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Just not good enough?!

Hey Pineapple, you have been through so much so hardly surprising that you will have doubts about abilities. Isn't this loss of confidence a phase that every PhD student goes through while submission looms!?! For you, I believe, that on the first submission you were up against time and perhaps didn't manage to fine tune your thesis - you were aware of its length and complexitity. This is your chance to rectify those issues and by the sounds of it you are progressing well. Have you had a meeting with your sups about your progress - how do they feel? You suggest that one sup is supportive and the other is not. Is the non-supportive sup just challenging you to prove him wrong? If your thesis didn't have the potential to acheive the award of PhD then you wouldn't have been offered a resubmission. So my advise would be to take a break to freshen your thoughts, then re-analyse what is left to do and how to acheive this. We are often our own critics, worse than anyone else! You can do this Pineapple, just believe in yourself.

It's over!

Well done and congratulations Dr Hypothesis! That sounds like a hideous 8 months waiting, so now the celebrating can commence :p

Please someone say something..anything to help me

Heidi - if you are going to Bath then check out the Norland Nanny college for a nanny there. We had norlander students when I lived there and they were fab. They are definitely a better standard to the one we have now! Obviously, you could always see if your current nanny will move with you and Bea.
Well done for being so committed to your write-up. It is a challenge with huge stress levels but at least you do have Bea as a beautiful distraction. My babies gave me the incentive to continue dispite it being a huge commitment with limited time. I got there against the odds and thoughts of others and you will too. I found lists invaluable to keep me on track and maintaining my work space in order so that I could just pick it up when I had the time available. Keep regular contact with your supervisory team via skype link if necessary as this helps to maintain focus. Keep going, you are doing a fabulous job :-)

You wanna know what I think...

Well done Potatoes on submitting! It is such a relief and weight of your shoulders when the thesis finally goes in. Enjoy the freedom and relax, it is almost all over, woohoo!

Help Requested - Near Breaking Point

Hi Alan, It is doable but it will depend totally on your commitment to acheiving the write-up. I was working full-time initially, them went on mat leave for the last two years with three babies all day. My write-up time was purely in the evenings 7.30pm-1100pm (no weekends) and just one afternoon childcare a week (1.30-5.30pm). I managed to complete my data analysis and thesis write-up during this time but it was a serious commitment that several people thought I could never complete. They didn't understand all of the emotions potential failure put me through such as the 'I told you so' comments, explaining to everyone inc my children why I didn't complete, the wasted money/ time/effort/results etc and the judgement by supervisors/my parents/hubby etc. Obviously, I was my biggest judge and was extremely hard on myself! It is stressful and frustrating as any PhD student will tell you. You will feel guilty about spending time on your thesis and not with your girlfriend/friends and children but then spending time with these important people will mean quilty feelings for not studying! It will be a rollercoaster ride but then the resultant pass and graduation will be an amazing acheivement. In reality, you need to decide what is most important to you now. If you let this go will you be constantly kicking yourself for not trying to complete? Your CV can be explained away with many excuses ie the data didn't work out etc. Or Is it worth trying to get your thesis written thus giving yourself a chance to finally get your PhD?

Panic: any help much appreciated

I also recommend knowing your thesis inside/out and having a look for any new published articles related to your work. You will know your thesis better than the examiners as you wrote it! As for settling the panic, I would recommend doing very little the night before and getting some sleep. Being refreshed rather than tired will be of benefit. If you try cramming the night before you risk overloading your mental capacity. Try not to focus on perceived failures/awkward situations in the viva, rather focus on something later ie leaving the viva, going out later that day etc. So everytime you think about the negatives and panic, you are calming yourself by refocusing on a pleasant (non stressful) later event instead. Hopefully this will desensitise the viva and stop you focusing on what probably won't happen!! Otherwise, deep breathing helps reduce the adrenaline.

The subject of original contribution is a rather debated one. For most PhD students it feels like it should be a ground breaking einstein moment worthy of a nobel peace prize, but reality shows that it is a very small finding/approach/method modification that no-one else has done before. Obviously there is always a worry that it could have been done previously but we just haven't found it in the literature. That said if the lit review is conducted thoroughly then it probably has not been published before.

Please someone say something..anything to help me

Well done Heidi, sounds like you are being very productive with your PhD. You sound like you have a plan to move forward with your daughter and this is good to have a focus point. After all that has happened, I think it is your husband who should fit in with you if he chooses and you accept. Meanwhile your life cannot be put on hold so look to the future. Bath is a lovely place :-x

PHD finally

Woohoo! Fabulous news Dr Naturalme! Many congratulations on passing your doctorate and enjoy some very well deserved celebrations. Everyone who undertakes a PhD goes on a unique journey to get there, very few unscathed ;-) I think that is all part of the 'rite of passage' and you have also been there too. (gift)

Please someone say something..anything to help me

Heidi, I have read your posts and just wanted to show my support for you too. It is a very tough time that you are going through and some focus (PhD and daughter) is really what you need to help you get through. The first thing you need to do is get that regular maintenance payment into your own account so that you have control of your finances. You need to be able to provide for yourself and your daughter without being put through embarrassing situations by your husband. Let your lawyer do the talking for you too.
I wrote my thesis with three under 2 yrs with hubby home or away as his work dictated. It is tough to write without distraction by children unless you can put aside childfree time (I had just one afternoon a week), hopefully your nanny would be great for this! The later part of thesis writing is about consistent writing and proof reading/editing. You have to be committed to seeing it through til the end. You are so very nearly there so do keep going. Don't give your husband the satisfaction of taking this opportunity from you. You are proof to your daughter that you are not a failure, please don't think this. The breakdown of her family is down to circumstanecs out of your control ie your husband, so don't feel responsible for it. You are doing all you can to provide a loving and stable future together, which I am sure you can acheive.

Thesis font

I also use Times New Roman, but then I am probably a decade older (1970s child)!! It seems as though things are changing though......

Examination (viva)

My viva was held early July so can be done in the summer. From mid July through to Mid August it was difficult getting hold of the internal examiner as they were on leave, so the corrections sign off had to wait til late september. Things over the summer run much slower.......

part time the only option - need advice

I studied for my phd part-time while working fulltime/having children. I had an idea of an under-researched area with two consultants where I worked. The consultants had both been phd supervisors previously so were happy to support me to approach a uni. I produced a 'titled' document with a small literature review highlighting the area of research, worked out the experimental design to facilitate the research, costs incurred with evidence of funding/finances and then gave an estimated timeframe for the work/write-up to be done. I also produced a supporting cv of my quals, prev work/research experience, publications and supporting evidence for my application. I contacted the uni in Cambridge with my propsal and after consideration it was accepted. They also provided a 'uni' supervisor for my studies who was principally there to guide me through the paperwork required and uni standards, although he did also have a strong interest/knowledge in my research area and did a fab job!

Anyone found a mistake in their submitted thesis?

When I re-read my thesis post submission, I found many minor errors. Most were typos and minor. My advice would be to note any errors down including the corrective action. You can change your master copy so that it is done before viva. I would not inform the uni or examiners about these errors as they are only minor. The examiners will be looking at the content and robustness of your thesis rather than minor errors. I am sure they will note them for correcting if they see them but as long as you can acknowledge them in your viva they will go largely unnoticed. They shouldn't affect the outcome unless it was riddled with errors lol. Good luck

Any other PhD mums?

Hi Farah, when I was studying for my PhD I had
my eldest and 12 months later my twins arrived. Not the plan I had in mind but
we got through it! Once I found out I was pregnant, I worked harder in all of
the time I could spare. I needed to feel that I was ahead so that when the baby
arrived I could take 2-3 months out. Believe me, the sleepless nights will turn
you into a zombie and it will feel like your brain will never function in PhD
mode again :p In the early weeks if you can do a little reading then it will
keep things in mind ready for when you pick it all up again. I got an
intermission period where both my fees and study time were suspended for a few
months. When I got back into studying I was part-time managing to fit in my
studies during the evenings and one afternoon of childcare a week. You will not
be able to study very well in just naptimes! This study regime was possible by
having an understanding hubby to attend to DD if she woke in the evening and
being super efficient (you will learn this when you have children!). Try to keep
lists of things to do and keep your desk environment ready for work so
increasing productivity. I had a pen/paper handy for quick notes when in the
middle of feeding/nappy changing as I was certain to come up with new Qs and
ideas then. I did manage to pass my PhD (minor corrections) within the part-time
timeframe and would have done so much quicker if I had funding for childcare.
Hope this helps.

OK, seriously, tell me...(part 2)

Well I certainly don't know how I managed to fit in my PhD back then so I guess another project will have to wait a while ;-) I sincerely hope you find a suitable job soon Delta. I guess I was lucky to get back into my previous clinical career but did get a few rejects in the job hunting that I did. Not a nice feeling after so much hard work and effort........keep smiling (gift)