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A shameless star-collecitng thread

He did tell me I was efficient though(


I am sure that efficiency is important in a researcher... much better that than the other way round.

Can anyone tell me where the helpful user button is hidden please?

Clearly not the right PhD subject


Am I understanding correctly that you are in the second month of your 3 year FT PhD?
If so and you are feeling a little lost, daunted and doubting yourself / your research question then I think you are in about the same place many of us here were at then. It takes quite a while to find your stride and get a good grip on the subjects of your thesis.

I am surprised that you are collecting data so early on though as many people spend much of the first year establishing their questions and setting up their study. I hear that you already have ethics approval so wonder when the PhD process started for you?


How to keep my integrity?

Hi Indoctorate,

I think option a) would be fine as long as you make it clear that your are comparing results from the data gained using your colleagues' with that of your newer code, and thus are talking about differences due to the programming.

Make no mention of the Thesis. If there has been an error at some point then this will need explaining, but if the error is his it is not for you to explain nor to point out.


Confused Australian - need info on PhD in UK


There is no one set rule as to the entry criteria into UK PhD programs. It varies by department and supervisor.

There are also a range of different ways to obtain a PhD such as those with taught compulsory components before starting work on the thesis proper, MPhil with transfer to Phd, thesis based upon publication or thesis only. It may be that some of these are more suitable for those with different experiences/qualifications on entry.

If you are keen to study for a PhD in the UK you would be well advised to contact university departments accepting PHd students with a track record in your chosen area.

CHANGE of BOTH SUPERVISORS after appeal after the viva

I have no experience with this type of problem so would urge you to treat my council accordingly.

It sounds like you need two things from a supervisory team now. Urgently more detailed critical appraisal of the Thesis and discussion of this so you understand what needs changing. Then access to review and feedback on the rewrite as it goes on. Given the time constraints, those who help you would ideally be able to read and comment on what you send quickly.

You could meet your first supervisor and be very honest about your concerns and see how confidant you feel with their reply. They may agree and assist with your finding others to help you to fulfill your needs.

Do you now think you understand what is wrong with the Thesis as submitted?

Finish MSc or include dissertation study PHd?

======= Date Modified 15 Apr 2011 09:05:45 =======
I have a dilemma but not a bad one - bare with me...

I have been doing clinic based research for a number of years on a similar topic with some publications. I undertook a part time research MSc the dissertation of which developed my earlier work looking at change in psychological variables reported by patient after a single visit to a doctor.

My supervisor left and I was appointed another who became very involved with my work.
With his encouragement after submitting my dissertation I started a part time PhD 18 months ago at a different Uni (original institution did not have suitable supervision available).

Whilst waiting for the PhD to start, I followed up the patients in the MSc dissertation study and an additional cohort through care demonstrating that the change in their psychological variables was linked to recovery. This led to a publication in a reputable journal and essentially this paper has become the ‘pump primer’ for my PhD.

The PhD appears to be going well using a larger qualitative study to confirm the results of the preliminary one and to check for confounding variables just about to start. A qualitative study is under development to see why there was the improvement in the psychological variables in some patients.

My dilemma is this: My MSc dissertation has not been marked 18 months on - I have a chain of emails with various reasons from the newer supervisor but all week. I know I could bang the table and it would be sorted. He is listed as third author on the post MSc paper and I can not believe there will be a problem with at least a pass (had distinction at all other modules so hoping for better than pass).

But do I need the MSc? it was not a condition of my PhD. If I opt not to finish this then I can use the results of the study mentioned above directly in my PHd which will make the Thesis a much more self contained document.

If I don’t complete the MSc and then for some unforeseen reason have to drop out of the PhD my CV will look a right mess of non completion. The planned studies should in my PhD supervisors opinion make a credible thesis anyway. Also my MSc supervisor is a nice chap who I sit on various committees with and I don’t want to spoil our relationship/get him into trouble by becoming overly ‘heavy’ about the MSc dissertation - although as a self funded student I know I have every right to.

CHANGE of BOTH SUPERVISORS after appeal after the viva

Hi, I think you have probably done the right thing in changing supervisors - have you had feedback about why you failed the PhD was it the viva or the thesis. If it was the thesis have you had pointer as to what the externals felt the problem was.
You obviously need to be very clear in your mind what needs changing - more data, different interpretation or telling the 'story' of the thesis in a different way.
If you are confidant with the second supervisor appointed could you arrange a meeting with them - give them the thesis and all the feedback you have so far and plan what and how to make the changes needed.

I am concerned that you could spend a significant proportion of what is left of your time to resubmit chasing in circles.

Odd situation

CoffeeRose, As has been said if it was a genuinely deferred place then you have already accepted it and have some apologising to do.

Most fields of research at PhD level are quite narrow so the chances are that you will cross paths with the others (Dr Xyz etc) over the years so my advice would be to contact asap the institution with the deferred place explaining that you have started a PhD elsewhere and apologising for any inconvenience this causes.

Do not contact Dr Xyz without discussing with your current supervisor and explaining what has happened. Failing to do this could land you in much hotter water. It is not normal to contact academics from other institutions without consulting supervisors anyway.

Hope it sorts its self out.

Difference between PhD in UK and US

You would be nuts to start a PHd in a topic that you had 'no interest in', there would be very little chance of completing.

The commitment required is much more that a project to be managed to achieve a qualification you need to have or develop a significnant spark for your work.

phd certificate

And what does it feel like, is it thick velum? Does it have a heavy duty academic smell? Oh to be holding that magic document...

Qualitative comparison of groups

Hi Sneaks,

That sounds very like the type of direction I could use.
Have you been able to comment upon comparisons between the groups? In my case this would be to identify possible reasons why some were not 'reassured'.

Qualitative comparison of groups

======= Date Modified 20 Mar 2011 08:10:22 =======
Thanks for engaging.
The overview: in most populations with the painful condition I am looking at psychological factors measured at baseline are the only things that correlate with outcone. Yet in the self selecting group of interst to me this is not the case nothing appears to predict who will or will not do better with care.
In studies so far I have shown that all though this group have much lower scores in psychological tests than others about two thirds with above group mean (at baseline) scores have these reduced within a few days of their consultation. The third left with more adverse scores appear to be substantially less likely to report improvement a month later.
A second quantitive study is underway looking at many more subjects, with a control group and also looking at a range of possible confounding factors/factors that may be a barrier to a change in 'reassurance' - these asr factors that I have arrived at deductively after a year of literature searching.
I am concerned however that I may totally be missing the point and that there may be things not yet considered or complex interrelations that are not apparent. Hence the desire to use a more in-depth qualitative approach.
Also this is a self funded PhD so I have a very large amount of freedom regarding where I take it. The more I hear about qualitative approaches the more it chimes with my 24 years of experience seeing patients in primary care and I would like to learn more (am reading indicated texts and will be attending modules from a taught prof doctorate program shortly). Finally and very importantly to keep my interest focused it sounds fun!
I do understand a little of the principles and am getting there with the attitude but don't have any experience.

Qualitative comparison of groups

Some help please. I have a quantitive background and much of my PhD has been going down this route.
I now feel I need to explore more widely/deeply but am not sure if I can use qualitative methods to try and find explanations for why two apparently similar groups of patients respond differently (are reassured or not reassured) after a single session with a clinician.

This is so, so, so funny!

Definatly raised a smile over breakfast!

PHD in two Universities

I have supervisors from two separate universities and use facilities at both however I am enrolled for the award at only one.