Signup date: 23 Feb 2006 at 6:54am
Last login: 26 Sep 2008 at 12:46pm
Post count: 610
I was wondering whether someone knew about online directories of academic conferences in the UK? My department maintains a webpage of upcoming conferences in my subject and it's really useful to look for future conferences. As my research is interdisciplinary I have thought about presenting my work in conferences in other areas but neither Google searches nor visits to other departments of my university have not been very useful. The areas I'm most interested in are contemporary history, media history and Hispanic studies. Many thanks!
I've never heard anything about publications counting towards the result of the viva... in my university regulations there's nothing about it whatsoever, and I think that the viva must focus on the content of the thesis rather than on things you did on the side. Lots of people in my area have passed without publications so I don't think it's a main issue.
Not that I know anything about ICT but this is a quite universal method:
-Collect/read a number of papers/books in your field.
-Figure out which people seem to be the most relevant in particular subfields which interest you, or which people use methods/approaches which match your own preferences.
-Locate (with the help of Google) the departments in which these people work, read the department's webpage to see if you really have the opportunity to do a PhD with them.
I'm partially self-funded (my tuition fees are paid by my university but my living expenses are not). I've been doing some freelance writing work since the start of my PhD last October and I have managed to get enough money to live on working a reasonable number of hours. If the situation changed and I had to struggle to make a living, I think that I might switch to part-time mode and work full-time, or even put aside my PhD temporarily to work for one year and save money, but I don't think I would leave my PhD forever. The reason is that I am now very motivated about my research, things are started to take shape and I feel comfortable within my department. If my research were not achieving any results, or if my supervisor bullied me, I think however that I would be more vulnerable to financial difficulties, so maybe I wouldn't have the motivation to keep going if faced with a catastrophical economic situation.
Maybe this is a very stupid question Chris but aren't you doing a PhD in Museum Studies? If so, can't you work in a museum afterwards as curator or something? This is an option I've thought about (some PhDs in my field have ended up working in museums, albeit very few of them). I wouldn't mind trying to go for an academic position abroad (I'm a language and travel geek so I would be more than happy to do it). Plus going into secondary teaching is always an option, I think, if you love teaching of course.
My situation is similar, studying a subject in which there seem to be few posts available (albeit if compared with other humanities the situation is not too bad). In fact, due to a couple of more frustrations I had earlier, I am now so pessimistic that when last week my supervisor suggested me to start thinking about an academic job (i.e. starting to publish, serious network...) I looked at him in such a way (as if he had proposed me to start thinking about Britain's PM or something like that, completely out of my scope) that he mumbled something like "Well, if you don't want to go into academia it's just fine". But although I am very pessimistic to that regard, academia is really the place where I want to be after I finish my PhD!
I guess it depends on the quality of your work up to date and the standards of your department, but I'd always thought that a MPhil required to present something original, which probably involves new data or a new interpretation of existing data.
Moreover 18 months seems a bit short to get a MPhil, I think that at my university you need to be registered for 24 months or so before being able to submit a MPhil thesis.
Moreover - I'm not sure whether English is your first language - if not, it is yet another difficulty and, yes, you can answer in a slightly offensive or unpolite manner without being aware of it! However from my experience academics tend to be quite understanding in these situations.
I agree with Corinne - I think that feeling frustrated and having the feeling that you could have done better is normal in your first presentations, but on the other side we all tend to be hypercritical with ourselves in these matters and believe that our presentation has been a disaster whereas the audience may have a very different view.
And remember that it is not compulsory to have an answer for everything! Just admit calmly that you haven't researched properly the answer to that specific question but that you plan to (you're a PhD student after all, everybody knows that yours is a "work in progress"), or that you hadn't planned to but thanks to that question you have identified a new line of research for the future. I've only done a few presentations and they were all very relaxed, but I always try to remember that the questions and answers session is not meant to be the Inquisition, but a helpful dialogue for everybody.
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