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chickpea
Saturday, 25 January 2014 at 9:59am
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at 7:50am
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Thread: Not enough to do?

posted
18-Jan-18, 08:11
edited about 2 seconds later
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posted about 3 days ago
I did most of my PhD work from home too, and definitely didn't put in full days in the early stages. Maybe you could say to your supervisor you are going to do some reading from home a couple of days a week, as you find that a better environment for concentrating? Or if there is a pressure to be seen to be in, you could go in, leave some stuff on your desk and disappear to the library or wherever for a while! Other than that, it might be worth looking for interesting workshops and events you can go to, either at your own uni or other ones - you have the time in the early stages to do this kind of thing.

Thread: Is this a sign I should leave academia?

posted
17-Jan-18, 10:13
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posted about 4 days ago
Congratulations Jambo!

I can relate to some of the things you've described. The reality is that some people do get handed a 'golden ticket' by their supervisors - I've seen people scrape through the PhD by the skin of their teeth and get handed a nice job right away - working alongside their supervisors. Academia's not any kind of straightforward meritocracy and the issues with it are well-documented. There are some things you can do to improve your chances - getting published and so on - and some things that are out of your control. With that in mind, I think you need to weigh up the different options and decide what to go for and how long to keep going for it. At the moment, I've not stopped applying for academic posts - but I only go for them if I genuinely think my skills and interests are a good fit for the post - and I'm looking at other avenues too.

What I will say is I don't think you have any reason to see your current position as a personal failure. You've achieved a PhD, with all the useful skills and expertise that go along with that. Don't let the problems of academia make you feel like you're on any kind of scrap heap - there are plenty of excellent people with the same struggles.

Thread: Can you add a hypothesis later?

posted
16-Jan-18, 08:20
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posted about 5 days ago
I think it is fine to discuss what seems to be the emerging pattern from your data, and to propose a hypothesis on the basis of your findings - that would seem to me to be an important aspect of making a contribution to knowledge. I think too often people get hung up on wanting to 'prove' something and to get the expected results, rather than see what actually comes out of a study. I think, like you said, the problems arise when people try to retrofit a hypothesis as if the results were expected all along.

Thread: Examiner's reports and results.

posted
25-Dec-17, 11:31
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Congratulations Pjlu! I hope you are able to enjoy a well-earned break before starting on your corrections. It can be very daunting to get the feedback and to start work yet again on something you've been honing for years, but you are so nearly there with the final version and have already passed :-)

Thread: How were your viva examiners selected?

posted
11-Dec-17, 11:22
edited about 27 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
I had a lot of say in mine, and used contacts I had to get recommendations. We started by drawing up a plan of the important bases to be covered, so that we had an examiner who knew the topic well and between the external and internal, there was expertise in each of the different methods I'd used.

Thread: Imposter Syndrome

posted
01-Dec-17, 12:54
edited about 25 seconds later
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posted about 1 month ago
Yes, it's normal. When I started my PhD, I felt as if I'd been handed a megaphone, because my thoughts and ideas were suddenly heard, valued and engaged with by academics, and I was still the same person with the same ideas that I'd been for all the years beforehand. It felt odd then and it still does now. I think, like pm133 said, most people don't know what they don't know, and when you suddenly do a lot of learning, you become acutely aware of all the things you don't know.

Thread: PhD Viva voce preparation.

posted
30-Nov-17, 19:20
edited about 16 seconds later
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posted about 2 months ago
I would use the presentation to put across a summary of whatever you want to say about your research. Bear in mind that the examiners will have their own questions about your thesis and you may not feel that any of their questions get to the heart of your work (eg they may fixate on a certain aspect that interests them), so what would you like them to know about your research?

Thread: Supervisors as co-authors but relationships sour

posted
29-Nov-17, 10:05
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posted about 2 months ago
I'd probably make the changes if I thought they made sense, and wouldn't if it was something I felt strongly about and felt the writing was best left as it was. But I think that when you publish and other people are involved, there always has to be an element of 'letting go' and accepting that while most of it is still your original work, there will be tweaks suggested by someone else - I'm thinking this happens even to the finest authors when an editor gets hold of their work. It sounds like it may be more difficult to do the letting go in this case because of the difficult relationships.

Thread: Open University

posted
23-Nov-17, 22:10
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posted about 2 months ago
Interestingly, I was interviewed for a job with the OU, and they tore me apart for the marking sample I turned in for their consideration (which was done to the standards required at a brick university).

Thread: Open University

posted
23-Nov-17, 22:06
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posted about 2 months ago
I did my Masters with the OU and found it to be excellent, and it certainly hasn't been looked down on by anyone. If anything, I have been told that OU study is good for demonstrating qualities such as self-discipline and motivation, since so much of it is done at a distance and to fit around other demands on the students' time. Additionally, there's not a hard and fast divide between OU academic staff and other universities - lots of academics do OU work as an additional job, so it's simply not true to say the staff are less scholarly - they're often the same people.

Thread: Revise & Resubmit - feeling humiliated

posted
22-Nov-17, 16:40
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posted about 2 months ago
Hi Ciniselli, I would also say remember that at this stage, some things do come down to different approaches and differences of opinion, as suggested by the fact that your examiners want you to undo some of the things your supervisor told you to do. Yes, hopefully the corrections will lead to a better piece of work, but try to remember that even experienced academics get major corrections to do on papers they've submitted. Please don't feel that all this is about you personally. You are well on your way to having your PhD.

Thread: PhD pass with Major corrections! :-( ....

posted
04-Nov-17, 10:16
edited about 4 seconds later
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posted about 2 months ago
In my experience, it takes a while to work through the post-viva emotions if you've had any kind of curveball experience with it. When you think about how long we spend on the PhD, how much feedback we get along the way and how much work goes into responding to that feedback, and then all the pressure of the viva occasion, it's not surprising that it can knock us for six at the end. And to be honest, I've now heard such hugely varying accounts of viva practice that I just think it's all subjective anyway. I have more faith in my Masters result, if that makes sense, because of all the exams I had to pass along the way for that. Good luck with your new job, hope all goes well :-)

Thread: Is a supervisor who takes more than a year to examine your manuscript a good supervisor?

posted
26-Oct-17, 17:17
edited about 21 seconds later
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posted about 3 months ago
Was the manuscript something central to moving your thesis forward, or something else you were working on? I'd find it very difficult to work with a supervisor who took that long with something I needed to get to the end of the PhD - who can afford a year-long delay to get something read? However, if it was something that you just wanted a second opinion on, it might not have been such a deal-breaker, although it's still concerning.

Thread: PhD pass with Major corrections! :-( ....

posted
19-Oct-17, 11:19
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posted about 3 months ago
Hi Jamie

I'm pleased to hear that you're going to discuss the report with your supervisor. This was something I found really helpful (I didn't get a report, but a list of points that could have been written on the back of a cigarette packet!). I found that after discussing what was actually needed, some of the corrections were smaller and more targeted than they first appeared - hopefully this may be the case for you as well. It is difficult when you get corrections/feedback you can't agree with, and you feel the point of your work has been overlooked - been there too! - and it becomes very much just a case of doing what they want to get your PhD. Two things my supervisor said that I found helpful - remember all the parts of your thesis that they passed without comment or correction (as we tend just to focus on the negative comments in times of high pressure), and remember you can do what you like with your work once the thesis has been passed, and can change it back or do whatever you want with it for other publications.

All the best with it.

Thread: PhD pass with Major corrections! :-( ....

posted
18-Oct-17, 19:58
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posted about 3 months ago
Sympathies, Jamie_Wizard. I had a very similar experience and a harsh viva which took everyone (including my internal examiner) by surprise. I was similarly given the longer timescale to do my amendments, even though in the end they only actually took me 2 weeks. Hope you are looking after yourself in this post-viva period - I found it really tough, and all I can say is you will get through this and will have your PhD, but allow yourself some time to deal with the shock.
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