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Pjlu 4 star member
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 at 8:10pm
Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 12:14pm
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Thread: Second supervisor pressure

posted
20-Oct-17, 22:29
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 days ago
Universities have fairly strict guidelines about processes-and while the thesis tends to follow it's own organic and meandering pathway in our own lives, it is still subject to the universities guidelines and processes and timelines externally.

If your second supervisor were reading this, maybe she would be fine with giving you a day or two beyond the week to make a decision, but as ToL has pointed out, the admin time around switching universities and supervisors is going to take probably some time to process. Hence her strong encouragement to make a decision and then act.

If you need time out (or need to take much longer to make a decision) for stress related purposes, again, your supervisor's position may be that you might need to request time out by taking a short period of leave. (I'm not recommending this necessarily...just thinking about how these processes often work at the admin end of things. In my day job I work in a secondary school and we have very similar processes around managing our senior students and their assignments and examinations in their final years.)

Morally, no your supervisor can't force you to make a decision. However, with regard to managing scholarships and other matters, she would be remiss if she did not make you aware of how things might pan out if you procrastinate with this decision at this point of your PhD.

It's a really tough decision-make no mistake- and you do need to consider it carefully and are right to do so. However, I think giving you a time frame to make this decision is probably not a bad idea. If you talk to her and say you need a few days longer, I am sure she would be fine. In my opinion though, it is a decision you might need to make within a few days of her deadline. Best of luck with it.

Thread: Submit PhD Thesis without supervisor approval

posted
20-Oct-17, 21:19
edited about 1 minute later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 days ago
I also think that the regulations are that supervisors sign off on the thesis before submission.

At my university both supervisors signed off, and then I found that the Head of School (or their stand-in as No 2 sup was the head of school) also looked at it and signed off before it was accepted for examination and sent to the examiners by the research admin staff. There is a rigorous process around submitting the thesis. The faculty and supervisors want to maximise both your chances of receiving a good result and for this to reflect well on the university and on their supervisory experience.

What does your supervisor say about going over this deadline?

Often the deadline is financial-as in if you are being financed or receive some form of benefit (even if it is just access to resources, such as the library, office space and photocopier), these entitlements are subject to the deadline or extension deadline. However, it is usually still possible to submit the thesis after the deadline without academic penalty, just not to receive an extension on these entitlements or resources.

How comfortable are you with raising the issue of deadlines and submission with your supervisor and discussing your concerns?

Best wishes during this time; it's can be very challenging and frustrating I found, P

Thread: PhD interview

posted
19-Oct-17, 20:28
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 days ago
Sorry to hear about the disappointing interview Nige. I'm wondering whether your proposal needs further references to the literature of the field. For example:
@Has your proposal identified a bit of a gap in the research and provided a justification as to why this topic is worth exploring?
@Have you included references to the research out there that back your claim or proposal?
@Have you identified your major players?(The handful of experts in this area whose work has a strong influence on your field).
@Have you included information about the methodology you propose to use? (Again, not in detail but just given some indication as to the type of methods you are interested in and matched these to the type of questions you are asking).

Good luck with it all, P.

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

posted
19-Oct-17, 07:36
edited about 21 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 days ago
Hi Newlease-I just put some things together in a pm-it includes a couple of references to journal articles as well. Back to you Jamie :)

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

posted
18-Oct-17, 21:35
edited about 2 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 4 days ago
Hi Jamie, I've been reading some material on how academic examiners award PhD's, including reading a fair few guidelines for examination published by universities themselves (for examiners and for students) and a couple of things stood out to me.

The majority of the guidelines reiterated that almost all examined PhDs will receive a minor or major or R & R amendments recommendation. Very uncommon to rare to receive no amendments and equally very rare to be awarded no PhD or a lower award. So the guidelines tended to reassure candidates that receiving any of three results from minor, major or R & R, was okay and most of us would fall in these categories. And that pretty much all candidates on working through and submitting the recommended changes, would then receive their PhD almost without exception.

The second point was that a couple of universities stated that if examiners disagreed on the category, the university always went with the lower category. So if one examiner was adamant that the lower category was needed, then that is the way the university would go-no matter that other examiners believed a higher category was more accurate.

I understand why you would be anxious and worried and disappointed but I don't think your PhD is in any form of jeopardy. It is going to be a little delayed though. This is very usual from my understanding and most of us go through a version of this, so I don't think it will impact on your employment. They will also be used to this process. Best wishes though and hope there are some things you can do to help get through this next stage without too much anxiety.

Thread: Should I quit the PhD

posted
17-Oct-17, 12:34
edited about 18 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 5 days ago
Is your supervisor referring specifically to your writing in your chapter drafts? When we first start writing up our data, we can stay in the reporting mode (being descriptive of the data and the literature) rather than going that next step and critically engaging with the impact our data has on the literature and current thinking regarding the problem/issue we have chosen to research.

I think this is a fairly common problem and it might be that your supervisor is not telling you that you are 'not phd material' but instead encouraging or pushing you to engage more critically with the data and the literature in your writing up. You can do this (if this is the issue). Look at the impacts of your findings...what is this saying about the problem or issue? How does this fit in with what the literature says? Are there any implications for practice, policy, or how we view or understand X or Y? (Not sure if this helps but best of luck).

Thread: End of 2nd year progress report

posted
15-Oct-17, 20:51
edited about 25 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi Tudor,

I think Newlease36 post gives a really structure for this. At my university, annual reports/reviews are also completed via an online template that turns into a downloadable report.

I can't access these currently because I am under examination. However, headings included practical things like:

@ progress (data collected, conferences attended or poster or papers delivered; draft chapters, etc);
@ finances (what money had been used from any research funds provided);
@ milestones achieved (ethics report approval; data collection stage over; draft of thesis)
@ Problems or concerns (lack of data; interview concerns; number of participants; ethical issues if any)
@ Supervision (what meetings/communications had taken place; any concerns or changes to supervision)

Once you had completed your online reporting under the headings, you were also invited to upload a written report that you might have written. This could include the content above and additional items that you wished to mention in a summary or similar. I did try to access the specific headings (the ones above are from memory) but unfortunately I don't have access any more and any downloaded copies that I might have kept are buried in files, within files, within files on my laptop-if I did keep them that is. After the first couple of reports, I tended just to report briefly and factually using the templates, rather than writing lengthy documents.

Does your university provide any guidelines in the research or faculty information in their online resources sections?

Best of luck with it all , P.

Thread: Struck with a severe case of 'imposter syndrome'...

posted
13-Oct-17, 22:12
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi there thesislife,

I know we all get imposter syndrome at various times and I think most of us will have had the experience of extreme criticism of our work or presentation, or have been shredded at an interview panel or similar. Sometimes this is in academia, in the PhD program, through responses to articles or work, sometimes it happens at work or in job reviews or interviews. Quite often now it occurs in social media on a daily or local basis. (I deal with a lot of similar stuff occurring in secondary schools with teenagers and sometimes their parents using social media as a platform and it is a serious issue).

It is a horrible experience and depending on our circumstances at the time, can range from an upsetting experience, that we do recover from within a few days to a week or so ("with a bit of help from our friends"), to a gut wrenching experience that colours our interpretation of events for some months to follow.

My thoughts are, based on what you have written, that this experience for you was very upsetting and has now linked into any anxiety you may feeling, and the anxiety itself has now become the problem-not your PhD-which-based on my interpretation of what you have written, seems as if it is going really well.

Because your supervisor does appear so competent and experienced, it seems that you are worried about approaching them with your feelings about this (and they may not be the right person to help at the moment as while they need to be supportive, they also need to be critical in order to help you advance).

Do you have any other supportive people in your program who you can talk to? They may be a more experienced (and 'non-competitive' candidate or post doc), they may be a counsellor at the student centre, they may be a younger academic who you know through meetings and presentations who you click with? This person may help you through conversations in exploring your feelings about your academic work so they don't just build up inside you and become frightening.

I would also recommend seeing a GP (General Practitioner-local doctor) regarding your feelings of anxiety if they continue, as the GP will be able to assess whether you need some further support (for a little while at least) and/or can listen and offer an informed perspective. They will also be able to link you into any local services that might help.

Thread: Postgrad Forum Hall of Fame

posted
06-Oct-17, 08:27
edited about 8 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From Zutterfly:
Waited a while to do this, but passed my viva in June 2017 with minor corrections, and was awarded my PhD in July 2017 :)


Congratulations Dr Zutterfly! Hope you celebrated in much style! Best wishes for life post phd and viva.

Thread: Does anyone think about suicide?

posted
04-Oct-17, 21:51
edited about 5 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Arthemesus, I am sorry to read that you are feeling so low and have had such an unfortunate experience with your Phd so far. I think you have been given some excellent advice and hope that this has been helpful to you.

You mentioned that you had been referred to student counselling but that this was not helpful. I would encourage you to persevere with the counselling for more than one visit, and if you continue to find this unhelpful, return to your GP to see if they can recommend another counsellor-perhaps one outside of the university.

My thoughts are that you will need some face to face support beyond supervisors and forumites as you sort through this final year, and it sounds as if your family are far away or perhaps not helpful in this situation (even if they do love you). Counselling is something that takes a little while to work. It is a bit like taking a course of medicine-improvement can sometimes take a while. However if you do engage with it regularly, it can be very supportive and the counsellor will work with you to help you find ways forward that right now you can't access as you are distressed.

If you continue to have dark thoughts please return to the GP and be very honest about your thoughts and feelings. Kind regards P

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
04-Oct-17, 06:42
edited about 21 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 weeks ago
]

Wow, that was very quick for a part time PhD.
Congratulations on submitting.


Thank you PM133! It helped completing the PhD in the area that I work in. That can make a real difference to time lines I think. Thanks for your response, cheers P.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
03-Oct-17, 06:00
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 2 weeks ago
I have just submitted! So happy about this. My second supervisor raced through the final chapters in record time in the last couple of days once she had managed to work her way through some responsibilities and I made the corrections every time I received some feedback. Worked round the clock in the last day and evening and it has been uploaded and officially submitted.

Whew!! I will let people know of outcomes/corrections when it's marked. Most likely at least another 3 months or so before I even hear, but ah well. Best of luck to all on this thread-its a great feeling to be here at long long last. Just under 6 years to the day of starting the PhD as a part time student :) :) :).

Thread: What to do if I suspect that my supervisor falsify data?

posted
02-Oct-17, 12:25
edited about 13 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi MissUCA, can you discuss your concerns with your second supervisor or someone from your panel or advisory team? This could be an informal conversation initially, but they may be able to provide useful advice as to what you can do or what the next step would be.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
01-Oct-17, 07:38
edited about 4 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 3 weeks ago
Quote From PerceptuaLenna:
Hi everyone...newbie to this thread, here.

I've just started my 4th year (has to be my final year due to finance and the fact that I couldn't cope with a 5th!)

I have to finish some analysis (been awaiting (substantive) supervisor input for months) and then all the writing up! Had huge anxiety issues over the summer which are still continuing and I keep feeling like I'm losing time.


Hi there, sorry to read about the anxiety with the waiting for feedback and then the writing to follow. Are you able to write or do some lit review upgrades or reference checks while waiting for the feedback? This might help with some of the anxiety that arises from not working and might also help knock off some of the less interesting but important organisational tasks. You will get there though, I'm sure.

I have had a three month or so extension added to my preferred submission date due to my second supervisor who has been very busy and taken a long time to return chapters. I did follow up with emails and while I felt like I was pestering, was worried that it might slip off her agenda if I didn't follow up, especially as my final 6 months of this doctorate has been via distance due to a new job and an interstate move.

Second Supervisor now only has one chapter (my final main chapter) and the conclusion to return, and I am expecting these in the next day or so. Corrections only take an hour or so as they are very minor corrections. It has been a long exercise in patience. Hoping to post I've submitted very very soon...

Don't be too afraid of asking for a timeline from your supervisor regarding feedback. It is possible to do this and still be polite and have reasonable expectations I think. Good luck PerceptualLenna.

Thread: Newbie

posted
25-Sep-17, 22:06
edited about 25 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi Nige, when you say struggling to put together a proposal, do you have a topic in mind generally? What is your area of interest and what aspects of this area do you feel strongly about? You could spend some time in reading about this topic in order to see where there may be 'gaps' or thinly researched areas of interest that warrant further exploration. This might assist with the general topic or area. Usually on a proposal, you need to come up with between 1-3 general questions to address about your area and then the PhD becomes a process of exploring and refining these, through a proposed pattern of research or data collecting project.

EG: General topic in area of interest= How do collaborative learning teams help to inform teacher practice in the visual arts?

Specific areas to narrow down=visual arts in schools=visual arts in secondary schools=visual arts in stage 6 visual arts studies.
Groups of teachers=all teachers?....Senior school certificate teachers...
What do I mean by collaborative learning teams?----voluntary teams, school faculty teams??

How am I going to collect data? Survey, interviews, focus groups, reports?

What literature do I need to start reading around this? (Looking for key players in the area-who are they? What are they saying)?

What methodology do I think I will use-statistical data? Reports and policies? Qualitative data-interviews and observations??

Once you have some idea around these areas (note it is all still pretty sketchy and much of it is just questioning and rough ideas), you have an idea about what to read and you can begin to do some preliminary reading around the area and come up with a general proposal.

This is just one method or example. There would be many others and other ways as well. If you can, go to your nearest university library and find some literature on how to write a PhD. These books will have much material on formulating proposals that you can use to apply to different institutions. The institutions will often allocate a supervisor based on your proposal and area of interest. Good luck with it all.
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