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Improving prospects (PostDoc)

Hello forum

Now my PhD is well out of the way and I'm finding my feet with my part time research fellow job, I'm trying to find ways to improve my future prospects.

I'm obviously unable to complete all these tasks at once, but I've listed some initial ideas......

a) Publications and dissemination- i) submitting papers from my PhD, ii) working on publishing papers from my research fellow post, iii) developing publications from my trainee health psychologist role, iv) Presenting findings within academic conferences

b) MSc teaching- received two invitations to teach on a postgraduate psychology course (four MSc psychology lectures to use towards my professional psychology training). Something to add to the CV?

c) Professional health psychology doctorate- every month, I receive supervision, tuition and training on competencies required for chartered psychologist status. I'm keen to pursue a duel psychologist role, ie part research and part professional practice, rather than working in academia full time.

d) Perhaps complete a PGCHE via my research fellow role to develop teaching skills?

e) Consider additional smaller courses on particular types of therapy options for psychology training? ie cognitive behavioural therapy

Just curious how other PostDocs work on improving their prospects?

Ph.D. What exactly counts in the word limit?

Hi Marasp,

Best of luck with your submission. It IS possible to pass (and graduate!) after this ordeal!

Agree with Bilbo. Check the rules on word limits within your department and university and follow to the letter.

My word count covered the abstract and my thesis chapters/main text. Content pages, references and appendices excluded from the word count.

With my resubmission I ensured to submit a report within the word limit as that was one of their important corrections/recommendations. I wasn't going to risk failing for exceeding the word limit.

Whilst they were checking my resubmission draft, my internal examiner requested an overall word count before they released their decision on minor corrections verdict. I was literally just under 100,000 words, so I guess they wanted to check.

Don't risk it Marasp! Ensure to follow the uni guidelines very closely.

Strangely, my department and university changed the guidelines on word limits after I graduated, including stricter rules on word limits and clearer guidance. Coincidence? I think not! ;)

Resubmission after corrections

Hey :)

I received a resubmission verdict and recently obtained my PhD after a long drawn out process.

- Viva voce (summer 2011)
- Resubmission verdict (extremely positive viva, discussions focused on how to reduce thesis to 100,000 words), no second viva voce.
- Submitted corrected thesis in line with resubmission report and examiners requests. I also submitted a 2 page covering letter summarising the main changes.
- Awarded minor corrections after a five month wait! Three months to address minor corrections.
- Addressed minor corrections within 3 months and submitted yet another draft.
- Internal examiner approved minor corrections in 2/3 days after I submitted
- Submitted hardbound version to university
- Graduated in July 2013.

The resubmitted draft was in many ways a completely different thesis, but I covered almost all of their corrections. It wasn't perfect however, as the references required some corrections and generally required a detailed proofread. Due to long wait, I was terrified and convinced I failed, but the delay had nothing to do with my thesis.

Once I received the minor corrections verdict, I made doubly sure I covered every single minor correction before submitting, I knew there was a possibility of failing if I ignored their requests, so this was my very final attempt to get it right. My internal approved my minor corrections in a few days without any further requests to enable me to graduate in July.

There's also some degree of flexibility with the examiners in that their not out to fail candidates (although I more or less convinced myself my examiners were going to fail me!). In other cases, the internal examiner requested some additional changes after minor corrections submission and this was sorted relatively quickly.

Best of luck :)

R&R woes

Quote From Blackbyrd:

Thank you for your replies. Good luck to you too marasp. I also do not need a second viva and although that is a good thing, the corrections are more extensive than I thought. But, Metab, you are right too. I've just got to keep going but the barrel is pretty dry of motivation at the mo! But as you say marasp, quitting is not an option so just have to dig really, really deep and try my best and persevere.
Congratulations Pineapple. I followed your story with interest last year and I am SO pleased for you. Well done! Let's just hope that I, and the others doing the R&R will be in the same position soon.
Thank you :)

Best of luck. It absolutely can be done. No second viva for me either.

I didn't think I would get through it and I REALLY struggled with motivation.

I found working in the early hours of the morning (4am onwards) helped as I seemed to be really motivated and productive at that time of the morning given very minimal noise and distractions from others. Deactivating social networking sites, my sheer stubborn determination to prove my supervisors that I was capable of passing, focusing on good things about my thesis from my examiners, counting down the days until resubmission and taking a good 3 months of work before submission helped me focus.

R&R woes

Best of luck :) I received my PhD last week in an amazing graduation ceremony after a R&R verdict. It can be done......

Thinking of those of you on the R&R journey xxx

Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Thanks everyone. I'm graduating next week and I'll start my new postdoc job the Monday after :)

However, I'm disappointed that my family are very disinterested about my graduation and half my family are refusing to see me graduate next week :( None of my family want to attend the PhD graduation reception organised by my department and clearly have no intentions to celebrate in any way. All very disappointing, especially as I'm the first doctor in the family. Anyway, to stop my family ruining my graduation day, I've invited some of my very supportive friends to celebrate with me at the actual ceremony (I was successful with extra tickets). I've also organised a little graduation party with more friends at a fab restaurant. Looking forward to it!

Really appreciate the support on this forum- especially considering current situation.

Anyone else out there with a resubmission or major corrections verdict- It IS possible to pass. Best of luck to all PhD candidates out there working through stressful write up phases.

Marasp- feel free to PM if you need any support or advice.....best of luck with your resubmission.

Research Fellow interview!


Sorry, I've just seen this message. Thanks for the congratulations messages folks!

My interview was similarly split into two halves. First, a 10 minute presentation on a specific topic relevant to the position. Second, a 30 minute panel interview.

1. Presentation

I spent over a week preparing for this presentation (!). Probably a little overkill on interview prep, but I really wanted this job! The panel thanked me for the level of work I put into my presentation.
- I researched the background on the presentation topic and also collected research articles from members of my interview panel.
- In my presentation, I applied one of my models from my PhD thesis to structure findings from previous research. I then grouped previous findings in relation to one of my PhD models. (The interview panel really liked this model!).
- Prior to the interview, I looked at the job spec and tried to implement some of the job spec points into my presentation. The job spec included knowledge of specific methods, participant recruitment, ethics and approaches. In my presentation, I briefly defined and discussed the challenges, merits and approaches with specific methods, ethics, recruitment and approaches.
- I also included key themes and discussion points raised by members of the interview panel and recent relevant issues.
- I was allocated 10 minutes and delivered my presentation in exactly 10 minutes. Definitely check the clock and keep within the time limit.
- I also followed their guidelines to the letter- number of slides and handout pages.

2. Interview panel
- Prior to my interview, I closely followed the job spec and in the interview, I discussed examples of client and research work experience which closely matched each and every one of the job spec requirements.
- As I spoke, I looked at each panel member and tried to come across as experienced, calm, confident, friendly, reflective and approachable.
- I acknowledged my limitations (ie first Post Doc) role, but also that I was very keen to get involved with various work opportunities and highly motivated to take on this new challenge.

Luckily for me, the above worked! :)

Best of luck! :)

Research Fellow interview!


Obtained a two year contract for a Research Fellow position in my PhD topic at a local university. Not sure how I managed to beat the competition, but I managed it somehow! :)

Going to juggle this role with my other 1 day a week Research Associate position at my PhD university....

Absolutely delighted :)

Postgrad Forum Hall of Fame

Quote From snelison:
Can't believe i forgot to post on this thread as I've been whistfully eyeing it up for years!

Submitted January, passed viva April, submitted corrections last week, corrections accepted by internal this week.

Just got to get hardbound copy sorted for library and then graduation ceremony middle of July....and then submitting 3 publications to journals in July....

...but at this point, for the first time in a decade, I do not have a thesis to think about (piggy-backed MSc, MPhil, PhD) so to not have that sense of guilt when i'm sat not doing anything is what's most strange! Going to take some getting used to!

Congratulations Snelison! :)

Delighted for you!!

I know what you mean SN about not having a thesis to think about! Similar sort of journey ie one course after another (BSc, MSc, MSc, PGCert, PhD) and for the first time in a long time, at the moment, I'm not working on some sort of assessment for a course. Taking a break to reflect and give my brain a rest, although intend to get back into my health psychology stuff and PhD publications in July.

In terms of my hellish PhD journey (by no means representative of other PhD stories!),
- I submitted in 2010,
- waited 9 months for my viva voce,
- external examiner cancelled viva voce two weeks before viva,
- frantic search for a replacement examiner,
- resubmission verdict in 2011 (but received very positive feedback from examiners- I just needed to reduce it down to 100,000 words),
- resubmitted thesis in 2012,
- five month wait for decision on my resubmitted thesis
- minor corrections verdict awarded following resubmission,
- submitted minor corrections in 2013,
- corrections accepted two days after minor corrections submission,
- submitted hardbound copy in May 2013
- graduating as Dr. Pineapple in July 2013 :)

Got there in the end :)

Corrections submitted... now a wait

Quote From sdfdsfsdfsdfsdfdsfdf:
Hello! Can anyone provide such details with regards to thesis submission with substantive amendments? It was received about a week ago! Cheers

My experience is probably a complete outlier, but I had to wait five months for my examiners to mark my major corrections/resubmitted PhD. Unis vary on time frame, but I think 3 months is usually the allocated amount of time for examiner to check corrections. Luckily, I received a minor corrections verdict after the 5 month wait and my internal examiner checked my minor corrections within 3 days to enable me to graduate this summer. Looking forward to my PhD graduation :)


Thanks for the advice everyone. Very useful! No publications submitted during my PhD, but I've got several papers which my examiners said I should publish (ie literature review papers, several evaluation theoretical papers, papers on my new measurement tools and three separate empirical studies).

I'm writing these publications independently from my PhD supervisors, but I was checking to see how other PhD graduates worked though the publication process. Finding it all very daunting and a bit isolating! I'm more than happy to work independently from my PhD supervisors though as I work much more effectively without having to cope and deal with dynamics from previous supervisions.

On a more positive note, a Professor at one of the divisions within the British Psychological Society who I met with just after my PhD viva voce is extremely interested in my PhD publications and wants to meet with me shortly, so I'm hoping this will improve this publication write up stage. I'm really not used to such positive and supportive feedback re my PhD work, so feeling super motivated at the moment :)

Thanks for the support :) Much appreciated!


Hello all :)

Now that everything with my PhD is finalized (received official letters from my university and submitted hardbound PhD thesis), I'm moving onto publishing my PhD work. I've managed to squeeze various papers out of my PhD thesis (3 empirical studies, several articles on my new measures and various other theoretical and evaluative discussions on my PhD topic).

I would contact my supervisors in the first instance, but my main supervisor recently retired and my other supervisor moved to America. All in all, I'm feeling a little lost as I'm not sure where to start with the publication process. Both my examiners were very positive and are strongly encouraging me to publish (unlike my supervisors who seem to have cut all contact with me :( )

I've selected journals of interest and looked though previous journals which contain publications similar to my PhD work.

I would really appreciate any advice!

Research Fellow interview!

Hello forum :)

Invited for interview for a part time Research Fellow position at my local university. Delighted to be shortlisted, but starting to feel a little nervous! The interview isn't until mid June, so I've got a few weeks to prepare. The interview includes a 10 minute presentation....eeek. I'm starting a one day a week Research Associate position at another local university, so hoping to juggle both positions. If successful, I'm going to leave my non graduate job in mental health.

I would be grateful for any tips for the Research Fellow job ! :) (other than follow the job description and person spec closely!).

In November, I applied for a Research Assistant position at the same department, but I was rejected after the interview. I'll probably receive the same interview panel and types of questions, so perhaps may swing the balance in my favour?

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Minor corrections awarded following resubmission

Thank you for the lovely messages :) Since my last post, my internal examiner approved my minor corrections, I've ordered my graduation gown for July (I'm renting it! 508 pounds to buy it ?!), I've sorted out my graduation outfit for the summer and sent my thesis off for hard binding for the university library.

I hope my story shows that it definitely is possible to complete a PhD, even after a horrendous journey (ie nine month wait for a viva voce date, viva voce cancellation 2 weeks before the examination date, frantic search for replacement examiner, 1 year to complete corrections and 5 month wait for examiners to inform me of a minor corrections verdict).

I'm however a little hurt and disappointed that my department seem to be arranging celebrations, sending congratulatory emails and purchasing champagne for a PhD candidate who passed her PhD this week. Knowing full well that my minor corrections were approved end of April (no one sent out any departmental acknowledgement of my PhD pass). I can still see all the departmental emails congratulating this new PhD holder in my department :(

Anyway, I shall rise above it :) It still doesn't feel real, but I'm concentrating on finalizing my publications, submitting job applications for postdoc roles and retraining to be a chartered psychologist. I got there in the end :)

Thanks for the support everyone. Much appreciated! x

Minor corrections - but they can still fail me.

Quote From Ants:
My corrections were approved yesterday. I'm still having trouble digesting the news, but it's definitely good news! My, what a relief. I can't even verbalise it. Thanks people for being patient with me! :)

Hi Ants :)

How are you doing?! Has the excellent news sunk in yet?! I'm still struggling to process my corrections approval! Felt very emotional ordering my PhD gown etc this week! Still can't believe it's all over.

Massive anticlimax though when I heard the news! I just wanted to sleep!! Congratulations again Ants :)