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Academic Diary of a different type!
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Hi, I was just looking at my post about Les Back's Academic Diary and thought I'd ask if anyone actually writes an academic diary? Is it worth it or just another thing to do?

One of my supervisors has asked me to write one about issues that come up, how I feel about things, my work practices and issues I encounter (at my work place, not PhD work practices), changes in my opinions/thoughts etc.

I have bought a book but, as yet (8 months in) it is blank!!!! :$

Academic Diary
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======= Date Modified 20 May 2011 13:58:09 =======

Hi - This academic diary (online book) by Les Back is really interesting! It has pages on supervision and the viva - well worth a read! :-)


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Hi Memo,

First, well done on the interview and good luck!!

I didn't have to do a presentation for my interview, but I did have questions ;-)

They (a panel of 3) asked - Why do you want to do a PhD? - How do you see your career progressing? - Do you know how academia works? - Which journals would be most suitable to publish in? - Which sampling strategy would be best for the proposed study? - Describe your undergrad dissertation - what did you find out? If I got it would I want an October, January or April start? And some more I can't remember!

I asked about ownership of the project and about the faculty and school I would be in.

They did say the interview would last up to an hour and I was out within 20 minutes, which really worried me at the time. Anyway I got it, so all was good :-)

Hope this helps - good luck!

What happened in my 3 hour Viva!!
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Congrats!!!!! and thanks for sharing your story :-)

Reproducing figures from books in your own work
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I haven't reproduced a table either, but when I see them reproduced in books they always say (adapted from So and So, 2009) underneath them. Hope this helps ;-)
Good luck!

A day in the life of...
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PhD student bangs head on wall!!!!! :-s


Thanks to all of you!
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Woo Hoo!!
Well done Phdbug!!

Fingers crossed for your viva now - keep us updated :-)

Journal Quality
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Hi, try these sites - if not there maybe other similar ones. I used the top one to search for journal rankings in my area.



Hope this helps;-)

PhD Studentship Interview-Any Please Help
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Congrats on the interview! I had a panel of three. Questions asked included- Which journals would be most relevant to publish in? How do you see your career progressing? Which sampling strategy do you think would be suitable for this study? Why do you want to do a PhD? Can you tell us about your undergraduate/masters dissertation? You work, can you tell us about that?

I can't think of anymore, except that they said the interview may last for up to an hour and was that okay - and I was out within 20 minutes!!!! - this panicked me - but I got the studentship  :-)

Good luck

Should I follow up after my interview??
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Personally I wouldn't follow it up, since they have given you a time when they will be ready to inform you. Your supervisor may not be able to tell you anything, it sounds like it could be a departmental decision and out of their hands anyway.

I didn't follow up my interview and although they gave me a date when I would hear by, I actually heard a few days before :-) and I had got it!

Fingers crossed for you!!!

How many PhD places did/have you applied for?
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I only applied for 2 PhDs (at different institutions) - one a set studentship and one with my own proposal and research council funding.

Good luck  :-)

bringing the focus back to science
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Hi, I too am 6 months in. It is a bewildering time trying to find a focus and question/s (particularly when others around you seem to have known their questions from the start!).

To get my focus down to some reasonable questions, I first brainstormed every relevant question possible that came to mind and wasn't answered in the literature.

I then prioritised them. I had to make decisions about what questions could be answered, what needed to be known first, what would be feasible and what was most relevant/worth researching (that "so what?" question).

Then over a few weeks of amending, discussing with sups, amending, focusing, changing wording, checking with sups etc - I finally (only about a month ago) came up with an overall research question and 3 smaller questions.

It is a huge relief when you finally know which direction you are going in and can start addressing methods etc.

I would say go for it over the next few weeks and try to first get a focus area - read up on the types of research questions (maybe different for different academic areas - I'm social science)- why, what, how etc and which methods go best with each. I found it an iterative process between question type and whether the best methods to answer each question would be appropriate/manageable in my area. 

Once you know where you are focusing it's about refining, refining, refining!

Good luck - I'm sure you can do it - it was a slow process for me - but I did learn from it :-)

Hope this helps - others may have a quicker/better way - but plodding worked for me! And feeling unsure seemed to be part of it!!

Ethnography references
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Well the one everyone seems to use as a base is Hammersley and Atkinson "ethnography" - I've got 3rd edition (2007)

I'm not sure of other good ones, but the refs in the back of the above book have many ethnography orientated titles ;-)

Not sure if this helps but good luck :)

Finish in 3 years?
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Hi, PhDBug -  I really admire you - you must of worked really hard to get finished in that time and work to fund your studies at the same time - you should be proud of yourself ;-)

I am in a similar situation to Artista - I m 6 months in - I have three children - run a home (cook, clean, sort childcare/school runs/work with children running around, walk the dog etc) and work part time (about 1 day a week).

I hope to finish within the three years, but I realise I have other commitments to juggle along side the PhD - however, I did know this before I started and it is something I have to work around.

We all have different commitments and have to do the best we can with our individual situations - I say good luck to us all - lets hope we are all successful!!!!!

Sorry for your loss PhDBug :-(

Just passed my Viva!!!!
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Huge congrats!!!!!!8-)