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softykitty
Wednesday, 5 September 2018 at 9:52pm
Friday, 26 July 2019 at 3:40pm
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Thread: Is this a fail?!!

posted
30-May-19, 15:13
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 7 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Quote From softykitty:
Dr_Crabby I had exactly the same issue with my supervisor, and you cannot only blame everything on yourself. All our research topics are too specific and there is no one else knowing what decision to make than our supervisor. Sometimes we had no choice but believe our supervisors blindly.


I don't think I've ever believed mine blindly so as to speak. If they're suggesting something and I can't see the rationale for it, then I don't do it (unless it's so petty that it is easier to just go ahead and do it rather than cause a fuss). But maybe that's just me (and quite possibly pm133!).


Maybe blindly is not appropriate word here

Thread: Is this a fail?!!

posted
30-May-19, 14:51
edited about 16 minutes later
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 7 months ago
Dr_Crabby I had exactly the same issue with my supervisor, and you cannot only blame everything on yourself. All our research topics are too specific and there is no one else knowing what decision to make than our supervisor. Sometimes we had no choice but believe our supervisors. My supervisor is extremely busy everyday, and he often forgot what advice he gave me a couple of days ago. We had lots of arguments over his advice because most of them were contradicted. He still didn't suggest me to submit my thesis even if I sent him to read for couple of times and changed hundreds of times on his comments. I insisted to submit eventually and he had no right to stop. I am waiting for my viva and I also found lots of mistakes on my thesis. It is hard to define independent research for a PhD student because our supervisor will always more or less steer our wheel. I agree with Tudor_Queen, there is no correct or wrong in the research, it depends on how you defend your results and methodology, I'm sure there must be lots of alternatives to your methodology. As long as the knowledge of your thesis is not fundamentally wrong, it should be OK. Having different opinions is normal in academia, the viva is to test how you react and justify your research topic. No research results are flawless. Original work, clear motivation and objectives, analysis in wider areas of your topic, explaining basis as well as detailed questions, knowing the challenge and discussing future work. These should be the standards on justifying the thesis as doctorate. The viva is also very personal, not all examiners will ask nightmare questions, but do prepare for the worst because that is the pressure to make yourself through the viva.

Thread: PhD thesis standards

posted
19-Mar-19, 20:15
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From rewt:
Quote From softykitty:


That's very true, I wish I could post this thread earlier, then I would be less frustrated. I saw too many PhD complaining about their supervision process. Some of them even changed their supervisors at the beginning, which seems like a wise decision. The whole supervision is mutual, the fault is neither on the student nor the supervisor. We are just different working style. I realised this issue initially, but I thought the smartness of my supervisor can guide me through and help me overcome the barriers, but we had constant argument and conflict during the weekly meetings, my thesis plan kept being delayed. He tried to help me in his way, which makes me frustrated and depressed. When I realised this is not going the right way, it is already too late. PhD has standards, but it is just interpreted in different ways by different person, which causes PhD thesis in different academic level.

Thread: PhD thesis standards

posted
18-Mar-19, 21:13
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Zena85:
Quote From softykitty:
.

My supervisor said exactly the same and he also said that I might get resubmission, but honestly they don’t have any input on the results. Honestly I filed a complaint against my supervisors and one of them is the head of the department and I passed my viva with minor corrections. The viva depends on you and how you are going to answer the questions. Do not mention your supervisors at all during the viva even if your supervisor is the one who told you to do a specific thing. Say I did this for this reason and this reason, if the examiner said your approach is wrong say thank you for your opinion and you appreciate that but your reasons were those. You may ask for more explanation but you never agree that you were wrong.
I may suggest you ask some colleagues or staff to give you a mini viva, I did that three times with different people and it was quite interesting. I learned a lot from it.


Thanks for sharing your experience, that's very encouraging. The problem is why they can make such conclusion if they had no absolute control on this matter. I'm just trying to understand the reason behind their behaviour. Why did they make their PhD student feel so bad? They wouldn't benefit anything from this. I'm not sure if I will file complaint later on because our school has quite bureaucratic system, which means the staff are always right and the student will be blamed for anything. The PhD coordinator in our school is not doing well with his own PhD student, but he is still in charge. The ball is always on their court, that's the sad truth.

Thread: PhD thesis standards

posted
17-Mar-19, 14:27
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 9 months ago
Yeah, I also heard lots of similar stories, the viva itself is very personal, there is no transparency at all. I just wonder what impact will it make on the supervisor if his PhD student failed in the viva? Certainly it will not damage too much on the career of his supervisor, but I presume it should not be a good side for his reputation and future promotion. Will the supervisor put barriers in front of his student on purpose? I'm too confused. As far as I know, it's typical that academic researchers are lack of social skills, and some of their behaviours are not even like normal human beings. If they stick to the rules and follow everything in logics, I guess I need to prepare for the worst. My supervisor told me he found two people for the external examiners, they will be selected by the head of school. All of them are his former colleagues, I met one of them before, he is a friend of my supervisor. But my supervisor haven't kept in touch with the other guy for almost ten years because that guy stole his research and published a paper, but he still pick him as a candidate to be my external examiner, because his research area is quite similar with the topic of my thesis. That is the weirdest thing I have ever heard.

Thread: PhD thesis standards

posted
16-Mar-19, 14:10
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 9 months ago
I also had lots of arguments with my supervisor, he does not suggest me to submit my thesis, and he said I will at best get major correction. He made it clear that he cannot stop me from doing that cause he had no control on this issue. I really don't understand why he said something like that one day before the submission date. I had no choice and I'm not going to quit or ask the university to give me a Master degree. I have to prepare for this viva, but I think the viva can be quite personal. I heard some examiners will go through each word and check your reference. I also heard some examiners got the thesis a couple of hours before the viva, they just attend the viva and do some improvisation. Given my current situation, I need to fully prepare for this viva. I'm just confused why some PhD students can easily pass their viva and their examiners were not demanding at all. Thanks for sharing your experience anyway!

Thread: PhD thesis standards

posted
15-Mar-19, 11:16
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 9 months ago
Hi folks, I have submitted my PhD thesis a couple of weeks ago, the viva will come soon. I'm quite worried with the viva result. As you all know, it could be minor correction, major correction, or even MPhil. I checked some thesis from previous PhD students in our school, I found those theses don't have a universal level. I can spot lots of grammar mistakes, some of them even used screenshot as a figure in the thesis, but these students got a minor correction. I also heard lots of ridiculous stories about the viva. I'm so confused with the standards of PhD thesis. My supervisor will read through every word and pick up any misused comma in my thesis, but some of PhD students are very "lucky" and they seem to pass their viva easily. Their supervisors have a title of professor! Maybe I was only able to spot any shallow mistakes but couldn't see their analysis in depth? The regulation of my school requires two examiners, one internal examiner and one external examiner, two of them should be selected by main supervisor. Does the viva fully depend on the supervisor?

Thread: Quitting PhD after four years

posted
06-Sep-18, 16:34
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From Crions:
Hello! To be honest, i am not an expert in this area, but i think that it will be better for you to quit the PhD now. Sorry, if my answer is too late for you.

Can you tell me why and give more details on your suggestion?

Thread: Quitting PhD after four years

posted
06-Sep-18, 14:54
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From eng77:
Hi Softykitty. I am sorry that you had to go through this. I was exactly in the same situation. Every year I ask myself, should I quit now? I ended up spending 5 years with no PhD and then my contract finished and I had no material written, no new concepts and no good experimental results also. I say to myself I should have left after 1 years or even 4 years were better than 5.
I know exactly how you feel like no one else knows. I know that 6 months wasting is not nice and not easy. 4 1/2 years is still better than 5. But if I were you, I would look if I have something to write. If you can write a thesis whatever its quality, just write and submit and put all this behind. You do not know what will happen. My case was a bit different because the university here gives the PhD supervisor the power to allow you to submit or not. So I would not be able to submit until he sees I have enough work. The supervisor in Germany is the main (and practically the only) examiner. If you are in the UK, you can submit a complete thesis with the best quality you can and leave it for the examiners to decide. You may be surprised by passing with minor correction or even resubmit.


Thanks, my research area is quite new, basically I need to defend the most popular method, and conclude the new method is better performed. I can always have something to write down. It's just not creative or original, like a summary or review. I will do what you suggested. I should let the panel decide if I'm qualified. Have you ever thought what the problem it might be in your case? I mean the reason that stops you from being productive. I still don't know what mine is. Am I being incapable of doing research or my project is not doable.

Thread: Quitting PhD after four years

posted
06-Sep-18, 14:42
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From chantedsnicker:
If you don't already have something else to go to then it's probably going to take you at least several months to find a job. So personally I'd be knuckling down with a structured plan on how to finish my PhD in that 6 months and going for it.

There's nothing to stop you looking for jobs in the meantime and applying for any that seem like a good fit. If you get offered something, then you can look at how the progress is going and how long you have left, but to me it seems a shame to throw it all in now when you've already worked so hard


Thanks for reply, that's what I'm thinking now. My main focus will still be the thesis, but I need to think about what else to do at the same time. I will continue as long as there is a chance.

Thread: Quitting PhD after four years

posted
06-Sep-18, 14:35
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Why is your supervisor willing to help you if he says it won't pass? Shouldn't he be forcing you to go to the panel for an MPhil downgrade if that is the case? Are you sure he is not trying this tactic called negative motivation? Also, why did he wait till now to tell you this? It sounds more like something has gone wrong with the project, he has become aware of it, and is now putting the buck on you. Maybe?


You're right, I also wonder why didn't he kick me out at my first year or second year, since we need to submit reports every year. Maybe it's his strategy. He would listen to my advice before making any decision on my PhD. I wouldn't say my supervisor is a bad guy, he is just young and inexperienced, so he doesn't know what to do either. To be honest, the project itself is not that mature, or I should say it's too creative and challenging that I have to prove the most popular numerical methods are not suitable. It seems too late to make major change on the topics.

Thread: Quitting PhD after four years

posted
06-Sep-18, 14:26
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From notsurewhattodonow:
My friend did this and got a total rewrite which gave her an extra year after the Viva. Could you do this? I would try to get through the next 6 months. Could you take a short break to get some energy together?


Thanks for the suggestion. I know what you mean. Here is the rules of my university. I'm based in Scottish university which allows me to do the PhD for maximum 5 years. I have 6 months left to reach the maximum. I have to submit the thesis at the end of fifth year. If I get a major correction or minor correction from the viva, this will leave me another 6 months (or maybe one year) for correction. If I failed, I'll transform into MPhil. I can apply for suspension only if I had good reasons. Now I just question myself, is the reason being my incapability of research, or the project itself is not suitable.

Thread: Quitting PhD after four years

posted
05-Sep-18, 22:20
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
This is the final year of my extension, and I'm still struggling with the thesis. It's only completed by half until now, my supervisor told me he does not think I can make the PhD. He thought I'm not capable of doing independent research and I'm lack of creativity. To be honest I just don't enjoy it, the whole phd is a disaster. I tried my best and work long hours, but it just made me feel so bad when showing the results to my supervisor. He thought I didn't make any progress and didn't know how to explore those problems. I'm so stressful and frustrated. Maybe I'm not a research guy, not born like that. I've done 4 years and a half, now I still have six months time, but I don't know if I should continue. My supervisor will still help me if I decide to continue. I wasted more than four years time, am I going to waste more? I should have quit on my first year, but now everything is too late. I've already reached the maximum extension of the PhD in my university, and I have to submit the thesis by next February. Now the question is, should I stick to the deadline and see what happens, or quit the PhD now?

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
05-Sep-18, 22:12
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for softykitty
posted about 1 year ago
This is the final year of my extension, and I'm still struggling with the thesis. It's only completed by half until now, my supervisor told me he does not think I can make it. He thought I don't capable of doing independent research and I'm lack of creativity. To be honest I just don't enjoy it, the whole phd is a disaster. I tried my best and work long hours, but it just made me feel bad when showing the results to my supervisor. He thought I didn't make any progress and I didn't know how to explore those problems. I'm so stressful and frustrated. Maybe I'm not a research guy, not born like that. I've done 4 years and a half, now I still have six months time, but I don't know if I should continue. My supervisor will still help me if I decide to continue. I wasted more than four years time, am I going to waste more? I should have quit on my first year, but now everything is too late.
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