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Preparing for PhD and Masters research training

Thank you for the advice rewt!!

Do you list postgrad conferences on CV/staff profile post PhD?

Just wondering as a clueless student, what does your work entail as a lecturer having just started seeing as term is over and Covid etc?

Preparing for PhD and Masters research training

Two months ago, on 8th April 2020 (haha), I received my 1+3 ESRC DTP studentship!!!

That time has gone so fast and I feel I ought to be more productive going forward.

Does anyone have any advice on how best to prepare, tips, things you wish you'd known, any advice going into this journey?

Some general things I’ve got on my to-do list are:

1) Create a Gantt Chart roughly planning out the next 4 years, and research when the milestones should be.
2) Read the ‘It’s a PhD, not a Nobel Prize’ paper (jotted it down when Tudor Queen mentioned it previously)
3) Email course representative-person asking about the social science research training masters, as there is little to no info about the course online :(

Online survey platform recommendation: SoGoSurvey

That is great to know and may come in handy. Thank you :)


done also :) i think your Question 5 could be improved as I've only heard about your topic through instagram, but you demand I tick 3 boxes...

What is the role of your second supervisor?

Seems like the role of 2nd supervisor varies uni to uni, department to department, maybe even between individuals within a dept.

At Masters my second supervisor was just meant to be a secondary marker to ensure fairness, but ended up filling the role of my first sup when they went sick. They were really helpful and involved.

At PhD (so far) my second supervisor is second in name only really as both supervisors are active, interested and hands on, giving their different viewpoints. This is in the social sciences.

Concerns About Sharing Research

Have you communicated this frustration to the people who have used your work without crediting?

I imagine if you politely explain your surprise at seeing your work and discoveries replicated in their own work/exhibitions without any credit, they would rectify this, or at least you'd've set your boundaries if they try it on again in the future. I hope you can get this resolved!

Applying a PhD in the same university I got my degree and masters?

Imo it's more fun and interesting to experience different universities (but I'm someone who has gone to different unis for undergrad, Masters and PhD).

Pros of same uni:
---You're already familiar with the university facilities, culture (the way things work there), environment, admin team, local area, familiar faces. So you don't have to waste time relearning these things in a new place. And the comfort of familiarity means all your energies can focus on the PhD.
---You can make a very informed decision of whether you get on well with the academics/supervisors to help you thrive on your project.
---There may be financial benefits, like alumni discounts, preference for alumni for scholarships (maybe you know the academics well and they work hard to help you get it), and you have the local knowledge of the area to choose cheaper options in day-to-day life.

Cons of same uni:
---Potentially boring and missing out to stay in the same uni for 7+ years, never able to experience life at a different institution and city - variety is the spice of life. You miss out on the expertise, experience, methodologies, and strengths of different academics and resources at different unis.
---Being able to adapt to new places is an important skill.
---It can bring whole new perspectives to your work and your life in general to attend different universities, which is inspiring and motivating.


I wouldn't rule out doing an IP Masters more broadly and focusing on copyright law in a music and media context in your dissertation.

Remember the dissertation takes up at least a third of the Masters degree, in both grading and time spent. I spent a good half of my Masters year (of general law) researching my specialised area of law, which was complemented by the other modules in different, maybe unexpected, ways. Plus, a bit of variety keeps things interesting!

Maybe you could have a look for which unis have academics with research interests in the music/media law area who could potentially supervise your diss?

But hopefully someone in the know can give you a more helpful answer :)

Self-Funded PhD, but not sure on what funding options are available to me?

The project welcomes self-funded students which is unfortunate as it sounds to me like they'd quite like a self-funder really, and the research council deadlines have passed - so I think charities are your best funding option (ask your partner for tips!) as well as the student finance loans.

But you should definitely email Cardiff at the bottom of the page asking for more info about the 'available scholarships for outstanding applicants', always worth applying to, and you can ask them for clarification if it's three or four years.

This is a really interesting and helpful article about applying to charities for funding:

Viva anxiety (from the other side)

This is a really thoughtful post, and glad to hear it went well for you in the end!

Are there days where you don't do any work at all?

Agreed... measuring productivity by time is pretty unhelpful (though totally normalised in society). I wonder if you'd benefit from making a bullet list every morning (or night before) with maybe 5 tasks you'd like to get done that day to move your project forward, and try and get through as much of them as possible! :)

Also it's important to have days where you don't do any work at all so that you don't burn out, doesn't matter if it's not weekend if that suits you better

first time meeting supervisors

These are very kindly-put responses, thank you :)

Quote From pm133:
It absolutely IS an interview and you should treat it as such.

You need to try to sort the nerves. You have those nerves because you have put these PhD supervisors on a pedestal and are desperate to impress them to the exclusion of all other considerations. Remember you are interviewing them too and good candidates are hard to find. Respect your own worth and value to them. Failure to do this gets students into trouble and there's no shortage of evidence for that on this forum.

Very good point about the pedestal!!

Quote From rewt:
If you feel nervous keep the small-talk at the start of the conversation going for as along as possible. I find small talk makes me relate to the person and like them thus I feel more comfortable. At the start ask them side questions to get them talking, again to humanise them. I have dealt with social anxiety before and the easiest way way for me is to build a personal relationship.

It is definitely an interview but not a super stringent one. I think they will accept you if you are anyway competent, so don't worry to much.

I don't love small talk but you've got a point about building that relatability and humanising them !

first time meeting supervisors

It's almost come to the time where I speak to my potential supervisors for the first time, outside of emails. I'm so nervous and unsure of myself! Any tips for how to not come across as terribly shy, awkward and uncomfortable..?

They have already read 2 drafts of my proposal, said I did a really good job of taking on board their feedback, encouraged me to continue with the application process and said that they would be interested in supervising the project. They suggested meeting is the best next step after I said I'm hoping to apply for research council funding. I'm not really sure what to expect questions- or conversation-wise. I guess it's not really an interview as it's not an official uni meeting, but I'm worried I'll disappoint them and my mind will blank.

PhD interviews pre-funding?

Hi all,

I'm finalising my proposal in the social sciences with help from potential supervisors, and soon to send off my PhD application before sending my ESRC funding application.

Are you only interviewed for funding, or is it common to be interviewed for the PhD place too before you even apply for funding? The uni website doesn't say if the application process involves an interview.

Also, are the funding interviews and subsequent ranking conducted by the potential supervisors or by external ESRC selectors?