Signup date: 10 May 2021 at 2:34pm
Last login: 12 May 2021 at 3:50pm
Post count: 2
Thanks so much for these supportive replies. It has really helped me to reflect over recent days. I feel okay about leaving the PhD behind now, and will talk to my supervisor about the option of PhD by publication - I hadn't even realised that was an option. This is all hugely appreciated.
I have been doing my PhD since 2016, and have a submission deadline in March 2022. I was funded for 4 years, but no longer receive any financial support for my studies. I worked in a field related to my thesis before starting the PhD and then last year went back into proper employment with the idea that I would finish writing up alongside work. I was also lucky enough to successfully pitch a book related to my research early in my PhD study, and that came out at the start of 2020.
I was enjoying my research, and had written maybe half of the thesis, before I re-entered the workplace in Feb 2020 (this was a few months before my grant was scheduled to end, but I had no savings and some debt, so had to start looking for work again just in case I didn't find anything for a while - money caused me a lot of worry at the time). When the pandemic hit, the job that would have been very manageable alongside final thesis work went haywire, as I work in an industry very badly affected by the pandemic. I had to preside over urgent cost-savings and a large staffing review, having only been in the job a short time, and the hours I had put aside every week to finish my thesis were completely eaten up by panicked damage limitation in the job I'd just taken on. The Board of Directors have been very supportive, offering additional annual leave to take later this year, but I honestly feel like their (very kind, very generous) offers are unrealistic. It will be years before the requirements of this job reduce enough to allow me to focus on the thesis again, and I am suffering from what feels like very real emotional and intellectual exhaustion.
Another consideration is that I have doubts about how much I actually believe in my project now, which is fairly utopian in outlook but now just feels silly and naive. Also, since my book came out, there's a part of me that feels like the significant achievement of the project has kind of already happened, even though it was only focused on a very small part of what my thesis would cover.
My supervisor is incredible and I do think that I would have already withdrawn if it wasn't for him. I'd feel dreadful about letting him down and asking him to accept a potential blemish on his record as a supervisor if I couldn't complete though. But, mentally and emotionally, I cannot imagine working any more on this right now.
I know I'm lucky to have a career outside academia, but will I look back with huge regret if I don't finish this project and get this qualification after so many years of work? I came to study late, and I remember being in my twenties having not yet been to university for my BA, and developing a real angsty chip on my shoulder about that. I'm more mature now, obviously, but don't want to feel like that about my PhD when I'm older still.
Does anyone have any advice?
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