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Mortgage v Researcher


I've been in consistent part time RA work since graduation in summer 2022 and have co-authored 3x research publications since.

But I am 32, have a partner, living in the UK, have little savings and want to look into buying a home.

I'm currently a temporary RA for a university.

How do mortgage providers view us researcher's? I'm anxious due to the temporary nature of some research work I won't be received well.

P.S. I am organising a meeting with an advisor but just wondered if anyone had homeowner or advisor experience?


Can I reject some Viva Corrections?

Hi Teo,

I would strongly advise further assistance from your supervision team on this. I was asked to remove an entire chapter but I refused on the basis that it was necessary to ensure the full policy context could be understood by a reader who was not from Northern Ireland. After my viva corrections, the internal examiner had to go through and check that the list of corrections was completed. So you will need to bear this in mind too, before you are formally given your graduation date.

Good luck,

Newbie jitters? Or absolute mistake?

Hi there,

You're only a few months in right? What you're feeling is perfectly normal at the moment. There are a whole range of qualitative methods, can I ask which ones you are including in your research?

By the time you finish your research, you are going to be seen as a really strong candidate for a post-doc research associate or any other related position. You are going to have the knowledge and confidence to design, lead and conduct research using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

I understand there are less maps and rules on how to do qualitative research but there are ways to do so. Have you considered triangulated research methods? There are also many research articles on how to better design and build methodological rigour into qualitative projects.

PM me if you have any questions, no matter how big or small. I'm a qualitative methods specialist with experience in thematic analysis, critical discourse analysis and a ton of qualitative interviewing experience.

Good luck,

Drowning in theory

We should chat! I am always happy to find a fellow critical discourse analyst. Its like finding pokemon! Anyway, I used DHA for my political science PhD but I combined DHA and historical institutionalism. If you want some advice or want a second set of eyes - we can chat further through email if you wanted to PM me!

How many interviews do I need for qualitative PhD?

Quite a common question. The answer is, it depends on the aim of your research question. My PhD was predominantly qualitative. Like hatemyphd84 says, the sampling rationale should specify your rules of inclusion. For my study, it was really important to speak to people who were actually involved in the processes I am interested in. For example, my PhD was interested in the emerging discourses around marriage equality in social and political contexts. I specifically marked differences in potential sampling groups between grassroots activists and campaign leaders as they held different levels of knowledge in terms of what was happening within the wider movement. Ultimately, I restricted my sample (n=10) to include only those who were closely involved in campaign communications (mind my study was mixed methods). So, it might be helpful to think - why are you talking to your current sample? And, why are there experiences important to your research? Hope this helps!

PostDoc Interview Baiting

@tru you think? I sure hope so, I just need a chance is all. I will in the meantime try to get a first author journal article accepted. Thank you! All the best yourself :)

Pre-Interview Requests for UNPUBLISHED work - normal?

Ah yes, I see now. Thank you for your thoughts! I've only recently started to apply for post docs. There is one out there for all of us!

PostDoc Interview Baiting

@rewt Good luck with your submission. Dont worry about the viva at all, you'll be suprised how much your brain will sing during the voce!

Sounds like a great plan! All the best with it! Can I just say Im so glad I found this forum, great advice from everyone.

My last few projects have focused heavily on sensitive issues, so subject matter is really important beyond what I am trained and educated for.

P.S. If you're a PhD newbie with little experience be sure to apply for your university or colleges research assistant registers! These can help to keep us afloat before postdoc work.

At this point, Id accept any rate so long as its understood as my stepping stone to something bigger.

Pre-Interview Requests for UNPUBLISHED work - normal?

Long story short, asked to submit a sample of writing (not unpublished specifically). Having had no accepted publications at the time of request, I had to submit a chapter of my unpublished work. Is this common practice if the candidate has no publications?

While I am not saying my work is even worthy to borrow or learn from but, I'm afraid I have given those of considerably higher standing than me leads of inquiry, potential new theoretical frameworks to pursue and a fair bit of background knowledge on their chosen topic of study.

Moreover, I feel reflecting on my previous post that the reason why questions are geared towards, 'How would you approach/design said 'fieldwork example' is because its also a fishing exercise to get ideas on how to actually approach their study. I found it very strange the wording around the topic was very vague and unclear about the analytical angles of the chosen topic of study.

PostDoc Interview Baiting

@tru your right, yes. My phd is actually in PolSci with highly specific methods expertise. I could but their actually different fields and specialisms Im not keen on.

I'm considering reaching out to industry based teams to get some 'other' experience. Possibly R&D, analytics work but they usually require quantitative experience.

I'm a qual only 😭 I knew this would be a massive catch. Still, I'm going to take the leap and continue to publish in the background to keep both doors open. I'll get there eventually 😩. Cut throat world this.

PostDoc Interview Baiting

Thank you for your reply. Yes, for academia there is always a degree of relational politics which is expected I suppose. Also, I am not officially a postdoc yet so there is that. Aiming for a major journal publication this year.

Im at a bit of a career impasse, unsure whether to continue into academia or to try to break into industry. I've been continually working multiple jobs and studying for the last 9 years. Exhausted is not the word.

PostDoc Interview Baiting

Hi everyone,

I'm almost a post doc pending the submission of my minor corrections. Have a BSc in Humanities and an MRes. In addition to my education, I also have extensive fieldwork experience and I am a very specific methods expert in a very specific part of the world with no publications.

So far, I've applied for two post doc research associate positions and a research and engagement officer position. All three times I've been told post interview that I didn't possess the 'right' experience or education background.

What I don't understand is how on earth an interview could rectify this? I dont appreciate PIs wasting time for RAs they never wanted. I'd rather have been told no from the beginning. I feel it is unfair to raise hopes when I never had a chance from the beginning.

Also feel familar connections with PIs play a big role in successful applications.

Has anyone else experienced this? Or is just me?

About to quit my PHD

Hi there,

I can relate to some elements of your experience. I got accepted into a PhD scholarship program after pushing through a gruelling MRes in Social Research Methods. I had two weeks of space between PhD onboarding and handing in my MRes dissertation. (*cue gasp*)

But, during the entire PhD proposal pre-program meetings with supervisors and my university's Head of Research every gut instinct told me not to do it. I received my acceptance letter and initially was so happy but this soon feel into dread as I came from a policing/criminal justice background and my doctorate is in politics.

Alot of tears later I decided, Im not afraid of a new challenge and decided to push through 1) not having any connections into the participant community i was interested and 2) being unfamiliar with the theories and scholarly field within my projects field.

4 years later, Im now postdoc but at a huge cost and deficit for my mental health and wellbeing. I never told my supervisors about how I really felt and had to talk myself out of quitting more times than I can count. Now, I didnt quit as I am a perfectionist and care deeply how others receive me. I shouldn't but hey.

I'm now trying to find a postdoc job to no success and constantly being turned away from good interviews to be told you dont have the right experience and specialism. So why interview me?!?

Like you, I was told use your masters. You'll be really good for this. But this wasn't part of my plan. It was the plan others saw for me. I will tell you first and second year is really difficult because you're trying to figure things out still. That's normal to not be 100% sure. I actually boosted my Political Science case study with additional theories in my 3rd year as it made more sense. Its completely normal to change course but you must justify and be able to stand behind your decision making in the course of designing your research.

Lastly, the decision to leave is not a light one. If you did decide to, I'd have a back up plan first. There is no consequence if you have something else lined up in my eyes. The decision for me to ignore my voice has caused me alot of anguish, I did push through but at a huge cost. It might just be you have yet to read or find scholars who engage you yet, or that you havent met your network of others who are in the same field.

Nothing is worth your mental health.

Help! First months of study and really confused

Okay, deep breath. It's completely normal not to have anything substantive written by the first two months. (I didn't draft my introduction chapter until my final year!)

It appears they are trying to observe your writing style or at least ascertain your intentions for this study after reading a little.

Normally it is best to write the introduction last after, your data has been processed. However, what you can do is an indicative chapter of where you intend to take each chapter.

An introduction normally looks like,

Background of study
Aims and research objectives
Literature Gap
Theories and substantive concepts
Summary of Findings
Introductory conclusion

Obviously at this point you can only proceed on the first three, possibly four chapter sections. So why not show them something like this? Break the sections down and write without thinking too much about it. Go back and edit. Read bit more and go back and edit.

It is better that you show some form of literature related understanding of your study approach, even if you show what approaches you will not use and why. So show which theories/scholars have symmetry to yours and those who provide tensions for your arguments.

As a doctoral candidate you need to demonstrate control of your methods and resources. Being sure of what you want to do and how you will do it will make everything easier at the end.

I hope this helps. Protect your mental health first 😊 You are obviously talented beyond belief. We all are 😎

Ps, Im a PolSci PostDoc and have a MRes in social research methods. Trust me, your self belief is your strongest weapon.