress being made

I have effectively wasted 18 months of time on producing nothing valuable and have made no progress in 18 months. I have previously raised this with my supervisor, but he is not concerned. I need to change the direction of my research if not I feel I just need to quit.

I have a progress report due and have nothing to document.

Do you have annual reviews? If so, what does your supervisor suggest you present at your next review?

You may have a bit of leniency given your recent suspension, but if you are also struggling to come up with plans for your next year then your committee might be concerned.

What do you feel about your research now? Can you see yourself continuing in this new direction?

Major corrections as R&R

Quote From Phd20sb:

In their report they mentioned that I rebutted their constructive feedback while in reality I only responded to their stupid comments and attack. They also mentioned I gave them difficult moments at the end of the examination meeting forgetting to mention that my viva was basically an attack and I am the victim here

Anyway, I am still angry now and I am hoping that I could calm down and don’t do anything reckless ( liking emailing the examiners and telling them that they do not deserve to be in academia)

I understand that you have other complaints, but I'll just focus on the viva issue in this thread.

Can you give us some examples of instances in the viva where you felt attacked? And what was your response to each of these?

Getting defensive =/= reasoning out the comments the examiners make; the latter is the right thing to do in an academic discussion. If you could not do that, then I understand their concerns. The viva must be separated from other issues you may have made throughout your PhD, otherwise you're taking a bucket-load of resentment into an already stressful situation - this might explain why you interpret their comments as attacks and see yourself as a victim?

I'm glad that you acknowledge that insulting your examiners would do you no good.

Can a new post doc, who didn't contribute to the work, presents a PhD student work?

The post doc shouldn't put their name on work that was done before they entered the lab group, but any work done afterwards it may be seen as fair game to do so. This will be something you need to clarify with your PI.

Can a new post doc, who didn't contribute to the work, presents a PhD student work?

What will the post doc be presenting at the conference? Your work or theirs?

What is the situation re: the post doc's access to your work/data? Is it only the abstract they have used so far?

It might be a good idea to sit down with your current PI to discuss what the post doc's exact role will be, what they will have access to, what they will get priority over etc. Politics around author order will always be a sticky situation in academia; this post doc obviously thought it is entirely acceptable to place their name above yours, whereas you don't think that is fair. This is something you may need to discuss together. Depending on the situation/relationship you have with your group, sometimes authorship order is by contribution, by surname alphabetically, or by superiority.

Participants withdrawing

Quote From JGalt:
My research project is comparatively analysing the level of success of two social movements, one in the UK and one in Switzerland.

I contacted both organisations in my first year, and again in my second year, and they were both really eager to participate. I started my fieldwork by conducting the Swiss interviews via Zoom in April during lockdown. All of these participants were quick to respond and made time for me straight away. I got all the interviews finished by June.

However, I then turned my attention to my UK research by emailing the British group I’m analysing to arrange the interviews and they are no longer responding to my emails. I emailed one person back in March but haven’t received a response, and I tried a second person back in July but no response. I’ve chased them but still nothing.

Thankfully, I’d managed to arrange an interview with the founder of the organisation, who works somewhere else now. However, he didn’t show up for our scheduled call and he’s not responding to my emails now either. He sent me his consent form only two days before our interview day, so he was clearly intending on doing it.

I’ve tried telling myself this is just because people are busy/stressed due to COVID and I’ve been patient, but this has been months now and these people clearly don’t want to participate in the research anymore.

Has anyone else experienced key participants reneging/withdrawing for fieldwork? Should I ask my supervisor if I can remove the UK element and just analyse the Swiss organisation?

I was considering just finding grassroots activists for the organisation and interviewing them instead, however they won’t know any of the strategic details about running the campaign.


Do you have any other contact information like a phone number for the organisation in question? Emails can easily be ignored or misplaced, whilst phone calls give you an immediate yes/no.

It does seem odd that the founder didn't turn up (presumably without any warning or reason given). I don't know the nature of the social movement, but could there perhaps be a reason that they no longer want to participate (e.g. changing political/social situation, knowledge of your connection to the Swiss movement etc.)?