PhD interview

posted
12-Oct-17, 20:41
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 months ago
Hi all,

At 56 years of age and not having been involved in academia since I attained a Masters in 1994, I have a Skype interview with a Senior University lecturer - on Monday.

Submitted a pretty basic (and short) proposal as part of the application process

How should I prepare? What am I likely to asked?

And, equally, what should I be asking?

Any help much appreciated!

N
posted
12-Oct-17, 23:12
edited about 4 minutes later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Congrats! Know your own proposal inside out. Questions... why you want to do a PhD, what skills you think you need to have to do a PhD, what will be the impact (e.g., change in practice, development of theory etc - as relevant) and output (e.g., publications, dissemination to x, y or z) of your PhD...

I am struggling to remember what else they asked me! Specifically, in your case, I think they might be keen to ascertain whether you will be able to successfully get back into academic work (since your Masters was in 1994) and how clued up you are about how things are now in your field compared to then. Something I would want to ask you about if I were on the panel is why now? What is driving your desire to return to Higher Education now and do a PhD? This is potentially a very good question as it could give you the opportunity to really convey your passion and interest in the topic.

Re your questions to them. What do you want to know? About the support/resources available? Will you be funded to attend relevant conferences (it would be a plus if you could name one or two that are relevant in your chosen field)? Are there departmental seminars where you will have the opportunity to hear about related research and present your own?

Just treat it like a job interview.
posted
13-Oct-17, 09:01
edited about 10 seconds later
by SallyK
Avatar for SallyK
posted about 2 months ago
well done for getting the interview. As Tudor Queen says, treat it like a job interview. I too am a "mature" PhD student, and the one stand out question I remember was being asked what my post PhD plans were. I laughed and said it was a high class problem, and that today I was focused on being awarded the place to study! I then did add that I was interested in lecturing etc. I must admit I've always hated this sort of question in any job interview, but it often comes up, so have an answer ready.
Good luck, remember to see in your experience as a benefit.
posted
13-Oct-17, 18:05
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks for both comments.

Can you be offered lecturing jobs whilst studying for a PhD - but without a teaching qualification (eg: PGCE)?
posted
13-Oct-17, 18:09
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
No problem. Yes - I have friends who lecture part time. Think it is a rarity though - TA work (teaching on seminars/tutorials) is more common.
posted
18-Oct-17, 18:27
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 months ago
Had the interview and was politely told that the proposal was not of the required standard.

Since then I have had two more Universities email me and say that I have been rejected as my proposal is not of doctorate standard.

I have been recommended to read some books which discuss research and how to write a PhD proposal so it's back to the drawing board1

N
posted
19-Oct-17, 09:37
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
I wonder why they invited you to interview and didn't tell you that by email...

It would also be really useful if you could see some examples of research proposals - especially ones from your field. Do you have access to any?

Best
Tudor
posted
19-Oct-17, 13:52
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From bignige:
Had the interview and was politely told that the proposal was not of the required standard.

Since then I have had two more Universities email me and say that I have been rejected as my proposal is not of doctorate standard.

I have been recommended to read some books which discuss research and how to write a PhD proposal so it's back to the drawing board1

N


Is there a way you could post your proposal on here to let us get a feel for why you are having it rejected multiple times?
posted
19-Oct-17, 13:53
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I wonder why they invited you to interview and didn't tell you that by email...

It would also be really useful if you could see some examples of research proposals - especially ones from your field. Do you have access to any?

Best
Tudor


They might have wanted to give him a chance face to face.
posted
19-Oct-17, 18:29
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From bignige:
Hi all,
Submitted a pretty basic (and short) proposal as part of the application process
N


I am reading into this obviously without having seen the proposal... but could it be that it is too basic and too short - i.e., not containing SPECIFIC aims of the project and how these will be carried out? If it is too short and basic, then it is unlikely that it is covering enough to demonstrate a reasonable strategy to carry out the research idea.

Maybe aim for something a lot longer and more in depth - and then cut it down in words to make it more concise.

Best
Tudor
posted
19-Oct-17, 20:28
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 2 months ago
Sorry to hear about the disappointing interview Nige. I'm wondering whether your proposal needs further references to the literature of the field. For example:
@Has your proposal identified a bit of a gap in the research and provided a justification as to why this topic is worth exploring?
@Have you included references to the research out there that back your claim or proposal?
@Have you identified your major players?(The handful of experts in this area whose work has a strong influence on your field).
@Have you included information about the methodology you propose to use? (Again, not in detail but just given some indication as to the type of methods you are interested in and matched these to the type of questions you are asking).

Good luck with it all, P.
posted
19-Oct-17, 22:00
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 2 months ago
I am 54. Just finished my masters with a distinction, after over 25 years out of education. I have found a supervisor in another department willing to take me on and is giving me feedback on how to polish my proposal in order to get funding. I think the idea is to do something that they are passionate in. My advice is to keep searching online for potential supervisors, and tailor your research to their area of interest. Good luck with your quest.
posted
20-Oct-17, 06:53
edited about 21 seconds later
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks for the comments. It is not over just yet as the people who interviewed me did make some suggestions as to changes etc that I could make - and how to make the proposal acceptable by taking it in a different direction.

I have found lots of new material and am starting a re-draft. I have also acquired a book which I am hoping will help generally with the format etc for a proposal.

Will keep everyone posted.

N
posted
20-Oct-17, 06:55
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I wonder why they invited you to interview and didn't tell you that by email...

It would also be really useful if you could see some examples of research proposals - especially ones from your field. Do you have access to any?

Best
Tudor


Yes. I have looked at ethos.bl.uk

However, I haven't seen anything on there that examines the areas that I am looking at.

N
posted
20-Oct-17, 06:56
edited about 4 seconds later
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 months ago
What I would like to ask is if anyone on here has written a proposal/thesis that is Law related?

Either related to substantive law or legal practice?

N

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2017
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, Sellers Wheel, 151 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU, United Kingdom. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766