Revise & Resubmit - feeling humiliated

posted
24-Nov-17, 22:55
edited about 3 minutes later
by Fled
Avatar for Fled
posted about 1 year ago
I think this would be a very damaging attitude for the original poster to adopt. Trying to blame anyone else is an extremely bad idea.
Your last paragraph is potentially disastrous advice. You want the original poster to start taking that sort of attitude with the one person they need to be on their side right now?

It's one thing to ask your supervisor what YOU could do better on. It is quite another to be expicitly blaming them for your failure.


Radical candour is only damaging if expressed carelessly. At this point, if you get completely blindsided when you were led to believe everything was aboveboard with your research, then your feedback loop (supervisor input) is broken and you are essentially "golfing in the dark".

I successfully defended my thesis this morning with minor corrections, and they were all warranted. While I felt I had some weaker sections in my work, I was not caught off guard by anything major. It would be a different story if the OPs supervisors constantly warned about weaknesses and the OP ignored.

But when your supervisors fail to identify what have now been revealed to be significant deficiencies in the research, they share in the blame. Or at the very least, their attention to detail must be scrutinised. But I am not British, and maybe its a cultural difference where I am not timid about frank and honest conversations. Trust me I have seen many supervisors who are very nonchalant about their candidates' work, and I do admit I won the supervisor lottery with the ones I got. A PhD is a team effort. Your supervisors are not just passive observers.

I in no way suggested the OP be confrontational, however, I would have to frankly discuss the overall failure to identify or anticipate the weaknesses in the work, sensitivities be damned. If you don't fix that part...you are asking for a repeat performance.
posted
25-Nov-17, 01:18
edited about 3 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From Fled
But when your supervisors fail to identify what have now been revealed to be significant deficiencies in the research, they share in the blame. Or at the very least, their attention to detail must be scrutinised. But I am not British, and maybe its a cultural difference where I am not timid about frank and honest conversations. Trust me I have seen many supervisors who are very nonchalant about their candidates' work, and I do admit I won the supervisor lottery with the ones I got. A PhD is a team effort. Your supervisors are not just passive observers.


I think you are mistaking the British character. We are not timid and we are certainly not afraid of being either frank or honest. I have no idea where you are getting that from.
What many of us do feel is a very strong sense of taking personal responsibility. In other words, this was my PhD and mine alone. I stand or fall on my own merits. That is how it SHOULD be in my opinion. It certainly is not my supervisor's PhD. Why would anyone think that they should be OBLIGED to check our work? That is a rather odd assumption for you to make. A PhD is categorically NOT a team effort. Why would you possibly think that? It is supposed to be an individual pursuit for academic excellence. Only you should be writing your papers (or your contribution to the work), only you should be writing your thesis and only you defend it in a viva. You have 3-4 years to get it right, seek advice from a range of sources and learn to stand on your own feet so that when you come out the other end you are an independent researcher with a proven track record of independent thought and performance. Anything else and I am not really sure what you are describing but in my eyes it certainly isn't a credible PhD graduate.

I can't see anyway you can ever convince me that a PhD should be a team effort.

Incidentally, you advised the OP to "i'd ask my supervisor what they thought about the critiques, and how come he/she did not catch these errors." How do you suggest that question can be asked without being aggressive or confrontational?
posted
25-Nov-17, 02:04
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 1 year ago
A bit OT here. I actually find British academics (most of them those that I've encountered, anyway) have a tendency for understatements, which can be damn irritating. Instead of coming straight out and say what they think is wrong with proposals/assignment prior to it being submitted, which can make things far simpler to correct, to they tend to damn it with faint praise, or skirt around the issue. I think I have got use to the style now, so when I heard the phrase 'its an interesting argument, but...' or 'it is fine, but...', I immediately think of major edits/rewrites.

Not sure if its to avoid breaking the glass hearts of the modern young students, or the need to appear encouraging at all times, but most of the time, I just wish they would say exactly what they mean.
posted
25-Nov-17, 08:37
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 1 year ago
Yes I have had to explain to many international students that they have to read between the lines when our supervisors tell them something. They do not get this indirect approach. It is not something they are used to.

I have also told my supervisors that they need to be more explicit, but obviously they find this difficult. Academics are not trained in management and supervision, so if it doesn't come naturally to them, they struggle with difficult conversations.

What then happens is they bury their heads in the sand hoping that issues work themselves out, which they generally do, at great expense to the mental health of the students.

Supervisors do have a responsibility to check students' work. It's in our postgrad handbook. They are there to guide the research, provide ideas and feedback.
posted
25-Nov-17, 09:45
Avatar for Ciniselli
posted about 1 year ago
In the event my supervisor told me he felt somewhat culpable, as both he and my second supervisor had told me to write the introduction and conclusion in certain ways that my examiners felt seriously undermined the thesis.

It is, however, my research and my name on the paper - which ultimately means that I must take responsibility for what's in it. I am comfortable with that, even though it is rather embarrassing. I find accepting it to be more calming than searching for reasons it isn't my fault, which was indeed my initial (panicked) reaction.
posted
25-Nov-17, 21:26
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Yes I have had to explain to many international students that they have to read between the lines when our supervisors tell them something. They do not get this indirect approach. It is not something they are used to.

I have also told my supervisors that they need to be more explicit, but obviously they find this difficult. Academics are not trained in management and supervision, so if it doesn't come naturally to them, they struggle with difficult conversations.

What then happens is they bury their heads in the sand hoping that issues work themselves out, which they generally do, at great expense to the mental health of the students.

Supervisors do have a responsibility to check students' work. It's in our postgrad handbook. They are there to guide the research, provide ideas and feedback.


Interesting...I thought most post-docs who want to teach must take the PGC in Higher Education?
posted
26-Nov-17, 09:42
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 1 year ago
Well 1, I don't think there's a requirement for this, or at least not yet. At my uni, we do some other sort of teaching qualification, that gives us FHEA status, which is basically an equivalent of the PGC I think. Whilst it's mandatory for me to do this in my teaching role, it's not mandatory for academics that have been around forever. They can just write up some sort of teaching evidence statement and get the same qualification. But, lots of them don't even do this. They can't get promoted without it, but once they are at professor level, that doesn't matter. Most of the academics in my department are professors or struggling to get promoted for other reasons ie lack of grant income so this is not at the forefront of their mind.

And 2, the qualification we take is a bit of a joke. You just have to sit through a few hours of training and write a few examples of teaching evidence. It doesn't really qualify you for anything. There's hardly background theory (we are supposed to research this for ourselves, but who has time for that? Plus, I'm not trained in social sciences so the literature is a bit of a minefield), no actual training and proper observation/feedback and you can just write any old rubbish and pass. At least that's my take on it. This is not the opinion I express at work of course.

I say this as someone who has worked as a manager prior to starting a PhD, and having undergone what I consider to be proper management training. This is what I draw on when I supervise my undergrad students.
posted
26-Nov-17, 16:25
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From TreeofLife:

I say this as someone who has worked as a manager prior to starting a PhD, and having undergone what I consider to be proper management training. This is what I draw on when I supervise my undergrad students.


If only something like this was compulsory. I think it adds to the problem that many academics that many academics have only ever been in academia (i.e., school, college, then uni) and not held jobs in other parts of the public or private sector. It is a very different world in academia oftentimes, where what would seem odd/dated/unacceptable to outsiders is the norm.
posted
27-Nov-17, 09:49
edited about 1 minute later
by Fled
Avatar for Fled
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From pm133:
[quote]*snip*


Hey I am the king of extreme accountability, and everything is my fault, INCLUDING not reconciling my supervisors' inability to catch obvious academic flaws in my work. Supervisors are your safety net. They are your feedback loop. If they are shitty, you will be allowed to publish shitty work, if they are keen-eyed then your work stands a better chance to be academically thorough.

What part of "feedback loop" don't you understand? If you have supervisors who are incapable or ill-equipped to catch MAJOR errors....and the ONLY time you are told your work is crap is at your viva....you are telling me that's just fine?

Then according to you....there are no good or bad supervisors.....taken further, if there are no bad supervisors, there is no need for a supervisor at all? If no one is teaching you your errors along the way, how do you improve? Success is built on continuous micro failures, not just letting a candidate do as they please and then try to retroactively correct a disastrous viva!

As for my comment about meeting with supervisors about catching errors, if you cannot tactfully get your point across in that scenario, the fault lies in your interpersonal skills not my reasoning.

Anyways, this is my last comment, we agree to disagree. And I hope you don't go on to supervise anyone with that kind of attitude, because clearly, you will approach that role with zero sense of accountability. I've learned from the best, and they see their candidates (and their success) as a reflection of them to certain a degree.

Good Day.
posted
27-Nov-17, 21:51
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From Fled:
Quote From pm133:
[quote]*snip*


Hey I am the king of extreme accountability, and everything is my fault, INCLUDING not reconciling my supervisors' inability to catch obvious academic flaws in my work. Supervisors are your safety net. They are your feedback loop. If they are shitty, you will be allowed to publish shitty work, if they are keen-eyed then your work stands a better chance to be academically thorough.

What part of "feedback loop" don't you understand? If you have supervisors who are incapable or ill-equipped to catch MAJOR errors....and the ONLY time you are told your work is crap is at your viva....you are telling me that's just fine?

Then according to you....there are no good or bad supervisors.....taken further, if there are no bad supervisors, there is no need for a supervisor at all? If no one is teaching you your errors along the way, how do you improve? Success is built on continuous micro failures, not just letting a candidate do as they please and then try to retroactively correct a disastrous viva!

As for my comment about meeting with supervisors about catching errors, if you cannot tactfully get your point across in that scenario, the fault lies in your interpersonal skills not my reasoning.

Anyways, this is my last comment, we agree to disagree. And I hope you don't go on to supervise anyone with that kind of attitude, because clearly, you will approach that role with zero sense of accountability. I've learned from the best, and they see their candidates (and their success) as a reflection of them to certain a degree.

Good Day.



I think it probably is for the best that this is your last comment if this is how you handle disagreement.
posted
17-Nov-18, 07:40
edited about 21 seconds later
by Zena85
Avatar for Zena85
posted about 3 weeks ago
Hi
I know this is late reply but how is your corrections are going on? I hope you are in the stage of completion.

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