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Tudor_Queen
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 11:56am
Monday, 8 October 2018 at 9:56pm
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Thread: What is the best way you found to take notes while researching your topic?

posted
08-Oct-18, 21:58
edited about 10 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
I think it only needs to be so detailed when you actually need that info for the main part of the review - you know the studies that are really relevant to your own. The more general background ideas can have much more general notes (if any at all) - I don't take notes on everything I read. When it is more contextual and less an issue of contention / that I am specifically addressing then there is much less need for detailed notes. Taking notes to the same level on all the literature you read could certainly be inefficient. Be selective.

Best of luck with it all.

Thread: What is the best way you found to take notes while researching your topic?

posted
07-Oct-18, 16:34
edited about 49 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Whatever works for you is fine. I tend to have an excel file and give each column a heading like authors, year, sample, aims, measures, results, my notes. Then I fill it in row by row for each paper on a given topic. You can double click to expand the cell, or press wrap to minimize it - so there's no limit on how much you can write per cell. If it's a book or something I'll sometimes type up notes in a word document.

Thread: Writing a grant - how it works

posted
07-Oct-18, 12:31
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posted about 1 week ago
Thank you pm133 and Thesisfun.

So it sounds as though you identify a host university and person or team, and then you write the funding application. Much like applying for PhD funding.

Good point pm133, I should indeed check the individual websites and guidance. It just seems a bit mystical to me (a bit like how it was when I was trying to understand how applying for PhD funding worked), so I thought people on here might be able to shed some light on the process for me.

Thread: Writing a grant - how it works

posted
06-Oct-18, 10:16
edited about 19 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi postdocs

I have some questions about writing grants - more the application side of things than the actual writing. Do you need to be affiliated with a university / institution? I am just wondering how this sort of thing happens in reality. Might it be that you are working as a postdoc and at the same time putting together a fellowship application to do a postdoc at the same or another university? Do you need to have named supervisors on it etc, a bit like with a PhD application? Or can you apply for a fellowship AT a university - so you don't necessarily need to have that stuff sorted already (a bit like if you were applying for a PhD scholarship at a university with your own idea for the project but not much more than that?)

Hopefully my questions make some sort of sense.

Thanks
Tudor

Thread: Still no research question after a year

posted
30-Sep-18, 19:39
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I think I'd set a time period and then if no success go for the RA job. Cos that'd quite possibly lead to opportunities where you can develop your own interests in the area of the post, and possibly end up getting funding to pursue them!

Thread: Still no research question after a year

posted
28-Sep-18, 12:43
edited about 14 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I agree with both replies. Most students would benefit from support from more experienced supervisors in developing good research questions.

Thread: Still no research question after a year

posted
27-Sep-18, 12:31
edited about 13 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Ps. I feel your pain. I had a bunch of ideas before starting my PhD, but then went for a project someone else had thought up. It didn't work out because of problems recruiting participants from a high risk group. So I ended up having to sort of come up with questions as I went along. Not ones arising from genuine interest so much as, crap, this is the data I do have, what can I do with it? It wasn't fun. That's why I feel quite strongly about having a clear gap you're addressing - one that came to your mind and one that you're interested in. Then your questions will come out of it. Rather than poring through the literature hoping that questions will emerge. Does that make sense?

Thread: Still no research question after a year

posted
27-Sep-18, 12:28
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi Nordsee

Sorry to hear you're in a bit of a tough time. It sounds like a bit of a rut to me. You're probably stressing yourself so much that it's affecting your ability to identify a research question.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but have you identified GAPS in the research? Your questions can address these.

Your supervisors might be able to help more. Don't they have any suggestions for questions? It's not unacceptable to ask for direct help if you're struggling. Lots of people do PhDs that are addressing questions that have already been raised by others - and then they refine them somewhat - you know, when you apply for an existing project that aims to address a certain gap / question.

You can't write a thesis unless you have something you're addressing. So it would seem that if you can't come up with a question of interest soon then you should cut your losses with this PhD. I reckon that's what I'd do. That is after maybe setting a short period of time to identify a gap, make questions, and make a clear plan of research. Maybe a month. Otherwise, you're missing out on life and things probably aren't going to get better. You don't have much to lose since you are self funding. You might decide to come back later and do a PhD - already having a gap and/or vague questions in mind before embarking on it. You might even apply for an existing project with funding. Or you might think it isn't for you after all. There's so many possibilities.

That's my take on it anyway.

Tudor

Thread: How to talk to your supervisor about depression

posted
26-Sep-18, 20:46
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Quote From melodie:
I'm sorry to hear your struggling with your anxiety at the moment, and I think it is very sensible for you to be considering the most beneficial way of moving forward. I think honesty is indeed best, as the effort of covering up your anxiety may leave you even more anxious, and make you feel like it is something that needs to be hidden when you should never feel ashamed of having an illness, like any other illness. Of course there are levels of honesty, so it's not to say you have to divulge all the details, and you can still keep it in formal work language if you want to lower the feelings of baring you soul.

Obviously it's true that not all supervisors are understanding, but there should be university support services in place so that if you ever do face unfair treatment you can seek support or even have such behaviour challenged. Of course its easier to say any of this than do it, and I actually quit my first PhD in the first few weeks as I was deep into mental health struggles and just not ready. However I started another a year later and have always been honest about my mental health issues, and though it's not always easy I think a PhD is still perfectly possible with mental health problems, and in fact sadly quite a large % of PhDs suffer from them!


Totally agree with this. Sounds like good advice.

Thread: How to talk to your supervisor about depression

posted
26-Sep-18, 11:22
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posted about 3 weeks ago
I just want to say as well - there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to do a PhD if you have the ability,. you want to do one, and you have the proper support. From what you've said, it sounds like a bit of time out would be helpful now so that you can take a break and have a clearer perspective. You might not feel that deferring for a year is necessary after all once you've taken a breather and had a chance to get a good strategy and support plan in place. Or you might think yeh, this isn't what I want right now. Either way - a break would be useful so that you know that your decisions are balanced and not just made while under the pressure you're feeling now.

All the best :)

Thread: How to talk to your supervisor about depression

posted
26-Sep-18, 11:15
edited about 3 minutes later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
There is no way of telling how your supervisor will react unless you have a good idea of their character. A friend of mine was upfront about her mental health issues at the start of her PhD, and it did enable her to more easily get a break (sick leave actually) when she needed one on the grounds of mental health. However, her supervisors have not been at all empathetic and she feels that it has been more stigmatized at uni (old fashioned system, less regulation) as compared to her previous experiences in work. That said, she needed to be open with them.

I think that given the way you are feeling already it is worth mentioning it and gauging things. You don't need to share more than you feel comfortable sharing. You are at such an early stage that really there are lots of options open to you (although it doesn't always feel that way when you are receiving funding and can feel somewhat at the mercy of others). For example, if your supervisor reacted badly then that might be a good indication that they are not the right supervisor for you - and maybe you could try get someone else on board as an additional supervisor. Your supervisor and their attitude/support is going to be incredibly important to your success over the next 3 years, and so finding out where you stand with them / what kind of reaction they are going to have asap will be helpful, as then you can consider alternatives like the one suggested.

I think from what you've said that you definitely want to have some strategy in place - and your supervisor ideally should be on board with it. Do you have an advisor? The fact of the matter is - whatever the reaction of your supervisor, you will be able to apply for mitigating circumstances etc if needed later if you've been upfront. But their attitude will most likely have an impact on how you feel and on your work throughout the PhD.

I hope this helps a little.

Thread: Should I quit my masters degree?

posted
24-Sep-18, 17:09
edited about 19 seconds later
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posted about 3 weeks ago
It's just one of those things, horrible as it is to you given your record and the circumstances. But don't cut your nose off and all that. Just see it through but know for yourself that you could have got a distinction (if you end up not being awarded one). I think that a Masters is better than no Masters, whatever the grade. And a grade shouldn't stop you progressing. You can explain why it wasn't a distinction if the role you are applying for requires a distinction. Hope you see it through.

Thread: UK or Austria for PhD

posted
23-Sep-18, 14:23
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Usually you get 4 years. If you honestly don't mind which country and it is all based on a job in the same country afterwards (not sure I understand the logic) then why not have a search for the kinds of jobs you'll be applying for post PhD and see which country has the most or best quality sounding jobs. The outlook may have changed somewhat in 3 years but it should give an indication.

Personally, I wouldn't be set on staying in the same place post PhD. I mean on what basis? You might decide you dislike the place you did the PhD , or decide you want a change. Either way, you'd just look for jobs elsewhere. Doing a PhD in x vs x location (of the two you've mentioned) isn't going to close doors.

Another thing you could do is maintain your link with the uni you don't choose. You could ask them to be a supervisor and do a study visit there for instance. Best of both worlds and never too early to start collaborations.

Thread: Feeling incompetent to analyze qualitative data

posted
19-Sep-18, 16:37
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posted about 1 month ago
Haven't used qual as part of my PhD but when I used it in my masters programme I just tried and had a break and returned and tried again and things just started to fall into place. I think they call it being an "iterative" process? Just get into the data and it will start to make sense. Quants is different of course - much more clearly defined - so if you're used to doing stats then you have to just accept that qual is a different approach and will feel like the unknown at the start. I know it sounds silly but try to enjoy it rather than feeling anxious about it. Oh, and try different books and websites describing the method you're using - once you find the one that clicks it'll help. Good luck!

Thread: PhD application waiting time

posted
19-Sep-18, 16:32
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posted about 1 month ago
I agree. Just be patient. It's good that you're applying for multiple projects. All the best.
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