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Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Congratulations, Pineapple, really delighted for you! Go forward with confidence now, you're at the summit looking down :)

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

hi Pineapple, I came on here expecting you to have had news, I cant believe this is still going on! I would start putting more pressure on – politely of course, but be firm. Draft an email to Head of School, supervisors, internal grad office, whoever else may be connected with this). Say that you're seeking advice relating to your position because:

It’s already been 5 months since resubmission, the outcome of which has not been communicated to you in a reasonably expected timeframe. You were the given impression that this would be sooner - end Oct, sometime in Dec, etc

The only indicator you’ve had that your work has been received/looked at is a request for final word count (which you immediately provided)

You have fulfilled the requirements issued to you by the university - resubmitting by required time, providing additional info, etc. (They would have be onto you like tracker dogs if you had missed your resubmission deadline!)

You need your result to indicate updated doctoral status on your CV (5 months or more is a long time, jobs can come and go, and if faced with a choice employers are more likely to go for someone who has a PhD confirmed than one that’s just at submitted status - a polite reminder of this won't do any harm)

You need the result back in a timely manner to address any further minor recommendations /amendments (should there be any).

You concede that there may be reasons for delayed results, but you have not been given any.

This is a resubmission, not a first reading, it’s not as though the examiners are unfamiliar with the material and are reading something completely new. It's remarkable really - as lecturers we get hauled over the coals if undergrad marking assignments are returned late, yet PhD trajectories seem swept under the carpet. I would have thought your uni would have been itching to record a doctoral completion, especially with the upcoming REF?

Good luck with it all!

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

Hi Pineapple, just wanted to check in with you again.

Your examiners at viva were very positive about your original thesis and just wanted substantial revisions. I seriously doubt they would have conveyed this positive response if they though it was touch and go for MPhil. If you have addressed all of their concerns systematically and thoroughly I don’t see how your result can be anything other than positive. You may have a few minor things to do here and there but these can be cleared up with minimal effort.

Sometimes these things can take a while, for reasons already identified here. However you were given an anticipated outcome for end of Oct, and it is now way past that .. all you want to know is whether or not you can expect a result before Xmas. Given that they’ve had 4 months – for a resubmission, not even a first reading - I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask that at this time. If your examiners said it was Ok to contact them, request your internal’s contact details (your department should have them) and politely inquire where they are at. If I received a simple enquiry like that I’d be OK with it.

One word of caution though. Keep on your supervisors’ good sides – whilst they might not have been optimally supportive and deserve a rocket (If it was my PhD student kept waiting so long this I’d be demanding answers!) they will most likely write your references, be on papers you write, etc. Keep them sweet - at least until you’re further down the line!

I genuinely think you will be OK, it sounds to me more like someone simply just hasn’t got their a**e into gear rather than there being specific issues with your work. This is common and academics often don’t think that somewhere out there is a nervous candidate trying to move forward – they’re just concerned with marking, their own research, whatever. Hope you hear soon and good luck with your interviews!

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

Do supervisors need to sign anything before informing candidates of resubmission outcome?! Do examiners send results to main supervisor first, then inform admin department?

Hi again - I've never sent anything directly to a supervisor. In the case of examination the only contact I've had with them is initial approach to examine prior to submission (and chit chat/pleasantries on day of viva). Whenever I've received a thesis for examination (prior to viva or resubmission), all relevant correspondence has been the university research office - or postgrad research dept specifically if there is one. All instructions, rules and regs are given by them, and I have always had to send my results/recommendations to a named person in that research office, never directly to a supervisor or even to the relevant subject-area department at the uni.

these things are generally always handled at a higher university level, and are passed on to the supervisor once a candidate has been notified. As a rule of thumb (although this might not always happen) the candidate should always be the first to know their outcome.

I would suggest following this up with the research office at your uni, rather than admin people specifically in your faculty/dept. Certainly whenever I've been "chased" for a decision, the request has come from a university research admin level, never directly from supervisors or subject administrators.

Waiting for examiners verdict (post viva)

Hello Pineapple,
I used to be on here, don’t post as much now but have been following your progress. As an academic who’s examined PhD theses before I thought I’d give some insight about things that can cause delays – hopefully this might alleviate your worries.

Of course I don’t know your specific outcome and cannot make guarantees, but I can provide some context from “the other side”…

I once examined a resubmission and there was a long delay conveying results to the candidate. This was nothing to do with the thesis, but about payment (examiners usually receive a small honorarium for their services). In that particular case I was not a resident of the country where the candidate had completed his doctorate and there was some confusion about how the uni would pay me (tax implications, visa conditions, etc). This took weeks to negotiate and the poor candidate was kept waiting even though here was no problem with the work itself - they just had to sign off my remuneration!

Another time I was examining during my busiest teaching period - very demanding. Examiners can be slow in getting back to you (pre viva and post resubmission) simply becauseof their teaching load (highly likely given the time of year) as well as their other duties. In cases like these, the research department at the uni should contact examiners to see what’s happening. It sounds as if relevant people at your uni have not communicated this to you as effectively as they might have done, so I see no harm in pushing for some answers.

But when you make enquiries, take all the emotion out of it (I know it’s hard as you’re anxious). Just convey the facts about how long you've been waiting, you were expecting results by X and it’s now Y. Perhaps add that you are of applying for jobs and that it would be helpful to state a likely outcome on applications/in interviews. This is perfectly reasonable and may jog relevant people into action (I - guiltily – speak from experience that we become so ensconced in our own work it is easy for us to forget candidates’ circumstances. )

As I said I can make no guarantees, but in my experiences of examining, delays are not usually because the news is bad – if anything I think you’d have heard something sooner if that was the outcome. One final point – I know there are some Ogres out there but they are few and far between. Generally speaking, examiners DO WANT YOU TO PASS - we really don’t like failing people! You've already said your examiners were positive about your work, so whatever is going on right now I would best money that they will be crafting a set of recommendations that will enable you to pass.

You WILL get there, hold tight and screw your courage together for forthcoming interviews etc – you are obviously very capable!

Using Dr Title ...

I use mine. I have no problem doing so, and I certainly don't feel "insecure". I think people like McKeith et al do those who have acheived PhD's by legitimate means a huge disservice, and it's up to us as genuine PhD's to maintain our credibility.

And no, that doesn't mean signing notes to the milkman as Dr. kronk - but if I am asked my title (in a call-centre conversation or whatever) I always say Dr. I've earned it. End of. Plus, it's amazing that some people still think a woman is limited in the title she might use. It's quite satisfying to reply with something different when a bored/rude sounding person drawls "is it Miss or Mrs?"

Cant get an interview!

Mambocat, that's terrible. I'm sure you could have taken them to task on that as it breaks all the rules of equal opportunities. It's one thing to advertise a position openly, already knowing that an internal candidate is preferred (let's face it, we all know thathappens). It's another thing entirely to move the goalposts and allow someone to turn up weeks later, after going through the recruitment process and getting as far as offering the post to someone! what did they think closing dates were for?!?

(sorry for mini rantette, but this kind of thing makes me so angry!)

Losing the respect of people in my department..

Sorry to hear you're feeling deflated - I remember you posting about your fisrt year viva.

while I agree with some that you might want to display yourself positively (perhaps present at a conference or publish something), I don't think the onus is completely on you. You are a student, and ultimately training for research. While you have a responsibilty to do your project, the university also has an obligation to ensure that you can do your work properly. And if they are not providing you with the equipment or a supportive environment in which to do this, this needs addressing. The point of a first year panel is not just to see that your work is PhD-worthy - it is also to establish that the uni/dept is seeing you right. Promote your work in someway, but also talk to someone about this. Do you have a PhD student rep? Or whoever signed off your panel report?

EPSRC funded at mediocre uni with new supervisor or self-funded PhD at a great uni with known supervisor?

2. Oxford self funding. Great place, great oppotunity, and there are several people on this forum who are there who would give you great advice about the uni, accomodaton, ethos, etc. Self funding is hard though, not just on the pocket. I can't speak from personal experience but have friends who are in the process of self funding who say that they often feel that they are not as "included" as their funded counterparts. They've described being just left to "get on with it" and feel that there is a marked divide between those to are funded and those who aren't. There are people on the this forum who self fund who I'm sure can offer a clearer perspective..

I think in this case you have to ask the Oxford team if there are any realistic possibilities of you being able to secure funding later on in the PhD (I know people who've done this), and would they support you?

EPSRC funded at mediocre uni with new supervisor or self-funded PhD at a great uni with known supervisor?

Well done on both your offers. I think there are questions you need to ask of both insitutions before making a decision...

1. The funded studentship. Usually I'd choose a funded place over a self-funding, as long as I was confident in the supervisor. But therein lies the difficulty. You say s/he hasn't any supervisory experience, and yet to complete their PhD? This rings loud alarm bells. Ok, supervisors have to start somewhere, but I think you need to find out more about this set up. At my place, anyone supervised by an academic who hadn't had a phD student before will usually be jointly managed by someone more experienced. Would this apply at your potential uni? I still think the fact thay they are working towards their own PhD could be a problem. Could you find out how far advanced they are? If they're about to submit, maybe, but if halfway through I'd have reservations.

What an unfriendly place this forum has become

**But I agree that people should distinguish between the discussion boards and the actual 'finding a PhD' part of the site.**

Absolutely agree. I think the intergration of the forum within the whole "find a PhD" umbrella is misleading. While I appreciate that there are those out there who are lazy and cannot be bothered to put in the legwork to look for funding, etc, there are equally those who probably don't realise the protocol too. It's not clear - we wouldn't repeatedly receive these requests otherwise.

I think the forum needs a complete overhaul anyway, given the suggestions that have been posed on the 'Improvements' thread (Off Topics). Rules, regs and forum etiquette should be placed in a "sticky" at the top of the thread list.

Further dispatches from the post doc front

* note: I'm NOT saying you're not up to it, BTW

Further dispatches from the post doc front

Hi BHC, thanks for the latest installment - we could have the first academia sit-com/soap being penned! Seriously tho, remind me what Dr Competitive does - is she a lecturer? (Your other thread was removed so I can't remember) If so, does she not hold her own budget anyway?

With regard to your way of allocating funds, it sounds fair to me, but does the uni have guidelines on this? I know that ours stated certain amounts for each person. PhDs had a set sum for an international conference(usually 3rd year), but they also had to look for other sources. I think it would help you to see if there are any uni rules that apply to conference funding, so you can demonstrate you're working within agreed remits. Personally I think while it's great that the PI has left you in charge, funding allocation is a big responsibility to have*. Where where I've been it was always a Prof who held the purse strings, even if their expertise was in a different area.

Difference between a research assistantship and a studentship

Immature student, it sounds like while you're doing your research and job at the same time, they're not exactly the same project (am I right?), in which case you're working hard amd deserve the benefits.

The scenario I was describing is when RAs are paid at full salary, and the same work they're doing as an RA is allowed to be the focus of their PhD - so job and PhD are simultaneous in terms of time AND content, IYSWIM? On this basis it's not really cricket for someone employed on a project as a salaried worker, (earning twice as much as a grad student on a stipend), to be registered as a full time student for teh same things and therefore claim the same benefits. Unfortunately it happens as leading academics benefit by getting and RA to do the work done more quickly that a 100% PhD student might, and at the same time they look good as they have another successful "PhD completion".

i failed my upgrade

Really sorry to hear that, Pineapple. As others say, I hope you got constructive criticism.

As Juno says, several people don't get through on their first attempt, but those I have known have benefitted from their revisions and have accelerated in their second year. I am sure the same will apply to you, given your obvious committment and drive in your previous posts.

Stand back from it a short while, then engage in talks with your supervisor as soon as you're ready.