Signup date: 26 Jun 2010 at 5:59pm
Last login: 18 Oct 2019 at 9:34am
Post count: 282
======= Date Modified 03 May 2011 18:41:49 =======
Hi Minnie, I too live a long distance from my uni. I did my MSc part time there whilst working in a different city and had to commute 2.5 hours by train (each way) to get to uni. I am now 6 months into a full time PhD at the same uni and am still commuting the same distance but only go in 3 or 4 days a week depending on work load. I am thinking about moving closer but there are financial restrictions as my partner has a specialised job and may struggle to find work nearer to uni and we can't afford to live on my stipend alone, also the train fares are surprisingly cheap so it's not too bad to commute.
But the key point I want to make is that if you are happy to commute then why not do it. Yes it can be annoying sometimes especially trains but my supervisor is happy for me to do this. Everyone else in the office thinks I'm mad but apparently I'm making good progress at the moment so it can't be that detrimental. My supervisor has told me more than once that as long as I am getting the work done and am at uni when I need to be for teaching, meetings etc then he doesn't care where I work.
If you have a good relationship with your sup then they should be understanding and as long as you are making good progress it shouldn't be a problem.
edit - I am also a 'younger' student (25) and whilst I see it as a 9-5 job my body doesn't work on that schedule after years of shift work but I still do the same number of hours each day, so don't worry about being 'late' for work :p
Hi Lauren, I am also about 6 months into my PhD (started October). The main reason I had to get up research questions sorted is because I have to go through the upgrade procedure and submit a report at the end of May/early June in order to transfer from MPhil status to PhD status (everyone in my uni has to do it). So up until last week I was panicking a bit about what my questions would be but my sup was brilliant and I feel a lot happier now. My sup had also assumed everything was fine and is also very busy with other students but I managed to grab him for over an hour last week (probably helped by the fact that it was vacation time) and we discussed ideas.
So definitely try and speak to your sup. As you are working on a predefined project it may be that they have some idea of the direction you should take with your research so it is important to discuss ideas to make sure you are on the same page.
Good luck :-)
I was/am in a similar position. I am also working on a predefined project and have spent the past few months reading and putting together an initial literature review and learning the technical aspects of my project. I am doing computer modelling and initially had very limited programming experience so my sup has been focussing on improving my practical skills but up until last week we hadn't really discussed in detail the research questions. But we had a meeting where he told me his vision for the project and I chipped in with some ideas that I have about what I could focus on. During the meeting I wrote down all of the ideas mentioned and have been spending the past few days thinking about what I want to do. It turns out that meeting was really helpful as it stopped me from feeling quite so lost and overwhelmed.
Perhaps you could arrange a meeting with your sup just to discuss the ideas you have had to see which would be the most feasible/interesting etc. If all of the practical stuff and paperwork is now out of the way then hopefully you should have more time to discuss ideas with your sup. After my meeting it felt like a light bulb had been switched on in my head and the confusion was almost gone!
======= Date Modified 29 Apr 2011 10:42:48 =======
I had a month between submitting my MSc dissertation in September and starting my full time PhD in October last year and I asked my supervisor if I should do any work or just take a break and he near enough insisted that I spend my month off doing nothing and that's exactly what I did (I stayed at the same uni). I think it was a very good idea as it gave me chance to clear my head so I was able to focus when I started my PhD. Enjoy the time off while you have it :-)
Hi, the notebook thing in office is called 'onenote'. If you have a full version of office 2007 or 2010 then it should also have onenote. It's very easy to use and I've found it a great way of organising notes on pretty much everything. In fact I very rarely make notes on paper anymore, mainly because they are often indecipherable and have a tendency to get buried on my desk!
With regards to reading and writing I have a similar approach where I aim to read a selection of papers on that topic and then write as much as I can about it before doing the next one. Then I go through and edit what I wrote before so it is more coherent and to link the different sections together. I would also recommend referencing as you go otherwise it can get confusing later on, especially if you have more than one citation for a certain author in the same year and forget which is which.
I also did a taught masters and wrote my dissertation during the summer. I got my results in late September and graduated in January. Obviously timings may be different but if Southampton do winter graduations then you be able to graduate Dec/Jan rather than waiting until the following summer.
Hi, I've recently installed Latex for windows from the link below. It comes with documentation which if you read it through makes it very easy to set up. This link also has downloads available for Mac and Linux users.
My sup recommended I use Latex and so far it seems fairly straightforward to use. I'm currently writing my upgrade report in it but up until now had only ever used word and after the hassle I had with it rearranging formatting for my MSc dissertation I though it was time to try Latex.
Hi although I'm not married I do live with my boyf and have been doing so for nearly 4 years. He works full time and has put up with me studying for my undergrad, masters and now the first year of my PhD. It can be tricky at times as he works different shifts each week so sometimes we don't see much of each other so I try and schedule my work around him which normally allows us to spend at least 1 day together a week even if I am studying in the next room whilst he is watching telly at least I can go and spend time with him if I want to.
With regards to income that depends very much on what funding you may be able to get for your PhD and on your wife's income. As we don't have children our living expenses are fairly low and my studentship is about the same as what my boyf earns so we are actually better off now than before I started the PhD. This is because I was doing a minimum wage part time job to fund my masters.
Maybe your wife is a bit worried about the type of job you will be able to get afterwards.
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