Signup date: 24 Nov 2017 at 1:06am
Last login: 31 Jan 2020 at 9:41am
Post count: 100
My PhD is interdisciplinary between two fields, one of which I am comfortable with and the other I had little experience in. So for my interview they asked me to do a 10 minute presentation on a specific topic from the discipline I had little experience of. Talking to my supervisors later, they didn't think my lack of experience was a huge problem as long as I could put in the work/had the capability to learn about the second field with time. They wanted me to show that I had read and understood enough to have the potential to make that part of the PhD useful.
Maybe they want something similar from you?
For me the value has been in who I have met. I have met academics in my own and similar disciplines who I might want to work with one day (and my external examiner), other PhD students with interesting ideas and so forth. That being said, I wouldn't spend my own money on attending (I am funded).
At my uni it is required to have at least 2, but sometimes they wait until a student has started before assigning the second (it has to be done by the first 6-monthly progress report).
I would start first then have a chat with your supervisor about it - get to know other academics in the department and figure out where you think your PhD will go. Keep in mind though that it isn't a cure-all to have two or more; I have three supervisors from different disciplines and the way they approach everything - including supervising - is very different. It has been beneficial in that they are all experts in different fields though, and being inter-disciplinary myself it has helped me with my writing to have differing points of view to consider.
This link helped me.
Just going to jump in here. My supervisors are very clear on what they expect of me: they will read and review finished drafts but they do have to be finished. I don't see the point of sending, for example, an unfinished dissertation chapter to them - it should be finished but still a draft that will change. Is this what you mean?
It's hard being away from home and family and friends - I do it as well (home middle east, phd UK). I don't think you need to feel ungrateful at all - you feel the way you feel and it's great that it sounds like your supervisor is very supportive. With all you've mentioned him being supportive is not going to be a miracle cure and lift you out of distress - it sounds like he's just trying to make your life a little easier by being available and checking in.
Are there any other students around, even ones you don't know that well? It might also be worth trying to get back in touch with an old friend - maybe re-establishing that link to home a bit more might help?
I would definitely have a chat with the GP as well though, a PhD is tiring and stressful and I wouldn't be surprised if experiencing it (and away from home too) can trigger a depression.
Mostly though: you are not worthless. You are a human being undertaking an extremely difficult task (a PhD) with the added difficulty of doing it away from home. I think it's good you are thankful for your supervisor but please don't feel ungrateful for receiving support - it's part of what being a supervisor is and should be.
I love: being able to really delve into a subject I am passionate about, spending my days doing something I feel is worthwhile. I also really enjoy the 'perks' such as being able to work from home a lot of the time (this obviously depends on subject) and traveling to conferences etc.
Dislikes: Departmental politics, impostor syndrome (seems to be getting worse as time goes on!), working with people who have never been out of academia (a lot of my peers have gone school - BSc, MSc, PhD). The focus on funding/publications/REF and a lot of the time it seems like the academics are rushed off their feet doing work they only half believe in because it will look good on the REF.
Overall I am actually pretty happy, but there are downsides like there are with any job.
I think you need to break down what you mean by 'women's issues' - that's quite a broad topic. What specific issue/set of issues do you want to look at and why are they important? When you have a clearly defined research area I would do a lot of reading in appropriate journals. Pick out names that seem to be important and find local (or not depending on your circumstances) academics working in a similar subject. Read their papers, see if your ideas fit with theirs (and can add something new). Use your background to frame the issue. Then I would start writing a proposal.
I agree with Nesrine. Another thing is that a PhD thesis tends to be a detailed exploration of one tiny thing - you might do a PhD in biology (for example) but your actual time will be spent on one specific tiny part of biology. If you're not even a bit passionate about that thing it might become very boring quite quickly! I know someone who shares the same passion for learning as you and they essentially make their own courses for themselves, even writing essays for fun! If you want to share this learning with others you could always find forums, local groups and so on...
Postgraduate ForumForum Home
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
PhD OpportunitiesSearch For PhDs
PostgraduateForum Is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest