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Smart Phones and PhDs!

I have a samsung galaxy S, which is a good android phone. As has already been said, there are a lot of free apps for it. it also have programs that allow you to write notes, to do lists etc. you can access your email and have internet access wherever you go pretty much. It also lets you look at pdfs, edit word docs etc, all the things you can do with microsoft office.

It is really useful - especially if you don't always have computer access. so i think that's your justification - if you need to be able to access emails, materials etc quickly and from anywhere. If you have computer access at home and in the uni though, then in reality you probably won't use all those features that much!

What is best to get out from my supervisors if I have to leave?

I don't know if this is possible or not, but if you have already done 2 years of work, perhaps you could ask your supervisors whether you are eligible to apply for a Mphil qualification? quite often if you can't do the whole phd, you can apply for this lower qualification based on the work you've done. I don't know if that's an option for you or not.

but other than that, i'd say just ask for references from your supervisors, and maybe you could also ask them to look at and comment on a draft of your CV - to make sure that your experience and skills are communicated in a way that will help you to get work etc in that discipline.

good luck!

1 + 3 PhD - clarification needed

i'd agree with the others, that it usually means a 1 year masters followed by the 3 year phd. and they are quite common, especially amongst those with external funding - often it's a requirement of getting certain funding that you do it on the 1+3 basis.

Personally i've found it to be quite good. I intially wasn't very keen on doing an additional year, but it was actually really useful in getting to know the uni and department, get settled in, start working with your supervisors and thinking about your project etc - it really helps you to hit the ground running when your actual phd starts.

IPA workshops - has anyone been to one?

I did an IPA project for my MSc. It was down in london and was done by Jonathan Smith (of smith, flowers, and larkin book fame!). It was good, but really honestly, it didn't teach my anything that I wouldn't have got from reading the book. the only advantage it really adds is the opportunity to meet other people who are doing IPA and talk to them about your work. but if you have/create a yahoo account, their is an IPA chat forum group there that you can join and talk/discuss with others that way.

so bottom line, i think the workshop probably looks good on your cv, but in reality doesn't add much at all.

hope that helps

touch typing


i learned to touch type back when i was in school, and although it was now many years ago!, i found their method really effective! Basically, you just get an 'actual size' print out of the keys on the keyboard, and prop this up in front of you. You look down at the keyboard at the start just to place your left four fingers on the asdf and the right four fingers on the jkl; and hover your thumbs above the space bar. Then just copy text from a book or whatever you like, and instead of looking at the keyboard to see where the letters are, follow it on the print out instead. It's great at teaching you to stop looking down, and your speed and confidence will improve quickly, untill you need the print out less and less.

hope that helps!

1st-2nd year transfer (talk and mini-viva)

i'm in psychology, so it obviously might be different for your discipline, but otherwise I was in a similar position - when I did this recently I didn't have any data to show them or anything like that.

because of that, their focus was on finding out what I had done so far and what I planned to do in the future. Basically to see if what I planned to do was achievable and practical, and could realistically be completed within the 3 years.

one of the questions they ask in my discipline which I think they tend to ask most people is why is your project worthy of funding? It obviously is because you've got funding for it - but you just need to briefly describe why your area of research is important and relevant.

but my key tip is just to try and relax as much as possible - i found that nerves got the better of me a bit, and made me ramble a bit, and fill lots of gaps with eh...! so just be clear about what you've done, what you plan to do and why, and how it can be done in the timescales.

good luck!

A question to those on a 1+3


I did the 1+3, and pretty much all the work I done that year was just for the masters - the modules and the dissertation. the dissertation was in the same subject area as the phd, so I guess some of the background lit was relevant for what I am doing now. but i didn't go out my way to prepare for the phd whilst doing the masters. the only extra thing I did was some teaching assistant work. But generally I found the dissertation was pretty time consuming for me. I guess the main thing relevant to the phd is that once the dissertation was done and the masters was effectively finished, work for the phd started straight away.

so my advice would be to just focus on the masters while you can, because there will be plenty of time to stress about your phd later!

good luck!

one tailed and two tailed

good luck with it all. i'm in the middle of my own analysis at the moment, and it's driving me crazy! hope yours goes more smoothly!

conference abstract

Hi Helena

i would say you probably will get some kind of email acknowledgement, but it'd be very rare to get one the same day you submitted it! so i wouldn't worry if you don't get an acknowledgment for a while. some conference websites state that you won't get one, but generally it just takes a while for it to be processed.

and yes, it's very common that you won't hear whether or not your talk has been accepted till after the submission deadline. this is usually to give everyone an equal chance regardless of when they submit. in my own experience it's usually a week or two after the submission deadline that they start to get in touch with people.

so basically, i'd say just relax and try and put it out of your mind for now!

good luck!

one tailed and two tailed

just to add to this, in psychology we use two tailed tests when you don't know the direction of the relationship e.g. whether higher scores on one variable result in higher or lower scores on another, or which group is most likely to show higher scores etc. you would use one tailed tests when you have a good basis for believing that the effect will be in a specific direction.

hope that helps

£112 million - what would you do?

great question for a monday!

firstly, i think it'd be great cause it would mean I wouldn't have to worry too much about finishing my phd dead on time, and also I wouldn't have to be really stressed about finding a postdoc/job for as soon as it finishes. I'd love to stay at my current uni - so i think the idea of offering my supervisor funding for a project (with a good position for me in it obviously!) and getting him to do all the work for it, would be more than a dream come true!

second, i'd employ a brilliant statistician to do my analysis/spss stats. And definatly another person who would be responsible for quickly and efficiently recruiting all my participants for my studies over the course of my phd! those are the two things i hate most about research and find the most stressful!

then all the usual things, bigger better house, whatever car i want, whatever car my husband wants, holidays. I'd give enough to my mum so she can be comfortable for the rest of her life. buy a flat for my brother (he's a lazy layabout who is 30 this year and still lives at my mums despite the fact he has a good job and she can't get rid of him!) so my mum can have her own life back! And I would like to put some of it into savings for our own old age!

not sure all that's possible in the £112 million, but it's just a dream!

Qual research presentation of interview data

Hi Chuff

I don't have a qual phd, but i did do a qual study for my masters dissertation. I also found the results section quite hard to right.

but i think you should have lots of quotes in there, and so a large degree of it is cut and paste from transcripts. I would say it should maybe be about 60-40 in favour of quotes and then your interpretation. I think as long as all the quotes you include, you do interpret and go into further detail, and they all add something.

but i do understand it feels weird, it's really the only type of research where we can copy and paste stuff! but i think generally what is important here is that you show you can select the most relevant and illustrative quotes for use, and that your interpretation can be seen as coming from the quote and aids and deepens the readers understanding of the issue.

hope that helps, good luck with it

Contacted potential supervisor but no reply

I agree with the others, i'd say that he is probably just on holiday/or busy. give it a week or so, then just send a little email reminder just saying 'i sent you a query regarding a phd position a few weeks ago, and I just wondered if you'd had a chance to look at it yet?'

my supervisor is hopeless at replying to stuff, and often i spend weeks worrying that the fact i've heard nothing means it must be really bad. then when i eventually ask him about it, he says 'oh, i thought i'd replied to that already. why didn't you remind me sooner?'

so they don't mind, and usually actually appreciate, reminders!

good luck with it.

Appendix or Appendices

I'd say the actual section is usually called 'Appendices' and then the individual bits are labelled appendix A etc.

First Year Review today...really anxious!

thanks everyone!

I am glad to be in second year, but at the same time, horrified at how quickly time is passing and how much there still is to do!

i'm happy that we have this forum to share our stresses and anxieties, as well as the occassional good times!