I'm also a final year (or final semester at the time of this post) PhD student in chemistry. I know I can finish my thesis and defend on time, but my greatest fear is not being able to publish my last chapter (I only have two papers from grad school) and leaving with a publication record that is not competitive in the job market. I'm also light on awards and breadth of technical skills. I guess things could be worse, but right now I'm struggling to maintain focus when depression sets in everytime I try to work.
It's not a nice position to be in, writing while hoping things will work out with your experiments. I am still collecting data too - not the way I wanted things to work out, writing up the bits I can while knowing I will need to adjust my argument according to whatever set of results I end up with! I am resigned to having to do some fast work at the end and pull something interesting out of my results, whatever they might turn up.
Sorry to read about data difficulties. I was there earlier in the part time PhD process and managed to scrape through with 'enough' data, after a long time of miserable recruitment and uptake issues.
Currently, I have just had a meeting with both supervisors and now need to re-organise my final chapters. Sounds okay but actually, I can tell it is a lot of work really and I tried not to seem too dispirited with my supervisors after a long day at work followed by the supervision meeting.
I can't face even looking at it today (Saturday) but will try again tomorrow. It's okay, it will happen but I just remember sitting in the meeting room late Thursday afternoon, with a cup of cold tea, looking out at the window as the supervisors discussed this with me (using third person quite often "she needs to do this".." well I think if she does that"), I felt as if I wasn't even there... and thinking as I drove out, (to get caught in the only peak hour traffic my regional city ever gets, which when we have a National football game on in the stadium and we did that evening only I had forgotten about it), and finally got home-'did I ever want to be an academic?'...'who was that person?', 'what happened to her?'. Well onwards and upwards I suppose. Best wishes all...
I am also in my last year (aiming to submit around December). However, I have my annual review in a couple of weeks, and am genuinely concerned that I will be thrown out of the university. So, until then I am working on a paper (the main results of my theses), it's all I can do at this stage. If it's not enough for them, maybe it's time to quit.
I got a chapter draft back this week with a note saying it doesn't need to be seen again - equal parts 'yay' and 'eek'! It would be nice if I could do that with all my chapters but we'll see!
Hugh, my supervisor seems to think that writing chapters/papers in tandem doesn't involve much more work than just writing the chapter, so I'm hoping to have a go at a couple of papers as I'm writing. I'm not clear yet about whether or not the paper needs to be a complete re-wording from the chapter though, which I imagine would be a bit annoying to do.
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