Have I failed my Ph.D??

posted
08-Apr-18, 21:51
Avatar for Dr_Crabby
posted about 5 months ago
Hi folks,

I am needing advice or opinions on my progress.

Basically I have royally f**ked my Ph.D - I have just gone into submission pending stage, I have less than 12 months to complete the whole thing and I still have SOOO much to do, including;

-Inputting my whole data set into the software
-My whole analysis (mixed methods) so I have my quant analysis to do and thematic analysis of 100 surveys.
-My entire write up - so far I have written approx. 6 thousand words of my 90,000 word thesis.
-Three papers to write and/or edit for publication.

I know this is entirely my own fault (I have been doing a full time Ph.D with a full time, extremely demanding job plus doing an SVQ 4 in management alongside this for my job requirements and also working 2 voluntary jobs). I have recently changed jobs to a much easier, less demanding job with less hours although it is still full time and I have given up one of my voluntary jobs but I still have one voluntary job which I can't compromise on.

Realistically, I have about 2 days a week to work on my research and I need to submit by the end of March 2019.

What I am wanting to know is - can this be achieved or am I just wasting everyone's time and setting myself up for a huge fail??
posted
08-Apr-18, 22:39
edited about 12 seconds later
by Tenzin
Avatar for Tenzin
posted about 5 months ago
I would consider getting a suspension of studies if this is the case with your PhD. It would be a shame to abandon all of the work you've done thus far. Definitely talk this over with your supervisor, or the post graduate tutor of your department. If you've been able to meet other deadlines satisfactorily, they'll know that you're not a slacker! Also, I would reevaluate writing three papers in such a short time - along with your other responsibilities, I don't know how realistic it is to try to get all of this done. Perhaps this would also be something to mention to your supervisor.

Tenzin
posted
09-Apr-18, 12:50
edited about 1 minute later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 5 months ago
Can you switch to part time and extend your submission deadline that way? You are effectively completing the PhD part-time at the moment anyway, as 2 days a week is not a full-time commitment.

Are you receiving an income for this study? I am assuming not because you are working full time. If that is the case, do you have to meet your submission deadline or do you have some flexibility around this date. I would think self funded study would be more flexible with submission deadlines, although perhaps this might not apply in your country or institution?

The other thought is that many people need more time to complete than the original submission deadlines due to supervisors needing to read and sign off on the thesis followed by (in general) lengthy examination and corrections processes.

Given all of these factors, deadlines can be a bit more flexible than they first appear (if this makes sense). I think Tenzin's comment about re-evaluating writing three papers during this time, and considering a suspension of studies is also very helpful.
posted
09-Apr-18, 21:41
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Dr_Crabby
posted about 5 months ago
I am a fee waiver student so I don't have to pay fees but I don't receive any additional funding to live, etc which is why I need to work full time. Also I can't go part time without losing this fee waiver and having to pay it all back which is an option I have considered but it wouldn't be worth doing that.

I have also applied for suspension previously and they have said they will only grant it for extreme circumstances and I would need to have substantive evidence to support those circumstances. They won't grant a suspension of studies just to delay the submission date. I have basically had as much time off as they will allow under my circumstances and I absolutely have to submit on or before the deadline.

The papers are study chapters that will be edited for publication so although it is extra work to prepare them, they need to be written anyway. I was trying to use paper submission deadlines as motivation to get them written quick.

My supervisor just keeps telling me she has faith that I will get it done, I wish I had the same confidence!! I don't think she realises how behind I actually am, despite me making several attempts to drum it in.
posted
09-Apr-18, 22:23
edited about 1 minute later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From Dr_Crabby:
I am a fee waiver student so I don't have to pay fees but I don't receive any additional funding to live, etc which is why I need to work full time. Also I can't go part time without losing this fee waiver and having to pay it all back which is an option I have considered but it wouldn't be worth doing that.

I have also applied for suspension previously and they have said they will only grant it for extreme circumstances and I would need to have substantive evidence to support those circumstances. They won't grant a suspension of studies just to delay the submission date. I have basically had as much time off as they will allow under my circumstances and I absolutely have to submit on or before the deadline.

The papers are study chapters that will be edited for publication so although it is extra work to prepare them, they need to be written anyway. I was trying to use paper submission deadlines as motivation to get them written quick.

My supervisor just keeps telling me she has faith that I will get it done, I wish I had the same confidence!! I don't think she realises how behind I actually am, despite me making several attempts to drum it in.


Hang on to your supervisor's faith in your abilities...and just do what you can. You might surprise yourself. Even if the quality of the final product is not what you would like, provided the thesis, argument and writing shows that it is-or potentially will be-of doctoral standard, then you may well get through (if you are not awarded a 'no corrections' or a 'minor') with either a 'major' or 'R & R', and this will give you extra time to complete. (I'm not assuming that you will necessarily get a major or R & R, just noting that if you did there would be a silver lining in that either of these results would give you more time beyond your initial deadline).

But perhaps make sure during this very busy period that you take time to look after yourself physically and take up any offers of support or help you can, especially if you note that you are feeling a bit stressed or down.
posted
10-Apr-18, 10:03
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Dr_Crabby
posted about 5 months ago
Thanks Pjlu, that's a good point about the 'major' or 'R & R'. I would be over the moon with a 'major' actually as I know there is no way I'll get through it with no corrections.

This new job is the least stressful job I have ever had so I'm hoping it will give me plenty of head space to be able to go home and crack on with stuff. My 'to do' list seems endless though and I don't know where to start with it all.
posted
11-Apr-18, 23:22
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Dr_Crabby
posted about 5 months ago
That's actually my plan, to write papers that will feed into the thesis and be chapters. Kill two birds with one stone...ish. Plus my supervisor said if your studies are peer reviewed, they are harder to argue with in your viva.

Thanks for the help.

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