Overview of Blackbyrd

Recent Posts

Financial worries

Hi there,

I know you posted a while ago but I've been thinking about financial matters myself recently. I, too, am fully funded which is great but i've also got a number of years research experience under my belt and although grateful for the funding, it doesn't compare to full - time employment. Nevertheless, I also d a PT RA job as I think its more relevant than a pub job to CV, it 'forces' me to organise my time and pays not bad too! however, it is difficult to juggle depending on where you are in your PhD. Someone I know does some tutoring work over the internet and works with students with learning needs and she always seemed to manage.
I've also heard recently that some of the funding bodies will now start to fund PhD's for up to 4 years which finally should remove the stress associated with working and writing up - can't come soom enough as far as I'm concerned. I also think there should be equal levels of funding. In my department there is wide variation and those on the 'best' funding grants appear to be invested in more than those who are not - in my humble opinion. It's hard enough to do a PhD without all these antecedent issues too. Good luck with juggling finances-it is a creative challenge, that's for sure.

Combing a research job and a phd? how does it work?

Hi Harmony,

I was a FT researcher for nearly 4 years between MSc and start of PhD. Therefore, when I was at the end of my first year, I was in the right place, right time , to take a Pt research job at a different Uni on an unconnected project. I work 5.5 hours per week. I am still doing this project - been ongoing for 6 months now and it is heating up, so to speak so I'm working a bit more than the contracted hours. I find it an excellent means of additional income - it is much more lucrative than a bar job for example. I am in a discipline at Uni where I have not experience of the subject so I'm unlikely to get demonstrating jobs (hasn't happened yet - 1.5 years into PhD) and I have contact with patients which will look very good on my CV. It is sometimes difficult to juggle - but it just means being more organised. I think you should take it as the supervisor wouldn't have offered you it if they didn't think you could do it. Perhaps it'll be easier for you that it'll link into your PhD. However, make sure you and your supervisor decides on what is research job and what is PhD research or you may find you've bitten of more than you can chew. Communication is key to balancing these demands. Good luck

Thinking of leaving - what do I do?

hi Frankie,

I have to admit, I know how you feel. I posted a few months ago and I'm still wondering if this is for me. I have tried to persuade my supervisor of a change of direction with this PhD and although he seems to have agreed, I have to say, I don't feel much better for it. The problem is, is that the discipline I am in isn't entirely the best area to be for the research I think I am doing!! I suppose you learn things whilst doing the PhD about what you like and don't like or more importantly, where your skills/career objectives may be more applicable and may suit you better. I also am concerned about the economic climate - mortgage, debts to pay etc. but I'm starting to think that being miserable and self confidence erroding is probably worse and definitely so in the long term.
I've decided to give myself to April and in the meantime, pursue information about the area I want to get into more, with gusto. I feel as if I need to talk to as many people as possible so that I can make the decision to leave or not.
It is hard. Best to try to keep open minded about other possibilities and if it is making you miserable be truthful with yourself and try to find an area which you would be contented with (after all, for most people they work to live, not the other way around) and be more suited to. Good luck.;-)

The age old question of pregnancy vs career...

Dear Arg! You know, it's funny but i've also been thinking about this issue lately. I suppose for me it's the reality of what I want to do, when I want to do it and whether any of it can be done at all! I have a long term partner - who lives in another city, we both have our own flats, he works, I'm in 2nd year of PhD, which if I'm honest, I perpetually wonder if 'I did the right thing' by taking it. Perhaps it is the realisation that its a long slog until this PhD is done and where do I fit in more travel, living together, getting a job (under no illusions it'll be an academic one - so is there any point in doing PhD?), planning to have a baby, let alone actually doing so! I really don't know the answer, but i just wanted to say that I hear you and can relate to your frustrations.

Dazed and confused with PhD

Thank you to all who responded to my 'dazed and confused' plea. I really do feel more enlightened and less alone than before. Lots of very useful comments and strategies and I will take your advice. I have meeting with aforementioned supervisor later on this week and am sufficiently irritated to be more assertive and not let him 'rule' the meeting. Fun and games! Could be a few fireworks, but not much to lose (except my temper) -tee hee!
I really appreciate the time you spent replying. :-)
Thanks again for all your comments.

Dazed and confused with PhD

Hi all,

As a new member, I'd just like to say how useful it's been to read other people's experiences of their own PhDs, so thank you for that.

My issues at the moment are about continuing with my PhD. I've had some family issues recently which have made me re-assess doing this. I wonder if it is worthwhile continuing when I feel unsupported by my principal supervisor who is really on a different page to me, my funders and collaborative colleagues are not interested and don't turn up for meetings and my confidence feels like it is eroding by the day. I'm not long into my 2nd year and feel that little progress has been made, not sure about my research questions and what I'm meant to show with this PhD! I'm also 33, feel like time is ticking and not convinced that having this PhD will result in a better 'career' than not having one. Oh dear! Dazed and confused indeed.
Is this just 2nd year blues? Do things begin to fall into place? Any comments would be useful. Thanks