Overview of cucaracha

Recent Posts

New support and reading group!

Heyy I am interested in this! Would be great to have more support and buddies to progress with. I really struggle with motivation and accountability. I am in GMT time zone as well (will be BST next week woop :))

Thoughts on PhD stipend pay

The doctoral stipend in the UK (outside of London) for 2022/23 is £17,668 tax-free. This is a 10% pay rise from last year 2021/2022.

Thoughts? Is this good, bad, reasonable, horrifying? Liveable? Is it fair?

Does it reflect how much PhDers are worth and deserve to be paid(?!)

How many interviews do I need for qualitative PhD?

Really useful reply... commenting so I can refer back to it lol. Also like your username xD

PhD anxiety, low self esteem and inadequacy - HELP

aw :( I can relate and was hoping for responses lol :c

How do you structure your day?

It's really tough as a social science PhD student to create structure and routine... suffering from depression and anxiety makes it even tougher! Not having set structure or someone telling me what to do next can be really crippling and overwhelming. I'd love to hear your routines for inspiration.

PhD websites and resources

one example is this: https://www.ithinkwell.com.au/for-phd-students

though it's rather scarce on free resources!

PhD websites and resources

Hello! Is anyone able to share any websites, templates and resources helpful to PhD students like myself? I'm in social sciences/humanities/law.

I would be really grateful for any responses :)

What does your general daily routine or timetable look like?

It's interesting to see the structured routines of people who work in labs. It's really hard as a social sciences PhD to structure your day! I'm definitely in need of motivation and structure too!!

At the moment I'm facing quite a few big tasks that need starting and feel overwhelming, so I'm trying to break them up into manageable chunks and tick off small bullet-point tasks...

Worst PhD interview experience 😥😥

Aww don't worry, it's all about practice and gaining more experience!

I've been in your shoes a few years ago, had an embarrassing interview that made me feel negative about my abilities and knocked my confidence! In hindsight I realised that the interviewers were actually quite rude and didn't have good people skills, which made the interview a much worse experience than it needed to be. Would you really want to spend 3+ years working under people who don't make you feel comfortable? It's important that you gel with your supervisors and feel comfortable with them. You could take all the negative feelings you felt during the interview as a sign that these people simply aren't a good match for you.

I'm not sure if this is what you mean about them asking details about things they've already reviewed, but I remember feeling caught off guard when they asked questions about things that were very obviously stated in my proposal. And you feel confused like you're being tested or they're trying to catch you out, which makes you more hesitant and unsure. I think maybe it's just a case that they had simply forgotten about the details whereas we are very familiar with our own proposal, or they just want you to hear you repeat it. Either way, you've had the experience now and you have a better idea of what to expect for future interviews which is an invaluable thing.

Post-interview thank you emails are not obligatory, so don't feel pressure that you need to send them anything, and you didn't have a good experience with them anyway.

You're bound to think more harshly of yourself than you deserve, so don't beat yourself up. Do things you enjoy to take your mind off it, and when you do hear back from them, ask for any feedback so you can use it as a learning experience :)

UKRI PhD - reject a not-so-great offer or risk it and wait?

Quote From abababa:
It's been my experience managing UKRI studentships that UKRI are very open to the student changing direction in discussion with the supervisor, unless it's really radical (like changing field). It's eminently possible - in fact quite normal - to end with a thesis title that's a long way from the project proposal.

It's a bit of a half-truth that leaving after you start will have a negative impact on your prospects. A bad Uni/prof may even suggest this because it's certainly bad for them - as they're potentially left with PhD funding for 2.5 years, which they won't be able to spend without internal funding to top it back up to 3 years. It may well harm your chances of success at the same institution with the same prof, but won't generally be problematic. Word does not travel as far in academia as most believe.

Rejecting an offer (before you've taken any salary), by comparison, carries no stigma I've ever seen. It's the Uni's fault if they don't insist on a decision by a date.

Irrespective it's essential you go into the interview mentioning none of this and being enthusiastic. This isn't dishonest, it's being professional and making the most of every opportunity. Just getting an interview is by no means a guarantee of an offer (I average about 20 per studentship); if you say you're not actually that keen you'll likely be immediately written off and the decision won't be one you'll need to worry about..! :)

I'd just end by noting, it is always risky in academia to rely on a future promise or opportunity of a post. Naive, well-meaning academics often slip into giving vague promises of future opportunities to students, when anything not signed is extremely open to the whims of HR, senior management, funding councils, etc., - an academic that's not a VC is seldom in a position to 'guarantee' a future opportunity to anyone.

It is so disappointing and worrying that you manage UKRI studentships, when you hold such discouraging, negative and stale views about students' rights. I feel so sorry for any students that come into contact with you. Your posts on here do not present you in a good light at all.

Do other people's Universities also charge their PhD students to print their final theses? (UK)

Quote From abababa:
It is so disappointing as a student at an 'excellent Russell group' you think and write like this.

How is it disappointing for PhD students to want better treatment?! So sorry that you benefit from the status quo or are afraid of change, but I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle as people are increasingly demanding better.

There is nothing wrong with the way I'm writing, if you had any friends you'd know that normal people type differently in informal chats than in academic writing xD

Quote From Cat123:

I can only hope that Removed62360 does not ever get a job in a University given the views that they have.
I think if Universities require printing to be done they should cover costs. It is also my view that electronic submissions should be accepted and that hard copy submissions should not be mandatory. This also lessens environmental impact.

Agreed!! :)

Do other people's Universities also charge their PhD students to print their final theses? (UK)

... sounds like 'Removed62360' needs therapy to work through all their issues lol! Imagine typing out long dull essays about how PhD students should accept rubbish treatment and never speak out about issues, and getting triggered over suggestions that Vice Chancellors are overpaid greedy twits...

Luckily at my uni (an excellent Russell Group), the staff encourage us to speak out about areas for improvement no matter how complex because they actively want to improve the system rather than cling to outdated 'long-standing policies' for the sake of tradition :)

Do other people's Universities also charge their PhD students to print their final theses? (UK)

Do you think a University would rather spend £60,000 per year on printing student theses, or on hiring a new full-time lecturer for undergraduate teaching? What do you think is better value for money?

Universities can absa flipping lutely afford to spend a mere £60k on printing student theses. It would show some appreciation for their hard-working graduate students, who are underpaid on stipends as it is. It would hardly scratch the Chancellor's ludicrous salary.

This is just another way to flip the bird to its students, telling us we are so far down the institution's list of priorities.

Supervisor destroyed my love for science

Quote From Evelyn:
Edit: I just asked my supervisor if he wants to see my presentation before the defense, to check my slides, he said: "no"
Great, I feel so supported!

Not to defend your terrible supervisor at all, but maybe when dealing with people like this it is more useful to rephrase it from asking if he wants to see your presentation to directly asking what you need from him: 'Please can you look over my presentation before the defense to check my slides?'

Nearing some sort of breakdown while waiting for examiners' reports...

I can't imagine how nerve-wracking the time between submission and viva is, especially when dealing with mental health difficulties on top of it all :( At the very least it strikes me that you really love and care about what you do, 'there's nothing else I want to do with my life', hence you're so anxious about it.

Regarding your reasons you think you'll fail,

Quote From MoonMilk89:

- I feel like the language in my thesis is simplistic. The thesis itself is very easy to understand compared to papers and other dissertations I've seen which were heavier in jargon and more dense.

Ahh I'm such an advocate for clear, accessible writing. It is such an underappreciated (and rather rare) skill! I bet you're a much better writer than the authors of those dense papers you've seen, because you actually have the skill to make hard concepts easy to understand.

You could always slip in some specialised terminology during your viva too.

Quote From MoonMilk89:

- I found three typographical errors upon re-reading my thesis after submission. They were super small, but they're haunting me.

Ok the thought that you'll be failed for three typos made me laugh!

Quote From MoonMilk89:

- My supervisor allowed me to submit earlier than we had previously anticipated. What if he just wants to get rid of me and get it over with?

Your brain is just being mean to you telling you that. He sounds like a very nice, supportive supervisor from what you've said :) Trust in his judgement, he thinks your work is excellent.

Quote From MoonMilk89:

- My thesis isn't a groundbreaking piece of research. If anything, it has only managed to make a minor adjustment to an already existing idea.

It's a PhD not a nobel prize :)