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teegs90
Sunday, 11 September 2016 at 6:57am
Saturday, 13 May 2017 at 4:06am
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Thread: Possible to finish in 3 years?

posted
26-Oct-16, 05:26
edited about 31 minutes later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From pm133:

What you are calling luck, I call opportunities.
Opportunities occur literally all the time. Most people miss them.
The key is to be open to opportunities, to have the eye to spot them, the background to exploit them and the courage to try things. Most of this is under my control.


I certainly agree with the adage that "the harder you work, the luckier you get" but there are still a whooooole heap of things that can happen out of your control in a PhD outside of hard work/opportunity. I have a weird curse of my supervisors falling pregnant.... so three of my four supervisors in my honours/doctorate have gone on mat leave very close to me submitting! Yes, I am entitled to get alternate supervision but ultimately this is not the same as supervisors who know the work and has held me up. I also ended up in hospital having cancer treatment during my first semester, which set me back as you can imagine. There are SO many other examples I can think of among friends, which have nothing to do with the attitude or efforts of the student.

Not saying these challenges are insurmountable, and of course a resourceful and resilient student can do a lot to bounce back from these challenges. But sometimes things happen that are out of your control and its going to delay your candidature. That doesn't mean you are a bad student or have a bad attitude. It is not the end of the world to take longer than 3 years and certainly doesn't make you a failure.

Anyway, it's really awesome that everything you have encountered has been a matter of hard work and harnessing opportunities, and that you plan to make sure you submit on your terms regardless of what your supervisor wants, but not everyone is in the same boat as you.

Thread: Do you ever feel like people don't get what you do?

posted
25-Oct-16, 04:15
edited about 17 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Definitely. My dad is an academic and supervises PhD students, and after 4 years still doesn't get why I won't pick up his calls during business hours...

My friends who are not PhD students definitely struggle with the idea that I'm really busy, e.g. going away for the weekend and I agree when someone says "I wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow"... "but you're not working tomorrow!".

I think I've finally trained my husband around this (lol), but we had a lot of fights earlier in the year while renovating our new home (sidenote: do NOT do that in the final year of your PhD!) and he would ask me run errands during working hours to buy things. I get it, it's a lot easier for me to take 'leave' from my work to go to the bathroom fittings store than someone who has a proper job and has to formally take leave, but that doesn't mean my time is less valuable or scarce... actually, this year, my time has been way more valuable and scarce! But yes, I think we're getting there, because last week when I was working from home and there was a little crisis at home that took 30mins to resolve, he apologised for it taking up my time, even though in this case it wasn't something he'd asked me to do.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
25-Oct-16, 04:01
edited about 27 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
How is everyone going this week?

My mood/mental state has been pretty good over the last couple of weeks, I've started working 2.5 days a week doing exactly the same role as I was in my final clinical placement, except getting paid! That has really lifted my spirits, not having to put in any extra effort but being able to contribute to our income rather than my husband supporting me fully as he has done since February when my scholarship ran out.

I'm still planning on submitting in 5 weeks (!) and it's starting to feel like that is going to be possible. My supervisor agrees that things are progressing well and after looking at my Discussion chapter once more, she's happy to hand it all over to me to finalise. So much of thesis stress has been around the stuff that's out of my control (When will my supervisor give me feedback? Will that paper get accepted? Will I get ethics approval?) but once when I'm only relying on myself, I know I can get it done!

That being said, this whole year has been such a rollercoaster so I'm sure I'll be back here posting about some crisis within the week, lol.

Thread: The Postgraduate Moans Thread

posted
25-Oct-16, 03:53
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Miss29:
Hi guys!

I signed up to confess PhD can get really tough. I am 65% done and this week I am really upset because my supervisor ignores my emails lately and he advised me to slow down. I am in the fourth year though and he is so chill.

I decided to keep on writing and moving on. I have little cries here and there while writing but I am determined. I am so lonely


Hi Miss29, I'm sorry to hear that it is all a struggle and you are feeling lonely. I have also felt very lonely this year, and signed up to this site for similar reasons. It's really hard when your supervisor isn't on the same page as you! Does he want you to slow down because he can't keep up with what you are asking him to review, or because he thinks the quality of your work is suffering because you are in a hurry? Crying can be a really good thing (I'm a psychologist, so I'm all about the cathartic cry!) but if it is constant its a sign that you need more support, from your supervisor or someone else.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
17-Oct-16, 04:51
edited about 2 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From IntoTheSpiral:
Hey everyone,

I just wanted to pop by and say that I submitted on my deadline day of 30th September! I've written about the last two days on my blog
if you want to read more about how my final two days went!

All I can say is, I am so relieved to have submitted, even though I think it's not a great piece of writing. If I can do it, then you folk can too. Just. Keep. Swimming.


Congratulations!!! Thank you so much for sharing, your final couple of days sounds really familiar even though I'm still weeks away... it's very encouraging to see that you got there and makes me feel that I will too. Good luck for the viva!

Also, I'm feeling very grateful that in Australia our PhD scholarship provides funding for getting the thesis printed/bound professionally!!

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
15-Oct-16, 01:14
edited about 27 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Hugh:

I'm dreading this too. I accidentally told my dad I'll be submitting in Dec, and I didn't get a chance to explain to him that it's a very long procedure after it, so he's told everyone very proudly that my graduation will be in Dec 😳 (I just want to hide under a duvet)


Ugh, family! My dad is an academic so should know better, but because he's so excited for me to finish (ahh extra pressure!!) he got this crazy idea in his head that submitting by the end of the year = graduating in December.... and was really disappointed when I said that it wouldn't be till next July at the earliest....

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
13-Oct-16, 23:38
edited about 11 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From chickpea:
Btw, is anyone else getting increasingly ratty with relatives saying, 'we must arrange to do something/come and visit before Christmas' etc? I don't need the nearness of Christmas pointing out to me at this stage, thanks :p


DEFINITELY! I really don't want to know. Last years Christmas parties with friends/family were a bit stressful for me ("Are you STILL studying?" "Shouldn't you be finished by now?") and I vowed that by Christmas 2016 I would have submitted so I could tell everyone I was finished. It's been a helpful goal to keep me motivated for most of the year, but now it is just stressing me out given it is just around the corner...

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
13-Oct-16, 23:35
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Teegs, sorry to hear about the feedback you got from the journal. What do your supervisors think about the suggested re-analysis?!


I'm still waiting to hear back from my primary supervisor, and am just have my fingers and toes crossed that she doesn't feel this needs to change the submission plan. My other supervisor has just gone on maternity leave and unfortunately she has the expertise for this paper (it's a qual study). If I did need to re-analyse the data, I would either need to wait till she is back in April, or get the uni to organise an alternate supervisor for me and start from scratch with them, neither option sounds very appealing to me! I'm not at all interested in a career in academia, so passing my thesis is really my only goal.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
13-Oct-16, 03:00
edited about 20 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Today is not a good day. I was editing one of my papers (i.e. a results chapter for my thesis) and feeling like it was all a bit crap, and also feeling like my supervisor's advice on the approach is not sound, but I haven't had any success convincing her otherwise. I was trying to tell myself that probably everyone feels this way about their thesis at this stage, and that I'm not the right person to judge it as good/bad right now.

Then I got slammed with an email saying that another paper that is meant to be in my thesis was rejected by a pretty crappy domestic journal (its fourth rejection) with one reviewer and editor suggesting the whole paper is flawed and the data needs to be re-analysed from scratch. So even though I know that reviewers can be wrong, it just feels like objective proof that my research is rubbish.

I. Just. Want. To. Be. Done. I'm supposed to submit at the end of next month but it's feeling really impossible now. It was feeling hard enough just getting all the writing/editing done, I definitely don't feel like there is enough time to re-do a study - but what if my examiners have the same opinion of paper as all the people who have rejected it now?

Thread: The Postgraduate Moans Thread

posted
13-Oct-16, 02:49
edited about 17 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Hey Hugh, that sounds really rough. It's really hard for students to speak up about these things given the power imbalance between student and supervisor. It sounds like their inaction is really holding you up, so I hope you can find a way to politely but firmly request that you get the feedback you were promised!

If it's any consolation, I'm pretty mad at my supervisors today too...

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
03-Oct-16, 23:40
edited about 14 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
How is everyone going? For those who were submitting, did it all go okay?

I'm a bit distracted this week as it is my final week of clinical placement, after three years of being an intern!! Very exciting and will be great for thesis progress, but have had a lot of work to finish for that eating into thesis time. I also stupidly thought it would be fine to host my husband's 30th birthday party at home two days after I finish and invite my mum to stay with us so she can join, so I've had to set aside Friday to do all the housework I've been neglecting...

Thread: Dealing with reviewers' comments - stats

posted
03-Oct-16, 23:33
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Hmmm, I'm not the best at stats, but I agree in principle that for a within-subjects, counterbalanced study you shouldn't be too worried about covariates.

Another option that I have used before but slipped my mind... you say you did run preliminary analyses to check whether there were any unexpected effects, but there weren't any. You could include a table showing this analysis in your response to reviewer's comments to justify your approach, and then add a sentence to your methods/results with something like:"[whatever test you used for your preliminary analysis] were conducted to test associations between [potential covariates] and the dependent variable (data not shown). No significant associations were found, so no covariates were included in the main analysis". Then,hopefully, the reviewers/editor are happy that you haven't outright rejected their suggestion but you keep your main analysis.

Good luck, like I said, you don't need to follow every single thing a reviewer says, and unless there are other bigger problems with the paper I'm sure it will be accepted whichever way you go!

Thread: Over 2 weeks to assign reviewers?

posted
03-Oct-16, 23:15
edited about 17 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
I'm not sure what field you are in, but coming from a background of publishing in psychology and epidemiology, I don't think two weeks is a very long time to wait - I imagine the reviewer request is sitting in someone's inbox while they are on holiday/busy/away sick.

Journals vary a lot in their response time, and actually, in my experience some of the 'elite' journals are quicker because they have more submissions to churn through and potentially more staff to do the leg work. I've got a manuscript sitting with a pretty average domestic journal at the moment, and it has been slowww because the editorial team all have other jobs and just do this on the side.

Thread: Dealing with reviewers' comments - stats

posted
29-Sep-16, 06:18
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
What you describe is how I have always approached the decision to include or not include co-variates in the main analysis... in three different settings under different academics/supervisors. However, sometimes you do include a particular variable of interest even if it is not significant in the preliminary analysis, because it still may have an effect on your main variables. So, I don't think you're doing something clearly wrong, but without knowing the specifics of your study, the reviewers *could* have a point.

I would start by re-running the analysis according to the two ways that have been suggested. If you can find a way that doesn't change the actual pattern of results, you may as well just update the numbers in the results section and give them what they want.

If both approaches do change things a lot, I would consider the nature of the rest of the reviewer comments. If they are minor and it seems the paper has a good chance of getting accepted, I would (politely) justify why you are using your current approach. Definitely cite that paper which does the same - in fact you can probably find several that do. You can also mention the fact that there is discrepancy between two reviewer's suggestions, which highlights there is no clear correct approach you have missed.

There's no rule to say you have to adhere to all the reviewer's suggestions, and many papers have been accepted despite not adopting reviewer's suggestions. However, if you feel like the other comments are pretty major and you don't want to add another thing that might be the tipping point for an editor deciding to reject your paper, maybe you do need to consider doing what one of them says, or including some but not all the variables they want, or still saying no and being prepared to submit to another journal (if you feel very strongly and aren't desperate for publications!)

Hope this helps!

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
28-Sep-16, 07:58
edited about 21 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Hello fellow Aussie! Yep, similar thing at my uni, we need to notify ~two months out and give a presentation within the last three months.

Quote From Pjlu:
My worry is that I'm pretty sure my supervisors have only read selected chapters and some from a while ago so I don't quite know what it will be like when they read the full thing. It reads coherently to me but that's because I know (or think I know) what I am on about. So my real hope is that they agree that I am where I think I am...


You can never win... my anxiety is that I have overloaded my supervisor with so many drafts in such a short space of time that they are overwhelmed or over it or won't be able to keep straight what has gone in and out of drafts! I guess the bottom line is that it is an anxious time no matter where you are at!
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