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Disagreement with supervisor over paper

OK, thanks everyone. But to be clear, I can't submit my thesis until this paper is submitted, it's part of my thesis. I have another short project that I need to do and I can't start work on that until this one is done, because I need to reference this one in the next one. I can't just pretend it never happened. It's an entire paper. I am 100% dependent on my supervisor signing off on it.

Disagreement with supervisor over paper

Unfortunately my thesis is a three-paper structure and it's the final chapter of my PhD.

Examples of three-paper theses.

What country are you in? Three paper thesis are very common in European countries outside of the UK so if you know of any related research groups you could try googling them. My supervisor has dozens in their office because they have been the external examiner on so many outside of the UK, and all follow the three-paper format. You could ask your supervisor if they know of other groups doing anything similar to yours.

https://ethos.bl.uk/ has a repository of theses but it might be hard to find what you want.

Part - time Mres along side PhD.

I commented on a related thread of yours, I think. So, a few comments:

1) You might be able to. A friend of mine did a Masters at the same time as her PhD. She received special permission from her University to do it, but even then she found it incredibly difficult and ended up dropping out of the Masters (which was not cheap).

2) I don't know where you are in your PhD but the workload in year 1-2 is completely unrelated to the workload in year 3-4. You'd be setting yourself up for a situation where the hardest parts of your PhD will coincide with the hardest parts of your Masters degree.

3) Working 20 hours a week grading papers or tutoring kids is not the same as spending 20 hours a week trying to write papers in general relativity alongside your day job.

4) What you want now is not necessarily what you will want in a year. In the second year of my PhD I was bored out of my skull and absolutely desperate to change fields. Part of this was because I thought my current work wasn't challenging enough. In reality we only have a superficial understanding of our work in the first few years of a PhD.

5) The latter is especially true when we only do what our supervisors tell us to do. If you immerse yourself in the literature and start pursuing your own projects you may well soon realise that the field you're in is perhaps far more challenging -- and interesting -- than you realise.

But in the end if it's really important to you it's worth looking into and taking seriously.

Possible to submit corrections many years later?

A lot of this will depend on your University and funding body. For example, at my old institute, minor corrections had to be completed within 3 months and major corrections had up to a year from the date of the viva. At my current one, the main funder requires all PhDs to be completed within 5 years of the start date regardless of circumstance. That includes all corrections.

As someone else said, it's very likely that your work will no longer be novel. My PhD project was essentially a repeat of the work undertaken by the girl who quit her PhD before me. I once met her in a pub and she started crying when she found out what I was working on. Even worse was the friend of mine did the same as you and didn't submit their minor corrections. Essentially a second PhD student was simply given all of my friend's raw data and told exactly how to re-analyse it (publishing my friend's plots would be plagiarism but the University owned the data, so the new student could do whatever they wished, and the supervisors already knew exactly what worked). That person got about five publications from their PhD because they had all these easy wins from my friend's data plus time and support to collect their own.

I suggest you contact your old supervisor or department to find out. I hope it does work out for you but it will really depend. Let us know what happens!

Different area of post-doc after phd possible? / Drop out of PhD for Mres or not?

How far along your PhD are you? There are certain Mathematical Physics programs that are really prestigious, like the one at Oxford. You could apply now and see if you get into one of those programs, think about how you would fund it, and so on. However, I think the idea that "X subject is harder than Y" really stops mattering when you reach postdoc level. If you can't get into one of the very top MRes programs then dropping out really is pointless, and even if you did it will always be a step backwards. What matters at postdoc level is your publications and your networks. There are so many ways of strengthening your current project to become more theoretical. Most of these involve trying to get someone to sponsor your application to the top maths societies if you aren't already a member, where you can engage with the subjects, network, and see whether or not you really do enjoy it (a lot of people think they want to do X thing until they get there and realise it's difficult and hard). If your department has a mathematical physics group, make friends with them. Go to their seminars. Present your work to them, ask for their ideas on the underlying concepts. Share ideas: you might end up as a coauthor on someone else's paper, which will make it much easier to nudge your way into where you want to be. Being the one person who has a crossover set of experiences between pure and applied physics is going to be in a much stronger position than the person who only has one. *You* can find and make connections between what you're doing and what you want to do, even if they aren't immediately obvious. If you really hate your PhD and are only a few months in, and can get into somewhere really good, then changing fields might be worth it; if not, the thing that will probably help you most in the long run is continuing to go forwards rather than trying to go backwards. In any case you should definitely have a concrete plan in place before dropping out of your PhD. Remember that if you drop out then you'll always have a gap on your CV for the rest of your life that you'll have to explain.

Disagreement with supervisor over paper


I'm in the final year of a PhD and have had several papers published. Six months ago I expressed an interest in writing a paper related to my main topic that wasn't part of my original thesis plan, and my supervisor allowed me to pursue this. My progress has been very slow because the analysis has been challenging, but it's a novel idea and I had pre-approval to submit an article to one of the top journals in my field. I have discussed my idea with several academics and have had a lot of interest and support for it.

When I sent a draft to my adviser, they just completely dismissed it. They said it wasn't good enough to submit to X journal, and then said I'd just repeated the work of an old paper. I'm very familiar with the paper in question and I know my work is completely different. I tried to clearly explain why my paper was valid but they just talked over me and told me to stop working until I'd done more background reading. Throughout my whole PhD my supervisor has implied that I'm a sloppy researcher who doesn't understand how science works (last year I won an award for academic excellence).

I have re-read the original paper, just in case, and it's very clear my work is not the same. I have discussed this with someone who was heavily involved in the early studies in the field. This person is fully supportive of my paper and agrees it is really not the same as the original (it doesn't discredit the original, it's just not the same thing). We discussed it at great length several months ago.

However my supervisor continues to treat me like my work isn't valid. I don't think they are intentionally being unkind but it doesn't change the situation. On all of my papers so far there has been a point where they keep inventing random things for me to do instead of letting me submit the paper, so this is not new. But this time it seems like they want me to rewrite this one from scratch or scrap it entirely. I have another paper I need to get started on and it's just so stressful. My funding runs out soon and I'm already spending all my time looking for postdocs. This paper is central to my fellowship applications.

I know my work isn't wrong. I'm not trying to sound arrogant, but I have checked many times, I haven't just made a stupid mistake, but my supervisor does treat me like I'm sloppy and stupid. On several occasions they've reminded me of their credentials instead of actually engaging with my paper. How can I get them to understand what I'm doing if they just won't read what I've written or hear what I say?