Signup date: 25 Aug 2011 at 12:35pm
Last login: 07 Sep 2012 at 12:56pm
Post count: 48
Plenty of regrets about hanging on here... I've been running on a grim sense of inertia for about two years now. I understand the idea of sunk costs, but there's a part of my brain that won't quite believe in it- or that irrationally finds the idea of carrying hopelessly on less terrifying than trying to get a job with next-to-zero experience and altogether too many years piled up.
To put it simply... it sounds like they're not doing their jobs. Universities receive money for every PhD student on the understanding that they will actually spend it on providing supervision, and in return they're supposed to be held to Codes of Practice. See the general one here: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/Code-of-practice-section-1.aspx
...but your own university would almost certainly have one too. You should have (again, according to the Code of Practice) an alternative contact point to discuss problems with your supervisors- it might be worth going for that and asking for a change of supervisors.
Sorry to hear about this Genette, it sounds terrible... Is there any way you can contact the charity directly? I would have thought there's someone you can call. But if your thesis really is entirely dependent on your supervisor, is it possible to continue? I mean, from your post it doesn't sound like you're even on speaking terms. If you want to continue, are there people anywhere else (in an entitely different university) who could act as supervisor? If so, you could see about a transfer. But again, I think first you should try to contact the charity to ask them.
Unfortunately I doubt the university has any obligation to provide funding for your studies, but you should definitely look at hardship funds and any other sources.
This question depends on the details of your scholarship. You should either have, or be able to find, a handbook or something with details of conditions etc. If not, there should be someone you can contact in charge of the scholarship.
I would say- make sure you have the job before quitting. Especially as you're not from the EU, you'll need to have a guaranteed offer so you can get a visa.
Finally... I understand you have plenty of reasons to quit, but just to play devil's advocate for one second- that Excel comment doesn't sound like a big deal to me, just that he lacks people skills. If he's really not providing any useful help you can see about getting another supervisor. Also, I don't know much about engineering but I wouldn't necessarily expect a lot of progress in 13 months.
I'm one of the definitely unhappy ones, but I think at root that's because I've never been sufficiently into what I'm doing- and I'm an arts student, which I think makes it harder to just fight through that apathy in the name of getting something at the end. I think that if I'd had more in the way of structure and supervision that might have helped make up for the lack of interest too, or even provided a stimulus for interest- but obviously that's hard to say.
My situation is like Ady's, except that I haven't been proactive in sending in work. There's no structure in place at all. The one and only time I did submit anything for comments (a written piece necessary for Transfer of Status) the reply was essentially 'looks fine to me'. I also got editorial comments on my research plan- I don't think we've ever had a substantive discussion of what I'm doing. So, RLD... I have to prefer your way of doing it.
For these questions you should google the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide. To save you the time:
'Since October 2006, new students in receipt of a ESRC standard studentship award (undertaking advanced quantitative methods training during the PhD can make a case for an enhanced stipend of £3,000 per annum (conditions apply).. The Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) for AQM award holders will also be increased from the standard rate of £750 per year to £1,000 per annum. This is to support cost of training in advanced quantitative methods.'
So it implies that it is for the training cost. As for how it actually it works... there will be someone at your university responsible for ESRC studentships, and they would be the person to ask.
As far as I know this is doable, especially as you've just started. You should really talk to your supervisor about it. The main difficulty I can think of with changing the title is funding: if you have a scholarship you'll probably have to get permission from the awarding body to change, so you'll need a well-thought out alternative title/area of research.
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[sorry, doubled post]
...specifically, my experience is about the utter absence of work/comments. I really haven't EVER had a proper discussion about what I'm doing... so to me the idea of talking about it once a week and getting comments at all sounds like postgrad paradise. But then, I guess having structure isn't necessarily about the amount of meetings.
Zinar- no, I meant 4x total in the course of the year, and then 3x over the course of the next two. So I guess I meant 'lower you' rather than 'raise you'... my PhD experience has sucked, but I think for very different reasons to your lack of enjoyment...
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