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Tudor_Queen
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 11:56am
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 at 12:40pm
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Thread: Should I quit the PhD

posted
17-Oct-17, 12:48
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 17 hours ago
I know someone whose supervisors have said similar to them. In fact, at the end of each year, they have told her she should quit. She has persevered (she is amazing and is of PhD material - her tenacity demonstrates it) and has been really forthright with them - like, OK, thank you for the feedback, so please could you tell me what it is I need to be getting better at and give me advice about how to go about it. With her, it has mostly been the need to develop her writing skills. As far as I know it has been working - although it hasn't been easy.

Have a look at this:
It is one of the best articles I have ever read on doing a PhD, and is clearly written by someone with experience. Your supervisors may be being honest with you - that at this time they don't think you are up to scratch - and they may think letting you go is easier than continuing to invest. But if you want to continue and are able to (with their help) identify the areas for improvement and ways to get there, then according to this article, if you have the basic core attributes, you have the potential to complete your PhD.
I hope this is a tiny bit helpful. Let us know what you decide to do. I think it is really important that you ask your supervisors to explain, point by point, EXACTLY what is needed to improve your work. Good luck.

Thread: End of 2nd year progress report

posted
17-Oct-17, 10:43
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posted about 19 hours ago
Thank you both! I have been referring to your responses in this thread as much as to my University's online guidance! Basically, we had an online form to fill in, but also had to produce a 6-page report outlining the project and progress to date. This is really helpful - thanks for the tangible examples. My report is nearly finished now.

Thread: Requested change in supervision - a bit scared...

posted
14-Oct-17, 10:12
edited about 7 seconds later
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posted about 3 days ago
Urgh, sounds familiar in the controlling aspect - bet you can't wait to be finished and free! Anyway - sounds like you have a plan in place and are focused. All the best with it!

Thread: End of 2nd year progress report

posted
14-Oct-17, 09:44
edited about 12 seconds later
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posted about 3 days ago
This might be a big ask, but is anyone willing to share their end of second year progress report? I am so confused about what this should/could look like and would just find it helpful to see one.

Cheers
Tudor

Thread: PhD interview

posted
13-Oct-17, 18:09
edited about 12 seconds later
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posted about 4 days ago
No problem. Yes - I have friends who lecture part time. Think it is a rarity though - TA work (teaching on seminars/tutorials) is more common.

Thread: PhD interview

posted
12-Oct-17, 23:12
edited about 4 minutes later
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posted about 5 days ago
Congrats! Know your own proposal inside out. Questions... why you want to do a PhD, what skills you think you need to have to do a PhD, what will be the impact (e.g., change in practice, development of theory etc - as relevant) and output (e.g., publications, dissemination to x, y or z) of your PhD...

I am struggling to remember what else they asked me! Specifically, in your case, I think they might be keen to ascertain whether you will be able to successfully get back into academic work (since your Masters was in 1994) and how clued up you are about how things are now in your field compared to then. Something I would want to ask you about if I were on the panel is why now? What is driving your desire to return to Higher Education now and do a PhD? This is potentially a very good question as it could give you the opportunity to really convey your passion and interest in the topic.

Re your questions to them. What do you want to know? About the support/resources available? Will you be funded to attend relevant conferences (it would be a plus if you could name one or two that are relevant in your chosen field)? Are there departmental seminars where you will have the opportunity to hear about related research and present your own?

Just treat it like a job interview.

Thread: Partner in prison: what to tell academic colleagues and friends?

posted
12-Oct-17, 23:05
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posted about 5 days ago
My experience differs from Eska's in that some of my colleagues over the years have been (and still are) genuine friends. If you have one or two who are genuine friends and you feel you can really trust them, then you should be able to tell them if you want to talk about it. After all, that is what friends are for. But there is a difference between "friends" in a collegial way (e.g., meet for coffee, have lunch now and then, chat in the kitchen) and genuine friends... if they were genuine friends I guess you wouldn't have any doubts about telling them and knowing that it would go no further. If you fear gossip then best to keep quiet and talk to real friends outside of uni.

Thread: Partner in prison: what to tell academic colleagues and friends?

posted
12-Oct-17, 16:24
edited about 9 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
Hi GM

Sorry to hear about this. If you aren't comfortable telling them then don't tell them; it is entirely your business and not theirs. You could come up with some excuses if directly asked about things like plans for Christmas; or you could just say some of your plans and omit the fact that your partner is in prison.

You could share it confidentially with your supervisor if you want to explain that an external situation has affected your work. Or you could just say that (an external situation/a family issue) without going into detail about what it actually is.

Tudor

Thread: I don't know which city i should move to?

posted
12-Oct-17, 13:08
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posted about 5 days ago
Liverpool!

Why:
- you already know you love it
- you already know the ropes, have library access etc
- relatively affordable
- you don't have to go in that much so it isn't a problem that it is a slightly longer journey (you can also work on the train)
- Manchester is the rainiest city in the UK (but would be my second choice in your situation)
- Leeds is quite a distance from Liverpool
- you really sound like you want to move to Liverpool

Teaching is probably the most common job for a PhD student within the university. There are also admin, cleaning, and catering roles to name a few. There should be an online jobs page or database.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Thread: Balancing Teaching with Research

posted
12-Oct-17, 13:00
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 5 days ago
Are you 5 hours all on the same day? Exhausting but easier that way in my experience!

Thread: Balancing Teaching with Research

posted
12-Oct-17, 12:59
edited about 39 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
For tutorials/seminars I spent an hour preparing for each one (i.e., reading around the background of the topics and activities covered on the worksheet). I could have done with spending a lot longer, but I was receiving no pay for preparation, only for the face-to-face teaching.

Sometimes queries arose that I could not answer - then we would have a discussion and see if we could come up with the "answer", or I either would direct the student/s to the lecturer on the course with their query or find it out later myself and email the group.

My tutorial sheets also had no "solutions", which I hated, as I was never sure if my model "solution" was in line with what the lecturer had in mind (which could have implications for revision and exam results). I asked for solutions toward the end, as I was just getting really stressed wondering if we were all on the same page. The lecturer did this, no problem, and it relieved a lot of anxiety on my part (although I felt a bit embarrassed asking).

Good luck!

Thread: Requested change in supervision - a bit scared...

posted
12-Oct-17, 12:46
edited about 9 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
Quote From newlease36:

It's got to point the point where unless I chase him I don't get meetings and even then he stands me up, more often tthan not. He gives vague unhelpful feedback on my drafts...like 'your just bad at writing' or 'your just bad in ways that can't be thought'.

anyway I could on..I won't.

But I wish I had done what your doing. Trust me in final year you will want some support. My supervisor won't even confirm if he thinks I have enough data. I'm left in position where I just have to get on with on it and do it myself. I know it's supposed to be independent work...I'm fine with that. I designed most of the programme if research myself.

But prior to submitting it would be nice to have an expert opinoon on the quality....I'm left in the position that I may fail because I have zero guidance.


Thanks again Newlease. This sounds hideous. Is there someone else you can find to give you an expert opinion on your draft thesis? A mentor in the department? Your advisor or another supervisor?

Thread: Requested change in supervision - a bit scared...

posted
12-Oct-17, 10:59
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 5 days ago
Ps. Newlease - you weren't repetitive at all - thank you for taking the time to write... when I was feeling sooo bad about it, I kept checking this forum to see if anyone had written anything encouraging yet! Thank you : )

Thread: Requested change in supervision - a bit scared...

posted
12-Oct-17, 10:58
edited about 2 minutes later
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posted about 5 days ago
Hi Newlease!

Thanks for the ENCOURAGEMENT! I really needed it. I am going to write an update post on here as soon as I can (or start a new thread even as I think it is important to share so that others can be empowered). Basically, since making the decision to switch supervisors and making the request, I went through a horrible few days of doubt, regret, and fear... but I looked back on my reflections over the months and years and reminded myself of what was going on in the previous situation. After about 3 days I was at the place again where I knew I had done the right thing, WHATEVER the outcome.

I really hope that other people will change their supervisor if they are being treated badly (or whatever the reason - if it is impacting negatively on you as a person or on your research - even if it is hard to pin point what it is... the role of the supervisor is to supervise and nurture/teach - not to put their own insecurities on you). Don't be frightened to leave the comfort zone (which, admit it, probably isn't very comfortable anyway) and rock the boat. As long as it is all done professionally (do not criticize - say as little as possible) and you can demonstrate that you are going to complete your PhD, it should work out. And if not - start again elsewhere. Don't compromise on yourself or on your values (unless you've really weighed it up and are willing to do it as there is only a short time left for example).

And yes Newlease, I have done exactly that: I have a set response for if anyone asks why that person is not my supervisor anymore - and it doesn't implicate anything at all. Very wise advice - thank you!

My only regret is that I didn't do this in my first year.

Tudor

Thread: Requested change in supervision - a bit scared...

posted
04-Oct-17, 19:33
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 week ago
For others reading this post who might have switched supervisors by request and be feeling a bit worried...

This article suggests that it is only if you keep on needing to switch that you would be viewed as the problem.
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