Funding allocation decision (data analysis)

posted
04-Jun-18, 13:45
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for huckabees
posted about 1 year ago
Hi all,
I'm in my second year of a social sciences PhD, and have just completed a batch of interviews that now need to be transcribed before I can start analysis. I have 28 interviews at approx 60 mins each, which need to be transcribed verbatim inclusive of all pauses, coughs etc.
In a meeting a couple of months ago, my supervisors and I agreed that this was going to be a quite a lengthy process, and take up a lot of time which could be better spent. We agreed to submit a funding application to the faculty, to pay for professional transcription. I completed the form, got a quote from a recommended company etc...and the application was refused on the grounds that money for this type of thing is not routinely given out.

I'm super frustrated and anxious about this, as when discussing it with my sups it was agreed that the level of detail needed in the transcriptions is going to take up a lot of the summer period, and that outsourcing this was a good idea. Obviously they are not responsible for the committee's decision, but they designed my project and knew from the outset that it would involve transcription. Why didn't they secure money for this at the start of the project? It probably would have been easier for them to do/make a case for as FT academics, rather than me.

This really hasn't come at a good time as I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned with academia, the way the system treats people, the expectations placed on PhD students, the job prospects, whether my research even matters. This isn't helping me at all.

Anyway, I was wondering whether this is normal practice - have/would your faculty fund transcription to allow you to get to work on analysis more quickly? For context, my analysis is extremely fine grained (deliberately being vague in case any colleagues read this), and involves very closing reading of the data that usually pushes people into a fourth year to finish their writing up.
posted
04-Jun-18, 18:28
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 1 year ago
I don't work in social sciences, but this type of thing - doing the work and worrying about how to analyse it later - seems pretty normal to me. Not good, but normal.
posted
04-Jun-18, 19:51
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for huckabees
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
I don't work in social sciences, but this type of thing - doing the work and worrying about how to analyse it later - seems pretty normal to me. Not good, but normal.



Yes I think you're probably right...I just wonder what other institutions do in terms of providing funding for transcription, and whether the decision not to provide funding for it would be considered normal.

Its just such a blow after thinking I might be able to get at least something :(
posted
04-Jun-18, 20:02
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 year ago
I needed an RA to do some data collection and potentially transcription. I wrote a case for support with the quoted amount and was given the go ahead. I was able to say that I needed the extra person to do it so that I would be blind to that particular aspect of the study, and thus if I didn't have someone else do it, it would jeapardize the quality of the study (and its subsequent ability to be published). I think if I had only stated that it would help me do it more quickly I probably wouldn't have been awarded the extra dosh.
posted
05-Jun-18, 09:07
Avatar for chantedsnicker
posted about 1 year ago
I've not got to this stage yet (far, far away), but I know my university have used a transcription service in the past. I think ideally they're keen for you to do it at least some of it yourself in order to help get familiar with the data, but they appreciate that it's not always possible. I didn't have transcription put into my budget, although they seem flexible in what I use my money on so I'm not anticipating a problem.
posted
05-Jun-18, 09:21
Avatar for huckabees
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From chantedsnicker:
I've not got to this stage yet (far, far away), but I know my university have used a transcription service in the past. I think ideally they're keen for you to do it at least some of it yourself in order to help get familiar with the data, but they appreciate that it's not always possible. I didn't have transcription put into my budget, although they seem flexible in what I use my money on so I'm not anticipating a problem.



So have my university, which made me think they would be open to my using the service. I think getting some experience of transcription is obviously useful, but I don't personally see any added benefit to doing the whole dataset myself when my analysis will involve close reading of the dataset anyway. It sounds like you have a budget allocated to you, that you can decide (within reason!) how to spend? Our institution doesn't do this, hence being at the mercy of a funding committee who seem quite happy to send multiple people to expensive conferences (I know this benefits the university too etc. etc.) /training courses, but provide no help for transcription.

It's just really frustrating - as I said in my OP, I'm feeling really down about the whole PhD anyway, so this isn't helping!
posted
05-Jun-18, 10:56
by emmaki
Avatar for emmaki
posted about 1 year ago
I had to do the transcriptiuons myself and then translate the whole interviews to English! So, it was double work...
It did take a lot of time (40 60-minute interviews), but, to tell you the truth, it reallyhelped with my analysis. I got to know the dataset so well, that analysis was easier and quicker

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