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My Friend needs help!

Proper organisation without the many sidetrack projects often encountered by PhD students could see many PhD projects completed in a far more timely manner that the usual up to four years or more.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)

Agreed, however it appears to be a vicious balance of compromises, where you want to accumulate whatever teaching experience you can get (if available), you want to stay close to professors with active or pending grants for research, presenting and possibly even organizing conferences which all add to your CV post-viva if you plan to continue your journey towards Mordor...I mean Academia heheh (Lord of the Rings joke :P)

My Friend needs help!

I have seen people on forums say they got their PhD in 2.5 years. This is purely anecdotal and hearsay however.

Unfair and a Bully that is my Supervisor and Quiting my PhD

Damn those are some proper horror stories. My supervisor seems cool via email...allowed me to defer entry into the programme from October to March no problems. I'm sure he is a nice guy. However back on track....ywan459 has made a critical point. Have you guys been reading the Job/Postdoc section? Thats a whole other freak show, and not in a good way. If it is so hard to get into academia as is, I can only imagine that an ass of a supervisor can only make your first postdoc search miserable. At best, he will do absolutely nothing to help you, at worst he will talk badly about you every time someone rings him up for a reference on you.

Being a much more professionally minded person going into my PhD, I intend on making decisions with the ultimate career outcome in mind. A bad supervisor can probably have negative latent effects.

Issue with PhD supervisor

Well If you don't take it to the research office, he wins by default so regardless of your apprehension you must see it through to the end.

Worst case scenario: They tell you to pi$$ off, award your MPhil and you'll have to cut your losses. You yourself have laid out the current flaws in your methodology, which are the lack of volume of data...which is a pretty big problem if you are using the results as a sample population for quantitative analysis. Secondly you have also said that because you are unfamiliar with this particular method of gathering data you are having difficulty.

If the worst case is that you get an MPhil and lose a year getting into another institution that's not the end of the world. You would have the opportunity to reassess your methodology throughly.

If the research office rules in your favor however, be prepared for one hell of a viva at the end of it all. It might be worth considering that it's something that may come back to bite you in a rather nasty fashion in the end.

Just my 2c

Still Unlucky :(

A bit of lightheartedness for you incognito; but as an Economist I am sure you are well aware that probability favors you more and more with every application. But life is like that...people who give up have a pre-defined line they are not willing to cross. My line is when I die. So quite simply its succeed or die trying.

I always tell myself that every rejection is another funny story I can tell when I am giving a talk an auditorium full of people one day.

Consultancy ???

Hey there. Very first post but here goes. As someone who was consulting for a UN org (Geneva) while working on my master's dissertation its not incredibly hard to get into the field. I am speaking form the perspective of working in Switzerland which is the heart of the UN and other satellite orgs.

What happens is you can come in as an intern (paid or unpaid) and then through networking can get a consultancy stint lasting on average 3 months to a year. The pay was 3.5K GBP a month (no taxes as you for for an intl org). My main gripe is that moving my wife to Switzerland was not an option since she earns more as a Doctor, and 2) with the really short contracts you really cannot plan a proper life.

Making permanent staff is tough, but most friends who chose to stay on manage to find ways to extend their contract or get fresh consultancies in different departments. I was working a very operational organization which was focused on projects being implemented on the ground. If you have that philanthropic blood pumping in you by all means give it a shot. There are the much more report/research based organizations however like WIPO, UNCTAD, WTO, ICTSD, etc..

Why am I starting a PhD in April? well really because I have come to believe that development orgs are just all talk..a lot of BS and politics and no real bleeding edge work. 90% of their reports are just based off academic's work. Their original input is limited, however I suppose one can argue that databases like the World Bank are invaluable.

In the UK I know there is ODI which seems to be research based. I have worked with some of their people. I wasn't terribly impressed with the depth of reports being produced. However if you like dressing up, getting paid obscene amounts, travelling non stop and shaking lots of hands and attending lots of cocktail parties do give it a try.