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Struggling with my supervisor‘s comments

It's always hard, but it's the same as submitting any research to a journal. You are always going to get corrections, some which you take on board, and others you disagree with. It can seem overwhelming and there's been many a time I've looked at my comments and just thought 'there is no point, I'm clearly not good enough', but that's not the right attitude. Give yourself a few days after feedback (my ego was always bruised) and then tackle it bit by bit. Minor changes first, so you see you've accomplished something. Then itemize the major changes and working through them a step at a time. You're not alone, everyone hates feedback, and sometimes anything less than 'you're amazing' can feel liek the end fo the world. Just take your time and keep going

PhD interview in Physics

Not in physics, but general advice is to send your presentation across prior to the interview in case there is any technological issues (plus it's always useful for them to follow). Have they given you a time limit?
If the PhD is an extension on the work you did in your masters, be sure to leave enough time to discuss the implications and next stages. Make sure you are able to see the limitations of your work so far, being able to critically reflect and critically analyse your own work is a really important part of a PhD process.
In technology terms, as someone who sat their viva remotely recently, make sure the room is prepared. The last thing you want is to realise part way through theirs underwear on your radiator in the background and focus on that. Make sure the room is warm enough, you have water to hand, that you can easily switch to using mobile data if Wi-Fi fails. Make sure theirs limited distractions and that the lighting is good.
Take your time, and best of luck! If they've offered you an interview they can clearly see you have the potential

Is it too late

Hello, completely different area of study, however my PhD was 3 years (with 9 months thesis pending after). The second year of my studies and part of the third were really lost, I went through something and it impacted my performance, I also started an amazing lit review only for someone to publish a flawless one a month after I'd collected data, then I had a study fail because of recruitment.
It wasn't easy, and I gave up on a social life but I managed to complete within the thesis pending period.
I'd look at what you realistically have to do, try to develop a plan or a GANNT chart so you can plan your progress. Take this to your supervisor and see if they agree it's workable. It's better to start this planning now and speak to them now rather than wait and find yourself losing even more time.
Do you have to resubmit for your progress review? I failed my progress review at the end of year 2 and had to resubmit for my progress review 4 months later?

Passed my viva!

Quote From cucaracha:
Congratulations! :)

Can anyone translate 'My advice is to know your epistemology and ontology, ensure you know your paradigm well' into layman's terms?

It's all about your approach to research, your stance (positivist, interpretivist) etc. Best way is to let the lovely Tara teach it:

Need help with applying for my second masters degree in psychology

Are you in the UK? If so, check to see if the course is accredited by the BPS as you will need to attain the Graduate basis for chartered membership by conversion course. It's impossible to know the difference between the conversion versus traditional route without knowing what the conversion course is. It will likely contain the basic paradigms that you'd cover but without the additional modules; i.e. you'd probably cover developmental, cognitive, social, experimental but not things such as organizational or health. You'd need to check the conversion course aptly covers both quantitative and qualitative methodology is you're aspiring for a PhD route. You've probably already done this, but if you are int he UK check out the BPS - they have sections on the types of careers and the qualifications you would need.

What about contacting the course leaders of the masters you are interested in? If you can provide them with what your end goal is and what it is about Psychology that interests you (and display the knowledge you've acquired) they may be able to advise you further.
Good luck

Can universities' research centers assist in getting a PhD acceptance?

Look at recently published work, see what matches with your own interests and contact the authors from that University. Have a short (A4 page) outlining your own research interests and the types of methods you would like to use, highlight similarities with their work i.e. 'I see you looked at ethnographic data and this is similar to how I would approach XYZ' and see if you can get a face to face (or telephone in these times) meeting. You can also see if they have any talks coming up, with conferences being virtual it could be a good opportunity to attend a talk

Good luck

Need help with applying for my second masters degree in psychology

Hello, I've studied Psychology. Can I ask, what are your reasons for clinical psychology in particular? There's a lot of misunderstandings of what clinical psychology actually is. It is a very competitive section of Psychology. If you are going on to do a masters in Psychology you need to really understand the basics, the history of the different paradigms for example. You also need to decided which area of Psychology fits with you; is it cognitive, developmental, experimental, social etc.
What is the end goal? Where does your interest in Psychology lie? You might also want to consider where you sit with epistemology and ontology, as this will help you narrow down your area of psychology.
For me, I thought I wanted to study clinical psychology, however when I looked more in depth at Masters I realised it was Health Psychology that more closely matched my interests, and I went on to do a PhD in primary care medicine.

Passed my viva!

I’m delighted to announce that yesterday I passed my viva with minor corrections.

After being utterly terrified, not sleeping or eating, I really enjoyed it! It wasn’t scary at all, I kept forgetting I was being examined, it just felt like a discussion. It was less difficult than a job interview.

I’d done loads of prep, worked through common questions, pulled my thesis apart and convinced myself I would get major revisions at best.

My examiners were obviously interested in my research, they were really great and put me at ease. They said at the beginning it was an excellent thesis, and the revisions will 100% make my thesis so much better. I’m to add a bit of text to 2 sections, and fix typos. I’ve been given 3 months due to me working and homeschooling at the moment.

My advice is to know your epistemology and ontology, ensure you know your paradigm well.

It’s not been an easy journey, as some of you may know from my old account, I was the victim or a terrible crime during my first year. I had to complete my PhD with that trauma and the relates court case. I’m a single parent, and until I met my partner a year ago, I had very little support outside of my PhD. I also battled an eating disorder, PTSD and severe depression during the 3.5yrs I did my PhD. So if anyone reading is struggling with mental health concerns, feel free to message me and I can advise you how I navigated academia with these problems.

Finally, thank you to all who have advised and supported me on here!

(Currently nursing the hangover)

First week...should I quit?

Hey, depression is a serious thing. I'm sorry you are suffering. It's always best to start a PhD with good mental health, but struggling is not always a barrier. It's OK to feel a bit lost and a bit unsure at the beginning, most people do. I think I spent the first month of my PhD staring at a laptop wondering what on earth I was supposed to do. It's also hard to go from directed learning to suddenly directing your own learning.
Maybe have a chat with your supervisor? You could look at some training opportunities such as lit review courses to get you in to the swing of things.
Your university should have mental health facilities for you to use, try entering counselling or CBT before you make this decision, its always best to make life decisions when you are sure they are not directed by mental health.
There's absolutely no shame in deciding a PhD is not for you, or it's not the right time to embark on one, sometimes just knowing that gives yu a sense of control.
Do take your time, remember you are worth more than a PhD, you are a whole person with many wonderful qualities

I want to quit my PhD. Advice and Reassurance.

Hey, it's OK to walk away. It's your life and if it's causing you too much grief, it's OK to make that decision.

Just make sure it is the right decision, not a reaction to stress. Sleep on it, take a week to think it through and then decide.

Would you want to perhaps go for an MPhil? Or take an extended break in learning?

If this in genuinely what you want, then go for it. A PhD is not worth your mental health collapsing

Deadline Anxiety, Time Management and Imposter Syndrome

Hi R. So form what you've said it seems more like the restructuring and re-organisation seems overwhelming, especially when you've already put in so much work. it can sometimes feel a little soul destroying at times. It is completely normal to feel like this when we receive feedback of this nature. It's not some serious glaring errors that induce those stress feelings that make you panic correct, it's not a solid direction of changes to just follow.
Take it one section at a time, that really helps.
Also, thinking about your situation, perhaps rather than deadlines to meet you could have approximate deadlines, so give a deadline period of 2 weeks - the earliest you submit would be 28th September and the latest you would submit is October 12th. Then you can set yourself a target of 28th, but you have a buffer to work with if it's too much. That should help appease the perfectionist side of you.
I also found that taking chunks off work didn't help (i.e. I once took 3 months), but taking an afternoon off or giving myself a 'mental health' day worked much better. Control and ownership are really important to our mental health. So for example if I was having a bad day I would just say to myself 'today is a difficult day and I'm making the decision to not work, but to rest and focus on my wellbeing'. Another tip my dad (of all people, who doesn't really get mental health) taught me was to set your emotions time limits, so he taught me to say to myself 'I feel really upset about this, I'm going to let myself feel that upset for the next hour, then I'm drawing a line under it and moving on'. It helped me. As a psychologist it kind of goes against everything I would normally believe in (letting emotions come and go as they wish) but as a perfectionist who often feels out of control, it helped me.
Keep going, you are doing great

Viva prep / thesis-phobia

Quote From rewt:
Hi em89,

I am very sorry to hear what is happening. I know you were frustrated about your viva delay and to find that it is around the same time as your court hearing must be soul destroying. However, your children must be priority and I think you are doing the right thing focusing on them. I can't possibly fathom the stress you must be under with everything but bouncing between different things is not an efficient use of your time. If you want to reread your thesis, you need to commit to a realistic plan to do it in manageable chunks without worrying about everything else. Once you start reading it and "get in the zone" it will become easier, so don't feel bad about spending an hour reading as you are being more efficient. Do you have any family or friends who can help free up some time or could you delay the viva 2 weeks? Maybe say you have coronavirus? If not the viva will go better than you think, we are our own worst critics sometimes. Most reviewers or examiners do not pick up half the mistakes we see ourselves and in practice if you say something with confidence most people will believe you. Also, if you are expecting major rewrites, admit it at the start of the viva. If you say that something needs changed examiners are likely to agree and not be harsher than what you suggested.

I don't know what else to say except goodluck!

Thanks Rewt - breaking it down into chunks is really helping, and actually taking my mind off other stressors. I also had an email from my internal reminding me not to worry or stress over my viva as hopefully it would be a positive experience. She's been a fantastic, and honest, internal throughout so that brought some sense of relief. Thanks again

Dealing with Supervisor Feedback and anxiety

Hello. I found this a really difficult barrier to overcome. Negative feedback is in fact positive feedback, it gives us the ability to change directions and build on our ultimate goals. If you search this forum you'll find examples of students who didn't receive this feedback getting to submission point and having real difficulties having wasted time on work that doesn't fulfill the criteria they have to meet. With any job, and any work, you are never going to get everything right, and particularly in research. Research is an iterative process, no-one has the perfect hypothesis, methodology and study design form the word go, it takes time, mistakes and rethinking until the study is ready. Perhaps this helps you to re-frame how you see this feedback; rather than a criticism, it is simply a redirection towards getting it right.
For anxiety, I used to ask my supervisors to delay feedback until i felt ready to receive it. This was due to other stressful events ongoing in my life meaning that I did not ave the capacity to read feedback as intended, and instead it destroyed my self-esteem. Taking back control of when I read the feedback actually helped more than delaying it. I felt like my PhD was a collaboration again and that me and my supervisors were colleagues working towards the same goal - getting me my PhD.
Of course all I've said you probably already know, and logic doesn't always feature in our emotions. it is OK to take a few days to re-group and recover your ego (which I do not mean harshly, we all have one and they bruise easily!). Then start working again and now that each re-direction is a massive step forwards towards your goal, not a step back.

Best of luck

Deadline Anxiety, Time Management and Imposter Syndrome

Hello, I developed severe anxiety during my second year. Deadlines were non-existent in my department, but I struggled with submitting work, because I was frightened of the feedback.
Every person in the world has their own 'emotional bucket'. Whatever causes upset or fear add's water to that bucket. When we suffer anxiety the bucket is already full, so the smallest thing can make us overflow. For me, getting anything less that perfect feedback would have made me overflow. In the end I came to an agreement where I would submit the work, but I would request the feedback whenever I felt I had the capacity in my bucket to handle it. It's also worth noting that the more I avoided handing in work because of this fear, the harder it became to hand in work.
You could try setting aside time around your deadlines to take care of your mental health. many people will simply say that if you mental health isn't great, a PhD will only make it worse. whilst this is true to an extent, there are ways to support someone through this journey who does find their mental health to be difficult.
For me, kickboxing is what keeps my anxiety at bay, it's a physical release, it's disciplined (I, too, am a perfectionist!) and it makes me feel stronger. Others find meditation, yoga, dance, singing to help. If you can identify what helps you, try to plan activities in the weeks coming up to your deadline.
Also try to work out why you fear deadlines - if it's the feedback, try what I did. Just having control of when that feedback lands in your emails reduces that anxiety.
Finally, if you feel your mental health is not getting better, or you find yourself really slipping, you may need to request a further break. You need to put aside what your supervisors may think or how it may appear and focus on the key thing, which is your health. There's no point to a PhD if it irreversibly damages you in the process.
Best of luck

PhD Funding

Always apply, you are 100% not going to get funding if you don't apply, applying gives you a chance! Many people will have suffered during the pandemic, and almost every academic I work with has stated their productivity has diminished. Make your cover letter really strong, highlight what has gone 'wrong' but don't dwell on it, and highlight how you overcome it. For instance if I had to write about my job performance it would be this:
'During the pandemic I experienced some anxiety with working in a very different way, initially this impacted my performance. However I have learnt so many new ways of working now, and new strategies that should I face sudden disruptions to work and life I am now well prepared, as evidenced by my ability to bring the research project up to date'
So you may have secured a merit instead of a distinction, but you still achieved a merit despite everything going on - you didn't give up, your grade didn't slip to a pass. Think about how much stronger you are as a person because you did your masters during a global pandemic, think about all the new strategies you've learnt, how you've found ways to overcome barriers. Turn this awful year into your biggest strength!
If you don't successfully get funding this time, try and get some research assistant work and try again next year. Remember it's not a race, it's a journey.
Best of luck