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Revise & Resubmit - feeling humiliated

I got the same result on my first submission and had much the same feelings. It's pretty devastating to be almost at the end of your PhD journey, only to find you have another 18 months and a whole lot more work to do. Try to see the positive side, though: your examiners are giving you another chance to produce a better thesis, and telling you specifically what you need to do to pass. You will get a copy of their viva report, but I'd recommend now also noting down any suggestions they made during the viva, while it's fresh in your mind.

By all means discuss the revisions with your supervisors, but, importantly, make sure you do exactly what the examiners have requested, as they will be the ones, not the supervisor, who will decide whether to pass you or not!

My second submission passed without further corrections, as it happens, so it can be done! Lots of people on here have been through the same, so it can't be all that rare an outcome - I suspect people just don't discuss it much in real life because like you they feel humiliated. But it happens, and it's not the end of the world. Get on and do the corrections, and you'll have your PhD soon.

Submit PhD Thesis without supervisor approval

Check your institution's regulations about submission. At my university you had submit an examination entry form signed by the supervisor before you could submit the actual thesis (and I think there was another form to be submitted along with your thesis).

But surely your supervisor will understand that the deadline is not optional? If you're still waiting for comments, can you email your supervisor with a reminder that you WILL be submitting on [whatever date it is] (because you have no choice), and that any comments they have must reach you by then, or else you won't have time to incorporate them?

where to find PhD Thesis to read

Your university library should have these; recent ones will probably be in an online repository that you can log in to via the library website, rather than physical copies on the shelves as in earlier years.

Also, you could ask your supervisor, they will probably have copies and/or PDFs of their previous students' theses.

Does anyone think about suicide?

I would guess many of us here have been through some dark times with our PhDs - it can be a very lonely and demoralizing process, especially when things go wrong that are out of our control, e.g. bad supervision.

But it's important to keep some perspective. I found it comforting to remind myself that even if the worst happened and I failed or couldn't complete my PhD, life would still go on, I could have a different but still fulfilling career, I would still have value as a person, do worthwhile things in my life, have a family etc. The PhD may be very important to you right now, but it's not more important than your life, health and happiness.

How long did you wait after R&R/Major Corrections?

Just over 3 months for me.Things can be a little slow over the summer as often academics are at conferences or on holiday, but it should be fine for your supervisor to start gently chasing up now.

I hope you have good news very soon. I know how difficult the waiting is.

Terrible thesis

I had a similar experience - my original thesis submission was very rushed, which meant it was badly organised, under-referenced, not enough background given, missing results, inadequate figures etc. I had my viva and was (unsurprisingly) asked to do major corrections and resubmit. I did so, following the examiners' advice, and my resubmission passed with no further amendments. I was upset at the time to have to resubmit, but I ended up with a much stronger thesis.

It might be the same for you. If you're lucky, you could get minor corrections, but major corrections or revise/resubmit are not disastrous outcomes - look at them as a second chance. I agree it's really unlikely you would be offered an MPhil just because of an inadequate thesis. If you can show the examiners in the viva that you have actually done the work to merit a PhD, it's just that your actual thesis document isn't as good as it could be, they should give you the chance to correct it. Remember, no one submits a perfect thesis, so don't worry about typos etc, they can be fixed!

Not-to-be-mentioned-option post-PhD

There are no polytechnics in the UK anymore, as far as I know. They've all been universities since 1992.

It 's true that the newer universities (ex-polytecnic) can be less research-focused, and have less funding for research. It depends what you want from your career. If you prefer to focus on teaching, it makes sense to go where your teaching skills will be prioritised and valued, which may not be the case at some prestigious research-focused institutions!

ICYMI: The Case for Colonialism

It doesn't sound very politically correct, for sure, but I agree that in academia of all places we should have freedom of thought and of speech. Presumably it will stimulate robust debate, no doubt including some academics from the post-colonial countries in question, who I'm sure are capable of speaking for themselves. If the original premise is misguided or not supported by the evidence, it should be easy to rebut.

If the controversy generates clicks and citations, I guess that's good for the journal, far from 'sinking' it?

10 days before submission

Given the short time left, you just have to do the best you can. It doesn't have to be 100% perfect in terms of proofreading, formatting, etc, as small errors can be fixed post-viva, just make sure it's readable and conveys your results and conclusions adequately so the examiners can see you've done PhD-worthy work.

Most likely you will get minor corrections, but even major corrections are not the end of the world, so don't panic!

Im new here

Some people here will have experience of psychological issues, but it's not really a specialist site for helping with these things. Unless you want to talk about how it's affecting your postgraduate studies?

Otherwise, I can recommend the 'Mind' and 'SANE' websites (UK-based mental health charities), which have forums for support and discussion, and will be able to direct you to real-life help if you need it. I put the links below.



Mres before PhD

It depends how the program is structured: if it's an integrated MRes+Phd program, with funding for 4 years, then you would automatically progress to the PhD at the end of your MRes year (assuming you didn't fail the MRes of course).

If they are separate programs, then unfortunately there are no guarantees, though I'm sure it would help your application to have done the MRes (and it would give you a good idea of whether you want to do a PhD).

pre-viva serious formatting mistake

I don't think it's a huge problem. You could explain what happened in the viva if the examiners question it, and it could be easily fixed as part of minor corrections.

How long did you wait for PhD viva voce and what did you do in between?

About 2 months wait for mine. I already had a full-time job by then (not academia) so was pretty busy.

It's going to depend how busy the examiners are with other commitments, they need time to read the thesis fully, prepare their initial reports, and agree a date/time convenient for everyone involved. Right now many academics may be away at conferences or on holiday.

Dealing with Stress/Depression/Anxiety

I agree about seeing your GP - sometimes symptoms like you describe can be caused by anxiety and stress, sometimes there is a physical cause such as thyroid problems. Either way it would be good to get medical advice.

Also, I can't help noticing that you sound very perfectionist and rigid in your thinking and the 'rules' you impose for yourself, both in terms of your PhD work and diet/exercise regimes etc. Obviously being self-disciplined is a good thing up to a point, but when taken to extremes you can end up putting yourself under unbearable pressure, making you unhappy and ill. The GP should be able to refer you to counselling (in fact, your university very likely offers free counselling for students), where you could explore finding a more balanced approach.

Doing Research Technician Job after PhD

If it would be useful experience then you probably should take it. Not weird at all to want to improve your skills while getting paid for it :)