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PhD stipend problems

I'm now in year two and in both years the 'additional' bit of my scholarship (which technically comes from the other collaborating organisation not the research council) has had to be chased up. Irritating but I've just put it down to 'one of those things'. The other 3 quarterly payments of the year have gone through OK.
As for the lack of annual increase - I don't know if this is a new-ish thing for the research councils, but we're all subject to it and I was a bit disappointed when I realised that my pennies for this year and next are the same as last, when costs of living and everything else are increasing. The way I see it is that at least we have a secure, if relatively skint, position for the next 3 years, which is something in these uncertain times.

PhD Studentship Interview-Any Please Help

I've had two interviews, both for studentships.
I think the first one had a panel of four, including two people from the university (inc the prospective supervisor) and the charity funding it, and the second it was 2 x supervisors plus the PG admissions tutor from the department chair.
For the one I didn't get, based on my own proposal, I was disappointed I didnt get the chance to be asked more about my proposal, and now I wonder if it's cause they had written me off in the first place. In retrospect I'd have put in a lot more RQs

The one I did get, it was for a planned studentship, so I had the chance to ask questions about the proposal IYSWIM! Questions were about my skills as a researcher, negotiating access to sites, why I wanted to do a PhD at this stage in my career etc . Think of it from their POV - what do they want to hear? as in, being a self-starter, knowing it's going to be tough,
Also - I think what swung it for me was *ethusiasm* don't underestimate that!


Paper rejection

Could you run the submissions past your supervisor first next time? I got some useful feedback on an internal conference submission that I was doing this week from mine. I'd say 18 months in is still plenty of time, and it's good they say it's interesting and promising, don't lose hope!

paralysing panic

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Hello All
Any tips for how to cope with the sheer overwhelming panic at the size of your literature review?
I handed something in this week and got feedback that it was too narrow and missing things out. It's also only one third of the topic areas should cover. I'm on a case studentship so in a way it's all nicely planned and I know what I should be doing, but now I feel like I'm never going to do it all in the time allocated. Also I feel like I'm just trying to get to my supvisor's amazing level of intelligence and knowledge and will never do it.

When I sit down I find the enormity of it overwhelming, and end up feeling physically shaky and crying. I feel confident with the actual research side of things but this bit is awful. Supervisor is really putting pressure on me now and I'm finding it hard to focus, and don't know how to make more time as have small kids too. Beginning to question whether I should be doing this at all / feeling thick etc and not sure how to cope. Also don't know who to ask as my fella a) hates seeing me cry and b) hasn't done this before so doesn't know what to say. I am having one of those 'I'd rather work in a cafe' weeks.

mum with small kids and doing a PHD

======= Date Modified 04 Mar 2011 10:05:11 =======
======= Date Modified 04 Mar 2011 10:04:29 =======
I suppose it depends on your subject area how much you have to be in (eg lab) or how active your department is in terms of activities and expectations of teaching, it can vary quite a lot I think. I'm in social sciences so it's very self-directed which is good, I could pretty much be at home 90% of the time if I wanted but then sometimes it's easier to get peace and quiet at the uni but it's miles away so I have to trade the commute against the benefits of less interruptions at home!

I've got two kids - 3 & 5, so one at school and daddy or grandma look after 3 yr old in the week. I'm funded so try to treat it as work. If I do go in the shclep get to my uni means that somedays I miss out on seeing them in the morning, or only just get back for bedtime :( I'm finding it's taking over my life and i do something most evenings, especially as I also have some freelancing work to do on the side.

I found it harder the with DD2 in terms of sleep deprviation / general exhaustion. A bigger gap would mean that your eldest would be at school though. would you be thinking of part time or full time? Babies grow up fast, and I'm glad I was part time workign for most the 3 years for my two but that's just my opinion now justifying the decisions I made years ago. If I got the opportunity for a funded full time Phd 3 or 4 yrs ago I'm sure I'd have jumped at it then as I did when it came up for me last year!

Keep meaning to get up early but need to retrain my body clock - what time do you get up BB?

ETA - there is a good thread on mumsnet up to a few pages now. have a google for it! Some nice helpful people on there I find ;-)

Finding peace & quiet

Just wondering if anyone has got any top tips for finding peace & quiet and not being distracted by husband & 3 yr old at home?

My Uni is 2-3 hrs away so in time & money it's tricky to get to. Where else could I work do you reckon? The local library is pretty small though it does have a couple of dining-size tables to work at... Hmmm....

I have a lovely office to use at home but it's hard to focus when there's music, laughter, tantrums coming through the ceiling. Also when I'm around the pull to the kids is strong, esp after 3.30 when DD1 comes home from school and wants cuddles, stories and general mummy time

What should I look for in a voice recorder?

I've used olympus ones in the past and they've been great. You may want to consider getting a plug in mic for group interviews.

The One Goal Thread

Sneaks you have my sympathy, at my peak of work before Christmas I was committed to odds & sods for five freelance projects for four different people, from two institutions, on and one is my supervisior. Some were small jobs, say a morning once a forntnight, but this was on top of my f/t PhD. I really could have done with a line management meeting with myself (!) to prioritise it all as of course everyone's work was the most important/urgent. needless to say I'm planning to to cut back this year.

My goals today: to read at least 2 chapters from book I got out of the library before christmas and to get my head round what's required for ethics.

Making the best use of Time

Hi Hiccup
Sorry no great words of advice, as a bit of a newbie (started in October last year)... just wan ted to say I'm in the same boat with having little ones and trying to squeeze in full time study, freelancing on the side and parenthood. A colleague of mine (who did hers in 2 yrs with v small kids!!) said break into chunks as if you think about the big picture it's too scary! She also worked in the evenings alot and made sure her OH did alot of the childcare, kids meals etc
Good luck!

2 good books to read prep PhD. well recommended!

May I also recommend 'The unwritten rules of Phd research' by petre & rugg which covers some of the grey area / soft skills you need for Phd life

Tips for papers reading

Good idea from OP about writing as you go, also how about organising them in end note or similar using key words and groups

Another little Endnote question

I've just had chance to sit down and watch some of the tutorials on endnote.com there is one specifically dealing with this http://www.endnote.com/training/tutorials/EndNoteX4/Menu-CWYW/Menu-CWYW.html

I can't advise as I've not done it myself so just skimmed over this topic for now but hope it helps


Hello I've just started last week too... A full time social sciences, esrc case studentship. Have been browsing on here all summer but finally feel legitimate iyswim!