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bewildered
Sunday, 8 June 2008 at 6:52pm
Sunday, 13 October 2019 at 3:46pm
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page 1 of 62 recent posts

Thread: Help- dealing with supervisor issues in final year

posted
23-Feb-19, 23:16
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 8 months ago
You mention a thesis committee chair, which makes me think you're probably not in the UK. I can see for example if her grant funded your work, why you might be obliged to give her data and notes, and it might be that the university rules require her to sign off on your thesis in your system. But could you just forget the personalities here and view her as 'anonymous reviewer 2' - the one who you inwardly groan at when you get article reviews but under the annoyance has made a useful point? That way you get what you admit would be useful feedback. it sounds like otherwise you are headed for a battle with your thesis committee chair and that just strikes me as one you don't need the stress of at the moment. Particularly if you are in the US/Canada where letters of recommendation seem to have a massive weight on the job market.

Thread: Advice on quitting Masters

posted
23-Feb-19, 23:06
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posted about 8 months ago
If you have passed all semester 1, you probably have 60 credits or 30 ECTS already which if you did decide to walk away would get you a p/g certificate in marketing. If you could manage another semester but not the dissertation, then you'd get a p/g diploma. In other words, you wouldn't walk away with nothing. Definitely let a tutor know that you are feeling overwhelmed. You could perhaps interrupt your studies either now or before the dissertation to give yourself a break. But please don't feel it's a disaster - just ask for help.

Thread: MA not suited to PhD application?

posted
23-Feb-19, 22:57
edited about 10 seconds later
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posted about 8 months ago
I doubt the module variety would be an issue but lack of skills might be. I assume as you mention them that you'd need palaeography and codiology to do your proposed topic? If so, given how hard it is to get AHRC funding, it might be worth seeing if anywhere would let you do some stand alone modules to get the basics before you apply. This for example looks useful: https://www.history.ac.uk/research-training/browse/language-and-palaeography
I don't think the AHRC offer 1+3 studentships as that would have been ideal in this scenario. Do you have supervisors in mind that you could ask for advice? They'd probably know what others in a similar situation have done. I am taking it for granted that you will be applying for funding - if self-funding pick a university that teaches those things and audit the classes in your first year. But the way things are I'd avoid self-funding if at all possible (unless you're very wealthy).

Thread: The outcome of a viva was a resubmission

posted
18-Feb-19, 23:02
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 8 months ago
Realistically if you were expecting major revisions (9 months) then the next worst outcome is not surprising. You'd already been told your thesis had major problems by your supervisors. There is nothing in your original post that actually evidences unfair treatment. You need to take a few days and see if the report actually fits with the criticisms your supervisors already had. Frankly if you're told to expect 9 months you shouldn't be shocked.

Thread: Please help - considering formal complaint against University.

posted
04-Feb-19, 15:19
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posted about 8 months ago
I'm not sure what you would be making a formal complaint about unless I'm missing something? A lot of this seems to be about you not following up on things like the MA dissertation supervision by arranging a meeting. I'd be inclined to chase up an undergraduate but I'd expect a postgraduate to be more independent than that. And for example to ask specific questions like 'where are funded PhDs advertised' rather than waiting for someone to tell you. Or is it that you dispute the fact that the other student had a higher mark than you and want to claim bias in the process? You do know that most people don't get any funding at all and that you were never guaranteed a funded place at the MA institution?

In terms of the tweet, probably not your most inspired move, as it made you look jealous of those who did get funding, which is never a good look. Probably it soon will be forgotten though. If you put in a rather unsubstantiated complaint though, that will be remembered.

Thread: Feeling totally defeated

posted
04-Feb-19, 15:03
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 8 months ago
Quote From cloudofash:
Hi Nesrine,
I am in my final year now so I dont yet have the experience. However, just reading about the experiences of others (and obviously witnessing this myself) I have decided to leave academia.
Academia is much more unfair environment. They would retain many more great people, if they would appreciate people's hard work and talent. I am done with it.

So please dont feel like a failure if you do go elsewhere. It might be the best thing you have ever done....


To be fair any environment where there are more people who want to work in it, than there are jobs, is going to be highly competitive and feel very unfair to those who miss out. Academia is far from alone in that. I have a friend who is an actor - the horror stories he's told me make academia look cuddly.

Nesrine though I forgot to mention something. You said you hadn't any friends in academia although you had some highly placed supporters. Are there opportunities for you to network with your peers in your current circumstances either in real life or online? That was something else that I found very helpful in keeping perspective about things. Professional subject associations often have graduate//early career groups that can be very supportive (for my subject at least) and have resources / training / small amounts of funding too that can make a difference in keeping going.

Thread: Feeling totally defeated

posted
31-Jan-19, 15:47
edited about 8 seconds later
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posted about 9 months ago
Nesrine I decided to give it a full year to start with, and if by then I wasn't getting any interviews and there wasn't something amazing about to go on my cv, I'd give up. If I was getting interviews then I was going to give it a second year but apply seriously for non-academic jobs too. I had p/t teaching to keep my head above water but I was determined that I wasn't going to do that for more than a year, as it seemed like a low income trap that never got you further. About 6 months after finishing I got a one year teaching fellowship, worked all the hours possible to still publish and then got a lectureship. I had been a civil servant before the PhD so was open to those sorts of jobs again, which I think helped.

Thread: Feeling totally defeated

posted
30-Jan-19, 17:16
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posted about 9 months ago
Nesrine I'm in another very overcrowded field where very few PhD graduates get a first step on the ladder. it worked out for me but it was an unpleasant time and I know it was luck as much as anything else. What helped me psychologically (it might not for you but it might) was feeling like I was a bit in control. I set parameters for the academic job search - how long I was willing to give it, what sorts of jobs I was prepared to apply for and where I was willing to move to rather than applying for everything advertised, when I knew deep down that some jobs/locations would make me miserable. The conversation with my then partner added further constraints. I then developed plan B and C for non-academic job searches and started to implement them. Oddly although I didn't get it an interview for a really good non-academic job did wonders for my self-confidence in general and I got the next academic job I applied for possibly because I was feeling less desperate.

Thread: Working PT alongside EPSRC funded FT PhD?

posted
27-Jan-19, 22:50
edited about 11 seconds later
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posted about 9 months ago
I'd check the funding rules - I was only allowed to do 6 hours per week of paid employment as a condition of grant. Now I could have got away with more but your strategy of applying for work with the university seems to maximise the chances of getting caught. Particularly as you'll end up with 2 emails and so it'll be obvious if anyone searches for you... And what if you need to interact with your department as part of the job at a time when they think you should be working on the PhD?

Thread: How long can a single volume thesis be?

posted
27-Jan-19, 22:44
edited about 1 second later
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posted about 9 months ago
If you have a university bindery their limits are probably on the library website somewhere, but science PhDs are rather short compared to humanities/social science, so I think you're still a long way off the cut off. Mine was 327 pages and was still one volume.

Thread: Co-Supervisor Leaving

posted
25-Jan-19, 21:30
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 9 months ago
I agree this might not work well. If it's feasible with your home life and project, could you ask about the possibility of being a visiting student at her new university for as much time as you need with the equipment? I assume you prefer to stay put than move with her? You could of course ask for that if appropriate supervision is there too.

Thread: To acknowledge research council funding on publication?

posted
22-Nov-18, 18:17
edited about 18 seconds later
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posted about 11 months ago
Yes.

Thread: MA Choosing the right one

posted
13-Nov-18, 13:35
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posted about 11 months 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 11 months 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
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 11 months 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.
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