Signup date: 07 Jan 2020 at 3:08pm
Last login: 09 Jan 2020 at 11:53am
Post count: 18
I had a sort of similar experience, the PhD was hard and 50% of my corrections were not easy to figure out what they wanted (wrong page numbers etc). They also asked for a lot of stuff added to my discussion which was annoying. I felt the exact same way you do, fed up, frustrated and sad. I took some time off I think 2-3 weeks and then set myself goals of a certain amount of corrections per day. Start with the easy ones and then mix it up once you get back into it. I used job applications both as a way to procrastinate from corrections and as motivation to do them. I knew that getting a job that required the PhD would mean I would have to do them and it worked. When I felt rubbish about the corrections I did applications.
Don't lose hope :)
My PhD was in a very new area, I applied for 15 postdocs and got 5 interviews. The postdoc I accepted was in a slightly different field but as it was a big lab they were willing to train me up in the other 50% of techniques I didn't know. What won me the interview was they liked my personality and work ethic.
I know that for my postdoc after I accepted my offer to interview but not actually interviewed yet, they asked for my references. My supervisor was surprised that they did it that way as it isn't common. I know UCL ask if they can be asked before interview on their applications but then have a separate policy for research roles which states they ask after. Chances are they won't actually ask prior to interview.
I had a postdoc interview and my now boss said something that made me rethink my opinions on being at the best universities. To be clear I have no hate whatsoever towards top universities or the Russels. He said to me you can be in the best university in the world with the best project but that doesn't guarantee success. You make your own success by being proactive, taking opportunities, asking to learn things and asking your supervisors to meet/introduce people. Now that isn't to say it is easier if you are at a Russel but it isn't unheard of to go from an ex-poly to a Russel. I did it from my Bachelors to my PhD. I guess what I am trying to say is maximise all the chances you are given and look for opportunities out side of your department, any societies where you can network.
Firstly, I think every PhD student feels like this at some point in their PhD so hopefully that gives you a little comfort. That doubt you're feeling is imposter syndrome but don't let it win. You got into your PhD so you are good enough and clearly your supervisor thinks so too. I believe in you :)
Focus first on the literature review as your supervisor suggested. So if I was you I would breakdown the steps you need to get the literature review done and set deadlines for each step: 1. read the papers and make summaries of them, 2. use the summaries to make paragraphs, 3. edit the paragraphs so they flow 4. proof read literature review. This is how I did mine but my PhD is a science one so it may differ. The biggest hurdle for me was starting to write, so I would set a timer for 20 minutes and get rid of all distractions and write. As you get over the fear of writing increase the length of each session.
I would schedule a meeting with your supervisor to begin to prepare the actual data collecting part , so to begin to understand how to do the interviews or questionnaires and begin to think about preparing these if you have to. If you have to prepare set yourself one night/day a week to focus just on that.
Now with the publishing I don't know for your field but I recently finished my PhD with just a review published so no original work and got a postdoc in academia, that being said I got a few good offers outside of academia too e.g. publishing. I am not sure not publishing will be too detrimental to getting a good job but again it is a different field. Perhaps tell your supervisor you want to get published and see if you can write a review (not sure if they have these in your field) whilst you collect data. When writing up your thesis it is quite easy to prepare a manuscript to publish.
I was wondering if anyone could help me to help a friend of mine. She is trying to get a PhD position in biology in the UK ideally in London. However, one hurdle is that she is from India so she cannot apply for most advertised PhD students.
I know it is a long shot but does anyone have any idea of where she could get funding or any advice?
Thank you in advance!
Second supervisors vary greatly in their role and how much they help. Ideally, a second supervisor would take an active role in the progress of your PhD and have regular meetings. This is because if you have a dispute with your primary supervisor or they leave/get ill the other supervisor should be able to take over supervision with ease. My second supervisor only ever checked my progress reports, reports done every 9 months to continue with the PhD. I think it's best to ask them how much of a role they want to take. Them showing to a first meeting is a good sign, something my second supervisor never did.
In my opinion, I would be tempted to take a research assistant role. Let me explain why. This would give you a chance to earn some money, network and increase your skillset. It may lead to more publications which will help and often a research lead will be willing to write a grant or get funding for you to do a PhD.
However, if you have tried this or aren't keen to do this then yes an MRes could be helpful. Have you had any feedback on your applications?
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