Signup date: 18 Nov 2015 at 11:56am
Last login: 24 Aug 2020 at 11:49pm
Post count: 2100
Actually it depends - if several of you are doing research in the same area it can be really helpful - you actually want to read the papers, and have questions and issues that you genuinely want to discuss.
On the other hand, if people's topics are a bit disparate it can be a bit tiresome (especially if someone chooses a boring paper... oops)!
It's where you meet with others in your research group and from other research groups (if bigger) and discuss a paper which you've all read. The person leading will usually summarize the paper and raise some interesting discussion points to get things going.
There are other ways of doing it of course (Powerpoint presentation for example - but then it can be a bit like a lecture rather than a group where everyone contributes - not so interactive).
I've managed to come up with some (hopefully) interesting points linking the paper to the wider research etc. But advice for anyone else doing this - pick a meaty paper to lead on!
I'm leading a reading group next week and have selected a pretty boring paper (I should have spent more time choosing a more interesting one). There is no way to change the paper, but does anyone have any similar experiences/any tips to get through this?
Something a bit similar happened to me, and I'm on the 1+3 as well. When I met the 2nd supervisor (high up prof) at the start of the PhD (after doing great on my masters) I gave a TERRIBLE impression. I had no idea what they were going to want to talk about in that meeting, and gave such dumb answers - as if I had no knowledge (below undergrad level). After that I kept thinking two things 1) the 2nd supervisor must think I am extremely unintelligent and wonder how I got funding, and 2) the 1st supervisor must be embarrassed/ashamed at having recommended me.
Anyway - I ignored all my feelings of crapness. I know that despite being crap in that meeting (and a few subsequent ones to be honest - though never as bad as that first one), I am able to do a PhD, learn whatever I need/want to learn, etc. Like you, I generally need to spend a bit of time and get it down on paper, and then I have the confidence to articulate and defend my ideas. I'm now just over a year into my PhD, and things are x100 better. I've shown them more of what I'm capable of and feel more my old self. So don't be disheartened. You can do it, and you will, if you don't give up. Don't let the supervisor's attitude get you down. S/he needs to just get over it. And in the meantime, you can learn, plan, and get yourself more familiar with the method for next time you meet.
I know it feels a major knock to confidence. But if you have made it thus far, in my view it is very unlikely that you aren't going to be able to learn the method if you give yourself the time and space to do it.
Try not to let stress/anxiety control you. Write down "So what. I can do it" and focus on that (or something similar that works for you).
It seems you have several options: 1) continue as you are, 2) quit, 3) defer, 4) continue but make changes (e.g., adjust your expectations, take a break and reflect, and see if you can rekindle some passion for the research).
Maybe you could write up the pros and cons of each of these, and come to an informed, balanced decision that way? You could even say try 4 for x months, and if not do 3 or 2. That's what I'd do anyway. Hope this helps.
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