Signup date: 05 Dec 2007 at 10:50pm
Last login: 01 Oct 2009 at 2:00pm
Post count: 32
Hey Chris this a very quick one. One thing I have learnt re making research decisions it simple ol' cost benefit analysis. My PhD in is in health/clinical psychology, I can relate to your topic a little. One thing you can be sure of is that your PhD will change and adapt as you begin the process, things don't go to plan etc, however, with patience persistence and good supervision that is all part of the process and 'fun' of a PhD...
Obviously, these are just my thoughts and discussion with your MSc supervisor should be your point of reference for these decisions. There are benefits to both. However you may get more from the specific approach. - testing one hypothesis. Reason being, you will have to lit review anyways for that, and you can go into depth and really feel out the area that way. Additionally, you can test something out. This is great experience, whether it works or not. If it works, great it will be really useful in proposing your PhD. If it doesn't work, (as happens so much of the time, but nobody mentions!) then if you can figure out why it hasn't worked that is also useful too. It may allow you to tighten your theories, proposals. Also it may allow more time in your PhD for stuff that 'works'. For your psychological health it is better to have things not quite work out, with regard to outcomes, in your MSc rather than your PhD...
Just my thoughts,
I did my MSc thesis on the one the topic that I went on to develop into a PhD, and it was immensely helpful. A lot of my PhD friends spent a good few months reading etc before they did anything (there topics were quite new to them), I was able to run straight into my research, the MSc served as a massive literature review and a sort of proof of concept opportunity. (In fact my BSc project lead into my MSc thesis, so I have been doing the very same type of stuff for nearly 7 years, and I am only just finishing a 3 year PhD...).
I just wanted to post, as I completely resonate with what you say. I think there is only one thing to do, work hard, try your best, and be patient. There is nothing else we can do right?
I have had this experience a lot. Unfortunately, my work is quite a new, in controversial area. Therefore I am getting annoyingly mixed reviews. For instance, a recent paper I had back, one reviewer was very positive indeed and recommended accept. The second review liked it and recommended a few easy changes, the third reviewer said they had 'major concerns with the paper' and then listed how I should make the intro shorter, and change some references! and then restated how concerned they were with the ideas. The Editor went with the third review and rejected.
This may work out for the best, as we have now actually sent it to a better journal,... but I have had to learn to wait....
My strategies has been attrition, keep revising, keep submitting, keep trying. In the mean time I have tried to do as many talks and conferences as possible, so at least you are building your CV whilst stuff is under review. - and any other things you can do that make you a little different...
I think there comes a point, where you realise and stressing and worrying will not make them come back faster. It sucks, but I think we just have to learn to deal with it.
Just wanted to add my thoughts.
It Psychology, so despite what some might say it is a science, rather than social science (we are in faculty of Science and Engineering). Perhaps a little shorter then??
There is no panic, I have done a fair bit of writing already and I have until September to submit, just feeling it out!
Right I know this might be a "how long is a piece ofstring" question, however, I just wanted to get some thoughts on this. Itmust vary between subjects, perhaps being shorter for sciences. I have ahandbook that says 80,000 max, but what about below that? I have always run onthe quality not quantity theme, however when I suggested that I expect mine tobe between 50,000 and 60,000, other 3rd year PhD students thought this was abit short?
Just wanted to get some thoughts on this, not looking for a definitive answer.
I too am at this stage, I am around a month or so into my third year. I know on these boards people often seek confirmation of what they are doing, so this may be a little controversial...
The best advice I have had from experienced people, is papers papers papers. A PhD thesis will not secure you a job, everyone applying will be about to get, or already have one. It is the extras that will really help you out, the conference presentations, the second/third author papers, firsts authors too if you can get them... Also from my own experience networking is so important. I hated it too initially, but after meeting someone at a conference who told me about a friend of his who I met up with at another conference, we are now writing a grant app together, and working on some papers. I think for a PhD to work, if you want to stay in academia, you have to throw yourself at everything you can.
My two cents
A fair point. At the end of the day these questions are always going to come around. I think the main thing is to simply do the best you can with the circumstances and opportunities that arise in each case.
If there is the choice then as you say red brick is probably best to go for. However, the idea of self funding specifically for that reason, I think is a bit much.
I have an undergraduate from an old poly, a MSc from an old poly, and am doing a PhD at an old poly.
This partly because I was offered 4 years fully funded after my undergraduate studies, partly because I get on so well with my supervisor. What a am learning is Publication Publication Publication!
Luckily my supervisor knows this so we are working on lots of research. In my area it is papers that are important. So if you are from a red brick university but have no publications, bottom of the pile for you! Also, at conferences I have been to I have met snobs from red bricks (almost entirely postgraduates). Then looked at their CV and seen nothing of much worth. It is all about you. You are the brand!
Also it is a little way off. Do as much as you can to help yourself, publish as much as you can, go to conferences, but most importantly be optimistic. There is not much point being anything else, asides your own mental and physical health, if you are optimistic you are more likely to be more productive and creative, hence improve your chances of getting the work you want. So don't be depressed, take control of your own future. Also remember, you have a masters and are doing a PhD so you must be good otherwise there would have given it to someone else.
I am not suggesting denial, I am suggesting that you make yourself objectively aware of the job situation, prospects etc, but do not succumb to the subjective taint that others may give it. Remain optimistic and try your best, I think that is the best we all can do.
Also remember, in many respects life is very good for us folks.
You didn't mention what area your PhD is in. I suspect that will make a difference.
I am half way through mine and I would like to go into academia. My department seems more positive. They suggest that finding academic work after can be hard if you are restricted to one place geographically. If you can move around you should be fine. Even if you can't I am a firm believer in ‘where there is a will there is a way’.
All good points, I did think there may be difference in supervisor's opinions on this. I guess a crucial factor is why you are doing the PhD in the first place. This may influence your focus. If you are doing it to get the PhD, you may focus on that, if you are aiming for a research career you may be a little more publication focused perhaps?
I suspect people have different views on this, and I get that is what I would like to get at. Also there may be large subject variance too. However, I guess we may all agree that publications are an important part of academia. So my question is, if any at all, what number of publications are you aiming for by the time you finish your PhD? None? One good first authored paper? Or perhaps two or three second or third authored papers? Perhaps more, perhaps less?? Are there any expected informal targets within your subject?
I would be very interested in your views...
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