In the begining


I read a lot of posts about the end of the PhD but not many about how people found it in the beginning.
I am finding that it is going very slowly. Im about 3 months into it and my supervisors are indecisive about everything and very laid back. The one that had gumption has gone on maternity leave early. Our NHS contacts are always on holiday or busy and so it's been nearly two months trying to get a meeting with them. I've been working on the NHS ethics form for about a month now but there is so much I can't fill in cause we need to have meetings with the contacts to discuss the procedures and how recruitment from their hospital population is going to work.
I literally am spending most of my time just waiting around hoping that another meeting won't fall through or that something will actually happen.
Did anyone else experience such a slow and frustrating start to their PhD?


Yes, i experienced the same. I am in for 7 months now and I havent done a lot. I still havent send my stuff to the ethical committee of the hospital, because its a complex process & my professors seem not to agree with eachother and are very busy.
Its frustrating, but I am trying to read a lot and I have just finished my literature review.

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Yes Psychopapa, even if you're not doing what you expected to be doing at this point, there's always something else that can be done. And as Jan suggests, the reading is almost endless.


Yes I think all PhDs start off this way. I was about 11 months in before I finally got ethical approval as I was waiting for permissions from different organizations and then I had to make amendments and resubmit so it was a lot of waiting around but as previous posts suggest, there is always something to work on. Maybe look at policies in your area or brainstorm ideas for a paper that you can work on getting published.


If you can get plenty of reading and writing (even detailed notes on what you're reading) done at this stage, you will thank yourself later on.


Thanks for all the messages. I'm glad that it isnt just me experiencing this.
I'll extend my literature review and I start teaching in just over a week so that should keep me busy too.