Signup date: 24 Aug 2006 at 9:44am
Last login: 14 Feb 2011 at 9:58am
Post count: 196
For starters, your supervisors DO NOT decide about the outcome of the viva. And yes, it does sound like you might benefit from seeing your GP/a counsellor - it does sound like anxiety is taking over your life and developing better coping strategies will only be of benefit in the long run - as somebody who is over a year out of her own PhD (and yes, I did panic a lot before the viva but kept it all together thanks to exercise, counselling and supportive friends) the pressure does not get easier, except now I worry about jobs, publications and things like that. So I would encourage you go and talk to a counsellor, I am really happy t hat I did - and the help you can get will be much more personalised than you will ever be able to get from an online forum.
Lack of a viva date has got nothing to do with the quality of your thesis - it's more of an admin decision than anything and quite often out of hands of the examiners so at least that's one less thing to catastrophise about;) (I passed with v. minor corrections and waited 4 months, there were people in my department who had no corrections and waited six months or longer - it's all got to do with the examiners' availability, room availability, whether the forms have been filed correctly etc.) and who told you you are overqualified for research assistant positions - was it feedback from actual applications?
you might also want to check out the Spring issue of ELiSS, Enhancing Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences,-a special issue on teaching sensitive topics in the social sciences http://www.eliss.org.uk/PreviousIssues/Volume2Issue3/tabid/289/Default.aspx
The correct answer is "zero" - having published papers is not a requirement for passing your PhD viva, and on the other hand, published papers do not give any "guarantees" either. So no scaremongering, please;) (I'm speaking here form the point of view of someone who very recently and successfully defended her PhD with minor corrections. The fact that I had a paper published never entered the conversation during the viva, my examiners based their decision solely on my thesis and performance during the viva - these are the rules).
Some other possible gaps could be with regard to the groups which have been studied in literature related to "contested illnesses" - for instance, I bet that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals have been marginalised in existing studies and similar thing might be happening for BME population, on a related note, another gap could potentially be absence of comparative studies.
first of all, there is no such thing as a "homosexual background" - and yes, you could get yourself in trouble for making this rather essentialist (and quite othering) assumption that the sexuality of the second coder will impact radically on the findings (after all, his sexuality will only be one aspect of the experience/ standpoint he's bringing to the table!). There is a lot of work within sociology of sexualities looking at issues around epistemologies/standpoint which might help you clarify your thinking on that issue:
Almack, K. 2008. “Women Parenting Together: A reflexive account of the ways in which the researcher's identity and experiences may impact on the processes of doing research.” Sociological Research Online 13(1).
Weston, K. 2004. “Fieldwork in gay and lesbian communities.” In Approaches to qualitative research: A reader on theory and practice, edited by S. N. Hesse-Biber and P.Leavy, pp. 198-205. New York: Oxford University Press.
Fawcett, B. and J. Hearn. 2004. “Researching others: epistemology, experience, standpoints and participation.” International Journal of Social Research Methodology 7(3): 201-18.
Homfray, M. 2008. “Standpoint, Objectivity, and Social Construction: Reflections from the Study of Gay and Lesbian Communities.” Sociological Research Online 13(1).
Harding R & Peel E. (2007) Surveying sexualities: Internet research with non-heterosexuals. Feminism & Psychology, 17(2),277-285.
hope that helps!
I'm really sorry you're going through this now - I went through a combo of ED and depression in my teens, and had recurring problems with depression on and off. Anyway, just writing to with a couple of suggestions - you said you need to wait three months for a specialist, but couldn't you access student counselling to tide you over in the meantime? The sort of work they do is usually short-term, but still, it might be a good source of support as you wait for that appointment. Secondly, if, by any chance, you belong to a broadly defined minority (ethnic, sexual etc) there might be community projects locally that offer free counselling, for instance, last year, when I needed it I could access an excellent counselling service for LGBT people. Finally, one thing to do during your break could be some volunteering - preferably something really low-key, but putting you in contact with other people, you could have a look at www.do-it.org.uk. And last but not least, the break might be good to make changes in your lifestyle and get a decent amount of exercise - I know it can be tricky when you are depressed and especially with eating disorders some people have a not so healthy relationship to exercise - however, I found that for me yoga worked perfectly well, as it is non-competetive, all about body acceptance and calming your mind. Good luck with whatever you do!
I'm writing up for the end of June deadline - doing 8.30/9 till 5 Monday till Friday, with weekends mostly off, except when I invigilate on Saturdays to get some extra money, but I don't write on weekends. So far it's fine and there's only occasional bouts of panic - but these are helped greatly with regular yoga classes, I take three every week. Good luck!
I'm fully funded as well - but to supplement my income, here's some of the jobs I've done in the past three years (the advantage was, all of them are at my uni, pay a couple of quid above the minimum wage per hour and do not require too much brain input;) - note-taking for students with disabilities, invigilating during the exam times, helping out with coursework submission when they needed some temp people. at the moment, I have a part-time job with the local IELTS centre at my uni - in the morning I invigilate on the exam (as in read the guardian) and in the afternoon take people to their speaking exam, it might be worth checking if there's similar opportunities at your uni.
hi Zingo, I am recovering from an episode of major depression (had chronic depression since was 19). The episode started in my second year, I didn't interrupt the PhD, mostly because that would have required some energy and initiative on my part which I didn't have;), plus at the worst time I was abroad doing fieldwork. After I came back, I put together a recovery startegy - which meant reducing my workload (treating the PhD like a 9-5 job, and no more 60-70 hour weeks), I took up yoga and swimming, had counseling and am still on medication, I also started eating healthily. So I think reducing benchwork sounds like the way to go, and now I am confident that I will manage the writing-up phase, with the help from counseling service and GP, enough rest and a regular exercise programme. Good luck with your PhD and all the best!
also, look up www.jiscmail.ac.uk - this is a resource for academic mailing lists, and if you sign up you can receive info and conference alerts.
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