RnR Correction Phase



I am looking for some advice and support. I successfully passed my viva back in April but was given an RnR outcome. I was devastated and disappointed after YEARS, especially through COVID. I returned to full time employment 18 months and made considerable sacrifices to ensure I made time for the PhD, every weekend and holiday period. My supervisors were against me returning to work but needs must and I am eternally grateful for my stable industry job with the cost of living crisis.

I had my first supervisory meeting a few days ago and they are pressurising me to take a year's leave to 'think, invest and recommit to the PhD', according to them. I feel irritated and patronised. I don't want a year's break on top of 12 month corrections. Its too long and I explained my frustrations with lengthening the timeline. I suggested 3 months, they are to come back to me and then start the corrections which are voluminous, rewriting chapters and editing. My idea was to make a start this weekend, chip away at them, after a 6 week break to get over the viva. Our motivations are diverging, I want to wrap this up as soon as possible to the best of my ability. More than likely looking to submit before the 12 months are up. I am 35 years old and in a phase of my life where I want to build a stable future, financial stability and have a personal life/ family. I gave up relationships for the PhD and I feel like my window of opportunity grows smaller every time they talk about lengthening the time line and it takes as long as it takes.

What can I do? My supervisors and I are at odds about how to do this. Can I just make way through the corrections regardless of them and inform and send through each time I complete a section. How can I approach them and explain what I need?


Dear Starsister87,

Why is your supervisor insisting that the RnR will take 12 months to address? If it is something that can be done sooner, you are right in pushing for an earlier submission. But is it a doable time frame?

You have made right decision in returning to your stable industry job. A PhD qualification is not a guarantee of future job prospect. I know of so many PhD graduates who remain jobless and some had to settle for a position of research assistant which does not even require a PhD. Many postdocs I know want to leave the broken academia system.

It has been a very heavy sacrifice on you to had to sacrifice your relationships for this PhD. I completely understand your needs to want a stable future, financial stability and get on with your personal life and family at your age.

I suggest that you be frank about wanting to complete in X months and reasons why to your supervisor. They may disagree and not support your re-submission. Depending on your uni policy, you may or may not be able to resubmit without their approval. So check. Another matter is can you resubmit without any input from them? If yes, go ahead. It is not easy to resubmit without approval from supervisors and have a chance of being knocked back and downgraded to Master, but it is not impossible. Do you have a postdoc who is willing to be your pseudo supervisor if your supervisor refuses to help you?

Your position is difficult. i hope that your supervisor will come around after you explain your needs to them. If they don't, you will have to submit on your own.