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Extension to correction ?

Yes. I had also received an R&R after my viva and eventually took 2x6 month extensions. I asked my doctor to personally write to the university (he had to do it twice) in order for me to get these extensions on medical grounds. The university staff even called him to confirm that the information on the letters was true! I suppose they do that sort of thing, because otherwise people would get extensions by using fake letters.

I also gave the university a letter from the hospital, as I was hospitalised for a few days. Also, the paper that the ambulance gave to me, when they came to collect me after my health suddenly deteriorated. There was plenty of evidence there to convince them that my health problem was a genuine emergency and destructed my studies.

Handing in journal articles with PhD thesis?

If you are in the UK this is not the norm, I think.

Failed PhD

Did you do the corrections according to the examiners want to see? I also received an R&R but did what they asked me to do. It was a terrifying experience but I passed with very minor corrections (basically typos). My sympathies and good luck with your appeal.

Is a pass with major corrections really a pass?

Don't panic. It's a pass with major corrections. It is not an R&R. Talk to your supervisor and confirm that what you are doing is right, or double check with your examiners. Congrats!

Thesis amended, now waiting for the examiner's decision??

It took my examiners ... 8 months in order to get back to me with the results of my R&R, but I did not chase them, as I was very busy. It all went well in the end. Good luck!

Publications from Thesis

I don't think there is a limit of what you publish. It's your thesis after all. You could publish the whole document as a book. I was told that publishing an academic books counts more that publishing papers in the UK - at least in the humanities.

Dealing with homesickness during fieldwork?

What field are you reading and where are you heading too? Let me guess... Middle East?

You are describing my life. I have been travelling abroad quite a lot... usually visiting third world countries as part of my research on human rights. Last year I was abroad for 2.5 months.

But if your husband loves you and respects your research, then he will be fine with you going away. He will accept it without complains.
So, help him to help yourself. After all, he can always come and visit you. My husband came to visit me last year. It was great!

Serious problems with supervisor and it's getting worse

OK, you have reached your 3rd year and it's too late to drop out the course now. If I were you, I would explain my concerns to them at the meeting, but try to take a neutral position. See their perspective of the story and compare it to yours. Be happy to partly compromise, if you want to see yourself with a PhD in the following years. I know it's damn hard, especially when people are unfair, but for the time being, just pretend that you care if you have to. When the PhD is over, just waive goodbye to everyone and walk out the department - for ever! It will be highly therapeutic doing so!

Conflict with supervisors... help!

Supervisors are supposed to make sure that your work is of the highest standards. You may disagree with your supervisor now, but it is likely that you will change your mind in the future (talking from personal experience). However, there is one thing I would never do even if they paid me): author a paper I don't agree with. So, please if you don't feel like it, do not put yourself in such a position. Wait. Something else will turn up instead. Good things come to those who wait, and this is certainly not your only opportunity to get published.

Supervisor woes

Hi there,

If I were you I would ask for a second supervisor. 2 supervisors are better than one, especially because the health of your main supervisor is fragile. My supervisor also went through hell because of personal problems, but I was not in a hurry - after all I was receiving extensions myself. Health is something that is impossible to predict. But PhDs are demanding. So get yourself a second supervisor. Better safe than sorry.


Quote From glowworm:
Wow Mara - that must've been so tough, but I think you're completely right about what doesn't kill us...

I genuinely think that most academics will have done this at some point. I've been reading through some fellow PhD students' now finished theses this week (trying to get inspiration for my writing up!) and I've already noticed some (minor) mistakes in their work. My supervisor readily admits all the mistakes he made as he was going along - part of what I think makes him a great supervisor.

I've had 2 of situations where I've said something in meetings with other academics that with hindsight I now cringe at the thought of, but I try to not let it get to me too much. I think the most important thing is that we learn from it.

The thing that I have to keep reminding myself is something my other supervisor said to me: a PhD is often seen as an end point, when actually it's the start of our careers as researchers. This is time for us to learn, and learn by our mistakes. Everyone does it.

BTW I haven't published anything yet (something which really worries me but that's a different conversation) and I'll be petrified of making mistakes, but I will try to reassure myself that many great scholars who've gone before me have made mistakes too.

I hope you feel better about this in the future :)

I would say, start with minor things... conference reports, book reviews.... and then publish short academic notes.... Eventually, you will be publishing long academic papers - and even your first book - at no time. I am trying to publish my thesis now, as a book, and it is exciting! Good luck with everything! Don't let your academic past haunt you. Look to the future!


Years ago, while I was doing my masters, I published a paper online in a very famous academic journal in my field. This paper was actually the exact copy of one of my Masters' essays, and thus read and marked by my masters supervisor, who gave me the top grade in the class.

So I felt that it was worth publishing...

Wait for it...

After the journal was published, many academics on the largest forum in my field started commenting on a serious mistake I supportingly had made in the paper! I was reading their negative comments going online on the forum, and all these people criticized me! I hadn't even finished my masters yet, and I am not sure I understood why they were right and I was wrong.

Eventually I posted a reply on the forum thanking everyone for their comments, and telling them that I loved receiving feedback because I was still doing my masters, thus I have had just started research in the field.

But the whole thing made me scared of publishing.
It took me several years to re-publish again after this event.

But whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Mistakes happen!

Mara Sp.

Viva in 9 days!


Don't worry. I had never heard of my external either. Mine was a VIP in my field, with a very high academic position (I don't recommend students to take such examiners if they can avoid them, as they can get very picky).

So. although I first received an R&R, the external examiner's comments made my resubmitted thesis flourish! I must admit that the mysterious external, who was completely unknown to my department, was ever so good! Even better than my internal! It took me some time to realise this, as naturally, I was very upset with the R&R result to start with. But upon looking at his comments, I realised that the examiners were indeed trying to help!

Read the academic work of both internal and external. In the viva, mention their work if you can, and discuss it with them!

Remember the GOLDEN RULE:
During the viva, and during job interviews, try to impress your examiners or interviewers, but at the same time be prepared to get impressed by them. Many people forget that in vivas and job interviews, all parties are equally 'examined' and interviewed. Everybody loves a few flattering comments about themselves in conversations!

Viva in 9 days!

Congratulations on making it that far. Good luck with your viva. I also took ages to do my PhD and faced similar problems to yours.

I was also concerned about how up-to-date my bibliography were, but I made an effort to update the thesis as much as possible in the end. I don't think that you have much to worry about. My supervisor once said that the doctorate is only *a piece of research*, it does not reflect on ALL research done out there. It is only based on what the student had in hand while studying. So, as long as your thesis does not miss any major studies, you should be ok.

Read your thesis very well, and when you are asked to justify decisions that you made 5 years ago, tell your examines that you did x because it make sense at the time, when you considered your research before that date. Your examiners understand that your research was done in stages. They also understand that you were 'testing things' to make sure they work. There really is no right or wrong as long as you can justify things. As long as you can justify what steps you took and why, you are fine!

Organising a conference or a study day... on your own

Well, I think that it's going to be a one day workshop or a study day instead of a conference...
Problem is that I live 3 hours away from campus... which means that I will have to make most arrangements via email...

I have just asked for volunteers (for the third time) and waiting...

Not many people from the department seem to be interested in it as it will be discussing a theory that is entirely pioneering and foreign in the field. Yet, the examiners of my thesis thought that it's definitely worth a study day, and encouraged me to organise it!