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Need extreme help with methodology (or method ?!)/what options do I have?!
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Hi Bahareh,

I am in engineering but i can sympathise your predicament. My supervisors also gave no feed back on my methods and simply agreed with whatever I said. So I can understand that it is incredibly frustrating to have no guidance and feel lost.

So my advice is to first find a simple methodology that you can do. As it is easier to incrementally improve a methodology than build an amazing one from scratch. If try a new methodology and can get a trivial result, it is still a result

Focus on what you can do and don't think about what you can't do. If you are having trouble with data sets in your country, what datasets do you have and what is unique about them? At least in my field, if you have unique starting position (dataset, material, process etc.) anything you do with it, however simple, will be novel research. So use the resources you already have available to make everything easier.

Clarify you thesis argument and objectives. You are a year into your PhD so you probably have a better understanding of what you need to write a thesis than when you started. If you break down your original research question you might find that there is one clear question or objective that is crucial to your thesis. If you can focus on answering the most important issue and you can then fill in the gaps with other "fluff". You also might find if you limit your scope slightly you have different options to explore.

You will also fail at some point but you shouldn't try to avoid failing. Instead to aim fail fast and move on. I found that I wasted a huge amount of time worrying about making the right choice when instead I should be doing something. Being proactive will give you a better understanding of your abilities.

I have tried to be as broad as possible above but it might not all apply to non-engineering subjects. However, this all part of the PhD process and if you can overcome this, you deserve a PhD. As research is not easy and learning how to overcome methodology issues is crucial.

I hope that helped

Can corrections fail?
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Hi minirisks,

Congratulation on passing with minor corrections! I wouldn't worry because you still passed and it is very rare that you fail corrections. At my university if you make all the corrections in good faith they can't fail you. This is question has come up several times on this forum but no-one has herd of anyone failing corrections. So I wouldn't worry about your minor corrections failing.

Best technical masters degree after law degree - some help?
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Hi b9063,

Do the degree you think you will excel best in. There is no point doing a degree for a specific career if you don't enjoy the course or modules. Ideally you want to choose a course that you think you can both do well academically in and gain the most relevant skills.

Of the exciting industries you mentioned the broadest by far is renewable energy. The renewable energy sector requires a range of different skill sets that are not exclusive to technical people. I might be wrong but for machine learning and big data you need good statistics or programming knowledge. If you not comfortable learning either programming or advanced statistics it might be difficult. While robotics is a field on its own.

Transitioning from Healthcare Analyst to doing a PhD
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Going into industry and then doing a PhD is completely fine.
Plenty of people do it and it is generally looked favourably upon. There are a lot of "mature" students who take 20-30 year breaks between their masters and PhD. A few years of "real world" experience will probably help you during your PhD, especially if it is relevant to your field.

How to make PhD Institution Choice
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I would take the funded PhD.
Getting funding mid-PhD is not guaranteed and having a secure income makes a PhD massively easier. Not having to work a second job gives you far more time to focus on your research and personal development. A part time job during a PhD is like playing on hard mode.

How to be a successful postdoc
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Quote From springtime:
genuinely think that @rewt should write a book after their PhD, titled "how to feel better about yourself, through your postgrad life" or "tips for the postgrad world".
Honestly, their comments are so informative and helpful! Thank you rewt!


Survey help
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I normally complete every survey posted on here but I don't think I am eligible :(
So I will give you a bump instead

PhD thesis outcome after resubmission
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A resubmission should follow the same timeline/procedure as your first as it is a re-submission. It would really surprise me if the process was different the second time around.

Also, if the PG office said the examiners haven't finished yet, indicates that they at least have it and you haven't been desk rejected by some admin. I can understand how frustrating it can be waiting but 10 weeks (or is now 11?) but it is not that long. My university specifically says that it will take a minimum of 12 weeks to review.

Disclosing mental health issues to supervisor
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Quote From lostimposter_:
I’m also quite worried that he’ll think this is a weird thing to tell him about (it is quite personal after all), or treat me poorly because he sees me as less capable.

Talking about mental health is becoming less and less taboo everyday. You might be surprised how positive of response you will get. I was like you and hid most of my mental health issues from my supervisor. Until I had a panic attack while presenting a flash presentation at a conference with my supervisor ( halfway through I completely froze and the only thing I could say was "sorry, I am really sorry" ). That incident kinda forced me to open up to my supervisor about my anxiety issues and she was incredibly understanding. I have been having anxiety issues since I was a teenager but my supervisor was the first time I ever talked to someone about it. I don't know if I am lucky but since then she has been considerate every time I have told her I am having trouble and I don't think she has judge me any different. That doesn't mean she gives me a free pass for everything, and she does push me to overcome small issues but I am glad I told her.

I completely agree with b41832, both about telling your supervisor and how to manage it. I would just add that your supervisor was once a PhD student and a lot of academics went through similar situations to yourself. Just because people didn’t talk about mental health 20 years ago doesn’t mean they didn’t experience it. It is also in their best interest for you to perform well and they will at least try to help you in order to help themselves. So even the most cynical supervisor will want you to help you just so that they can have another PhD completion or even better get a publication.

have your research illustrated by a science illustrator!
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Hi Elowes,

I looked at your Instagram, you are good!
I would loved to have worked with you but I will hopefully be finished my PhD by the time you want to start. I hope you find someone as you are clearly talented and we definitely need more people improving science communication.


Quit PhD after coming back
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Hi Alilili2020,

Don't drop out until you have something else arranged. You can treat your PhD like a job for a few months and do the bare minimum while you are looking for other opportunities. Keeping a steady source of income while figuring out what to do is better than dropping out immediately.

I don't think there is anything wrong with dropping out after taking a suspension of studies. you shouldn't feel obligated to continue if you don't want to. Your supervisors will probably understand your reasoning and they know they can't force you to stay. If not, your supervisors are toxic and you should definitely run away. Most supervisors will be understanding if you present logical reasons why you want to quit and you don't need

So to clarify; you took a suspension of studies, when you returned you got introduced to a new project/model, got told to drop it a week later and told do something else but you are still working on the new model? What were you working on before? I understand they have been giving you conflicting advice but are you sure it is malicious and not just gross supervisor incompetence. It can be difficult bouncing between ideas and methods but it si better to do it now and choose the right path before you commit to far. You can also present negative results as a form of progress, as learning what doesn't work is just as useful as finding what does work.

PhD thesis outcome after resubmission
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Hi Hade,

That sounds stressful, I sympathise with you.
I thought only your viva committee can fail you and that they have to give you a second viva if you resubmitted on time. I would not consider the wait as a sign of failing but more administrative incompetence. Arranging a viva date and getting academics to read your thesis can be difficult even before covid. 10 weeks is on the long side for a viva date but not uncommon.
You can also ask your supervisor if they know what is delaying your viva. Or consult your postgraduate student handbook or constant the SU about your university rules.

Phd Loan Split
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I thought the PhD loan got paid in 3 instalments over 3 years according the .gov website. If you are worried about the PhD taking "up to 4 years", that is the university covering themselves legally. Most PhDs aim for 3 years but it is common for people to take 3-6 months extension to write up, so the universities say up to 4 years.

Are post graduate students still able to join organizations/groups/clubs?
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In the UK, Masters and PhD students are free to join any university club, as long as you have a student ID card.

Looking for intervention study participants!
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