Signup date: 04 Mar 2006 at 10:45am
Last login: 20 Aug 2014 at 7:45pm
Post count: 1581
i had a similar situation, one left and was, in fact mostly unavailable and wanted me to follow his plan, one was uninterested,I didn't realise how much help other students had in comparison I am part time, so didn't see much of other students and only found out when I went to a student meeting in my field. i voiced my concern to my director of studies However it turned out to be a good thing as my new supervisor, although not working in the same area has been really good. What you do need to do though is get a plan in place, a good supervisor will help you with this, it is no good floundering in the dark, and it isn't much use collecting random data which could well be just a waste of time. Go to your uni, the director of studies, the senior admin person for postgrad was a great help to me and get yourself a new supervisor, by all means spend time researching round your topic, but number one is to get a supervisor sorted, the field may not be as important as research knowledge, after all they will ask the questions that someone more knowledgeable won't. don't panic, but fo get organised.
You do not say what your subject is, but personally I think there is a big difference between undergraduate and post graduate work and it would be better to take the intermediate stage (masters) so that you have experience of the process, also there is a difference between taught post grad and one where you are in charge of your own work, so you need to find out what sort of research it is. it is difficult to say exactly how you would cope in any of these scenarios because every PhD is different, but the best thing would be to clarify what your lecturer is suggesting before you go any further.
You don't seem to have a proper plan for the distribution of your questionnaire, just handing them out randomly will not give you a sampling method,even 'random' has a structure. For example are you handing them out to everyone, what criteria are you using to select the recipients? If you are not giving them to all, why not, would the answers of those be different, can you know this? Facebook and email won't let you know what geographical area the respondents are from- they could say they are from anywhere and again you have the problem of the non-respondents. Have a look at Robson's 'Real World Research' for the way forward.
i agree, you need to take some time to think this through properly. the idea of doing something part time would be good, so you can see what it is really like. I'm not sure there are that many places going in fitness, everywhere seems awash with trainers at the moment, but you could well find that getting the Dr bit would be an asset anyway, especially in psychology :$, and of course once you have it, you have it for ever and if you happen to get lucky and get onto TV...well it would sound really good. So, think of ways in which it would be useful to stay on and finish your studies as well as the downside of doing so and then make your decision.
think about what you want to do. Look at the qualification level of the people who are moving up in that area. If they all havePhDs, then that is what you will need to get on. If it is something else then you may have a bit more of a choice. Have you asked how long they will give you? Ask if they will give you time to finish. Could you go part time for the write up so you could work for them whilst doing that? Don't base your decision on emotion that is not a good way to decide what to do.
A lot depends upon what you are needing it for but if you look on the internet you should find a universal buffer that you can alter to suit, sorry I am not at work at the moment, it being the summer holidays and I can't remember off the top of my head what is in them (not much help I know) but try looking up 'universal buffer' and you might find what you need.
if you know the topics are close, then I would contact them. There is always the possibility that someone will happen on the same topic, but you are quite lucky really that this has happened before you are well on the way with your research. If you find out what they are doing then you can make sure that you are either looking at something different, or can start with the knowledge that you need to make your work show some differences. The real nightmare is if you hadn't known about this and you come across it when you are just finishing writing up, that would be a real problem.You never know there might even be a chance of producing some papers together :-)
this is a sad state of affairs. The lack of support from those around you appears not to be uncommon. It looks like the person who was supposed to work with you at first didn't want to give away all their secrets, which was probably a bit selfish but people get like that about work which has become their 'baby'. i think part of the problem is that you haven't given yourself enough time or attention and it has all crept up on you and now you have too many things that are really unfinished business to deal with. You need a bit of a break. Go to your boss and explain, you may not get much sympathy, some people regard anything like this as showing weakness, but it isn't because it takes courage to face your problems. Tell them you are going to think of a plan to sort things out to give you a fresh start. When you have done this, go to the department dealing with postgrad stuff and tell them that you have things you need to deal with, go to student welfare too. Then what you need to do is write down all this unfinished business so you have it all in focus. Then write down by each item what you think you need to do to start to sort things out. If you don't know what to do go back to student welfare who should be able to find you someone to talk to. Once you have some positive things in place for this part of your life you can then tackle the problems to do with your work. Do the same thing, write down the problems sort them into things you can do something about and things you can't. Things you can't are water under the bridge, so let them go. The rest think of a solution. if experiments don't work, see if there is anyone else who can help at a different uni if necessary, if people are being a problem because they don't realise what has happened, tell them as much as they need to know, if they are still horrible put it down to them, not you having the problem. Take everything one step at a time, if you reach an immovable object, find a way round. sorting things out takes time, so give yourself time, it may take a while for things to improve, but they will, life is a roller coaster, you are at the bottom at the moment, but the only way is up! best wishes. J
First of all, they haven't told you its rubbish, they have just said it needs some more work. I can't imagine anyones first draft is perfect, but it can be improved. Go back to them and find out what needs doing, is the structure OK? Do you need more results? does your lit review do its job? Get some detailed feedback and then you will have a clear idea what is ahead. If you think they are bored with your topic, ask them, if you do that, and they are, then they should find someone else to take it on. Go to whoever is in charge of postgrad work and tell them what you have been told. They should have some ideas about wha tcan be done, andif there is any money you can tap into in order to finish your studies. The part time job is a possibility and one well worth pursuing try not to be disheartened, these things happen but you can get through it. the reference shouldn't be a problem. there is no reason why you should not be given a decent ref from your supervisor, they won't want to suggest that they are so bad at supervising that they couldn't see you needed extra help to finish. Anyone who has even been accepted on a PhD course must have ability, they don't let just anyone on you know! Get an extension on the deadline if necessary and explain to future employers that you need extra time to finish but are doing it away from the uni in your spare time as your grant has run out. Think positive, you are nearly there and don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. Good luck! J
I am self funding - because I know there would have been no funding form my subject, and I work full time, but in a school so it is full time during the term (plus 5 extra weeks), but I can plan my major stuff for the 'holidays' which works well, and do other things during term time, but I have taken the part time PhD route. I think it would be hard/ almost impossible for me to do both full time as I do want a bit of a life outside study even if it is only trying to keep the garden under control.
number one, don't panic. You are only just starting, new place, new study you need time to adjust. i would say that doing a PhD is nothing like anything else, including a masters, much more 'you are on your own with your own topic' and and probably more of an expectation that you will expect the kind of criticism you got thanthe type of thing that would be dished out at a lower level of study. It is probably a bit of a mistake on their part to go in with all guns blazing, not perhaps realising that they should have been rather more supportive and less eager to show their ability to criticise, but that's the way it goes. don't take it too hard, what you need to do is train your supervisors to give you the kind of guidance you need, so take what they have done as a positive thing and break down the problem into manageable pieces. Find their main criticism(s) (don't know your area, but bear with me on this one) say they decided that your data collection method would not give you the result you think you will get. Read some stuff about data collection, decide if you do indeed need to look more widely, or narrowly or have a different approach. Decide what your changes are and go back to your supervisors with new ideas - if you think they are fine, be prepared to defend your choice. Remember that time taken working should have a goal, make these quite small to start with, start with a broad outline of where you want to go, think about what you want to look at, then what methods you might want to use to analyse your data, then look at the kind of data you will need for this and how you will collect it. The planning is a vital step, time taken at this stage wlll mean that you will collect the right data, my guess is that this is why your supervisors were critical of your approach. you may have only one chance to collect your data, and it would be remiss of them not to try to guide you towards getting this right. They may just have been a bit heavy handed and over eager to make sure you are getting it right from the start. The first year is time to reflect and consolidate where you are going and how you are going to get there. Three years is not long, but it is long enough to allow you time to do this. time away from the office is not wasted, it is thinking time, there is a lot of that involved in the journey so don't regard this as not working, it is just different and just as vital as any other activity and doesn't necessarily involve being in 'the office' in fact, it is often better done elsewhere. It has been said that doing another task actually helps your brain in processing material you have plonked in it, so going for a walk or shopping or whatever takes your fancy is a positive thing and helping the process of sifting and analysis.
icidentally I woudn't worry too much about others knowing more than you, they just know different things, bet you know things they don't, you just haven't told them yet.:-)
Take it slowly, don't be downhearted, you can do it.
Do take note of everything others have said, get whatever help is available on campus, get away for a while, even a day or so should help to get yourself back in control. Don't be intimidated by your supervisor, ignore them if necessary, tell someone in charge (your director of studies, the head of post grad maybe?) It sounds a bit as though you feel a bit helpless to do anything, but those in charge should be able to help you sort things out and start you feeling more positive about things. You have come this far so try a bit of positive action, go and make waves in the appropriate places. I had to do this in the end and it isn't easy, but it was worth it. Those who have not done or are not doing a PhD do not necessarily understand what it involves (I overheard a student at school the other day talking about PhDs who said they thought it was just writing a big essay, so thats just a few extra pages then!)
The things is though, you have tried whatever it is you are doing for a long time and it doesn't work, this shouldn't be a problem when you write it up, this is your finding and is as valid as a runaway success. It may be things have changed, it may be that something is different, science is full of modifications isn't it? your results may lead on to a modification (perhaps it will get called after you who knows?:-). forget your rotten supervisor and their remarks and lack of help show them you can do it. Good luck.
there are ways of getting your own point of view across. I guess it depends on the subject you are studying as to how much you can debate with them. How much is nailed to the wall fact and how much is open to interpretation. If you want to get your own interpretation across you should have hard evidence to back it up, if it is just an idea then it should be treated as such and debated calmly in a 'what if' kind of way. If you are a relative newcomer and they are experts in their field then things are more difficult because they may well know something you don't. If they are less experienced then questioning is possible, but should still be treated with caution because it is possible that the ideas conveyed are the prevailing ideas, or may be the ideas they have been told to present. Either way a sofly softly persuasive approach is always better than confrontation.
Lectures are public places and I would not argue in front of a whole class of other people, that, I think, would be rude and a bit confrontational and not constructive at all. However a private meeting might be possible, perhaps you could ask to see them to discuss the lecture and you could then voice your own views on the subject in the context of the whole lecture. Argue is perhaps the wrong word, debate is more the tone you should adopt, because they deserve respect.
I think the same goes with supervisors. Supervisors are not there to tell you what to say or think or write, but are there to guide and support. They too deserve respect, but you should be the expert in your area and therefore should know more about your particular bit of the subject than they do. However they will debate points with you, that helps you refine your ideas and can highlight areas that you need to consider. It isn't a contest with you on one side and them on the other (in the vast majority of cases anyway) they want you to succeed and will therefore try to make sure that all the 'i's are dotted and the 't's crossed. treat such meetings as a secure place within which you can experiment with ideas about your area with those who are sympathetic to you.
Neither lecturers or supervisors are your enemy, they should not be treated as such.
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