Overview of Shanshuprophecy

Recent Posts


Hi 1patrick

It's not really possible to answer your question/s as the scope of 'what lies ahead' and how to manage that is very, very wide.

The PhD process depends on many factors including discipline/subject, background of the candidate (do you have research experience? if so, how recent? etc), the motivation & desire to complete (is this 'just for the sake of it'? or have you been planning to undertake the degree for a while?), financial situation can be a major factor as can support - family, friends (although the need for this varies from person to person) and they are just the external factors, we haven't even gotten to the nuts & bolts of the degree itself.

I would suggest going to Amazon and doing a search for some books, a great all-round 'how-to' that explains the process of setting up your research is "Destination Dissertation" - this is a wise investment for your studies and may help to give you an idea of what the degree is like and also has excellent information management strategies. There are also many websites and books that deal with the challenges of the degree & forums such as this where you can see for yourself what the day-to-day concerns of many PhD students are like. Time spent finding some relevant sites and reading around your general area to see what the latest debates and issues are (associations in your discipline are a good starting point for notices of conferences and publications).

I'm sorry I can't tell you exactly what your experience will be like. It just differs for everyone. But if you are motivated and realistic about the time and energy you will need, the dedication that it can demand from you then you are off to a good start.

Good luck - this can be such an exciting time, anticipating your topic/area, having the luxury/privilege of immersing yourself within a scholarly area & conversation that interests you. I look forward to hearing about your progress. :-)

NB: I have just realised that your subject is creative writing - does this mean that you are doing a professional doctorate? If so, that is a different beast to the PhD & much of what I have said may not be applicable to your circumstances.

New partner of a PhD student

Quote From Iggyhood:

Understanding a little of her PhD journey is important to me, not so I can intrude on it in any way (she has told me how people claim 'credit' in some circumstances about their role in their partners work) but so I can understand some of the stresses she faces

And I love hearing her talk about her research, the passion she has for it and the meaning to her...she remains the most amazing woman I have met, the challenges she has overcome and the future she plans for her and her children's benefit

She is incredibly lucky to have your respect and support during this time. Many people resent the impact that a research degree (especially a PhD) has on their partner's life but not only do you support her, you are excited by her journey! Wow. Even coming here to find out more speaks volumes about your desire to contribute positively to her journey. My own experience when completing honours was that my (now ex) husband veered between being excited for me but also intimidated that I was going to leave him for greener pastures - I did leave but it was his inability to find some self-esteem rather than anything else.

I do wonder about your comment re partners who 'claim credit' & I am a little unclear by what she could mean by this? If someone has been instrumental in the process either by providing emotional/financial etc support then they deserve credit. This doesn't detract from the person who has completed the degree, it will be her name on the final product irrespective of your (or anyone else's) input so this seems a little strange but, perhaps I am over-reading what you wrote?

I am not sure of your own background but it sounds like you are interested and excited by the process - perhaps we will see you here undertaking your own PhD in the future? ;-)

Again, best of luck to you both - professionally and personally. Don't be shy if you have other questions .. I am sure that whatever you need there will be someone here who is able to help. (up)

Supervisor about to leave

If you are comfortable in your knowledge of your area is it possible to finish your dissertation without this current supervisor? Alternatively, can you follow your supervisor to his/her new institution? Even if you are off-campus this may be a way to keep her on your team. Also, is your supervisor the type of person who would be willing to continue contact on a casual 'needs-be' basis so that if you are really stuck there is someone you can email/call?

At this stage it sounds like this may or may not happen but it is good to start considering alternatives so that the interruption to your studies is minimised. I am sure that when the time comes your supervisor will be willing to talk to you about alternatives & can probably offer ideas/advice I haven't thought of as well.

Good luck.

mice question...help!!!!!!

Hi Ruth

I can't help with your question - sorry!

But, I did want to point out that it is usually considered 'bad form' to take up 2 threads on one question & sometimes people will ignore threads as they think the poster is being 'rude' or 'pushy'

I am very new here so it may be that this is done more often than in other forums & I am not writing to criticize or make you feel bad - it's not a huge deal or anything .. just a heads up for future posts :)

Good luck with your question

Bad fisrst degree

+ 1 to the other 2 posters.

Going straight into a PhD with a 2.2 would be doubtful as best but having a good m.sc will support your application so make sure that you do your best with that

Good luck

How to check if my research topic is unique

+ 1 to what Lughna said both re the indeterminate nature of research topics and access to journals/research materials. Searching Google is not going to give you comprehensive results - google scholar is a better bet to start with but you need access to journals and journal databases - proquest may be helpful to ascertain PhD dissertations in your field/topic but there is (as perviously said) the chance that someone will submit 'tomorrow'. Keeping up to date with research in your field is the only way to address this so gaining access is vital.

good luck

New partner of a PhD student

Hi Iggyhood

It is nice that you have bothered to try and find out more about your GF's situation/experiences, she is lucky to have you supporting her in this way.

If she has submitted and is awaiting viva, then she is on the downhill slope at the moment & although I am sure she is stressed about upcoming viva, this should all be over and done with soon. She may get a pass with minor/major revision or a re-submit which will mean continuing to work with the dissertation for a little while longer but, she may pass without revisions and that will be that!

You haven't indicated if she will be looking for work in academia so that may be the next hurdle as she tries to find a post in a very tight market ... but that is another story.

For the moment, I would suggest continuing what you have already been doing - be there for her when she needs support/a shoulder to cry on - for some people the end can be very emotional & let her 'vent' if she needs to. While you can't know what she is going through, I am sure she would love to talk about her research with you (if she doesn't already), especially if she is as passionate as you say she is.

Good luck to you both :)

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?

Quote From delta:

It does, I agree, but most people have a level of intelligence sufficient to complete a degree or PhD and that's my point. Whether or not they can apply themselves to do it is another matter.

Again, I disagree. I think that 'most' people don't have the intelligence to do a PhD - not in the way we are speaking of 'intelligence' here. Just like I do not have, nor ever will have the ability to be an elite athlete - no matter how hard I trained I would never be olympic material - which also takes time, dedication, desire, hard work but also an innate ability to perform in the field.

IQ doesn't expand by studying, knowledge does - which is why measuring someones'e intelligence via whether or not they know a particular fact or whether they made a 'smart' choice tells us nothing about their IQ, only their knowledge.

As the previous poster pointed out, there are many, many people with the intelligence to do a PhD and many of those will never bother to - this doesn't make them any more or less intelligent - but the ability to complete a PhD successfully requires a higher than average intelligence. Within that scope, some will be higher than others but all will be above average. If you have indeed done a degree, masters and PhD then you have spent a considerable time amongst intelligent people and again, as previously pointed out, perhaps you are taking this for granted so that 'everyone' seems to be able to do it.

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?

Quote From delta:

I believe I am intelligent but no more intelligent than someone who decides to be a shop assistant. If that shop assistant got fed up with their job, decided to change direction and opted to study for a degree and applied themselves to their studies, I believe they could do as well as I have academically. I am no more intelligent than the average person, in my opinion.

Again, you are using an irrelevant example that doesn't disprove my original argument - a 'shop assistant' is not, by definition, any more or less intelligent than any given PhD student so their ability to undertake a PhD is moot. My point was, and still is, that successfully completing a PhD requires intelligence.

phd proposal

This is question that depends on your institution and your discipline. Your university should have some literature regarding requirements - have you asked at the graduate students office?

I also highly recommend searching for a good book - personally I found "Destination Dissertation" to be very useful with loads of practical advice.

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?

I think people big up a PhD but, in my opinion, it just requires more organisation and application over a longer period of time. I definitely don't view it as a measure of my intelligence.

Just to clarify - I didn't say it was a measure of anyone's intelligence - there are many very intelligent people who don't have PhD's.
What I mean is that it requires intelligence - yes, it requires dedication, perseverance etc .. but intelligence is a central component.

I am not sure how a claim that you could do 'any PhD' challenges that? You would apply your skills and, your intelligence ... no?

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?

Quote From Pineapple29:

Quote From delta:

I honestly don't feel a PhD has anything to do with intelligence but has more to do with application, hard work and endurance

100% agree with this delta :)

I couldn't disagree more.

While application & endurance are vital components of PhD success, I think that there is a need of fairly high intelligence as well.
I don't think that 'just anyone' could read, understand, synthesis and apply much of the theory that I (and many others) encounter
on a daily basis just by 'applying themselves'.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think I am more 'intelligent' than any other PhD student, but rather that intelligence is a central component - at least in humanities & I am sure in other disciplines as well.

starting new phd

Hi AndreaB

While it is impossible to say with 100% what will or will not happen with any given institution in any given country, normally any successfully completed study can be transferred without any problems at all as Universities accept each others marks/grades across the board in most circumstances. Details of this should be in the application documents at the university you are going to apply to - usually there is a section for PhD/research applications about 'previous study' or 'previously completed research' - something to that effect.

What you may find is some loss of time/work switching supervisors as you bring your new supervisor up to date with what you have been doing - but this can be minimal if you can find a good fit at your new institution.

Hit a low point. Advice needed.

Hi Nick1

I too was a 'wunderkind' at my university & sailed through with 1st hons (skipped ma) got fully funded PhD - I didn't run into academic adversity in the PhD, but I began to question whether having everything from my (mid-rate) university was going to be the best career-move, plus, I think I was just burnt out.

I ended up leaving about 12 months into the degree & was away fro 5 years doing something totally different. I have re-entered now & am much happier at a different university and with working/self-funding for the first ha;f of the degree anyway - although I may take a year of to finish.

I think everyone's PhD journey is very different & although it may be time for you to consider whether this is what you really want for the next few years, it may just be a rough couple of weeks that will prove to be a turning point in your research. My advice would be not to rush to any type of action but to see this period through for a while - talk to your sup if you can, perhaps a campus counsellor and take a step back from your work & really allow yourself to assess what you want to do.

Good luck.

Fight or Retreat??

I feel awful because I could not help but laugh while reading this!

I mean no offence to you tea4two - in fact I am horrified that this behaviour is happening to you - but seriously, why is this guy not locked up? Can you film him & pop it on YouTube? .... that would certainly bring thing to a head ...