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elski
Sunday, 10 September 2017 at 9:06pm
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 at 5:01pm
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Thread: 2nd year blues?

posted
20-Nov-18, 17:18
edited about 5 seconds later
by elski
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posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi all, I've just begun my 2nd year of a PhD on the gut microbiome. Feeling a bit deflated, unmotivated and like I haven't achieved anything throughout my 1st year.

Basically all of first year I was reading, preparing for probation review, applying for funding, developing my research questions and study documents and applying for ethics. I also published a review on my subject area. I have ethical approval now but there are amendments I need to make before I can start the actual research. All the admin stuff (writing study documents, ethics etc.) - I wasn't expecting that. Other PhD students I know have been cracking on with lab work, but I don't even have any samples to work with yet.

I know it's not good to compare your PhD to others, but is there anyone who's in a similar position to me? As in 2nd year, no results, still faffing about with ethics/study design? It's so frustrating and I feel like I'm so far behind!

Thread: Is this normal?

posted
22-Nov-17, 11:32
by elski
Avatar for elski
posted about 1 year ago
I'm two months into my PhD (human microbiome in disease) and I'm panicking slightly, not sure if I want advice or just to let it out...

What I basically want to know is whether it's normal to go into an advertised PhD project with the specifics of the research question, funding and ethics not properly thought out by the supervisor? My supervisors advertised my PhD project a few years ago at the same time as they applied for funding for it, but their funding application failed. My primary supervisor said he was surprised when the uni told him someone (me) had applied for the PhD project a few years later (it was still being advertised but I don't think he was aware). The project is funded in terms of my stipend and a grant of £1000 per year for travel to conferences etc., but nothing else (I naively thought research costs were just a given, seen as you can't do much research without them). Now, having started my PhD, I've been tasked with defining the research question within my broad subject area, applying for a small funding grant for patient consumables (although the rest of my funding will costs much MUCH more) and applying for ethical approval (IRAS). The funding deadline is for December, but I don't even feel like I've been reading long enough to consolidate my ideas and figure out what consumables I'll need...

I know you're meant to be completely overwhelmed when you're doing a PhD anyway, but all my peers seem to have everything (or at least funding/ethics) worked out for them and they're cracking on with experiments. How will I have enough time to get everything done? I also know I need to speak with my supervisors about this, they're both super busy all the time/hardly ever in the office/unreachable - I have a meeting with them on Friday, will try and express my concerns then...
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