Signup date: 28 May 2010 at 4:18pm
Last login: 29 Jul 2012 at 10:59am
Post count: 94
she's obviously completly lost the plot! she seems to have missed the point of emailing altogether! on the up side, at least she apologised for upsetting you with her insanity. i think maybe they don't let you become a supervisor if you're not in some way weird!
sounds like you're doing really well! I 'm in first year too, but did a qualitative project for my MSc dissertation, and found it quite slow-going. You've written loads which is great, and it'll also be really helpful for you to have done those pilot interviews and had a bash at analysing them. I think you've definately done a lot for the first 8 months! i've seen a few students do purely qualitative phds, and it can be quite slow progress, so i think to have that much written and to be collecting your data by october/november is really good.
well done!! i've finished my qualitative project and still can't manage to talk about or really know anything about epistemology!!!!
if you keep this up, you'll have nothing to worry about!
i agree, that's complete nonsense. If she doesn't want to be dealing with emails at night, then she shouldn't be checking them! I would have thought that everyone would understand that people send emails whenevers the most convenient for them, it doesn't mean you expect a response then. I often send my supervisors emails over the weekend or on a friday night - but i don't expect them to read it until at least monday, and i know they will only look at it/deal with it at a time that's convenient for them. if they complained about having to read it late at night i'd think they'd gone mad!!
i would send her a response back just saying apologies for the misunderstanding, but you weren't expecting her to check her emails, and weren't looking for an urgent response, you simply sent the email then as you were dealing with work stuff/whatever. you could even ask her to clarify - should you only send her emails during working hours? sound's like she's probably been in a bad mood about something else, and has responded to your email without really thinking. when she reads your response she'll probably realise she's over-reacted!
but i don't think you should ignore it, just because it then leaves you unclear about sending stuff in the future, and that's not a fair position for you to be in. If mainly she's the good supervisor from the other post, then she should be happy to clarify what you should do. Failing that, for future emails you are sending out of working hours, just add in a line saying that you appreciate it's after work hours, but you're just sending it while you remember, and she should feel free to ignore it until the next day/whenever's convenient.
it is so maddening when supervisors can be great, but then unreasonable and insane in equal measure!!!
my supervisor is great! He drives me mad all the time, he never remembers to reply to emails, no matter how urgent, and I always have to chase him up about everything. he's perfectionistic to the extreme, and if i have less than a million things to do at once, then i'm not busy enough, and if you get a 'good work' from him, you take about a week off to celebrate! if you ever say something stupid, instead of letting it pass, he will laugh at you. when you let him down, he doesn't get angry, he's just 'disappointed' that you've let yourself down, and it makes you want to crawl under the nearest rock.
But because he is all of those things, it makes you work hard to get it right. he pushes me, but because of that, i've probably got more done in my first year than i would otherwise. because every little bit of everything i do has to be perfect, it means that when it's done I have confidence that it's good. When i finally submit my thesis, I won't have to worry about whether it will pass or not, because if it's good enough for him, it'll be good enough for everyone else! because he laughs at you when you're wrong, and praises you when you do well, i trust him, i know he means what he says and he wouldn't say anything just to make me feel better - so I don't have to waste time wondering what he really thinks, because he never leaves any doubt! i know a lot of people in my department who have really laid back, comforting supervisors, and don't get me wrong, there are many days when i wish we could swap, but when it comes down to it, i know that my work is better because of him, I will learn more because of him, and that really i'm extremely lucky to be supervised by him.
i also know that at the end of 3 years, i will probably hate him and be thankful for him in equal measure!
I just want to say that I understand why the phd means so much to you. I am also a mature student doing a phd, and although the reasons are different, it also means a great deal to me personally to be able to acheive it, and to do it well.
I guess the main thing for you to remember is that you have put so many years into it, and worked hard, and produced a large amount of work under what sounds like very difficult circumstances. No matter the outcome, you should be proud of that, and don't underestimate how much you've acheived. and if you think that anyone could do the same, you're wrong. I have friends who crumble and give up if they so much as have to deal with one small personal thing going on at the same time as their work - never mind anything that's a real issue. so regardless of what else is going on, you're clearly a strong person.
as far as the viva is concerned, at my uni, they have a graduate research school which runs various seminars and training things, and one of those is 'surviving the viva'. And one of the key points they make is that anxiety can definatly be your friend at the viva! basically, the viva is designed to push you, and the panel will push you as much as they have to until you start to struggle. so if you are clearly anxious from the beginning, it just means that they won't push you as hard or for as long, which is definatly to your advantage! I guess another key thing to remember is that the panel have essentially made their decision before the viva even starts, and you would have to do something pretty extreme to make them change their minds! so try not to be too stressed over the actual viva itself.
and if the outcome is revisions, then that's ok, it's pretty rare that anyone has no revisions to do. and even if it's major revisions, in the context of how long you've spent on you're phd so far, it's definatly only going to be just a little more time until those revisions are done, and your phd will be finally done. it doesn't take anything away from the achievement of getting your phd, just because you had revisions to do.
anyway, i wish you the very best of luck, and do let us know how you get on.
I find stats and spss really difficult, and hard to get my head around. I have the Field book as wel, but to be honest, for me, i find it quite difficult in bits. although some of it was helpful. I found the 'SPSS survival manual' by J Pallant, the best book i've ever come across. it's really simple to understand, and takes you through every aspect from setting up your data sheet, entering your data to performing statistical tests. It explains really clearly what each type of test should be used for, and i find it explains even really complicated stats in a way that's really easy to understand. and you can easily dip in and out of it for specific bits of information. It's definatly the spss/stats book i would recommend.
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I graduated the same year as you from my psychology degree, and have also done the MSc in research methods. I'm now doing a PhD.
For me, I found two ways that simplify the process a bit. You can look on websites such as *edited by mods.. try www.FindAPhD.com*, and you occassionaly see phd posts advertised there. the project is normally one that is pre-determined by the supervisor, and they need a phd student to carry it out. This can be really good if you see a topic that you like or that you feel you would find interesting. Then it's just like applying for a job, with an application form, and then they interview for the best candidate. These are usually funded by the department, and you don't have to worry about applying for funding seperately. I have a few friends who got their phd's this way, and found it pretty stress free, and are enjoying their phds.
Of if you have an idea for a specific topic you'd like to work on, or there's an area of research you've always fancied, then I would suggest going on to the websites of universities you'd like to go to, and read the psychology staff web-pages. Then if you find someone whose research interests are similiar, then you can approach them and ask if they'd consider supervising your project. In your case, i'd say you probably want to focus on people who are clinical/health psychologists. Although this is a bit harder work in the beginning, i found the benefits are that from the start, you have someone who is interested and is fighting your corner. they will then guide you through applying for funding, and help you put all that kind of stuff together. this can take a bit longer to get everything organised, depending on where you're applying for funding, but I found it really useful in the end, because it means you've got a really solid proposal and a clear idea of exactly what you're doing before you start. so when your phd begins, you can get right into it. It also means you have more control over what you research because you are choosing the topic, design etc rather than it being decided before your supervisor ever meets you.
and it should make things easier that you've got your masters, regardless which way you approach getting a phd. A lot of unis prefer you to have it, and it should make it a little easier for you to get funding.
anyway, i hope that helps a bit
I don't know what your subject area is, so my experience might not be relevant, but I'm doing a psychology based phd. Before my formal interview in the department, i did also have to go in and meet with the supervisor.
with regard to the kind of thing to expect, i think there's a few things they're looking for. for the specific project, they usually want to see if you have a general appreciation for the problems or issues that might arise with the project. In my subject, getting participants to take part (especially when you're dealing with vulnerable populations) is difficult, and i think the supervisor generally wants to know that basically you are aware of these types of issues, and that you know it won't all be easy and go according to plan, but you're up for the challenge and enthusiastic.
And related to this, i think they want to see that you don't have a view of what doing a phd is like that is unrealistic.
They may also want to know what interests you about doing that project.
but overall, the informal chat is really to prepare you for the interview, and give you the chance to ask questions about the project etc.
as to what to wear, i'm sure it won't be really formal. i would say smart trousers and a shirt would give a good impression and look and feel smart, without looking really over-dressed. most of the doctors and professors in my department tend to wear jeans and a shirt, and only use suits for formal interviews.
hope that helps a bit, good luck
it sounds like you definatly would be qualified to do a phd.
although i don't know anything about law phds, if they work the same way as in life sciences departments, then you'll have a few options. The departments in various univeristies will advertise phds where a supervisor has already decided on the exact project - jobs.ac.uk is a good website to look for this kind of thing. this wouldn't have to be something you are especially interested in for you to apply - it's more important that its a project that you would be happy to work on.
Or if you have a specific area that you are really interested in - such as African law - then i would suggest that a good starting point is to identify universities you would like to go to, then look at the law departments staff webpages, and see if you can find a member of staff who researches within a similiar area. Then you can just get in touch with that member of staff and and discuss the type of project you'd be interested in doing, and ask if they would consider supervising you. If they agree, then they will discuss with you options for funding etc.
hope that helps a bit
i'm also in quite a low mood about the whole phd thing just now, so thought i'd join in this moaning thread!
i want to moan about the endless rounds of presentations that come with being a phd student in my department, the fact that i'm completely out of my depth when it comes to statistics, and my first round of data analysis is therefore not going well, the way you pretty much never get to feel on top of things...or if you do, it's for about 1/2 hour at the most! the fact that the work you should be doing is always on your mind, no matter how much you try to forget it, and the endless amount of really rubbish programs I watch on tv now when i'm working from home during the day....just to extend my lunch break and put off working for a bit longer!
when i was working on my undergrad degree, i did feel like i worked hard and put a lot into it, but with the phd, i constantly feel lazy, it's difficult to get anything done, and a general air of 'i can't be bothered' hangs over most tasks i try and do! and when i do get something done, even it's the smallest task possible, i tend to convince myself that that was some good hard work, and definatly deserves the rest of the day off.....after all, the work i was supposed to be doing can get done 'tomorrow' instead!
and so it's no suprise to me really that as I glance over what i've written here, i'm thinking that it's not really my phd that i'm moaning about at all....it's me! and what's the answer?....i just need to work harder, that's all!! and that sums up really well why my phd drives me mad! it makes me annoyed at it, and at myself, in equal measure!
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