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bewildered
Sunday, 8 June 2008 at 6:52pm
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 at 1:28pm
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Thread: MA Choosing the right one

posted
13-Nov-18, 13:35
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posted about 4 days ago
a relation did a library and information services management course. She's found it very hard to get decently paid library work (although she couldn't move far away which may be a reason) but has found the information management side has kept her in steady employment.

Thread: Judging whether to working under a Potential Junior Supervisor at a Prestigious Institute

posted
13-Nov-18, 13:31
edited about 26 seconds later
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posted about 4 days ago
Monkia - could you perhaps go home for a while and rest, or even take a year out and work in an undemanding job and recuperate? It seems like you need a break more than anything else right now. None of us make good decisions when we feel like you describe.

Thread: Supervisor problems

posted
08-Nov-18, 14:15
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posted about 1 week ago
I think it's a little premature to jettison everything on the basis of a single meeting when you were not at your best personally. It seems that the problem is that they don't think that your original proposal is doable as a PhD - to be honest, 99% of PhD candidates have to considerably refine their topic so don't take that as an insult. It's normal. WE're all a bit clueless when we start about what is and isn't possible. My suggestion would be to have a look at the abstract and maybe introductions of a few theses in your area - your university library should have those done at your institution or try the British library's online thesis collection. Get a sense for how others have defined their research question, methods, analytical framework etc. That will probably help you to see where you are going wrong. There are also lots of online guides depending on your subject.
If you don't like the second topic, I would suggest doing the following. Do the work on the second topic alongside working on refining and narrowing down the original topic perhaps using the ideas the first supervisor gave you in the meeting. Send both to the two supervisors saying as agreed I did the work on topic B, but I was really taken by the suggestion of 1st supervisor on topic A so I worked that up too to see if you both think it could be a viable topic. I also think that some things you seem to think odd, like being called to have a meeting with both of them, are actually normal. It's easier to get everyone together for major decisions than trying to do it via email. You're not going to get a sympathetic ear if you demand a change on supervision on the basis of one meeting, so I'd suggest at least trying to make things work first.

Thread: Are these signs of a toxic postdoc relationship?

posted
04-Nov-18, 12:17
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posted about 2 weeks ago
Unless the project manager was offering the same to all applicants, surely s/he was acting incorrectly in favouring you in developing a possible follow-on. I can't imagine any HR team being happy with that.

Thread: Messed up masters big time - options?

posted
29-Oct-18, 14:58
edited about 19 seconds later
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posted about 2 weeks ago
What concerns me most is that you claim not to have intentionally plagiarised. If this is really the truth, then you must be in the habit of cutting and pasting chunks of other people's work into your essays and changing a few words, thinking that's ok and this time you forgot to change anything. That is the only possible way your claim could be true. If I'm right, you need to stop. Everything you produce from now on will be scrutinised carefully and a second offence will probably mean you lose the degree. If you've got away with massive paraphrasing before, you probably won't going forward. So please be honest with yourself about any bad habits you've picked up and abandon them before you really do yourself damage.

Thread: How to Keep Sanity intact after being forced to quit first year of PhD

posted
17-Sep-18, 20:30
edited about 19 seconds later
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posted about 2 months ago
First, I think you need to see a doctor about your mental health concerns. You sound very distressed and without much support and that's dangerous. You need some professional support here.

Secondly, I wonder if your desire to be well-known and successful is leading you to being unrealistic about what can be achieved in a PhD time frame. Is your supervisor concerned about the viability of what you are trying to do? And is there any chance that you're trying to do everything so fast that you've taken short cuts that could be seen as misconduct? You wouldn't be the first PhD student to fall into either trap and if your supervisor has been away as you say, I can see how things might have gone awry without any bad intent on your behalf. I hope I'm wrong and this is all down to the supervisor being a deeply unpleasant person as you claim but maybe worth considering.

Thread: Should I quit my masters degree?

posted
17-Sep-18, 20:07
edited about 3 minutes later
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posted about 2 months ago
How much of this is injured pride about the fail? If so, I think you need to avoid shooting yourself in the foot through being too proud. If you don't finish you'll get a PG Diploma for the taught element - employers unfortunately tend to assume that's a failed Masters. And if you don't declare it, you have to lie about a year on your cv. So it might be in your best interests to complete even if you think the dissertation element is going to be hard. And many with undergrad 1sts don't get distinctions at Masters level given some universities are giving 40% 1sts these days - you really won't stand out. You say you don't want to work in the industry which is fair enough but I think you could tell a better story to employers about your resilience and perseverance in completing despite that than looking like someone who gives up when things are hard. And you need to avoid sounding bitter - e.g your last sentence above.

PS Even very good students can sometimes misunderstand what an exam question is looking for... it might be worth considering that possibility. The work as a fail will have already been moderated by a second marker as fails always are and sent to an external examiner - again fails always are picked. If three people agree it's a fail maybe it's time to accept you just got something wrong.

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
15-Aug-18, 20:10
edited about 23 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Quote From bewildered:
I know people who've got a second funded PhD but that was when they had had very significant personal extenuating circumstances that had prevented them completing the first like serious illness. I don't know whether it's viewed differently in better funded subject areas than my own but suspect it might be worth finding out whether your idea is viable.


This is useful to know, and yes, I need to talk to people who sit on panels in my area to hear what they have to say (I know one academic I can ask but she is on holiday at the moment). I think that explaining that there was no intellectual development on my PhD would surely be a good enough explanation, if probed about it. Unsure though.

It feels a bit like a trap![/quote]

Not saying this to be mean, but I think that reason would sound a lot of alarm bells. I would assume that it meant your work wasn't strong enough to pass if I saw it written down. And if I was able to probe in interview, I think my concern would be that you were unrealistic about what a PhD is about and so would be difficult to supervise.

Are you sure this isn't just cold feet at the thought of the viva or applying for postdocs? If that might be the case, you're far from the first to feel that way towards the end. Just wondered if you were in an over-thinking phase and whether a chat with the counselling service might be useful to clarify your ideas a bit before you do anything irrevocable?

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
14-Aug-18, 15:11
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posted about 3 months ago
I agree with what the others have said about the danger of romanticising the PhD experience and also think you should complete. I think my other concern if I were you would be the likelihood of getting funding a second time. I suspect quite a few academics would be concerned not just whether you'd complete the second one given the MPhil but also about whether it's fair to choose you ahead of someone who has not yet had any funding. I know people who've got a second funded PhD but that was when they had had very significant personal extenuating circumstances that had prevented them completing the first like serious illness. I don't know whether it's viewed differently in better funded subject areas than my own but suspect it might be worth finding out whether your idea is viable.

Thread: Abandoned by Mentor

posted
11-Aug-18, 22:33
edited about 4 minutes later
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posted about 3 months ago
What were you intending to do? Are you concerned about the supervision of your thesis or future career plans?
Academics do move jobs (it would be highly unreasonable to expect someone to jettison their career to supervise your MA thesis) so there are probably procedures in your department for the allocation of a new advisor. Is there a director of MA studies or similar who you could ask if this hasn't been made clear to you? Don't worry about the exact expertise match - you don't really need that for an mA thesis - just someone who can keep you on the right lines.

Thread: Abstract guidance needed - urgent!

posted
11-Aug-18, 22:31
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Is that not what they mean by results?

Thread: Mphil scenario

posted
11-Aug-18, 22:29
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 3 months ago
I think you are perhaps in the despair phase of the PhD and are seeing the worst case scenario as probable rather than the more realistic improbable. Could you take a few days off to regroup?
I agree with Tester - I think you get a very skewed view of PhD outcomes from this forum, as the vast majority who get the 3-6 month corrections outcome don't post, but the less usual awful outcomes are over-represented as understandably those are the people looking for advice. An MPhil outcome post viva is fairly unusual. I only know of one myself - someone who ignored his supervisors and examiners' feedback and didn't make the corrections required. The other MPhils I know about all downgraded after annual reviews - often because of personal circumstances or data collection not working out at all.
I would also write as supportive a reference as I could, but I probably would encourage a capable individual to look outside academia. The reason is that academic jobs not requiring a PhD are often a step down in terms of independence from doing a PhD and/or offer no possibility of career progression. And those jobs are very vulnerable in times of cuts, which atm, with the type of Brexit deal the UK seems to be heading for i.e. not great for science, look ever more likely.

Thread: Politic - Pay scholarship back? Should I?

posted
28-Jul-18, 00:06
edited about 28 seconds later
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posted about 4 months ago
I think you need legal advice. Does Canada have any free/cheap advice schemes or is legal insurance covered in any insurance policies you have?

Thread: Bullying

posted
27-Jul-18, 03:21
edited about 6 seconds later
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posted about 4 months ago
So basically you are unwilling to accept any solutions? In that case OIAHE is very unlikely to help. It appears that both your peers and the staff have viewed your complaints as malicious. That is an alarm bell.

Thread: Feedback on Post-Doc applications

posted
23-Jul-18, 13:45
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posted about 4 months ago
Usually if you are invited to interview you hear within 2-3 weeks of the closing date but holidays make this a slow time of year. HR rules may forbid feedback so don't be surprised if people refuse. You can probably get a sense of how strong a candidate you are by comparing your cv with those of recent postdoc hires in your discipline. Alternatively if your supervisors won't look over a sample application, are there other academics you could ask to have a look? Or any specialist advisors in your university careers service?
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