An MRes or nothing! What do you think of this?

posted
17-Dec-09, 16:59
edited about 17 seconds later
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Hi everyone,

Before start my problem, I wish everyone a M. Christmas & a very happy NY!

My nightmare is back (I posted my problem regarding supervision issues a few month back and thanks for the feedback from the members on this website: http://www.postgraduateforum.com/threadViewer.aspx?TID=12740. They were very helpful.

I have had a long history and finally went for a second panel PhD review assessemnt last month after failing my first viva in March. This time I passed and was recommended to register for a PhD. The panel also stated that there is a possibility that I can get a degree since it showed that there has been progress on my work for the last six months.
However, there's a caviar that I needed to reconsider carefully if deciding to continue on: there is no guarantee at the end, and I still might end up with a lesser reward as an MPhil/MRes. This reason related about concerns that my work to-date had failed to meet required standards and that I still havent showed an independent of research and original scientific thought that expected at PhD level.

In this panel meeting, I requested reduction # of supervisors. I had 4 & it's too much & I never asked for 4. But this was arranged by the College & I had no prinicpal or lead supervisor. All 4 shared the same responsibilty. One was not even in my research area. But he's in the same School i registered. He's also a nasty one, always tried to put me down and gave unhelpful criticism in the supervision meetings. I told the panel that I'd like to work with 2 & specifically not with the other guy.

Panel meeting concluded with the recommendation that the school has to find me a principal supervisor & 2nd one within the university. They strictly told me not to approach anyone for this search

Here is the downturn, 2 weeks ago, Head of the School (HS) asked to see me & handed me the panel report. I never received a soft copy of the report & everyone already signed except me. I felt this was odd. HS told me to take up with the chair if there was any errors. He also hinted all my supervisors might walk out on me. & asked me if I had discussion with anyone. I said no. He said he might have to find alternative options if my supervisors were not available. I replied I didn't hear any of this in the panel meeting but I really hope that he can help to find a solution.

After seeing him, I read through the panel report & found some items mentioned were not reflect to the facts that was discussed in the panel meeting. I had to write to the chair asking for amendments

2 days ago, got a letter from HS, stated he couldn't find me a supervisor due to the reasons that I rejected them & others were also walked out on me. Also a lot of concerns about my work quality. He suggested that I should go for a MRes & no offer to continue PhD. He consulted everyone from the College, section heads etc. things stated looked negative on me. Need to hear from your advice, what I need to do? Thanks
posted
17-Dec-09, 17:08
edited about 26 seconds later
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
To add more, I know this has been a set up & the nasty one told the others to back out on my research so I have no supervisors so I have to leave. I went to the student adviser place, she said I can file for complaints but a lenghtly process & i might not win as 4 against 1. I might have to pay for my MRES too. If any of you have had experience to share, would like to hear from you & greatly appreciate. Hydi.
posted
20-Dec-09, 19:38
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Hi, so far no one in the forum has given me any advice, and I desperate for one... at this stage. I have written to the College, and got a reply the dean and his colleagues will look at my case after the New Year. I have requested to move out to different school. I have also looked at the Code of practice for research students and supervisors, it stated that my supervisors should have given me warnings about my work if they thought it was inadequate. They never did and when I asked they even told me that I should not probe them for an answer, and that they were all in one, and I needed to go the panel review to find out.

I don't know if i should file an appeal if the College couldn't help me. And if doing so, will they take my the option of doing the MRes. But there is no guarantee that they will give me MRes at the end even if I do it, which I also need to pay. They have given me all the troubles so far, they can make me struggle again to get thhis degree. I wonder if I just negotiate for MSc and get out. I heard an MSc, you only have to submit in 10,000 and not 30,000 for MRes. Is is really worthy to get an MRes? I already have an MSc in different university.
posted
20-Dec-09, 20:35
Avatar for Moonblue
posted about 10 years ago
I guess you haven't had any replies yet because we don't know the situation as well as you do - I certainly am not sure what to suggest! Is there maybe somebody in the university who is unconnected to your department but can give you advice? It sounds like quite a mess and a difficult situation to be in. I'm not sure what to suggest re. MRes or MSc - what is your gut feeling? Good luck with whatever you decide. :-) And don't let it spoil your Christmas! (tree)
posted
20-Dec-09, 20:50
edited about 25 seconds later
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Moonblue, thanks for answering my post. I know it has been a set up from my supervisors. I don't know what to do, transfering or going somewhere, I still have to carry a baggage/history with me. I really don't know what to do as i have only 1.5 year to complete. On one hand, I just want to leave everything behind and won't take anything from them even an MRes. But what will I show for the last 2 yrs on my CV? If I continue a PhD somewhere else, will it good to have an MRes or MSc. For one thing, i just want to get out of the School that I am currently in ASAP. Others told me that I should keep on fighting as they have messed me up severely for the last two years. But I am too exhausted that I don't know if I still have the strength to fight.
posted
20-Dec-09, 20:59
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for Moonblue
posted about 10 years ago
I totally understand that feeling of just wanting to leave it all behind. Maybe what it comes down to is whether you think you can complete at your current university - if you do, go and fight for it. Also depends on whether it would be possible to move elsewhere. I really don't know the answer to that. Might depend on your funding though? Could you start again at a different university? If you decided to go for the MRes, do you think you realistically could work with your current supervisors? Assuming there is no chance of changing supervisors, of course.
posted
20-Dec-09, 21:08
edited about 20 seconds later
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Hi MoonBlue, I have been paying overseas tuition, but received some maintenance from the College. It's hard even asking to transfer to different school and asking for transferring that scholarship. If I accept the MRes, they have to find a supervisor to reconfigure my PhD to MRes project. I don't think I will work with the same supervisors. The relationship has broken, I don't think we could work together even with MRes. They have put me in the position that I don't even believe that they will give me an MRes easily.
posted
20-Dec-09, 23:26
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 10 years ago
I don't really see how it would be viable for you to move to another school within this university - surely you are in the correct school for your discipline as it is? You can't really expect, for example, English Lit specialists to supervise an Economics PhD.
I honestly have never heard of a situation like yours but would suggest that you cannot viably continue there if your entire disciplinary group refuses to work with you. I think it's better to cut your losses and forget even trying to write up for an MRes there - if an environment has got that toxic then I wouldn't have thought it very good for you to stay there (I think an MSci wouldn't be allowed as you'd need to take the taught portion as well). I think though that you also need to get very well-informed about the formal complaints system, get an advisor in the student welfare / advice service to help you prepare a complaint, and try to get a refund of some, at least, of your fees as an outcome. If the university is not responsive, then once you've gone through their complaints process there is an independent adjudicator to appeal to - your student advisor should be able to give you details.
As far as going elsewhere is concerned, I think you'd be better to extricate yourself from this place, give yourself a couple of months break with family and friends, and then when rested, reconsider whether a PhD is the right thing for you or not. It does sound from the panel report that you had perhaps underestimated what was entailed. Is that really what you want to do, now you know more? Would you actually prefer to work now? If you'd prefer to work, you could write it down as period of postgraduate research at University of X on your c.v., and if an employer asks say that you got a lot of transferable skills from that time, but that you had concluded that academic research wasn't what you wanted to do.
posted
20-Dec-09, 23:34
edited a moment later
Avatar for TINTEDEMMA
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Hydi,
I feel very sorry and frightened after reading your story. It is very sad and unfair, however, you should know that it will only get better; the whole experience will definitely make you much stronger and bolder than all your supervisors. This is apparently a case of group of arrogant and egocentric egg heads taking advantage of an individual, I really wish I could help but I am just about to start my PhD hence still a novice in the whole dynamics. In any case please keep your head high and have faith that it will surely be over. Wal please where are you? Your expertise is highly needed here more than ever.
posted
21-Dec-09, 12:03
edited about 12 seconds later
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Tintedemma & Bewildered,

Thanks for your encouraging. my case indeed such a big mess and actually I landed in a very bad school. I was not the only got the issue, one student over the last summer, has sent a massive email due to supervision issues and unfair justice of how they handled their case. Tintedemma, good luck with your PhD!

Bewildered, I don't think I have done a bad job in regards to my work. I finished 2 chapters of my thesis within 5 weeks in the summer. If I haven't had this kind of headaches and supervisions issues, I would have done much more and be able to defense myself better in the viva. But I passed didn't I. I requested to transfer to another school, becasue this school has someone done some research in my work. I have checked with other universities, and one has 8 supervisors who are waiting to be my supervisors. But I have to pay 3yrs overseas fee which is the problem. In regards to MRes I am very much on the same line with you. I was thinking to ask for MSc degree because I heard other students when they left the university, their supervisors just offered for MSc to give them the credits that they have done a PhD one year. Also, I really don't think it is worth to pay for MRes and to deal with this kind of situation any longer. I have worked with the student adviser for 2 yrs and she said 4 against 1. She said my case is a terrible one. She said I can go for appeal but would takes months to get anything back or if I don't want to pay, I still have to file a complaint. Now a day, I just want to sleep as much as I can. I am really exhausted. I feel that when your body has contiminated with toxic, you will never get it off.
posted
22-Dec-09, 20:24
edited about 7 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Hydi,

Look I am not doing a PHD but Masters thesis instead, so not sure if I am qualified to respond. However, your post sounds like you have been placed in a pretty horrible situation. so big commiserations with this.

Can I make a couple of suggestions...give yourself a little bit of time-whatever you do-don't decide to throw it in during a moment when you feel really upset or depressed...never a good time to make a decision- try also to take any Christmas-New Year, relatives and friends hype and emotion out of it. (The time of year, tends to make us make more emotional decisions and heightens any anxiety. So take a few days off and try to relax-hard I know-but a bit of alcohol and food and friends might assist here!

My advice (meaning what I genuinely think that I would do if in your situation)...after a few days, I would approach HS, early in the New Year accept the MRes offer(assuming this means that you do get another supervisor not the [email protected]#$ -fantastic !!-foursome that you have had so far), and bury your head in the study after your brief hiatus and get that MRes. You deserve something from all of this academic hullaballoo. After all an MRes gives you a higher degree and says that you have achieved quite a bit after your two years of higher ed shennanigans. Just walking might end the pain but leaves you with nada- or nothing tangible at least. Look on it as a life lesson...I know that it all seems really toxic at present but completing your present project-even if not at the very highest level, gives you a respectable qualification that outlines what you have been doing for the last two years. might give you a journal article to publish, lets you complete this particular cycle of your life and will give you your self-respect back. Something that I don't think just walking and leaving it all behind will...

Then once you have the qual...find work and consider all of your future study options and goals...did they all revolve only around the PHD? (Just asking this not judging or anything...)
posted
22-Dec-09, 21:14
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Pjlu,

Many thanks and greatly appreciate for your valuable advice. Sorry for being sentimental but I cried when reading your message. Also thanks to all of you too for giving your feedback and suggestions. I am still sitting in the office now trying to write a letter to the College with all necessary information that I could provide. Hopefully, they can help me with my case with a sound judgment. I feel so sad. I don't know if I should laugh or cry as Christmas should be a joyful holiday. However, all I get so far is misery. Last Christmas I got dumb by a friend. This Christmas, I got dumb by my supervisors and with an official letter from the head of school with full of negative criticisms. Surely, there are others out there right now, who might be much more unfortunate but I have had two Christmas in a role and not joyful but only sorrows. I know what you meant but I am home alone for Christmas. Honestly, no one would like to listen to yours story especially this time. People that I know, they ran away from me. Not to say any bad about this, but I understand how they feel. Everyone likes to hear a happy ending story.

To answer your question, no, not all have to be resolved around the PhD. I know I can do better but it is hard to accept something that was not only about your work but because of the people.
posted
22-Dec-09, 22:02
by sre292
Avatar for sre292
posted about 10 years ago
Come on, cheer up Hydi. Just get your deserved MRes and leave that univ. I am sure you can always try in other univ in UK, which might allows you to spend another 2 years completing a PhD. As long as your PhD research topic is carry on from your Master’s research. It is know as a direct entry path. Remember nothing lasts forever, “This too will pass”. “The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide”. To see the Spring, really to see it, you must have lived through the Winter first. So don’t worry, for all the hard times you have gone thru, you will be having better times ahead. So, cheer up. “If you keep a green bough in your heart, the singing bird will come”. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year my fellow researchers.
posted
22-Dec-09, 22:46
by Hydi
Avatar for Hydi
posted about 10 years ago
Thanks Sre292. I will have to pull myself up and will always remember this moments when some of you here have shared my feelings.

I have to sume up my story with these lines, "I have gone from being classed by my supervisors as a very good student, have the same level as “Marie Curie” fellowship students and for producing my own research topics within 3 to 4 months into my PhD programme, to be a trouble maker after I brought my case to the School and College asking for a new principal supervisor" Anyway, justice is always blind until we prove innocence.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
posted
22-Dec-09, 23:52
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Hydi,

You know there are lots of types of Christmasses- and many types of friends and family. Online communities count as well... just think of it as having an alternative Christmas. I am a sole parent (still not terribly old-but had my three fairly young so they are fully grown now) and they are with partners and either working or interstate or popping in and out over Christmas.

I have just (well four and a half weeks ago) requested my (non-live in-meaning we didn't live together) partner of 13 years an ultimatum of friendship only and cancel the benefits or NOTHING- he chose nothing...so presumably he only cared for the "benefits" and 13 years of friendship and support have gone...my ethics review has just finally been accepted with minor amendment-only after having sat in 'committeeland' since SEPTEMBER!!!- now my work leave is almost over and I still have to collect all my data and work fulltime- supervisor is nice but completely disorganised!!, never replies or returns stuff on time- and I am so not in control of this part of my study-makes me sick really but such is life!! (As you can see, I would be nowhere without the exclamation mark).

However, I DON"T CARE! I am cooking a kickarse meal Christmas day. Kids will drop in at various times and consume parts of it...my ex is either sulking alone like a hermit, or with his bossy family...good riddance I say. My own either toxic or absent family -meaning siblings and ex stepparent-or exhubby's (marriage from kids ended long long ago)inlaws are spread around the country or the globe and sort of in touch but don't really get my situation and think because I am upbeat and always cope, that they never need to support me but just seek me out when they need it or feel the need.
Ancient dog had to be put down two weeks ago but a mercy really-she was 15 years plus and had advanced liver cancer.

However, I have a full time and responsible job, kids who love me even as they really follow their own young lives-as they should- I am still relatively young and fit and buying a house and will complete this *%$#!! thesis in 2010 no matter what and Hydi, on Christmas day, I am cooking fit to bust, drinking some really nice wine, watching tons of funny DVDS, keeping in touch on line with communities and decent family members and enjoying my cats company.

PATHETIC- if so I don't care...I am going to enjoy myself and share some festivity around....don't let it get you down Hydi- you and only you should be in charge of your self-esteem. You are smart-you would not be a post grad if you weren't and you will get through this and laugh on the other side....

Merry Christmas and look after yourself

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766