Overview of SL1990

Recent Posts

Leaving academia...(?)

Background: I'm 26. I finished my PhD last summer. I'm 1.5 years into my first lecturer post.

I love research. I hate teaching.

I'm an introverted, socially awkward person and find teaching draining. I find making lectures engaging and disciplining students difficult. Additionally, most of my masters students have extremely poor English (to the point where a simple conversation is difficult) and I find myself having to 'dumb down'.

After every lecture I come away asking why I'm putting myself through this - I never planned to become a teacher and fell into academia by coincidence/luck. However outside of my teaching semester I love my job (flexible hours, freedom, writing papers, pay is reasonable for my age, University is in my home town). However, is it worth staying if I spend a third of every year feeling like a waste of space?

What opportunities are there outside academia? My PhD is in management but my research is not very 'practical' (closer to sociology) and I have no real industry experience. Are there any alternatives that pay a similar rate for a newbie?

Has anyone had to make a similar decision?

Too late to prepare for viva (tomorrow)

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your encouragement - went far better than I was expecting and passed with just a couple of typos to correct!

Got myself into a bit of a state over nothing thinking that they would expect me to remember every detail and challenge me on minor aspects, but they mainly asked me to explain my decisions and my contributions.

Dr. SL1990 :)

Too late to prepare for viva (tomorrow)

I left it far too late to prepare for the viva which is tomorrow. Other commitments got in the way, and despite trying to prepare since Thursday I don't feel I've achieved anything and I haven't managed to even read the whole thesis once. Reading back through the thesis I actually think it's pretty impressive, but I worry that I might forget sections in the moment or be asked a question I should have prepared an answer for.

I've worked so hard and feel like I've screwed things up at the final hurdle!


How long between acceptance, proofs, and online publication?

Eek, surely they shouldn't post online before it's proofed and approved?!

I expect to wait a couple of weeks to a month, but can't see what the reason is for taking over 2 months just to get a copyeditor to take a look?

I've emailed the administrator to check everything's okay, waiting to hear back.

How long between acceptance, proofs, and online publication?

Just wondering how long you've normally had to wait between a paper being accepted and being given the proofs, and it finally being made available online (in my area usually as soon as they're complete they're available online, even though they're not officially 'published' in an issue yet).

Still waiting on one from 2 months ago - on manuscript central it's been showing 'awaiting production checklist' for most of this time.

I think I waited less than 2 months for my last one from acceptance to online availability...

When do you find out your viva date?

Once you've submitted the thesis, how long does it typically take until you find out your viva date? I know both my examiners and they're keen to examine the thesis. I haven't heard anything so far (it's only been a week), but when would you follow up?

Not enough hours in the day...

So... I'm submitting in a week.

I feel there's a lot more I can do, but the supervisors think I'm stalling and being a perfectionist so I'm going to bite the bullet and submit next Tuesday which was my revised deadline. Do to the need to print and bind and travel across the UK to submit, plus personal commitments on the weekend I actually only have until this Friday!!!

Does anyone have any advice re. the final steps? I'm really worried about binding and whether my document is consistent with the Uni specifications.

I've asked friends to read, and every one has spotted a load of different typos, plus I found loads more while I was correcting.

I'm also having last minute doubts as to whether it's a good enough quality :(

Not enough hours in the day...

Thanks everyone for your responses - it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one in this situation :)

I transferred to 'writing up' stage in January so I don't know if I can go part time. Even if the Uni's deadline goes back, my current employed will not be happy if I haven't finished by the end of the Summer!

I now have an (almost) complete first draft - I need to finish the discussion and conclusion and then I'm sending to my supervisors. Although it doesn't feel 'good enough' to me.

I just feel constantly guilty- if I work on my PhD I feel bad that I'm neglecting my students, and when I work on my teaching I feel bad that I'm neglecting my PhD. Argh!

I have less teaching from July onward so hopefully I can finish over the summer and get it over and done with.Good luck everyone!

Not enough hours in the day...

P.S. when I say I'm terrible at getting up early, I mean getting up super early to do a couple of hours writing before my other work (not that I lie in bed til noon, or something!)

Not enough hours in the day...

I'm currently heading towards the end of a first draft, but everything takes about 5 times longer than I plan for and there are never enough hours in the day. I was planning to submit early Feb so I'm already 'overdue' although my official deadline (the 4 year mark) is October. I revised my submission date to April, then May and now it's looking like the end of June (that'll probably go out the window too).

The main problem is that I've been in my first full time lecturing position for several months, and can't seem to balance my time. How can you put aside time for writing when you have to give a lecture the next day that needs to be written?!

When I have gaps in teaching I make some progress, but never enough, and usually something else pops up (e.g. a journal article comes back wanting revisions). I can't seem to work beyond 11pm and I'm terrible at getting up early.

I just feel like such a failure as I never hit any deadline :( I sense my supervisors are getting a frustrated although they are supportive (if a bit too laid back), and there are pressures from my employer to finish and start hitting some top journals with the PhD data.

I've never really had this problem before, it's such a drain. I feel like my 'spark' has been sucked out of me. I normally love writing papers, but I'm not enjoying writing the thesis at all :(

When are you 'done'?

Thanks everyone for your responses.

What happens if you've lost confidence in your supervisor, and you don't trust their judgement? I've slowly come to realise (mainly through writing papers with him) my supervisor's attention to detail is a lot lower than mine, and not appropriate to the type of work I'm wanting to do. He keeps telling me that it's fine, it'll pass, it doesn't need to be perfect or even the same standard as the journals I'm reading to pass the viva. But what happens if I submit, and the examiner doesn't agree and thinks it should be that standard?

My other supervisor is the opposite and obsesses over small details. Her PhD is via publication as she couldn't reign the thesis in, plus she hasn't supervised a PhD student before (my other supervisor has). I think she'll come back with loads of minor changes.

I don't know which view I should believe...

P.S. it's a qualitative thesis, and it's the theory building that I'm worried about. It doesn't feel as tight as I'd expect, and not as tight as papers I've previously written because it's quite broad.

When are you 'done'?

Hi everyone.

I'm trying to finish off my thesis asap, however I'm finding it difficult to judge when to stop! When is it good enough? I'm continually warned that I have perfectionist tendencies, but surely I can't submit while I can see issues? After reading top publications in my field for over 3 years it's hard to understand what standard is required for a PhD thesis.

I'm worried that my supervisors will say it's okay and to submit but that I can see major gaps/flaws.

I'm already in an academic post, so I'm very much looking to get this finished off (it's been a nightmare juggling both after the last few months and I'm sure they'd like me finished soon). My publications will be framed quite differently to the thesis itself because of the way I'll need to chop it up, so really the time I spend perfecting the thesis wont benefit me much in terms of publications. So really passing the PhD is now just ticking a box so that I can move on. However I'm worried about being blase because I have the job - if that makes sense?

How did you decide that it was 'done'?

General Academic Career Advice

Here's my background.

Went to local comp and finished with good grades (GCSE:9A*2A, ALevel: 4A)

Having had no advice on picking Universities (and not really knowing what was out there) I opted for marketing at a not-so-great Uni (top 60 in UK)

Course was easy, and I began to consider whether I should have pursued an academic course at a top Uni, however I stuck it out and graduated with a first

I was invited back to begin my PhD a couple of months after graduating from my Bachelors degree (fully funded by Uni)

I really enjoy my PhD subject (more social sciences than Marketing really), am progressing well and have published despite only being 18 months in.

I worry that I will never be a top academic because of my education. I draw from sociology (and anthropology) literature in my research, and considered whether I could move disciplines after finishing my PhD, but fear that I don't have the right training to even be considered.

It seems to late to anything about it- I could have potentially tried to get onto a Masters at a better Uni using my A Level grades to illustrate that I do have potential, but after PhD none of my previous education will count. I feel like I made the wrong decision at a young age, and will be forever paying the price :(

Does anyone have advice?

Interpreting Supervisor Feelings

Sorry to bring this thread up again, but I'm afraid my feelings haven't gone away as I expected, in fact they've intensified. I find myself increasingly attracted to the guy and wanting to spend more time with him, but a fear that he might realize how I feel and it might make the supervisory relationship awkward means I'm avoiding him, using the lab on the days I know he teaches, walking the long way round to avoid his office, speaking over email rather than face to face. It's terrible. I'm beginning to feel like I genuinely want something to happen, but I know it can't :(

Apologies if I sound like a lovestruck teenager

Interpreting Supervisor Feelings

Thank you everyone for your advice. I most definitely wont act on my feelings (even if I wanted to I would be too nervous!) and even if he did have feelings for me I know he wouldn't either (although I have to admit to sometimes wishing that he would...). In a way it's a positive as I'm working hard to impress him, although I do find myself fantasizing which is distracting!