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Is making corrections on thesis OK after examiners approved but before submission?

Every thesis, due to the length, has at least one typographical error.

The majority of people simply don't notice it, until they dust it off 5 years later to show a student :)

At most places, even when a thesis is passed without correction, there's an opportunity for a final proof. I would think the 'spirit' of the University regulation is that you don't, say, completely change the conclusion or the scientific claims after examination. It won't be there to stop you correcting an obvious typo. There's not a panel of academics in the world would suddenly throw out your thesis for fixing a typo.

Thus, I'd think you're incredibly safe correcting anything that's a typo, prior to final publication. I include adding quotes to that - modern academia fixates too much on copy-pasting, and often ignores what plagiarism is (theft of thoughts and ideas) in favour of lazy Turnitin measures. Not to say copy-pasting without quotes isn't wrong, but it my view one set of forgotten quotes in 500 pages of original thought is far less severe than 500 pages of stolen thought with original text. If correcting the concentration of the chemical changes the actual findings, then that's a much harder (and ethical) question; but I'd suspect it's basically replication of a textbook or the type of decimal-point-in-wrong-place kind of error that's obvious and doesn't carry through to the results.

It will not really matter. The average thesis is read cover-to-cover by 5 people including the author, supervisor, and examiners (I've always assumed the 5th is a proud parent). Many would drop it and be done with it, and not worry about it at this stage, it's to your credit you've done yet another fine proof - but you do also need to accept, no matter how many times you proof it, there will be the odd mistake. The aim in a PhD is flawlessness, the reality is never that.

Struggling to find a PhD Scholarship in the realm of International Entrepreneurship

Quote From Sabby777:
Wow, your response sounds like 'gold' to me. I have tried applying for consultancy jobs in the past but will try again. Thank you for such a profound response! All my previous attempts resulted in utter failures. I did not receive a single positive response for any of the management consultancy positions I had applied for. Is it feasible for a 40 year old to apply for an internship?

NB - if you're failing to get callbacks, it's likely the soft skills, not the qualification/intellect that's the issue. Bear in mind consultancy is basically hard sell - you're charging a client over the cost to deliver something that they don't realise is trivial, but is. Commonly the failure of academics at consultancy interview is they don't realise they're being evaluated on the basis of 'can you sell'. If you can make that click for you and hard sell the CV and interview, you'll likely see more interest.

Struggling to find a PhD Scholarship in the realm of International Entrepreneurship

I think there's a latent point here in that, if your goal is to leverage your intellect to make money, a PhD is not the way to go. This does not mean consulting will be easy; it relies on a lot of soft skills that often tend to come less naturally to highly numerate/logical people. It will often be the soft skills and friend-of-a-friend networking that land the lucrative consultancy role.

It's worth an internship if you have these soft skills or are willing to develop them. If 'the boss' sees you quickly as an asset *worth* $xk/year, you'll get hired.

In an ideal world, you shouldn't base the PhD vs Industry debate on the 'I can't get a job in industry, so I'll do a PhD' basis. The reason to do a PhD should never be to make money - because you won't, if you compare it to the benefits of 3 years of industry work, promotion, and networking. The reason to do a PhD should be an aware self-sacrifice of money vs doing research/spending time doing something you're interested in.

I need advice about my thesis revisions

It's sadly both somewhat normal, and a serious issue.

I feel your supervisor has let you down here selecting him as an external. Some academics are extremely insecure and tend to manifest this by harshly judging anything they assess.

However, there's little point dwelling on this. What I'd probably recommend you do is;

- Flag this before re-submission as a concern you have with your supervisor and at least one other person with authority at the university. I wouldn't dig heels in and refuse to submit unless there's a change in examiners; and I'd describe it as a 'potential' concern, but if you do get a negative outcome, it will help any case (legal or otherwise), if you've got it in writing you were concerned about this before hand. Unfortunately an appeal after-the-fact tends to carry less weight as it's seen as a student disappointed with a fair result and wanting to change the outcome.

- I'd continue to address the corrections and resubmit. Include a supplementary document explaining how you have addressed them. The goal here is to demonstrate, to any rational observer, that you did indeed address them.

- Do check your own bias in the process. It's easy and natural to think an examiner criticising something you've put your heart and soul into is being unreasonable or unfair. Sometimes they are. But they will have some valid points.

I'd think he will ultimately accept the corrections, because it's an incredibly difficult call for 99% of examiners to fail a PhD unless it's objectively flawed. If you are so unfortunate he's in that 1%, the goal should be to collate objective evidence; that you flagged it, that you addressed the corrections, such that you can justify a re-examination.

I can publish! Is it possible to find a remote job?

Quite a few of the answers are based on you not staying in academia - and are true.

If you want to stay in academia, I'd also say it's hard but not impossible, but leaning in bit towards harder, because;

1) Universities are keen to get back on site, because on-site = students paying for accommodation, preventing them going bankrupt. If there's teaching workload attached to the post, this may well be a consideration. It's unlikely if there's a teaching workload they'd let you stay remote.

2) If it's research-only, groups in major cities (esp. London) are often a lot more forgiving because the cost/hassle of the commute is someone everyone in the group faces and something that makes everyone far more amenable to working online.

3) If it's a small, niche, group, it may be particularly problematic; not necessarily insofar as getting the offer, but if you're introduced as the new colleague that, unlike everyone else, will work from home 24/7, that may not help you network and could even build resentment.

4) If it's international it's particularly problematic because of tax reasons. It's a general rule at a lot of universities that staff may not work overseas, not because of the work monitoring aspect, but because unless it's carefully managed it's actually illegal. It's probably worth researching how tax applies in your specific case before you interview for such a role so you can explain it to the (likely far more naieve) HR person. Otherwise you risk being swept away by the blanket rule at many institutions.

Authorship of post-doc paper and post-doc experience

I would, honestly, just let it go.

It sounds like you're happy (and likely better paid) in an industry role now, where the order of authorship on a paper isn't going to have any meaningful impact on your career trajectory. Probably all you'd achieve by complaining is burning bridges, and whilst you may not care about setting them alight, I'm not sure what you'd gain.

It may be frustrating to not be lead author on something you worked hard on; there are different perspectives on this, though. Presumably the PostDoc PI, regardless how slippery a character they were, obtained the funding that was used to appoint you in the first place, without which the paper would not have happened. If the supervisor, and the new student, intend to stay in academia, that lead authorship is likely much more valuable to them than to you. There's also the matter that, depending on the field, authorship order may not matter much - but it sounds like this isn't the case.

If you absolutely must insist changing the order of authorship, you're a bit late, and yes, journal editors will roll their eyes a bit at some internal politics spilling into their editing process. Probably the route to go would be to pull at whatever the weakest aspect of the paper is and insist on re-writing it, and in the process of doing to adjust the authorship, meaning it's the supervisor/student who then have to complain rather than you.

Should I quit PhD and start full time job with just over 6 months left!?!?!?

I think one of the main questions to ask yourself is whether the lack of a PhD will hold you back in the future.

If you intend to ever return to academia, it will.

If you don't ever intend to return, it can depend on the sector, but it may well not.

However, given you're so close to completion, it seems a potential waste of an opportunity. The other professionals advising you are entirely correct that job opportunities tend to be more frequent than opportunities to complete a funded PhD that's already 2/3rds of the way there.

I think probably key to resolving this on your own side is reflecting on what you want to do, not just for the next 2-5 years, but for the rest of your career. If a PhD would hold value for that, then it would suggest you should strongly lean towards completion. If it would not, then make sure you reflect not just in terms of the role the company are offering you, but in applications to future companies, internal progression, or other more senior vacancies, and how you expect to progress your career.

It does sound like there are still issues with the PhD, that will require significant work. Do be mindful of the fact that, if you agree to work 3 days a week, it's almost inevitable that the company's immediate deadlines and tasks will take priority, and that 3 days a week will become an effective 5. You will need a lot of negotiating skills and firmness to prevent that being the case, and that will certainly be difficult if it's your first paid role in industry. If you do want to complete the PhD, I'd certainly lean more towards a delayed recruitment that will give you the time to first focus the PhD, then the job, rather than attempting both at once.

PhD Supervisor Problems with 2 months to go

From experience;

- Micromanagement is the last resort of the failing academic. A successful academic does not have time to micromanage a PhD student. What you're likely experiencing is her passing on her own stress over lack of publications/funding on to you (further evidenced by a likely desire for you to produce that paper with her named as co-author).

- Whenever someone 'threatens' meeting with the higher-ups, call their bluff and immediately and enthusiastically encourage the meeting. You will likely see a swift back-down or that the meeting never gets scheduled. Because if it happens, it's a) going to inevitably demonstrate the supervisor cannot manage you; and b) give you a chance to air all your legitimate grievances.

- A supervisor can't prevent you completing a PhD under the vast majority of systems. But they do have the power to a) select your examiner; and b) refuse to sign the submission forms. b) does not - under most systems - mean you can't submit, but it means they go on the record as not thinking it was appropriate that you submit. Usually this should trigger a review of the situation, which is in your benefit. Very, very few academics would actively seek to undermine a student by picking an examiner they know is likely to fail them, as they gain nothing from doing so, but if you suspect this might be one of those rare cases, it makes a lot of sense to formally request a change in supervision before proceeding to submit. The problem if you proceed and then fail as a result of a biased review or an inappropriate examiner is it's unfortunately a lot harder to then make a case that's not seen as a spurious attempt to change a fail to a pass by complaint.

Is it usual to for viva corrections to set out a completely different set of research questions ?

The general advice when faced with corrections, is complete them as advised and move on with your career.

This might mean adjusting the PhD in a way you're not 100% comfortable with; if this is really jarring for you, you could attempt to rebutt any corrections in an attached document, but you should be aware this will be viewed cynically (that you don't want to do the work), and you'll need to provide a robust argument on each point. Given the viva outcome, make sure if you make this argument, it's in the 'language' of the examiner - i.e. easily related to their background.

I'd agree with you 100% that interdisciplinary PhD are messier, and harder. Often what a PhD examiner is looking for is that the basics of their field are fulfilled - valid RQ, appropriate methodology, appropriately-analysed conclusions. Examiners don't set out to fail PhDs, but as soon as one of these aspects gets muddied, the worry of an examiner is that the student is trying to get a confused mess past the viva - even though it may, in reality, be a very carefully considered PhD, but using an epistemological/methodological approach they're unfamiliar with. Unfortunately some students attempt to hide behind interdiscipliniarity (think that's a word!), arguing whatever the criticism is, it's irrelevant because it's not in that field, which breeds a certain cynicism in examiners when faced with an interdisciplinary PhD.

This is partly why I'd encourage a candidate to engage with their supervisors and suggest potential examiners. In most systems it's down to the supervisory team to make the ultimate decision, but too often students assume they have zero input so don't even try to engage with it.

I think you're right this will be a lot of work to address supposedly minor corrections. I would further go back to the point that your examiners won't *want* to fail you (paperwork is horrendous), but typically the best approach is to amend, and submit a supporting document explaining how you addressed each point raised. It's unfortunately a bit late to have a deep argument about why, epistemologically (or similar), they're wrong, but once you complete the PhD, you'll hopefully have a long career in which to make that point.

Feedback from mature student who dropped out of phd

I think this *is* good advice.

I also think a lot of the problems stem from the fact that traditionally, a PhD was basically expected to function as an assistant to the supervisor. I.e. helping them with whatever task they needed help with. This is still somewhat the case at the top-end of the academic spectrum, where someone with minimal competence can do a PhD-by-numbers and be pushed through whenever the supervisor feels they can afford to lose an assistant as they're well-networked enough to guarantee a successful viva.

This contrasts harshly with much of the rest of the sector, where the PhD is an income source paid by the student (or a grant, to which the student is appointed); and the student, as a paying customer, expects to receive, rather than provide, a service.

The problem then is, the academic, particularly if they're of this older school, will be expecting the student to help them (they certainly don't get the fees themselves as a bonus!); whilst the student, paying fees, will expect the supervisor to help them.

In many cases, a functioning middle-ground is found, but this is not guaranteed, as seems the case with the OP. I say the OP is good advice as it's no doubt the case that many universities will take on PhDs without actual expertise in the subject area, because, more is better for senior management when it comes to fee-paying students. I would say, though, it's never really a case of whether a University, as a huge, mangled entity is engaged in research - it's more the case that the group, and field you're working in, and your supervisor are a good match. You can get terrible supervision at any University, and you can also get excellent supervision from any University, because it's such an individual thing.

It is also definitely smart to drop out when you realise it's not for you, and as early as possible - particularly if you're paying money to be there. Because it's so hard to fail a PhD, but very easy to waste 6 years of your life (and money) before giving up, it can be a real trap, particularly if you get into the mindset that leaving is a failure (it isn't).

Did you produce a powerpoint presentation for your viva?

The general advice I've given to students in the past, is to have one prepared, offer to present it, but don't necessarily assume the examiners will approve or request it.

It's better, if you're given the opportunity, to present your work and subsequently frame the argument in your terms. I've never actually seen examiners refuse the offer of a presentation, as it's typically helpful for all concerned.

The avoidable situation you don't want to be in, is to go into the viva with no presentation ready, and be immediately asked 'so would you like to present your work before we start?' because, if the answer is 'I didn't prepare anything', it doesn't exactly look like you've put 110% into your viva prep.

It's entirely up to the examiners if they want to allow you to present, but it is very much the norm, and whilst having no presentation should - in theory - have little bearing on the viva outcome, as I mentioned, to not be ready to present your research formally going into one can look bad if you're asked to do it and can't.

Is my topic for the research proposal good?


I'll be critical since this is what we do in academia.

1) "Analytical" - what does this mean? It's not really a clear basis for a method. It's too broad and generic, and sounds like an attempt to force across 'it will be rigorous science' without knowing what the rigorous science will actually entail.

2) You name a company specifically. How will you access this company? Will they willingly participate in the research? If you're just going to scrape certain bits of Youtube ad content but not have the full picture of the entirety of youtube advertising in India, how will you ensure your work is representative? This sounds like it would be a good topic if Youtube are onboard (or funding it), but a risky one if not. You won't have capacity to singlehandedly identify and collate every Youtube ad accessible in India, and should not try or claim you can (or base the proposal on the assumption you can) unless there's a link to the company that will provide that capacity.

3) Consumer behaviour is an easy thing to mention but a hard thing to measure. How will you measure this? Often a good research topic / question is firm on both sides - what will be measured (returning to 1, above), and *how* it will be measured.

As a proposal that will need revision over the course of the PhD to address the above points, it's not inherently flawed as far as I can see, but the further you can address these things above, the more likely it is to succeed as a competitive application.

Lectureship v postdoc - advice please

Here's a lengthy, complex, but at least experienced, response.

It's based on the UK situation. From my experience on EU projects, it's not limited to the UK, but my own experience is reflective of the UK.

A lectureship is stable employment. Unless your course collapses (which does happen, but is unlikely if it's not a niche subject); you have a job for life barring exceptional incompetence. This is often equated to tenure in the US, except...

...You should not expect to have research time on a UK lecturing post. The University will likely be using you to max the TEF statistics for 'teaching staff with a PhD', whilst actively trying to exclude you from research as 'non-research active' for REF purposes (fewer returns = better quality per return). Unless you're bringing in substantive grants, or producing REF-able articles without any funding support. If you ask at interview, they will probably 'blah' about the research opportunities, but unless that's a clear commitment from them in time - and resources - it's basically saying you're teaching unless you want to do extra work and get a grant, in which case we'll take the money, thanks, and you can do the work.

A postdoc, on the other hand, is absolutely not stable employment. It's probably a job on a funded project for ~3 years, and that's it. Less experienced professors or academics at a similar level employing postdocs often make mistaken promises that they will extend the post if funding permits. Always hear this as that the post will not be extended. It's not that it won't be, but that the person making the promise is basing that on future grants, which they have no guarantee of getting, no matter how talented they are. The benefit of a postdoc is you will have little or no teaching workload, and can focus on knocking out the REF-able publications. This may well involve herding cats on an 'interdisciplinary, intersectoral' consortium of people who, quite rightly, have much less interest in skiing through the slalom of UK REF criteria flags than you do.

In general, I would say if you have a genuine, work till 2am ~5 nights a week, passion in your area and what you do - do a postdoc. It is the route to traditional academic professorship based on field reputation. If you see an academic career as a fairly relaxed job for life, with long summer holidays, have a vague interest in furthering the field, and can value future promotion to an academic middle-management, rather than professorial role, accept a lectureship. Because of how the REF, league tables, and process shape academia, the logical middle-ground career - where you do a healthy balance of teaching and research - is incredibly elusive.

moving from doctorate into business, mid-career

I think the kicker is, business people tend to see through the academic waffle, so you need clear substance. Which is usually demonstrated by a track record of success. It's harder to have credential being a speaker on how to run a business having written an article on it, rather than having run a business.

I think the jump you might need to do, is to start a business and apply what you know. If that is infinitely too terrifying, the safe confines of academia seems the place to be. It's a tough call, but I think the dream you seem to have of just going in advising businesses of what to do with zero financial risk to yourself or practical experience is a bit of a stretch. Unless, of course, it's in a clear niche in which there's demand - which would be a thing you'd need to establish.

Postdoctoral position: is it too late?

I think a lot of people saying this is catastrophic are towing the typical line that an academic career needs to be 'perfect' to be successful.

Don't get me wrong; it will be hard if your pitch at interview is 'and I've just stopped researching to work in a school'. But I'd think many academics would be sympathetic if it's along the lines of 'I needed to support myself/my family/etc, but in the meantime I've been reading x, y and z, and have a really strong interest in proposing...'.

That said, the grass is not always greener. Academia does a trick of making you think arbitrary milestones (Iike getting a postdoc) are significant achievements, when in fact you may be more fulfilled (and certainly richer) in industry. I think you can get more from your PhD than you have done, and it sounds like you want to, so you owe it to yourself to try. If the goal is to return to academia, you should be spending the time between writing applications on revising and learning the field. If your goal is simply a more prestigious, well-paid role, you'd probably do well to look towards industry.