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Anxiety: post-full draft and pre-submission

So I start a 4 day per week research job in 4 weeks time at a new institution. I have a full draft of the thesis and feedback to work through in order to get my thesis submission ready (hopefully around the same time I start my new job!). The start date for the job should be motivating if anything but instead I find myself anxious and procrastinating. I set myself goals but if/when I don't reach them I tend to beat myself up about it. I've come this far, I now have 4 weeks lefts of full time writing, I don't know what is up with me and why I can't just pull myself together and get on with the re-drafting! :(

Has anyone else been here and any advice?

Thanks for reading.


Potential postdoc versus potential lectureship

Quote From TheEngineer:
. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Very true!

Potential postdoc versus potential lectureship

Quote From DocInsanity:
People encouraging you to apply certainly is no guarantee that you'll get the job in my experience - in fact it would be pretty worrying if it was!

Of course not! But it was good to know that I had the backing of one of the panel members.

I did actually apply for the same job some months ago and was shortlisted but not offered the job due to a lack of research experience. For this reason and because I don't like the idea of the gamble, I'm going to accept the offer of the postdoc :)

Thanks everyone for your advice and congratualations, now I just need to call back, accept and negotiate a start date! eekk! exciting stuff!


Potential postdoc versus potential lectureship

OK so I've been offered the postdoc and need to get back to them on Monday!

On top of that, they have offered me a more senior (0.8) post as an alternative to the post I applied for because they feel my skills and experience would suit!

I'm over the moon with the offer but still have the decision to make.

For more info: the uni where the postdoc is is a Russell Group uni and higher ranked than my current in terms of research. I was also told that there would be opportunities to apply for further grants alongside the PI or apply for lectureships. The post is beginning to sound much better than the initial 0.5 temporary post.

I know a few of you have said to turn this down and wait for the lectureships to be advertised but in light of the offer I'm thinking of taking it and then I could always apply for a lectureship at my current uni in 12 months time?

Thoughts very welcome! This is biggest career decision I've had to make in a long time.

Thanks for reading.


Potential postdoc versus potential lectureship

So I'm potentially facing a tough decision.

I have an interview next week for a postdoc.

The pros: It's a good, well paid part-time position. The project is related to my PhD expertise but only loosly meaning that I wod broaden my experience. The pay is high enough that I could just do this part-time role and have time to publish papers from my PhD.

The cons: It's quite a commute (about 65 minutes each way on an average day). If the work is split over 5 days would mean a lot of travel time. It's only a 12 month post.

On top of that I've just been told by the Head of my department (where I'm currently finishing my PhD) that several lectureships are going to be advertised next month and that I should apply as I would be an asset to the department. I was even given pointers on my application and reminded of how my research would fit in, teaching opportunites etc...

My issue is that I would love a lectureship in my department, I love it here but even when I apply it's not guarrenteed. If I'm offered this post doc next week then I will have to decide whether to accept and miss out on the chance of a lectureship or decline and apply for a lectureship next month and risk coming away with no lectureship and having declined a postdoc!?

Any advice or comments from others' own experience would be really helpful!


My PhD viva experience!

Congratulations and thanks for sharing! :)

Wanting to submit soon but supervisor not read anything!

This is a particular issue that has been bothering me more and more over the past 12 months. I currently have over 80,000 words drafted and 5 full chapter drafts have been sent to my supervisor over the course of the last 2 years. I haven't had any feedback on my draft chapters.

I'm now at the point where I'm writing my discussion chapter and wondering if the whole thing is all complete rubbish. My confidence in my work is waning because I honestly don't know if it's good enough.

The only encouragement I have is the fact that my supervisor and I have co-authored a couple of short book chapters and a paper together (not on my thesis) and so he knows what my writing style is like. He has apologised for not getting around to reading anything yet.

I'm concerned about so many things, my argument and the quality of it, my use of theory and focus of my findings. I've been in desperate need to get feedback on my writing for some time.

Here is the thing though... I actually have a meeting planned for a couple of weeks time and my supervisor has explicitly said that he will have read my work by then. This is surely a good thing but it's been so long and my confidence is so rocky at the moment, I'm terrified of what he is going to say. The first draft chapter was written so long ago, l know it needs lots of work and then there's the worry that the most recent chapters are just as bad in his eyes.

I used to be reasonably confident in my thesis, it was something colleagues used to comment on. I don't know where that has gone. I'm struggling with motivation now I'm approaching the end and can see all the problems that need to be fixed and absolutely dreading this meeting with my supervisor.

Advice, kind/harsh words or virtual hugs welcome!

Thank YOU! (Hardbound copies submitted - DONE!)

Many congratulations! :) I hope you have a well-earned break planned x

Final stages of writing & personal life stress

Thank you all so much for the encouragement :) I've definitely made some changes to my daily working routine since I posted this. I'm letting myself take a break when I get preoccupied by personal stresses and the loss of my brother. I also play the guitar but haven't made much time for it over the last couple of years, I've tried to change that and use that as a time to play something for my brother. Just a little thing like that has helped my focus because I'll be working at my computer, get overwhelmed with grief but I remind myself that I have some time aside for that later.

I did also see a counsellor weekly for a while and that helped.

Thanks for the kind words of support :)

Final stages of writing & personal life stress


I was quite active on this forum for sometime but this is my first appearance in over 5 months.

To sum up, I'm just wondering if it's normal to feel like you're going crazy as you try to full your thesis together in the final stages. I have 75,000 words of OK quality writing drafted and another 20,000 ish to go plus I need to tidy up the other chapters before I submit (hopefully in Feb).

On the personal side of things, my brother passed away suddenly this summer and though I took 8 weeks out, the bereavement and everything that came with it (supporting my family, relationship stress, weight gain) has taken it's toll.

I'm making progress with the thesis and have good days and bad days but sometimes I doubt myself and wonder if the low mood and agitation are normal at this stage of the PhD or if it's a sign I should take a long break (or have even contemplated giving it up). I love my research (though starting to get bored of my topic now) and really want to finish, it does sometimes feel like such an uphill struggle though and I don't know if that it due to my personal stresses or just part and parcel of the PhD.

Guess I'm after some reassurance or advice really as I'm feeling quite isolated lately.

Thanks for reading.

GM x

How long from full draft to submission?

Thanks everyone.

DocInsanity, you've made me consider that I should maybe mention that my thesis is going to be around 98000 words and in the social sciences. I guess in which case I may need a little more time than a 60000 word thesis.

Judging from the feedback on my first chapter however, the revisions will mainly involve clarifications, re-ordering, spelling and grammar changes. It does seem doable to me in 3-4 months (but I know that I have underestimated how long things will take in the past!).

How long from full draft to submission?


That is very encouraging to hear - well done! And thanks for the message. My studentship payments end at the end of September so I'm very motivated by that and the fact I'll then need to work at least part-time from January (when savings run out!).


How long from full draft to submission?

I'm wondering how long people have taken to get from a first full draft to submission?

Apologies if this has been asked before, I can't see that it's been asked recently.

I'm aiming for a full draft by 1st September and submission before Christmas though this seems optimistic when I compare to the only other student in my department who is ahead of me. She however and a couple of others I have spoke to can only work on the thesis part-time (up to 3 days a week) so I have a pretty skewed picture of how long it should take. My supervisors have proposed the submission date so must think it is doable however it just seems mega fast to me, especially as they have only had the time to read one chapter so far.

I'm intending to (try) and work full-time on my thesis until submission but if funds run out I'll need to work part-time/write part-time.

Any personal experiences or advice really welcome



Higher or lower? University rankings and job hunting

So, I'm nearing submission (aiming for before Christmas) and funds are running low. Chatting to my supervisor about jobs, he is very supportive and regrets that they are not taking on research fellows in my department. I suggested a particular university at which I could see myself working and said that I was thinking about applying to work there. My supervisor's response was that I should aim higher because their rank isn't very good. My current university and our department are both very mid-table.

Should I be put off high ranking departments or apply for jobs in those anyway? Would my chances differ from those candidates from higher ranking departments?

Can a doctoral candidate from a mid-ranking department apply to say Oxford or would her application be laughed at!? :-/

Thanks for reading


NB. 2016 league tables here...


Grumpy's Thesis writing diary

Hi everyone,

Great to see many new and old names keeping this thread going. Despite good intentions, regular updates of my writing progress was leaving me panicking rather than motivated so I took a break from here. I'm not sure how others are but I find that different motivational tactics work at different times and for different tasks.

I'm glad this thread is some mutual support for a few people :)

I'm plodding on with the writing and trying to balance writing with admin, job hunting and other work commitments plus home life. Advice always welcome.

My supervisor is confident in me which is good and on the whole I'm feeling positive and motivated.

Hoping to show my face here a little more often too :)

Hope all are well and having a productive Monday.

All the best

Grumpy x