Signup date: 19 Aug 2012 at 7:15am
Last login: 19 Sep 2012 at 11:07am
Post count: 62
I guess what's the most important thing when you're doing a PhD is that you're really interested in the subject you're studying. Lets face it, you're going to be spending the majority of time with the subject for three years, so the topic can't be something you are only halfway bothered about.
I finished my Ugrad psychology in 2008 and got a 1st and then followed straight after with an MSc in psychological research methods. After that I worked in mental health as a research assistant and assistant psychologist for 2 years in high secure services. After those posts finished, I packed a rucksack and went travelling from the UK to New Zealand with the intention to return home and complete my PhD after a year travelling. HOWEVER whilst I was in NZ I started checking out scholarships and applied and was offered a scholarship in Health Psychology at Massey Uni. A bit random and out of the blue, but by far the best decision I made.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you love your subject, don't worry about your CV. As long as you can explain your employment history and rationale for leaving positions then I can't see it being an issue. PhD is a big commitment and supervisors actually like you to have time away from academia. Making a decision to return to it in my eyes shows your commitment to furthering your education, rather than being something detrimental. When people get into the 'real world' it's harder to come back to a very low paid position and hours and hours of research!
Best of luck in your decision-making! H
Whereabouts are you based? Is it a country-specific thing?
Maybe you could ask at your university for the link to you questionnaire to be sent out on an email distribution list - i.e. maybe to undergrads/postgrads/staff etc? Have you tried advertising on facebook/twitter/other social networking sites?
Sorry to hear you're having a tough time of it! By the sounds of it it's not been an easy ride for you (mind you I shouldn't put PhD and easy in the same sentence really) but you do sound like you have a substantial body of a thesis there! You're so nearly there!
I'm sure those close to you don't feel like you do, even though you may think that at the moment. PhD is mentally and emotionally draining and 5 years is a lot of time to spend on something. It sounds like you've got good supervision support, so that's on your side - can you not meet with your supervisor prior to submitting to them just for a chat and update/buoy of your confidence?
Working and studying is really hard, so you have my sympathies there. Why is your job dependent on this?
Proof reading is a great idea. I'm doing psychology as my PhD and am in the second year, but have time on my hands due to ethics delays. I've proof read several of my friends theses so if you're stuck I'm willing to help out. A fresh pair of eyes always helps I find, it's certainly helped me out a lot.
Maybe split your time up into segments - do a weekly checklist (I find these helpful) to meet targets and reward yourself for the ones you meet. Even if it's really little stuff like your favourite chocolate or a trip to the movies/watch your favourite programme. You still need to have some down-time.
Hope this helps
You should be able to get a career development loan (banks do them) to cover masters level study. I'm not sure if you mean government funding in which case I don't know if that's available for a masters course. In terms of stipends, these are usually only for PhDs rather than masters as far as I'm aware - and tend to be attached to a specific project or proposal. Hope this helps!
I agree - take a step back. Take a week off if that's what it needs! I make a rule with myself that I'm not to send emails about quitting etc as a reactionary thing. Always step away for a while and if you do feel the same way later, then maybe start thinking what to write.
In terms of your supervisor - she can' t MAKE you finish a PhD that you don't want to do, and you shouldn't feel obligated too either. Your PhD is about you - she's there to guide and advise, it's not her writing the thesis at the end of the day or gaining the doctorate. Of course she may be disappointed you don't want to continue - but I think this is a discussion you need to have face to face. Write a list of bullet points that you want to discuss and talk to her about your future plans. Sometimes a coffee and a chat are a good antidote for some clarity and perspective.
Regarding your family - they're still your family at the end of the day and probably (misguidedly) don't want you to throw the work you've done away. A PhD is no small feat, so I'd really think carefully about giving up. In terms of not wanting to go into academia, there are other options! Do you have a specific plan for the fitness industry? I'd maybe do as others suggest and do something part time or voluntary to see if that IS what you really want to do and not a case is 'the grass is greener there'. Sometimes I look at other people's careers and think 'wow I would love that' - but the reality is often hugely different!
Anyway, I hope you get sorted - try not to stress! :-)
I think from a personal perspective, for me a lecture is a no-go in terms of debate. It's in the public domain, and whilst you may be 'right' or hold a different view, there will be plenty of other people in the room who don't necessarily need to be party to a discussion. In the past if there's something I've disagreed with strongly, I made a note on my class notes - and I'd incorporate that into the assignment/exam. Besides, it shows you can critique and think intuitively rather than just parrot off facts said in a lecture.
Supervision however, I have a completely different view of. I don't know whether I've struck it lucky in terms of supervisors - but I get on with each of my supervisors equally well. One is a senior lecturer who's not from my academic discipline, the other is from my discipline and is a professor. This means the one with lesser grip on what I'm doing is around much more than the one who can actually advise me more. BUT that's not worked to my detriment. I sat back for basically a year, as we always have joint supervision sessions between the 3 of us. After taking in the power dynamics and style of supervision for a year I finally met them individually to discuss aspects of supervision I wasn't happy with. Result: everyone is happy and I feel like I have much more of a grip on my research project - and more of their respect for it.
Anyway, I'm rambling. In supervision we ALWAYS debate. My supervisor actively encourages this and I constantly have to defend WHY I'm doing what I'm doing - be it in terms of theory, method or analysis. I think this is great and an aspect of supervision I really value. There's nothing worse than stand-offish supervisors who basically don't give two hoots about your research. If you debate about something, that shows you're putting in some form of intellectual investment and for me that shows that they are as committed to your work as you are. So in my mind, yes - debate away. I'm lucky to have that kind of relationship with my supervisors where I'm happy to do that and they're happy to talk to me in that manner. I do think some supervisors shouldn't be supervisors though from what I've seen - particularly in terms of bullying students etc.
Oooh I guess I sort of fit here... ish.
My PhD is in human health and nutrition psychology - but more specifically I'm taking a qualitative, contextual approach to how consumers perceive and understand functional foods in relation to health. My approach is Foucauldian discourse analysis, so yeah... no single objective reality haha.
I'm new to the forum so just stumbling though threads at the moment - maybe this reply will have come too late, I'm not sure.
My PhD is in health psychology, specifically using qualitative methods.
My two-pence worth probably is along the lines of this: like any research, I think it all boils down to what it is you're asking in terms of the research question. I can't really make any assumptions about what you've done in terms of interviews - i.e. were they semi-structured/structured, group, individual etc. I find it interesting what you say about QDA software though - how do you mean it hinders the creative process? The research I do is based on Foucauldian discourse analysis, and so takes a macroscopic look at discourse to look at understandings and perceptions surrounding a topic area. Very different to, say, IPA wherein the purpose of the analysis largely sits with gaining an insight into experience.
Anyway, you've probably got all of this sussed by now - but thought I'd say 'hi' and attempt to understand your problem.
Maybe take the pressure off yourself a little bit? Try not to think about the 'whole' thesis. As my supervisor said it's easy to get overwhelmed when you think of the PhD as a whole - as he (quite accurately I think) said a PhD is an accumulation of lots of smaller tasks put together to form a whole at the end. As suggested, I'd take a break. Giving up is a big decision to make, and not one to be taken lightly. Chill out for a week and don't think about it - just do things that make you feel relaxed and happy, and then maybe you'll get a bit more perspective around what it is you want to do. I also find making lists of pro's and con's very helpful too.
I know personally I can't write very well when I'm really stressed. One thing I have started to do which helps is to map out my week into tasks to achieve that week. I print this off with a tick box next to each task and tick them off as I complete them. That way I don't have to worry about the project as a whole, but break it down into component parts. I'd also maybe suggest having a word with your supervisor, or even dropping an email letting them know how you're feeling at the moment - you will probably find they aren't aware of this, and may offer you some guidance. I recently was in this position and a coffee and chat about how I was feeling and getting some support and perspective did the world of good.
I hope you manage to resolve this!
I'm just into the second year of my PhD over in New Zealand, and been discussing what I'm doing regarding thesis with my supervisors. They would like me to complete my PhD by publication - and I just wondered if anyone has had any experience of doing this, or knows anything about the pros and/or cons?
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