Overview of Littlestar

Recent Posts

I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!! :) So pleased for you!! I'm not on here that often, but have been following your threads and been sooooo impressed by the way you have managed to pull yourself through this after all the waiting, cancelled viva, lack of support and negativity you had from your sups!! You have really deserved it :) Congratulations Dr Pineapple :)

Doing a PhD where you did previous degree....


I haven't personally done all my degrees at the same uni, but the last place I was at, there were several people in my lab who had carried on their PhD after doing their undergrad projects in that lab and went on to get good postdoc jobs other places when they finished. Similar there was a girl in the neighbouring lab who did undergrad, PhD and postdoc in the same lab, and now has a good job in industry. Maybe it is different for history, but I certainly haven't seen any disadvantage for the people I know in science who have done this.

I think if you are happy there, like the work and get on with your supervisor then that is most important!

Scared to do a PhD???!!!

Hi Kate

If you are interested in the kind of work that your PhD will involve and it looks like a viable project, then I wouldn't worry about what may or may not happen as regards depression. Everyone is different and copes differently with situations and in many cases it may not be the PhD itself that makes people depressed, but other things going on. I think the fact that other people in the department are happy is a good sign. I know of many students who really enjoy their work and are excited about it. It is not all doom and gloom, because as you mention, people often don't post to say how happy they are.

My PhD was in Biological Sciences, and I very rarely worked weekends and probably averaged 10 hour days during the week, unless I was doing time-course experiments. I was also very depressed for parts of it and lost about a year and a half due to it as I was just in zombie land, so in reality I probably did my PhD in 2 1/2 years since I did not go for an extension. But, my depression, although it made me think of quitting the PhD, was caused by outside factors and I think had I not had that to deal with I would have been able to enjoy my work a lot more and I am now really excited about trying to get a postdoc and carry on with research. I think mainly my PhD made me learn a lot about myself and how I deal with things and it was about finding out what worked best for me. It was tough, a lot tougher than I thought it would be, but I feel so much more confident in myself now.

You have already done some research on doing a PhD so you're not going into it blindly.

I would say congratulations on getting a PhD studentship!! and just go for it :-)

On a CV, when do you consider the PhD completed?

Thanks for your replies ! :-)

I will go with the date of the letter that everything has been approved. I just was not sure if that would make it look like the PhD had taken a long time, as after submission there are so many steps which are outwith your control (3 month wait on the viva, 1 month to get reply from internal that corrections were approved, then almost another month wait to get the letter after I handed in the final copies to the postgrad office), but it makes sense since really that is when it is properly finished.

I guess if everyone uses the same date, then the people you apply to will be aware that those final steps can take longer or shorter depending on external factors and are not necessarily a reflection on you.

Thanks again (up)

On a CV, when do you consider the PhD completed?


As the title suggests, I am wondering what it is normal to put on the CV for completion of the PhD when applying for a postdoc. Is it when you submitted, the date of the viva, when the corrections were approved, when you get the final letter from the university saying the postgrad committee has approved everything or your graduation?

Any clarification appreciated :-)

Passed VIVA!

Congratulations Dr Pink_fluff!! Well done, and only 3 spelling mistakes for your corrections! That's a wonderful result :-)(up)

External cancelled my viva :(

So sorry to hear that Pineapple :-( I am sure it is not the quality of work that is the problem, rather what others have mentioned, that the examiner doesn't have the time to go through your thesis properly and therefore doesn't feel justified in examining you on it.

Hope it doesn't take too long to find another examiner!! Take a break from it all at the moment and don't give up hope :-)

VIVA panic

Good luck! I'll be thinking of you today :-)

Viva tomorrow

Good luck to everyone who's got their viva today!!!

Had my PhD viva

Congratulations Dr. Walminskipeasucker :-) Well done!!!

VIVA panic

Hi Pink fluff.

Just wanted to reassure you like everyone else here and say that I am 100% sure you will be fine! I am also in Biological Sciences and have never heard of anyone with papers published from their thesis failing as it has already been proved that your thesis contains publishable material.
Don't worry about being nervous either. I think everyone is going to be nervous. I was very very nervous so my supervisor told me that he had once been an examiner for a girl who had started crying every time they asked her a question and the viva took ages, but she still passed, which made me slightly less worried.
I couldn't answer a lot of the questions they asked me during the viva (the chemical reactions catalyzed by one of the main proteins in my study had completely left my head and I was sure I was going to fail as I should have remembered it), but I was also amazed at how much I actually knew that I didn't think I did. A lot of the questions were explaining how I had done things which is easy because you just tell them what you did.

I had also left out a whole assay from my materials and methods and was panicking about that beforehand, but the examiners didn't even mention it, so I just added it when I did my corrections.

Also I get the impression it is much harder to fail someone doing a PhD in biological sciences rather than humanities or social science, because if you have results it is very obvious and easy to point out what the contribution to knowledge is.

Just remember to breathe on the day and you will do just fine (up)

All the best!!

Discussing Stress/Depression with Supervisor - Help!


Sorry to hear you are feeling so bad. I can totally relate to what you are saying as I was exactly the same. What I realised later was that at the time I had no idea how depressed I actually was, I thought I was just being a coward and lazy, but really that wasn't the case.

I would suggest getting an appointment with your uni counselling service, e-mail your supervisor and let him know you haven't been feeling great and if possible get your doctor to sign you off for a week or two or however long you think you need (that's what my counsellor suggested to me) so you can relax a bit without building up guilt for all the work you're not doing. Once you tell your supervisor, you'll also have less pressure and guilt to perform as he'll know you're not able to work 100% at the moment.

I was lucky in that my supervisor was very understanding once I built up the courage to tell him. It was just so scary because the same as you, I avoided things instead of facing up to my responsibilities and panicked about it which made it all worse and it spiralled downwards from there.

I think any little step you are able to take towards releasing some of the pressure on you at the moment will help you if you are able to do that :-)

Viva- countdown- one month today


Don't panic! I also found papers I should have included in my lit review, and also completely forgot to include some that were directly related to my project, but showed opposite results (which could be explained by differences in the methods) :$. I had read these papers and don't know why I didn't think to include them, but my internal brought it up as he had found them and wondered if I hadn't mentioned them because they had different results. I just said I had read the papers (a couple of years ago mind :$), and they asked me to include them and explain the differences in my lit review when I did my corrections. It wasn't a problem at all. I think as long as you are aware of them you are fine. You can always add them in your corrections if required :-)

You sound so prepared and organised, so just stay positive :-) You can do this!!!

Chuff's viva - the Q's and the defence.

Congratulations Dr Chuff :-)

I understand the flat feeling! It's a great relief to have passed the viva, but it wasn't until I got my corrections approved the week before last that I finally felt free. Still, the corrections are a minor thing after all, so I hope you manage to appreciate what you have achieved and relax and celebrate !!

chapter length

I'm in science and the word limit at my uni was 70000 word. My thesis only had 37500 word (not including index etc, references and appendices) and I passed. My supervisor said it was much better with a short concise thesis than a long one, which I can appreciate after marking undergrad essays!!