Tackling the resubmission


I've worked really hard on my PhD and was relieved to get it submitted early this year. It felt like the summation of a harsh mountain climb juggling financial survival along with the deaths of close ones along the path. It felt so hard to be given the news that it had to be resubmitted.

I'm now finding it hard to get back into it and to work out where to begin with the examiners recommendations or how to re approach it all mentally.:-(

Avatar for ginga

That must be such a shock, I really feel for you. How much work does correcting your thesis actually involve?  You will just have to make the alterations as per the examiners' instructions and resubmit it. I know that will be even more hard work, but please try and persevere; just grit your teeth and do your best to get it done.  Best of luck!


Thank you for your encouragement.

I'm just trying to get my head around the recommendations and reapply myself to it all. There's so much else going on in life that i had put on hold until 'after my PhD' but that 'after' has just got further away.

Trying to take the approach of one day at a time and bit by bit but feels like i have been doing this for so long already.

Encouragement really does help and knowing others are out there battling to finish too.


Dear Ruby,
Hang in there and tackle the resubmission in little chunks, one day at a time; perhaps limit yourself to 1 hour initially and then focus on other aspects of your life.
Best wishes


I know that 2 students in my department recently had to go through this, and both were successful in the end. So hang on in there. Take it a small step at a time, and work systematically through the list of things to fix. Good luck!


Dear Bilbobaggins,

Thank you that is so encouraging to hear that you know people who have done this and have got through. It really helps(up)


Dear Hairui,

Yes small steps towards my goal, such a journey these PhDs. Good luck with yours too:-)


hi Rubystar, it must be difficult now.
Don't give up. We are always online for you.
Your forum friend Satchi


Thank you Saatchi,

It's good to know there's people out there who understand what a HUGE thing doing a PhD is, it's hard for family and non phd friends to appreciate and sometimes i think they must wonder why i'm even doing one but it is a challenge that i decided to go for, just hadn't expected to have to resubmit but guess it's not a MPhil referral and not a fail. Just a case of keeping on a bit longer....


Hi Bilbobaggins,

Just wanted to ask about the 2 students in your department and how long it took them to resubmit?

Tried to mail you but through the PM button and don't think it worked so hope you get this.

Thank you for your support, Ruby Star:-)


Hi Rubystar,

Got your PM and replied. Strange.

The two students were given a year to resubmit, and both managed it. I think both were working part-time during this period (previously one was self-funded - full-time - and the other one research council funded).

Good luck!



Thanks Bilbo,

That's good to know. RubyS


Hi Ruby,

I'm just coming to the end of long PhD journey too.  I was given a resubmit and was required to go through a second viva so I know how tough it is to get back into a routine of working on the thesis. I was given 12 months to complete the resubmit and for the first 8 weeks or so after my first viva I couldn't even look at my thesis.  You need to give yourself a break. It is thoroughly depressing but you will get through it. Go through the examiner' s comments and decide exactly what you need to do.  Don't be tempted to work on anything they haven't mentioned - only do what they have told you to do. I was given an excellent piece of advice which was to write a document for your examiner indicating precisely how you have addressed their comments with page numbers where possible. This helps you to keep track of what you have done and shows your examiners that you have done what they wanted you to do. 
You'll get there. It's just another hurdle for you to jump.  It will all be worth it in the end (up)


Thank you Sarah K,

That is really constructive and helpful. It's also really good to know that there are others out there who have also walked this path and successfully.(up)


Hi Rubystar.

I am in the same position as you, albeit a little further down the re-submission road.

The aftermath of the viva was, I remember utter hell. I felt completely defeated, ignorant and pathetic. Just getting up in the morning was a struggle and I fought to re-engage with my thesis whilst all the while considering burning the whole flipping thing.

Anyhow, as Sarah suggest, you do need a break from it. I spent a fruitless few months torturing and tormenting myself by sitting in front of it trying to make myself re-engage in a useful way. Looking back I should have probably given myself permission to have a break from it - by that I mean genuinely allowing myself to have time off from the thesis rather than not working on it and spending my time in an emotional quagmire worrying about working on it.

To be perfectly honest it took that hideous process and then six weeks completely off from anything thesis related before I could start re-engaging. It has been a slow and torturous process but I am creeping on.

I applied for, and was granted, a six month extension which I will need. This did ease the pressure on me, although it took a little while for me to get over the 'failure' thoughts.

So, what I wanted to say, most of all is that there are a lot of us end up in this situation. At times it isn't a reflection of the quality of your work but may be down to different opinions / egos and goodness know what else. Even if there are weaknesses in your work, and there are in mine, then these can be addressed and they are not necessarily a reflection of you as a person. You haven't wasted the time you've spent there just needs to be a bit more than you originally thought! This took me a long time to figure out, and I still have blips every now and then

Rubystar - please hang in there. Have a break and try not to feel too alone with it.

Feel free to pm if you would like to talk further.