Very frustrated PhD Candidate

25-Jun-19, 20:57
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for meint123
posted about 4 months ago
Hello everyone,

I am a PhD candidate (3rd year) and is extremely frustrated over everything!!!. First of all, I have submitted a paper to a journal 3 months ago and since then I have gotten no response from the editor, editor in chief or the editorial team. This is a good journal and I am really frustrated as why this is how they handle it.

To make the situation worst, the project I am working on right now gave initially very good results and thus I designed new experiments to continue the project but since 3 months ago nothing is working and experiments are failing. I have checked every possible thing and can not find the problem. I am very frustrated. I cant sleep properly due to my level of stress. Relaxing and taking times off has not helped me. I don't know what to do anymore.

I just wanted to tell these things to graduate students who can possibly understand my situation.
28-Jun-19, 20:21
edited about 1 minute later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
If a journal is "good" (whatever that means), they will be inundated with paper submissions. You could easily be waiting up to a year depending on the journal.
You could phone them and ask the current status.

As for the experimental stuff, that's part and parcel of research I'm afraid. 3 months is not much time. It might help if you try not to put time expectations on things. Are you able to break your setup down into manageable testable chunks to try and narrow down where the issue might be?

Both of your problems indicate an unhealthy relationship with setting time expectations. I think you need to focus your energies on why this is the case. Time can be your friend or your enemy.
29-Jun-19, 21:30
edited about 25 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
I agree with pm133.

I have been in your position. I spent over 6 months working with a piece of equipment that would turn off randomly 2-3 times a day and then need to be re-calibrated which would take over an hour each time. I eventually find that there was a loose data cable port (not the cable but the port!) which could be fixed with a little bit of duct tape. I also have been trying to adapt another experiment to a smaller scale for about 4-5 months and have absolutely no results. If I ever scale it down, it will be an instant paper. I think I have also broken about £2,500 worth of equipment over two years by trying new methods and got told "if you don't break anything you aren't in the lab enough". I bet you can find hundreds of stories of far worse experimental horror stories.

What I am trying to say is that everyone has experimental problems and don't take it as a personal failure.
04-Jul-19, 14:52
Avatar for meint123
posted about 3 months ago
Thank you so much for both answers. You are right. I am constantly setting up deadlines for my self to finish projects and when I pass the deadline with a failed experiment my stress level goes up. Thank you so much for your responses.


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