Signup date: 30 Jan 2009 at 10:33pm
Last login: 15 Jul 2013 at 9:45pm
Post count: 2603
Congrats Pam, you deserve to celebrate as much as you like! It was a bit difficult for me to celebrate submission as my viva was just 6 days later, but certainly you need a good rest and some chillout time before you start getting into viva prep! When I passed my viva I went out on the town with my mates, but to be honest I was knackered lol! I just wanted a damn good rest! Well done :) KB
Hey! Well, I'm going to post a slightly alternative perspective to the effect of PhDs on mental health! As a lot of the forumites already know, I have bipolar disorder, and I've been in hospital many many times for it- I had to drop out of uni 3 times and restart the year each time during my BSc. Bizarrely, after 8 hospitalisations in 4 years (all for 2-3 months per admission) I had no hospitalisations at all during my PhD, and having finished my PhD last year I lasted 6 months and was re-hospitalised in February this year for 3 months! I had my ups and downs over my PhD (usually to do with my supervisor), but for me there was something about it that seemed to keep me well. I very much enjoyed my topic and made some very good friends during that time- I do like having something to focus on and something to work towards- so maybe that supported me well during the 3 years. I appreciate that for most people, the impact of the PhD on health is often a negative one, but I thought I'd post a different experience! Best, KB
Hey there! I guess there are always going to be negative posts on here- that's most likely when people are looking for support, but many people have very positive PhD experiences. I finished my PhD just less than a year ago and am now doing a post-doc at a different university. My PhD experience was brilliant overall- I loved nearly every minute and never once regretted having taken it on. I had a good social life and also got engaged during my PhD. Sure, there were tough bits, but I was lucky enough to be working within a great team, had a (mostly- we did have our differences at times) supportive supervisor who was experienced in supervising PhD students, and a project that I loved because I had designed it myself. I do have a tendency towards mental health difficulties as I have bipolar disorder, but I managed well over the course of my PhD- it certainly didn't drive me to any sort of breakdown. In fact, it was recently, during my postdoc, that I have had problems with that again. I think a lot of people have difficulties because they don't have good supervision or feel isolated if they are not part of a team- without both of those I'm sure my PhD would have been a more difficult experience. So go in with a positive attitude, make sure you engage with people and make friends if you're not already part of a team- it's good to have supportive people around you! Good luck with it :) KB
Hi there comebackkid! I was lucky enough to get through my PhD in one go, but prior to that I dropped out of my BSc course three times due to mental health problems and had to re-start the year each time. I have bipolar disorder and it has played havoc with me, but like you it made me more determined and I got my PhD and am now doing a post-doc in bipolar disorder research, which I love. I just really wanted to encourage you to aim high and to keep going. My university were very understanding about my health problems during my BSc, MSc and PhD- even though I got through my PhD okay, there were wobbly bits! I have just recently been discharged after 3 months in hospital as a result of the bipolar and am about to start back at work in the next week or two, and the university and my supervisors have been pretty good about it all so far. I would just be honest- my PhD supervisor and my current supervisors all knew about the bipolar prior to me starting the positions and were still willing to give me a shot. Just make sure you have a good support network and are making use of any opportunties such as student counselling services, mental health advisors etc etc. With the right support and medical care you will be fine. Good luck! KB
Hey there! Yes, it is possible- it is quite possible to use your research skills and knowledge in a different subject. I switched topics straight after my PhD. Whilst I am still broadly in the area of clinical psychology research, my clinical group, topic, and aims of research are completely different. Of course you might be competing for a post-doc with people who already have experience in that subject area, but it's not impossible. I didn't expect to even get an interview for my post-doc, but they said that they had been interested in me mainly because of my publication record throughout my PhD and obvious dedication to clinical psychology research in general. I have had to work hard to get to grips with a completely new set of literature etc, but it's been worth it! Good luck with it! KB
Hey Marasp! Certainly no need to feel like a loser- R&R is pretty much the norm for articles that aren't rejected! I published 7 papers during my PhD and all 7 were R&Rs. After some reworking all 7 were subsequently accepted for the first choice journal (some were re-reviewed and others were accepted straight away upon resubmission). As long as you can respond to the comments made by the reviewers then there's every chance your paper will be accepted- you don't even have to make all of the suggested changes if you can put forward a good argument against making them! Good luck! KB
Hi Laney! Well done on getting the interview! I don't think that their use of 'introduce' means that they want to see it in the introduction necessarily, just that they want you to briefly mention the ways in which your skills are transferable. I would leave it to the end so you can first talk about what your skills are and how you have used them during your previous project, and then go on to say how they would be useful in the job that you are applying for. That would be my take on it anyway! Good luck! KB
Hey Aspiring! I wouldn't read too much into the terminology- some journals use 'revise and resubmit' and others use 'reject and resubmit'- it all amounts to the same thing. The best thing to do is to look at the suggested amendments and see if you think they are reasonable. Usually I would always go ahead with a revise/reject and resubmit- 5 of my PhD papers were 'revise and resubmit' and all 5 were accepted after revisions. Some journals accepted the changes straight away and others sent them back to reviewers again, but they all got there in the end. There has only been one that I didn't respond to because I really didn't agree with what the reviewers were asking me to do- that one I then sent to a different journal. Sounds like you've been able to make the changes suggested, so it's all good! For the record, my PhD supervisor is world-leading in what she does, and she still gets rejected papers and revise and resubmits all the time- mostly because it's a very tricky and controversial topic- but it's nothing to feel disappointed about! Best, KB
Hi there! I think it's only sensible to prepare for questions like those listed below, but also bear in mind that examiners may also have a lot of other questions specific to your project (obviously)! I only had 5 days between submission and viva, so didn't have a lot of time to prepare. In my viva we spent probably less than 10 minutes altogether on the 'big 5', although I'd ensured that I was more than ready to answer those, and had spent most of my time on preparation for those. The rest of the 2 hours was spent on really tough questions that I couldn't even have dreamed up- but the main point is that because I had designed my own project and made all of the decisions surrounding it, I was able to answer all of the questions. I think since you're still going through your project, one of the helpful things to do might be to make a list of decisions you make as you go along, and note why you made that decision (e.g. why measure X and not measure Y or Z? Why did your lit review include author X's work but not the work of author Y? and so on....). As long as you can give your reasons and justify what you have done, you won't go too far wrong! I would have been delighted if I'd spent most of my time on the 'obvious' questions, but examiners are all different! Great that you're thinking about it at this early stage! Best, KB
Hey Rl187. I'm so sorry to hear about everything you have had to go through recently. I can't imagine losing a parent. You have done so well just to get through this. All I can really do is encourage you to keep going. I have bipolar and it is a devastating illness. I dropped out of uni several times and have spent so much time in hospital, and so I have some idea about what you are going through trying to look after your mum and how hard it must be. I have had bipolar for 13 years, and know how awful depression is- you certainly shouldn't be hard on yourself for feeling like this. If it's really bad then you need to get some help- it will be hard to keep things going if you don't. Even if you don't want medication you could go see someone- the uni counsellor at my old uni was fantastic. Also, don't lose hope- for yourself or your mum. I started a post-doc right after finishing my PhD last year, and am now writing my first book with one of my supervisors -partly academic and partly based on my experiences as a person with a severe mental illness. After a lot of turmoil, things can turn around and life can get back on track. I would ask your new sup explicitly about the funding situation and explain your situation. Also ask about opportunities for finding the final year's funding- given your circumstances, they might be able to dig you up some money for an extension- two people in my team got a paid extension last year for their PhDs. And don't compare yourself to others too much- I do this a lot, but in the end it's pointless. Concentrate on looking after yourself. Best, KB
Hey Pineapple! Glad to hear you're making progress! I really wouldn't worry about cutting material out. Now I'm in my first post-doc nobody gives two hoots about my actual thesis- all anyone asks is what publications you have. If you have material to get a few publications out of it (and it sounds like you do!) then you'll be in a good position for job-hunting! Best, KB
Hey Sneaks, don't stress over this! If they want more detail, they'll ask, and if they want you to shut up, they'll probably indicate that as well! Just aim to give them the best answer you can think of. Some of the questions I had I could answer in a sentence, but most of them sort of turned into a discussion where they elaborated on the question and we went into it in more detail. Just try to stop rambling if you get to that point lol! Loadsa luck with your prep- my best advice is to just know your work. I rehearsed every 'guaranteed' question I could find and none of them came up- I couldn't possible have predicted the questions I got, but I was able to answer them! Best, KB
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