Urgent advice needed for experienced PhDers/PhDs - supervision meeting

20-Nov-16, 20:06
edited about 53 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 11 months ago
Hi there

I have a supervision meeting next week to present my preliminary analyses and discuss interpretation of my findings. The problem is: I haven't analysed the data as fully as I would have liked to have. The reason for this is that I have been learning the new statistical software and method. I have just about got my head around the software, and am now getting slightly savvy with the actual method.

I intend to learn the method better when I analyse the complete dataset (I've still got about a third more data to collect and code up) in a few weeks. Then I intend to send my final analyses to my third supervisor who is especially there to support with stats (though he is not an expert in the method himself). He won't be present at the meeting next week.

So, long story short... I am planning to "present" what I have... a sort of half done analysis of the first two-thirds of the data... and say so far the story seems to be supporting some of the study hypotheses (at least I have one plausible model to present, although I am not 100% clear on its interpretation beyond the fact that it fits the data better than the null model, and two predictors are in line with our hypotheses). I am wondering whether I can just honestly say at the start of the meeting that I am still learning the method - here is what I have done so far (as opposed to presenting this wonderful complete picture, which I think they expect me to have - especially as I had postponed meeting by a few weeks to give me more time to work on the stats).

Does anyone have any advice or tips about this?!

20-Nov-16, 20:53
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Thesisfun
posted about 11 months ago
Honest and upfront with where you are.

Provide clear time frames of what will be complete and by when.

Personally, I would use the opportunity and seek feedback on whether supervisors would suggest any tweaks to approach before final analysis.
20-Nov-16, 21:51
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 11 months ago
Thanks for the advice.
20-Nov-16, 23:39
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 11 months ago
Better still might be to send a short document via email to the whole team before the meeting, with preliminary key findings and methodological challenges as headings. That gives you something to discuss in the meeting, you've prepared the ground that it's not complete, and your stats expert has chance to weigh in with advice at a stage where it might be genuinely helpful in saving you time, even if it's via email rather than in person.
20-Nov-16, 23:59
edited about 31 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 11 months ago
Thanks Bewildered. That is a good idea. There may not have time to read any email now, since the meeting is on Tuesday first thing. I will certainly think about it though in case they have time to have a look - it does make sense to email a brief report in advance.

You live you learn!
21-Nov-16, 00:04
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 11 months ago
Change of plan... I am definitely going to do that... if it is only a short document it should be fine I think (I'll just try to send it more in advance in the future)... definitely liking the idea of preparing the ground that it isn't complete.

Thanks so much. Love this forum!


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