Signup date: 18 Feb 2006 at 2:01pm
Last login: 09 Jun 2008 at 8:33pm
Post count: 92
My plan for today:
1. Go food shopping
2. Do some sorting out of house stuff - I really need to do this as I'm moving from a large room of my own in a shared house to a one bed teeny flat with my bf. Major clear out required.
3. Read and take notes on papers suggested by my supervisors to help with corrections for data chapter 1.
4. Out for tapas with mum, dad and sister (Yeah!). Note for Lara - make sure you don't cut out all the fun things in your life. The thesis writing will seem like a much more horrible time if all you do is work!
Good luck today Lara and Jojo (and anyone else who's writing), and thanks soo much for your support.
1500 words is really good, and I think writing lots in very rough form is a good way to write. I read an article on the internet a few days a go (can't remeber where I'm afraid), where this psycologist was arguing that the best way to write was to first write loads and loads of rubbish, be it copied and pasted stuff or stuff from the top of your head, and then edit it down. Aparently people who write like that are loads more productive than those who plan meticulously and try to write perfectly first time.
Also very importantly - DON'T FORGET TO SLEEP.
Well done jojo, that's loads!! Hopefully I'll get to the point when I'm writing that much each day.
I think I'm also going to be going away somewhere nice to write - much like Colin Firth . In a moment of weakness I agreed to go to France for a week with my bf at the end of August. I was planning on being finished by then (or at least have all the drafts finished), but if I'm not its not the end of the world, as I can take my laptop. With no TV or internet it may be the most productive week of all!
OK, so I've calmed down a bit. So here's my life for the next few months :
My final thesis will consist of 3 major data chapters and one small 4th chapter, with each data chapter in paper format with introduction, specific methods, results and discussion. There will also be a general introduction, methods and a brief discussion.
My deadlines are:
2nd June - Finish corrections to data chapter 1 & finish analysis of data chapters 3 & 4.
15th June - Draft of data chapter 2.
29th June - Draft of data chapter 3.
28th July - Draft of data chapter 4 and general methods (I have some other stuff to do in july).
22nd August - Draft of introduction and discussion (complete draft submitted!)
22nd September - absolutely 100% need to print off final version and submit for binding.
Its tight but I’m going to do it!
Keep it up jojo! I'm going to join in as I also have a September deadline. I think I may join Lara's thread as it seems we may be at a similar stage. 1000 words/3 pages a day is my goal too, and I'm aiming to write about 160 pages before September.
Good luck both of you!
I don't know if you have read my reply to you other post, but I'm basically in the same position, and I would also like to start a writing up diary like you and jojo. Rather than starting a whole new thread, would you mind if I hijacked yours? (cheeky I know!) My final deadline is the 30th September, but I really need to submit by the 7th Septmeber as I am starting a job. I only have one chapter written, and that's not even in its final form! I hope you don't mind if I also post daily, and hopefully it will be a good source of motivation for both of us! I am soo desperate to submit, I know I don't have much time either, but I'll just have to go into hibernation for the next three months!
I really really feel for you as I am in exactly the same position. I have to hand in my PhD by the 30th September or I will fail. I have so far only written one chapter, and I have six more to write! (God, actually saying that makes me feel sick). Unfortuantely I have to finish as close to the beginning of september as possible as I am starting a new job that will be stressfull in itself so my deadline is really the 7th. To make things worse I have about 3 weeks of other stuff to do before september for my new job (OMG!!!) I am stressing big time, but this does not make me actually do any work as I am so panicked by it.
Reading this thread has inspired me though, and I will also start my own writing diary, in the hope it will also spur me on. I would really appreciate the support of any others who are also writing, and I will try to post encouraging replies to their threads. Good luck Lara, you can do it!
If you have any doubts don't do it. I can't stress enough how important it is to really want to do your research, and to do it for the love of the research only. What area are you in? Enquire about job opportunites after the PhD. Its simple to enough to say "oh I'll just get a post-doc". That's what I thought, but four years on my life priorities are very different. What are the chances of you getting a permanent job? Listen to all those who tell you what hard slog a PhD is - they are soo right, and it is financially and emotionally draining. If you are a natural born academic then there is no better career, but if not get a job, and you'll be much better off in three years time.
I'm just about the start writing up my thesis and I'm planning to use OpenOffice with the bibliography package bibus (http://sourceforge.net/projects/bibus-biblio/). Apparently it works like endnote's Cite While You Write, and its free. Fingers crossed.
I did my MSc in Birmingham, my PhD in Leeds and my BSc in Manchester, and Birmingham has been my favourite place to live. The uni campus is really lovely and Selly Oak (where most students live) is the best student area I have lived in as it is in quite a nice part of the city. If you don't want to live in student ville its really easy to find other nice places to live, and accomodation tends to be quite cheap compared to the other cities I have lived in. The city center deserves a better reputation, as its been almost completely re-developed. If you are not into the mainstream bars/tacky clubs Digbeth is a good area to go out, especially the custard factory, and there is the odd really top quality night. As the city is large, with people coming to birmingham for work from every part of the country if not world, I did not get the usual 'them and us' vibe from the locals, where students stick out like a sore thumb, and generally found people to be laid back and friendly.
You should definately go for a Marie Curie Studentship. They are available to EU students studying outside their home country i.e. only available in Britain to student from EU but not the UK. You are a salaried member of university staff (about £24000 per year taxed) with good research funding.
Just realised that my last posting sounds a bit negative. A PhD will take over your life, it is true that most academics and PhD students work evening and weekends and don't take much holiday, but for some people this is a minor inconvenience, as they love their research so much. There are loads of positives; you plan your own working day and you can travel the world. If you're a really talented scientist, very passionate about your reasearch area, and are excited about devoting your life to it, do it. If research turns you on there isn't a better job.
I am currently half way through my PhD and it is not at all what I expected. I too did an MSc, I got a distinction and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. My PhD is completely different; taking exams and doing coursework is a lot easier than research, as no amount of reading will help with that PCR that just won't work. What do you want to do post PhD? Are you prepared to move anywhere in the country every few years as Post Doc funding ends, and it is very difficult to get a permanent academic position. If you want to work in industry it's probably a lot easier, but see what jobs are available and if they really require a PhD. Also, are you aware that most biology PhD's take 3.5-4 years, so if you would only be funded for 3 this is a consideration. About the paid holidays, you are usually entitiled to 8 weeks. You may take this is your first year, but after that I doubt your supervisor would let you take more than a few weeks as time pressures are so great.
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