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Contacting departments asking for sessional/casual lecturing

Hi all,

Wondered what your thoughts were on the following blog article:

I'm looking for some casual/sessional/associate lecturer hours to tide me over for a year or two while I build my research profile up following my successfully passed PhD. I'm not sure these hours are always posted on job websites, so it may be that there are gaps to fill that I/we don't know about.

Do you think it looks desperate or needy to contact a department/HoD direct, asking if there's any guest sessions or hours available? I'm caught in two minds. If I do go ahead and do as the blog suggests, I'm thinking maybe a letter would be more professional than one of hundreds of emails they'll get a day/week.

Any thoughts?

Mental health as a PhD student

I lived with 8 other PhD students. 4 of us made use of the university's counselling service. It was burnout and stress for most of us.

I don't think mental illness should be normalised during the PhD process, but I do think it's understandable that it occurs due to the intense pressures of the process.

On the plus side, I signed up for 6 sessions and only needed 2, as they made me see clearly again. Sometimes it's just good to talk.

Failed PhD Viva - need to R&R - anyone done this and passed 2nd time around?

I'm 11 months into my 12 month R+R period, after not passing my viva last November.

You know what? EXPECT to feel angry, upset, disillusioned, and inept for the first few months following the viva. I did. I felt bitter. I knew I was better than this. I blamed everyone but myself.

Took me about 6 months, and a big step back from the whole thing, to realise it was for the best. 11 months after the viva, I'm just weeks away from submitting a MUCH better thesis. My supervisors are confident I have done everything needed to pass.

Tip: follow the examiner report TO THE LETTER. The report is effectively a tickbox list to passing your PhD.

Good luck.

A Dr PhD yet jobless

I agree with HazyJane, and I would also suggest looking for academic *related* jobs.

A quick scour of jobs.ac.uk shows 845 admin jobs at UK universities, ranging from around £15-16k up to £30k+.

Retail sounds like it's sucking out your soul. Would you be happier in a university environment, albeit in an admin role? I know I would be, as I would still be in the academic environment. Easy access to library etc.

Doing a doctorate - tips/advice?

The PhD process has broken me, mended me, broken me, mended me a bit more, broken me one final time, and now putting me back together slowly but surely. I had counselling, have had major setbacks, super highs and equally depressing lows, and it's without doubt being the most difficult 3-4 years of my life, and I still haven't finished.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

It will hurt and impact your life like you wouldn't believe, and some of it is faults with the system, while others are part and parcel of it. A PhD is the highest level degree you can get on this planet. It's supposed to be tough like no other qualification. Grab it by the horns and go for it. I wish you luck.

Anyone elses supervisor just abandon them in 3rd year?


Mine would take weeks and weeks to read something, have very little to say about it, and then talk about something completely unrelated to PhD in meetings, and constantly ask teaching or admin favours. Very frustrating and demoralising.

advice on quitting phd

I'm 3.5 years into my PhD, and about to resubmit after an R+R verdict at the back end of last year.

I've thought about quitting roughly 25-30 times. Once a month or so. However, I knew I'd regret it. Even if I don't end up working in academia, I would have kicked myself forever if I started a PhD but didn't finish it.

Not everyone is the same. I'm stubborn to a fault, and am not suggesting that quitting is the wrong thing to do. Just ask if you've got a concrete backup plan, and if you haven't, I'd soldier on until you do.

Timeframe for re-examination (read-through, no viva required)?

Hi all,

Will be resubmitting my thesis after an R+R decision (Nov 15) at the back end of June, hopefully.

Given that it's the quiet period for academia (no teaching/assessments), but also holiday period, what do you think a realistic timeframe is for re-examination of the thesis and a decision to be made? I don't require another viva. They will read it through and re-examine it from that. Deep down, I'm hoping they can get it done in 6 weeks or so, and that I'll find out in August before the new academic year starts, but I've heard horror stories of examiners also taking months over things.

Just trying to see the finish line, finally!

Applying for PhDs... is it normal to feel like I'm losing my mind?

Waiting for any kind of decision is always horrible.

I applied to six universities in summer 2012 for PhD scholarships, and the first five rejected me. Then, a friend of mine told me about a sixth which she'd seen online, and the closing date was the next day. I hastily put together a proposal, amalgamated from the previous five, and click send. A week later, I am offered an interview, and I think it goes OK.

Half way through a holiday a few weeks later, I get an unknown number and ignore it. Then a voicemail icon. "Hello - it's X University - we'd like to offer you the scholarship commencing in September". I danced around the room like a young boy on Christmas morning. It was the sixth and last chance. If I'd not got it, I would have had to do it over six years part time, while continuing in my full time retail job. Fine - I would have done it. In fact, I'd be four years in now, with only two to go.

As it stands, I'm doing my final amendments after an R+R (no second viva) decision in November, and hoping to have the final thing submitted for good in June or July.

Don't give up. It's stressful, but if at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

Revise + Resubmit - it's all a bit weird...

Mine are requesting a full re-read of the thesis with amendments made, and they will tick off the requirements as they see I've done them (or not). Seems a sensible option.

Just worried that in making the amendments, I'm changing the stuff that they already thought was good, but so be it if they get what they want.

Revise + Resubmit - it's all a bit weird...

So I got an R+R verdict in November, and have the usual 12 months to do it, but I'm cracking on at pace now.

Got a nice compact examiners report, which is, in essence, a complex ticklist of things I need to do to satisfy them, and therefore get a PhD.

However, has anyone else felt that by doing their amendments, they're altering the very nature of what was already there? It's so weird, because as I understand it, the existing material is "locked in", and the examiners can ONLY reassess on the amendments requested. Therefore, if I end up deleting something that they might have liked first time round, there's not a lot they can do? Am I right? Feels a little odd how I'm making MASSIVE changes to the lit. review etc, but I guess it's all for the better.

Just grateful I don't have to do another viva! I performed well in that, so it's a read-through reassessment only :)

R&R - what to put on job application forms?

Hi all,

As you may know from my previous thread, I got R&R (examiner said 12 months max, but 3 months doable) but no need for a second viva as he said my performance was excellent. So basically, I never need another viva, yet I still have revise/resubmit.

A few jobs have come up. What on earth do I put re: the PhD if asked, and more pertinently, if it comes up in an interview?

Have I "passed" by viva but not my PhD? Have I not even submitted by the letter of the law? I'm really confused as to what my actual status is.

The examiners said they'll happily go through my amendments process with me in order to make as little work as possible for both parties (their words), so I'm feeling very positive about it.

But - when it comes to jobs - I don't want to be in the same situation as last year whereby they don't take me seriously because I haven't submitted. Is it irresponsible to say I've already had the viva and am working through amendments?

R+R but no second viva?

That's the one thing I'm holding on to! I never have to sit through another viva. I enjoyed it, but that's done now!

R+R but no second viva?

Hi all,

Had my final viva yesterday, and as the title of the post says, unfortunately I received R+R, but there were many positives (which I'm trying to cling on to).

Firstly, they said my viva performance was excellent, and that I alleviated most of their concerns through my defence.

Secondly, they said the content is generally fine, but the restructuring required resulted in an R+R decision rather than major amendments, but it was almost toss a coin for them to decide between the two.

So - my question is - have I technically "passed" my final PhD viva? This is the part I'm struggling to comprehend. I guess by the letter of the law, I have no longer submitted my PhD, but bizarrely seem to have "passed" the final viva part of it? They were adamant that no second viva will be required, and that they will both simply look at it once I'm done.

They also said it won't take the 12 months for R+R, and that if I put my mind to it, it can be a 2-4 month job easily.

If I apply for academic posts between now and resubmission, how do I classify myself? As it is so similar to major corrections, do I state that I've been viva'd and am awaiting the thesis to be "signed off", or do I have to claim I haven't even submitted yet?

Finally - after this resubmission, given that they'll provide a detailed report, is it like major/minor amendments in that the thesis is signed off, or can there be a FURTHER delay by them then passing it with minor/major the second time round?

Part of me is positive, but the other part of me is devastated and wondering where I'll get the energy from.

Anyone got any experience of timescales for this sort of thing? I had my heart set on graduating in July next year with the rest of my year group, but I fear that this is slipping away.

Viva in 3 days - spotting lots of errors

Sorry for double post, but that brings me to another serious question.

I'm writing down the list of errors I've found. Should I take them with me but not mention it unless prompted? I'm torn between it looking like I'm a professional self-critic of my own work, and it looking like I'm admitting my own weaknesses before I've even started.

Thoughts on identifying own errors in viva? Should I leave it to the examiners to do that for me?