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The Elusive Research Question

I came into my study with nothing defined, apart from a vague area of interest that was generated from my honours, and it took me about 2 months of reading (mostly procrastinating) to find something that I have a pretty good idea can work and that I had enough of an interest in. However, the actual question is all apart of an iterative process, and for my area I won't be 100% till I have selected my final case study but that I think is just for the name sake of the question not the substance. Btw I'm in humanities

Between submission and viva: what are you doing?

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When to use 'Doctor'

Quote From slowmo:

We are having mandatory vivas in NZ from next year. I am in a really small field and I am really concerned about who will end up doing it and how qualified they will actually be to assess me. It's a bit scary really.

I didn't know you could do a PhD in NZ? Unless they involved sheep of course :p

Sorry for that lol, but I can imagine how scary that would be if they just decided to introduce something while your doing the PhD. But do you get to select who sits on your viva? Or at least have a say?

When to use 'Doctor'

I'm pretty sure Australia doesn't have (the majority at least) the viva due to the size of the country and how spread out everyone is, it is just impractical to fly people from all over Australia for a viva.

BTW, I would use Dr. after you have passed for sure

I'm poor and cold

Move to Australia (up)

Does length matter?

I'm in humanities and my lit review is looking to be 45,000 words or more, seeing as I'm reviewing various case studies to develop a model to then apply to my own case study. I thought that unless you were running around gathering primary data most of our thesis would be reviewing what was done previously?

After the PhD: where are the jobs?

In Aus there is a massive demand for PhD graduates, or at least there will be when they (a) ramp up investment in higher education and (b) the older generation retires:

"The problem of an aging academic workforce was highlighted again this year, when a study by Melbourne University found that a quarter of Australia's senior academics would be retiring within the next five years, and 5,000 would have retired within a decade."


roll the dice

Seems good for any challenges you will face, like the good old "Go Hard or Go Home"

First year PhD workload - advice needed!

Hey mate, good luck on the transfer!

I wouldn't try to map out your hours or anything, the beauty of the PhD is that it is up to you. In other words, work as much as you feel you both need to and want to, not because you think you need or should do a set amount of hours a day/week.

Just take it as it comes and you always need to factor in youtube/facebook time it is just apart of your working life, just see it as time to drink your coffee and get warmed up :)

Finally, you will have days when you work amazingly well and days when you don't, just don't let them get you down, put each day behind you and move on.

8 months in- how am I doing?

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Art students?


I'm in the arts and I have to admit that I dislike the whole idea of coming in at set times and feeling disappointed if you don't meet these fictitious times (like 9-5), rather I like the idea of doing a set amount of hours each day so if that is 1500 till 2300 so be it. The key is to find when you work the best and maximise your time around those hours, and they differ for everyone. But don't try to be a morning person if you aren't or just because 9-5 seems like the norm.

After 3 years and 10 months...

Congrats! Good to hear you smashed it!

Pamelaspage's Time to Write Up Thread

Hey Good luck! You should use this website it is great for the Pomodoro tech http://mytomatoes.com/

how you manage papers?

Quote From jepsonclough:

I'm in the early stages of my PhD and so now is the time to get my references sorted.  I keep thinking about endnote but haven't used it. I can use it on site for free but as a part-time (social science) student I am almost never in the university.  I can get a discounted copy for £55 to use at home. Is it worth it?  What's the web version like - could I use that at home and then upload onto the proper version when I do go in?

I find it amazing that they don't supply endnote to students at your uni, we have it on our uni computers and get free download of the full endnote for all our personal computers. You should ask them why you have to pay for essential software for your study.

Literature Review is taking over!!

My approach to the lit review has been to write it like you are just trying to understand the primary goals of your research. Start off by defining the key concepts and ideas (I mean the big and extremely obvious ones), by define I mean just get a book that offers the most basic overview of the concept or theory and once you start writing you will find that it becomes more and more specific on its own. I know it is hard to start but just keep in your mind that you just want to get your ideas down and you can fix it up later. The opening line can read like this: "One aspect that is of particular importance to this study is achieving conceptual precision in regards to the analytical characteristics of....................