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PhD without supervisor

I totally agree with Dunni. Also, even if your supervisor was completely useless, it is always a good idea to submit with his signature than without. You are going to be examined by other academics, and not having his support may not reflect favourably, although as Sneaks as pointed out, it is not essential.

I believe that for science-based PhD is normal to publish papers with your supervisor as co-author, but this is not the case in the Humanities.

I think that - as you are close to the end - it would be wise to maintain a civil relationship with him, as you will probably need his references afterwards anyway.

Different page setups/Inserting page numbers

======= Date Modified 25 Jul 2011 20:51:16 =======
Thanks Dunni,

I try to stay positive. I re-re-read introduction and conclusion today, and I am going through some possible tough question now.

However it goes I feel lucky, because I met so many great people here, who gave me great advice, and you and Ady are at the top of the list. I learnt a lot from you!

I will let you know how it goes!

Different page setups/Inserting page numbers

Thanks Ady,

Only four days to go now. I start to have nightmares!

I am sure that you will manage the formatting fine. It's incredible how many skills you learn by the end of your PhD!

Different page setups/Inserting page numbers

======= Date Modified 25 Jul 2011 20:15:07 =======
Hi Ady,

You could insert your image/ chart on the portrait page, insert the page number as normal, and then rotate the image/ chart by clicking on it and then using the rotate/ flip function from your page layout toolbar. In this way you can adapt the image to the page orientation without moving your page number.
I hope it's clear! I have vista, but you should have the rotate/ flip function also in window.

surviving until the viva

I think that your "que sera sera" attitude is very wise.

Nonetheless, I cannot help changing mood, from very optimistic to deep negative. Obviously the PhD is long journey, and has an impact not only on the student (that's me!), but also on the people close to you. Family time has often been sacrificed in order to accommodate the PhD, and the idea of failing, or having to spend another year to work on major corrections does not sound very appealing.

I am confident about my material - I have unearthed some very important archival docs, and as a result I completely changed the outlook on my topic. This said, I am not so confident about the way in which I laid out the thesis, especially the introductory chapters. 

But we shall see, I trust that adrenaline will kick in when the viva starts, and I will be able to deal with the unexpected questions.

Thanks also for reminding me of the book. I am going to the library later on, and get a copy for the we!

surviving until the viva

Thanks Ady, I am keeping all my fingers crossed!

surviving until the viva

Thanks Bilbo & Dunni. I suppose that tiredness, uncertainty and hundreds of other things to finish do not help, but you have been there and you know how it is.

I do my best to take it easy, because at the end of the day, les jeux sont faits. Unless I manage to make a complete fool of myself at the viva, the result will depend on what the examiners think of my thesis. So the result is probably pretty much decided already anyway.

As I didn't have a mock viva - and I prefer not to have one anyway - I really don't know what to expect. I know my external examiner already, and I think is a fair person, nonetheless he is very thorough, and rightly so. As my internal is not a specialist in my area I am afraid that she will pilot questions towards her area of expertise, something I know little about. We shall see...

Anyway, thank you very much for your support and tips. I really appreciate your encouragement. It was very much needed!

surviving until the viva

With just over a week to wait until my viva takes place, I am here, unsuccessfully trying to prepare myself for the day.

I am so tired and bored of reading my thesis that I fall asleep after one page! So far I have re-read it, highlighted key points, thought about my contribution, possible problems, I have read again some key papers...I feel like I have made a soup of it all, and now I don't now how to get to next week without panicking!

I should have probably make an effort to summarise each page, although I inserted post-its in strategic points, but now I barely manage to flick through it (and every time I do it I find something I am not happy with!).
Does anyone have a word of wisdom on how to survive the week, and what should I focus on?

Many thanks!!!

Quit PhD at end of 3rd year??

I used to get up in the middle of the night thinking: " I am going to e-mail registry now (about quitting) or I won't find the courage in the morning!". Anyway, here I am , a year after. I submitted and waiting for the viva. Only time will tell if it was the right choice, but if I had quit I would have nullified three years of (hard)work, good or bad.

As we spend so much time focussing on reading, researching, etc, we sometimes lose view of what the original research questions of our PhD were. Or even why we started at all. I would suggest you to look back at your research proposal and then think again about how to structure your thesis.

I think that there are very few people out there that didn't experience set-backs in their PhDs. I found the writing up period the toughest. As I had a baby in the middle of the PhD, I had to work around my daughter's needs, and I ended up working at night, impossibly early in the morning, at weekends, when my husband could baby-sit...

A colleague of mine, with a similar situation, decided to quit. While I understand her reasons, now I feel that it was a pity to give up a bursary (she was funded by a research council), and her project at that stage. Probably, a few years down the line we will both think that the other one made the right choice!

What makes a Conclusion chapter perfect? (Humanities)

======= Date Modified 20 Jul 2011 15:54:50 =======
Hi 404, I didn't have my viva yet (still waiting!), so I should probably wait and see what the examiners think of my own conclusion.

However, I think that in your final chapter you should remind the reader your research questions, and provide answers to these questions on the basis of what your finding are, and on what you have discussed in your chapters. It is important that you stress here the extent/ importance of your contribution to the subject (e.g. did you develop a new theory? did you find new archival material?), and possibly suggest ideas for future research in the field.

This is what I did, I will let you know how it goes...

How you write it is matter of your own personal style, and I suppose that your examiners have given you some guidelines on what they want you to cover/ highlight. Your internal should be able to clarify any possible grey area.

Doom Gloom and Doubts

Hi Hiccup, I think that you have got good feedback already. I am hugely impressed by Dunni and the other ladies who managed their studies with 2 or more kids. I had one in the middle of my PhD and I struggled my way through! I am now waiting for the viva, so I should probably wait until the result to give advice.

What I can tell you is that there is no easy solution. I had a year off for maternity leave, but it was very difficult afterwards, with the baby sick on and off and also my health hasn't been great in the past year. However, I decided not to take time off and soldier on, because I was funded too. I don't know if it was the right decision. I suppose that after three years you just want to see the end of the tunnel.

Obviously, you need to re-adjust schedules/ ways of working pretty much constantly. And also take any chance to get help of you can: husband, neighbours, friends, relatives. If it is a particularly hard time, you should speak to your supervisor and agree on how to move forward. As it has been said before, even just a few weeks off may help to get you some rest and start again with renewed energy. 

Children are often ill when they start nursery, but things will improve with time. Through groups like the NCT you can get to know other mums and make friends who share similar problems. I found joining the group very helpful, and some help with baby sitting may be available if you need.

weak conclusions and phd fail

Well done Dr Blue! This is fantastic!!! You must celebrate now.
I am preparing for my viva, which is in three weeks time. Please keep your fingers crossed for me! (gift)

At the end of my tether

======= Date Modified 14 Jul 2011 07:36:52 =======
You have all my sympathy. I know what it means to work with people like that. My 2nd sup was my supervisor during my Masters, and going ahead with that person in the supervisory team for my PhD was a huge mistake. I loved my PhD, but that person managed to poison every single move and person around, making things very, very difficult, even now that is in a different university. My approach was to withdraw from the crowd and work as much as possible by myself or with other researchers. Nonetheless it was a difficult journey that is likely to have implication in my future in academia. I am due to have my viva in 3 weeks time, so I am looking forward to moving away from this situation.

We can honestly live without the fantastic "opportunities" that we are offered by people like these. My supervisor sent me (via departmental secretary!) the announcement for a 3-month fellowship 4 days before the deadline. Needless to say: the research topic/ location were not even remotely close to my area (applying would have required a lot of work and support that I was not going to get) and I needed three references from people that couldn't have provided them at such a short notice. Obviously was "very sorry" that I didn't apply.

This is a very typical situation. I would suggest you to be strong but detached. Do not burn the bridges, because you will need references from her, but I would definitely move out of her influence If I were you. The point is that they know very well that they are never going to be accountable for what they do. That's why they behave in this way! Even if their behaviour is openly wrong the department will support them, not us, because they bring funding etc. So, be strong, and think about completing your PhD in the best possible way. Good Luck!

The waiting is killing me!

This is fantastic! Well done Dr Dunni!!! You are incredible. Your family must be so proud of you. Well done!!! (gift)(gift)(gift)

The waiting is killing me!

Yes...I have been looking at the forum since this morning too. Realistically she won't be able to let us know until she is back home and spent some time with the kids etc. :p