Signup date: 08 Jan 2016 at 12:02am
Last login: 01 Oct 2020 at 4:07pm
Post count: 1242
If you feel like this in the first week then that's a pretty clear sign that the PhD process is not for you. I do understand the arguments from other posters above but I think this simply won't help you at this stage. It would be different had you been 2 years into your PhD and struggling.
I wouldn't worry about the university department. They will see a lot of people in your position. The funding will be passed to someone else.
As a separate issue, you probably want to look into getting support for your mental health issues. Your GP will help.
CanIStopNow, whatever you decide to do, it's important that you do it for yourself and your own reasons. Obviously it's shame you want to stop at this late stage but honestly, you should not feel guilt or pressure from anyone else to complete.
I would also add that it doesn't matter whether you want to go into academia or not. I had no real intention of doing that either. For me it was solely about reaching the pinnacle of what our country's education system can offer. I'll never use the actual stuff from my thesis but that was never the point.
The real risk for you is that you make a snap decision which you end up regretting.
One option you have is that you could ask to take a formal 12 month break and find a job in the meantime. That would give you space to think.
Do you need to make your final decision now?
It wasn't expected but I had two full summers of research experience and also had a year of industrial experience as part of my degree and that was pure research within a company.
It also helped that I did my PhD with my undergraduate mentor.
You don't typically need research experience in the UK but it won't harm you if you have some. I can't speak for other countries.
My supervisor and I always preferred to go through changes face to face even if he had added notes to my paper.
Any advice would be general rather than "write this specific sentence". He might suggest a phrase but he always left it to me to work out the details. He also wouldn't highlight the same error twice. The expectation was that if he raised an issue, I'd check the remainder of the document for the same type of error.
If I disagreed with some advice I would raise that and present my case but these reviews were always done in a collegiate manner and actually it was a brilliant working relationship.
It sounds like your relationship with your supervisor is not balanced if you are unsure how to approach issues like the one you describe. Are they telling you what to do or suggesting what you should do? It absolutely should be the latter but all too often ends up being the former.
It's clear that you want an environment where you can progress intellectually.
Firstly, I would stop caring what other people might think about you being lucky to have a job right now. Their opinions are irrelevant and changing how you think about this might be a good first step for you. You need a clear head to consider your options.
You have a few options. Either find a new job allowing progression (but your lack of a PhD might be an issue) or get an industrial PhD (difficult to find but they are definitely out there). There is a name for these types of PhD. Someone else might be able to remember. The other option is the PhD but the issue with any PhD is whether you can get the type of work you want afterwards. Another option is to take a PhD with the aim of starting your own company afterwards. This is a much overlooked avenue but might be worth a thought.
I would urge you to get your mental health sorted before you start a PhD.
Well this is a bit weird.
Both my daughters are trying to do the same thing and we were discussing it last night.
I told them to contact either the SQA or AQA for advice on certified exam centres etc. and they'll be making the calls on Monday. Happy to post back with the advice they receive.
I asked my external about this at the end of my viva.
He said he starts with the reference section. He knows who I should be referencing because he knows the general field and he's looking to check I've not missed anyone important. If he sees all the major players being referenced, he can be confident that I've done my homework.
So my immediate thoughts are that there is no need for separate sub forums. There aren't enough posts to warrant that and it will make the forum look emptier than it already is.
That needs urgently fixed. If you don't change this immediately, you'll kill the forum.
Until you start to get a lot of posts, you should strongly consider having a single repository.
Secondly, you want a "show new posts since you last logged in" button.
Looks nice though overall.
Apologies if I've duplicated the thoughts of others. In a rush..... :-D
Can't add much more than rewt has just said.
The average brand new PhD student is simply not going to be effective at coming up with an idea worthy of a PhD. They lack the experience.
The best solution is to start them off with the broad terms of their project specified for them and then allow and encourage the student to gradually branch out after a year or two when they have the safety of a paper or two under their belt.
PhD funding lasts 3 years (ignoring the 1+3 thing where the first year is lectures and assigned mini projects). A new student could easily waste a year figuring out what to work on. Then they would have just 18 months of actual research work before taking the 6 months to write their thesis (it is unethical to expect a thesis to be written without any income). I don't think you can produce PhD standard work in 18 months.
By all means, by the end of the PhD, the student MUST be able to do their own thing but in my opinion, it is inefficient and unfair to throw a young person straight into the deep end on day 1 and personally I can't understand why the system would advocate that.
He asked me "how would you write some software to store all the information in this phone book?" He tossed the book in the air, I believe it reached a height of 3 feet above the table before crashing down loudly in front of me. I particularly remember the way he said "in your own time" and relaxed in his chair, feet on desk and theatrically thumbed through the magazine.
The whole interview was a nightmare. I couldn't answer any of his questions and after 20 minutes he interrupted me in mid sentence saying "Yeeeeeeees, I THINK we should stop at this point, we're clearly not getting anywhere". I will never forget his last words as he showed me out of the door. He said "Hang on. Here, have a copy of our newsletter". I said no thanks.
I've never been more embarassed professionally in my whole life.
Honestly, I just wouldn't tolerate being treated like that now and would terminate the interview but I was young at the time. I'm glad I went through it because it's a great story. The funniest things to look back on are always those where you have been made to look daft. Also, from that day onwards I learnt to interview the interviewer. That was a massive change. There's nothing more liberating than terminating an interview early because you've realised the job or the environment doesn't fit what you are looking for.
Anyway, I wasn't joking about that book. I have already started writing it. Just got to get round to finishing it. It's full of little stories like that one :-D
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