Overview of Tudor_Queen

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Tudor_Queen
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 11:56am
Friday, 22 November 2019 at 9:24am
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Thread: Am I failing?

posted
10-Nov-19, 12:35
edited about 24 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
It is really tough. It sounds like you are aware of all the risks though and so can handle it somehow. I guess just tentatively trying different things to see what might help the situation? If you could find someone to talk to who you can trust, even if you aren't asking them to become involved in anyway, could help immensely. My stats supervisor was this person in my case. He was totally different to the other 2 and very approachable. I remember at one point him telling me that a lot of people in academia are (some expletive I can't recall) and that you just have to recognize who is decent and who isn't and try and work with those you regard as decent! If you're already trapped in something then somehow you just have to get through it. I'm not sure if any of this helps but I do hope you can come up with a plan of some things to try.

Re sidelining the other sup. Be careful as I tried to do something similar where I thought I'd approach the other supervisor and get input from them, and basically it made things worse as it seemed like I was well, sidelining one of them. As like you say, they tend to stick together being that they are supervisors and we are the "them" or "other", having less power and status in this situation.

I'm sure you'll navigate it somehow if you can try out different things to see what might work. Is there anything that could excite them / get them back on board? Or could a pragmatic and distant approach work where you just have a set of deadlines and dates to meet them and get feedback via your drafts? Could an open conversation about this work - where you say how determined you are to finish this and want to set dates and deadlines for x, y, and z with their input?

I'm just trying to stimulate ideas. You know the situation best of course!

Thread: Concerned about Thesis (Submitted)

posted
09-Nov-19, 10:11
edited about 8 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Congratulations Dr. Kahn!

Thread: Am I failing?

posted
09-Nov-19, 09:30
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 1 week ago
Yeh it sounds awful. There needs to be more transparency in academia so these things can't happen so easily.

Having read all you've said I do think there is a chance they are conspiring to make you want to just quit. It sounds as though they are capable of anything. What are your options? Do you think you can successfully make it through without much / any support from them?

My relationship with my supervisors pretty much ended at the end of year 2, and I did the final 1.75 years by myself more or less. I was given a new supervisor who basically was the person I corresponded with about any general issues such as needing to change deadlines, agreeing on viva examiners etc (she wasn't involved in / didn't know my work). For this to happen, I approached this person (she was the head of the department) and told her that I could no longer work with one of my supervisors. I didn't tell her why, as I had already learnt that being honest/open about things doesn't get you very far when it comes to raising issues about supervision. Anyway, in this meeting I was grilled for about 2 hours while she tried to get more info from me, but I refused to say anything about it except that it just wasn't working. I had hoped that I could continue working with the secondary supervisor - with whom there wasn't any issue. But what happened is that the secondary "refused" to work directly with me unless the primary one stayed on board. So both stayed on board (i.e. reading and commenting on drafts) but I didn't meet with them anymore. And this third person (the one I had gone to see) became my official main supervisor "on paper". It was not at all ideal but it just goes to show that you can complete in circumstances far less than ideal.

Thread: Am I failing?

posted
08-Nov-19, 16:58
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Sorry to hear about the lack of support / vile response :/

Re your real concern - have you tried meeting with them to talk concretely about the specific issues / how to improve aspects of your work? If you act motivated (even if you don't feel it) and make them see that you are in for the long haul, and even if they want you to leave you aren't going to, they might be more responsive?

Blog: Are PhDs meant to be this stressful?

posted
08-Nov-19, 12:26
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 1 week ago
Quote From shortfatchemist:
Sorry if you think that this is going to be unsympathetic but I have done this twice so far!

If you think that this point in your life is stressful, you have no hope. If you are in your second year then next year you are going to hit the “thesis blues”. This is where you suddenly realise you absolutely hate the F*ck out of your subject and even having to have to write the damn thing is vile.

So grow some balls, push through it and get the job done. Once you finish that thesis your life begins!


Are you a prophet? It's not the same for everyone. One person might have peaks where another has troughs. As for growing balls, since when does someone not have courage just because they open up about how crap they are currently finding things?

Thread: Distance learning phD???

posted
08-Nov-19, 10:25
edited about 51 seconds later
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posted about 1 week ago
Yeh, it's perfectly feasible and people do things like this. Some unis might have better facilities to facilitate it , for example video conferencing so that you could also attend seminars and lab group meetings for example and not have to either travel in or miss out. Fortnightly meetings is also totally feasible. I think it's just about finding some opportunities that you think would suit you and making your pitch / proposal.

Thread: Am I failing?

posted
08-Nov-19, 10:21
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi Chochka, sorry to hear that you are struggling at this time. And that you aren't finding your supervisors terribly supportive.

The thing with motivation is that you need to find ways to motivate yourself. Some people/supervisors are probably great at helping to motivate others, but you can't count on that. You have to find what can motivate you and get you out of this slump.

Re supervisors giving up. No, I don't think they're obliged. But rather than secretly wanting to make you quit (which could well be true), they may just thinking, hmm, it looks like he / she isn't going to finish / isn't motivated enough to finish. And so they may just be watching and waiting / leaving you to it. It is your PhD is the bottom line, even though you may have been let down on the support side.

What is it that could motivate you at this stage? Could it help to be able to actually see the end point in sight? With the changes that you are having to make, is it conceivable that you will indeed have a thesis to submit after x months?

Thread: Is it possible to 'move up'?

posted
07-Nov-19, 12:14
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi Koopa_Beach, in my field if you get a strong publication or so this will enable you to move where you want, as it demonstrates that you are capable of producing high quality research that has gone through the peer review and adds to the field. So I think that wherever you are, it is about finding ways to build up your profile so that your CV is strong when you start applying for jobs. I agree with Rewt too on all those suggestions about conferences etc.

Thread: Thesis as collection of articles

posted
07-Nov-19, 11:52
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi Rewt, I hope you get to do it in the way that best suits your work. At the start of my final year, I decided I wanted to do the traditional format after all. But my supervisor strongly suggested that I stick to the paper format. I remember that she emailed me with a list of reasons why she thought I should. Maybe you could think about why you want to do the paper format and then explain the reasons to your supervisor to see if he/she agrees / can see the benefit?

Thread: Viva with no journal Publications

posted
05-Nov-19, 17:00
edited about 20 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I wouldn't worry about this. And I definitely wouldn't worry about trying to prepare papers in advance of the viva - that would possibly be stressful and time consuming. I would just say what you have in mind for papers to come out of it - that should be sufficient! And if they are saying you should have submitted / published papers then they are by default saying that your work is novel enough! If they ask why you haven't, tell them you are planning to / in the process of it (one or two target journal names should be enough to satisfy them that you have thought about it). It sounds like yours has been a long slog... not long now! All the best for the viva!

Thread: Should I switch advisors and how to do it?

posted
05-Nov-19, 10:31
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From Smerkly:


Unfortunately, it is. I still haven't told the other professor that I wanted to join his lab and I am really afraid that this might hamper my work and research. My advisor is very influential as I said and a lot of the faculty including the other professor are part of his initiatives so I believe that if I "dump" him and then just send an e-mail, I might be ending my career in academia.


I think it's all about how you handle it. Can you / have you tried establishing some sort of working relationship with the other professor, so that they know you are interested in their work and would want to take you on? If you have a relationship then the answer is likely going to be yes. And once it is all established with the otehr professor you will have security - even though you'll be cutting ties with the other professor, you've already got a new home to go to, so as to speak. The other professor won't be able to harm you. And if he has issues about being dumped via email then he should make himself more available to meet in person.

If you haven't made links with the other professor yet then maybe you could think of some ways to get involved in the work in their lab. Contribute on some projects. And then be like, oh my goodness... this is what I love (assuming you do like it there!)... I really would like to switch my PhD. Is there anyway on earth that we could do this? No mention of what is going on in the other lab / with the other professor. Totally about you realising you want to work on different projects. I think it has to be something like this for it to work.

Thread: Thesis as collection of articles

posted
05-Nov-19, 10:23
edited about 9 minutes later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi Rewt, I made my Discussion chapter short and sweet. It was a summary of the studies and what they found (couple of pages), followed by a summary of the limitations, a summary of the implications, and a summary of directions for future work. Each of these sections of my discussion largely regurgitated what what was in the discussion sections of the papers, but in more of a synthesised way - that is, linking things across the papers and with some additional novel and overarching thoughts that sort of helped wrap it together and make it a cohesive whole. So in a nutshell, my discussion did add something new - in terms of bringing everything together - the sum being more than the individual parts kind of thing. It was only 14 pages long (Times font size 12 and with double spacing!) and was my fave part of the thesis!

Thread: Should I switch advisors and how to do it?

posted
04-Nov-19, 21:20
edited about 14 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
It sounds like a really tricky situation you are in. Is there any way you can confirm 100% your move to the other lab/other supervisor? Then it would be just a matter of telling him, not asking him. And this could be done by email if you had tried several times to meet without success. Please keep us posted.

Thread: Thesis as collection of articles

posted
04-Nov-19, 19:48
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
That's right! You're not expected to have novel papers and novel thesis - the novel papers make the novel thesis! If this helps, my thesis was like this:

Introduction chapter
Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3
Paper 4
Discussion chapter

All my papers weren't published (just in case anyone thinks I'm bragging, ha) - I just stuck with the paper format once I'd decided on it even though it became apparent that I would probably only submit one of the papers.

Good luck!!

Thread: Should I switch advisors and how to do it?

posted
04-Nov-19, 19:46
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posted about 2 weeks ago
I totally agree with tru. Don't talk to anyone else about it in the lab. I don't think senior lab member will talk to supervisor about it. I could be wrong, but I imagine that these things aren't openly spoken about - just done. If I were you I wouldn't tell any new potential supervisor why you want to switch to them. Find another reason about why you like their research for example and so want to switch to their lab. Hopefully you'll have better luck in the next lab. Also, I think you're doing the right thing to get away now as soon as possible. You wouldn't want your thesis and papers to be full of fudged stuff.

Good luck!
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