Signup date: 03 Sep 2011 at 12:18am
Last login: 08 Oct 2011 at 9:09am
Post count: 38
My last section of my discussion chapter was kind of policy implications and I just ended with that.....one of my proof readers (a senior researcher) commented that she would have liked an overall concluding paragraph but I just couldn't think of anything as I felt I had already given a good summary of results earlier in discussion and so would just have been repeating myself. I felt very rushed towards the end and I felt I would rather have no final summary paragraph than a rushed, poorly written one (and I figure I can always add one post-viva when my brain will hopefully be clearer!). Anyway, after a couple of stressful days doing last minute amendments and printing I finally submitted this morning - hasn't quite sunk in yet. I have to move and start new job in a couple of days so I think until then stress levels wont come down much! Good luck with the final stages and printing - I hope it all goes well :-)
I'm afraid I have no experience of how to deal with the situation you're in. If you think that with an extension you could get this done then I would probably go down that route first. If not, then I think you have to look into your Uni's complaints procedure (there may be time limits on when you can file a complaint) and your Uni should have or be part of a Union or Council which hopefully could give you advice on your situation. I wish you the best of luck.
Slizor I agree with you to a point - but Majorac is describing a Masters dissertation, not a PhD thesis. At Masters level, given the short time scale, I would definitely expect to be given an achievable project (some of my colleagues supervise Masters students and when they are proposing potential projects they have to be realistic projects for a person of Masters level ability to achieve in 3 months - if they don't meet those criteria then they are not offered to the students by the course director). Also ignoring emails is not acceptable in my opinion, and if a supervisor is going to be away I would expect to be told (especially given the short time scale of a Masters dissertation). Of course you have to take responsibility for planning your own work and sorting out problems - but I believe at Masters level you are entitled to guidance and an achievable project at the very least.
I agree - you can do this - it's the final push!
I know a couple of people who wrote their entire thesis in 5-6 months, so that fact that you have already got a complete draft puts you in a great position :)
It will be tough but try not to panic - I hit a bit of a brick wall with my Intro/lit review chapter and again with my discussion (the two last chapters I wrote) because I was panicking too much to be able to think straight. I think you are taking the right approach by time-tabling how long you think each task will take. My advice would be to set your mini deadlines working backwards from your submission date....so if you want to submit on the 5th Jan, then maybe you want to bind on the 3rd Jan, print on the 2nd Jan, have a complete draft by 30th Dec etc. Set weekly, or even daily goals, so that if you begin to fall behind this schedule you will know right away and be able to remedy the situation. Prioritise tasks into what needs to be done, and things you'd like to do but aren't essential. It's all about being practical at this stage and working within the time limit you have. If you have a lot of tables or figures, don't underestimate how long formatting these can take (the stage I am at - not fun!!!). Better get back to it......
Best of luck - you can do it :-)
Hi Flack, which city are you moving too? I rented a flat when I was a Masters student (and my flat mate was a PhD student) - I don't recall our student status ever being an issue. I honestly can't remember if we even declared it (as we were both funded so had incomes). If you have to state your job on a form I would put something like 'postgraduate researcher'. I have done that at various times during my PhD as people generally don't understand that a funded PhD is essentially a job (in that you have a regular income, contract etc.)
Best of luck.
If money is your reason for choosing these two uni's then remember to factor in living costs - London and Cambridge will both have high accommodation costs compared to many other cities with MPH courses. MPH courses can vary quite widely in terms of modules offered and which subjects are compulsory or optional - so make sure the course you choose covers the topics you want. Another important thing to consider is what the set up is for the dissertation stage - do you get to choose your supervisor or are they assigned to you, do you get any choice in the project, how regularly can you expect to have supervision sessions etc.
Hope that's some help. I did a similar course a few years ago (not at either of the unis you mention) and enjoyed it :-)
Thanks Skig, my problem is when I insert a cross-reference into my text (for example to reference a figure or table) Word often inserts a page break. I have a lot of cross-references and the majority are fine but there are quite a number where I have the page break problem. It looks ok on screen but if I go to print preview the breaks all appear - very annoying, and am worried about how I can print my thesis (which I hope to do on Monday or Tuesday) if I can't fix it :-(
Would appreciate any advice.
what is the object - a picture, or a table?
Without knowing it is difficult to know what to suggest, but if it is a picture two suggestions are:
- insert the image using 'insert -> picture -> from file' rather than copying and pasting it.
- create a table (just one cell) and insert your picture into that - you can make the lines of the table invisible so that you don't actually see it but it helps to hold the image in place. I have used this technique quite a few times.
Not sure if that solves your problem - good luck, I feel your pain - I am having my own word issues at the moment!!! (might have to post for advice on that later!)
I have heard many times that for the number of years at uni etc. that academic careers have one of the worst financial returns. And there is probably a lot of truth in that. BUT I know a lot of people in other graduate professions that don't earn as much as people might think, and certainly less than a postdoc salary - the job market is tough for everyone at the moment. With regards to the article you reference - remember that's from a US perspective. UK PhDs are amongst the shortest in the world (‘only’ 3-4 years full time). So it is entirely possible to have a PhD here by your mid 20s unlike the US or much of Europe where the youngest you can be seems to be closer to 30. Starting post doc salaries in my subject area range from around £26,000 to £34,000 with most currently being around £30,000. I don't know if this is representative of other subject areas, but I think these figures are higher than that article states?
I think a bigger issue is with career progression. I went to a presentation that talked about the huge attrition from PhD to postdoc, then from post doc to second post doc, then from postdoc to team leader….. So it is definitely true to say that only a small proportion of PhD graduates will ever become team leaders. But I think how you view this all depends what your aspirations are - I enjoy research and want to continue in this line of work but I personally do not aspire to lead a team and am fortunate to be in a subject area where it is possible to work as a senior researcher long term (I think this is harder in lab based sciences as I have heard from friends that you can get to a stage where you are too expensive to employ as a post doc….). So again, your subject area is key.
There is a lot more to a job than a salary - academia generally offers flexible working hours and decent holidays, often the chance to travel, and the opportunity to direct your own work both on a day to day basis and longer term. One woman in my department left after her PhD to work in finance (with the potential for a very high salary) - she left after less than a year to come back to do a post doc as she missed the working environment of academia (and like me she has no ambition to be a team leader - she just enjoys research).
Hi Rina, is it a way of comparing the SES of different ethnic groups within the UK that you want? This is not straightforward due to standard measures of SES (such as income, employment, education etc) not capturing the true experiences of many ethnic minority groups (James Nazroo among others has written a lot on this). If you are wanting cross-country measures then this would be even more complicated as the cultural meanings of various measures will differ by country.
Other considerations are the age group that you want to survey and whether it is just individual measures of SES you are interested in (as opposed to neighbourhood SES for example).
Sorry I can't be more help but I am not sure if what you want actually exists - would be interested to hear from others who know more.
I think the opportunities to stay in research after a PhD vary massively by subject area -I would say as general rule that there are a lot more jobs in health/science related areas than there are in the arts. But even within these broad disciplines there will be differences between specific subject areas. In my subject area there are quite a lot of jobs but there are other issues to consider....contracts will often be fixed term, you may have to move to another city, you may have to consider a job not in your main research area. I'd say around half of the students in my department stay in academia post PhD, and those that haven't made an active decision to do something else rather than applying and failing to get a research job.
A PhD is very much 3-4 years of training to be an academic researcher. If you don't want to be an academic researcher it is definitely worth thinking through your motivations (because you definitely have to be motivated to make it to the end!)
Academic jobs generally have flexible working hours but this will depend on your department and nature of the work (e.g. friends doing lab based projects had much less flexibility than I have had).
Hope that's some help!
Don't worry, I don't think your situation is unusual - it's obviously not ideal but you are definitely not alone. I know of several people who at the end of their first year still didn't have clear research aims. Also I hope it makes you feel better to know that in my department at least there is very little correlation between stage at the end of first year and total time taken to finish. Everyone has stages in their PhD that go badly and other stages that go well; for some the hardest stage will be at the start when trying to design the project, for others it will be conducting fieldwork/analysis, and for others the write-up. I know one girl who didn't have her research questions sorted at the end of the first year but her second and third years went well with no major problems and she submitted within 3.5yrs - whereas I had clear research questions from an early stage but have taken 4yrs!
Maybe you would be best to prioritise firming up your research aims and then take it in small chunks from there. Worrying about the whole thesis makes it all seem too overwhelming (for me anyway).
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