Signup date: 21 Jan 2009 at 1:46pm
Last login: 04 Dec 2012 at 11:50am
Post count: 54
I'm exactly the same - always take ages to prepare teaching!
Unfortunately my university says that the hourly teaching rate for external/part time staff (which is what I'm paid as) includes preparation time. For experienced staff this is less of an issue, but when you've wasted a day or two on prep (well, not wasted, but it's time you're not spending PhDing, so...) it doesn't seem very fair.
A couple of times the lecturer I was doing the work for has said it's okay to add a bit of time on to the timesheet, just as a sort of goodwill gesture, but it's a difficult one.
If you can't contact a finance person at the uni to find out, I would do a search on the uni website for information for external or part time staff, in case they have their guidelines available (as mine does), which should give you an idea. Otherwise ask the head of department, or another member of staff there. You were doing them a favour so I'm sure (or at least I hope) they won't want you to be out of pocket. (But also, keep them sweet - there might be a job there in a year or two!)
I wondered if anyone could give me an idea of the workload of a research assistant (social sciences, if that makes a difference)? I am in my final PhD year and want to apply for a 35 hours/week RA position that will start before I finish writing up. Is it likely that the post will actually BE 35 hours a week? Or is it more likely that there'll be "homework" or extra hours stuff?
I know it's impossible to generalise, but I'd like to have some sort of rough idea whether I'll be able to devote my evenings to the PhD or not. I know academia is no respecter of work/life balance, but maybe an RA job is better than e.g. a TA?
I'd be grateful for any advice...
This is my first time on the accountability thread, but definitely not my last! Today I have already done some non-PhD tasks and errands like rearrange a hospital appointment. The plan for the rest of the day is:
1) Sort out the NVivo problem I'm having - hopefully uninstalling and reinstalling should do the job.
2) Plan and begin my in-depth quantitative analysis and discussion.
3) Watch videos from a relevant conference which I wasn't able to attend.
Should be achievable!
I would say it's a predominantly qualitative study, based on what you've said. Yes, you have some quant data from the questionnaire (the scales) but there are always arguments that scales are more qual than quant anyway. Obviously, there'll be quant stuff like demographic information (gender, grade of job, length of time as a user/practitioner, maybe) but it doesn't sound from what you've said that you particularly need to think of it as equally qual/quant.
The truth is that, outside of pure science, it's rare to find studies that are exclusively qualitative - there is nearly always something that can be quantified, even if it's men vs women or age ranges.
I would personally keep the focus qualitative, as you seem to be suggesting. Though, of course, your supervisor is the person who really needs to help you decide this!
Hope this is of some help,
I'm just about to have business cards printed by the uni (minimum of 250, so I'll probably be using them for lighting the fire for the rest of my life), and I was wondering whether people put Twitter info on, or an about.me link or something like that?
I'd like to give info about where to find me, but I'm a bit leery of putting my Twitter name straight onto the card, even though it's mostly professional, or at least nothing that I'm ashamed of. My blog doesn't get used enough to put that on there. About.me or something similar seems the most obvious option (since that can stay the same if I change my Twitter name or add an Academia.edu account, for example).
What does everyone else do?
I sent out two group emails yesterday, one to people I would like to be in my first group of interviewees, and one to people I want to interview later in the year - and I put the email addresses in the To field instead of the BCC field.
I can't believe I did it - it was an honest mistake, not something done through ignorance, but I feel absolutely dreadful that I could do something so stupid. I didn't sleep last night and I still feel sick. I am so angry with myself. Several recipients have got back to me, pointing it out (though none have withdrawn from the research or complained or anything like that), which almost makes it worse - if no one had noticed I'd still feel bad but at least it wouldn't be quite so embarrassing.
So I'm spending today trying to find the right words to use to send another email out to them (BCC'd this time, obviously) apologising and reassuring them that their anonymity within the study won't be affected.
So, this isn't a question, it's more like a confession to the rest of you. And it would be very reassuring if anyone else has done something this daft at some point during their PhD...!
Also, I second FrogPrincess's comment about Macmillan - the Macmillan nurses and the Marie Curie nurses who were involved in my dad's care were wonderful. He was in a hospice which had MC nurses and they were all hugely supportive of all of us. Part of what they do is family support, and they've heard it all, so they're good people to talk to if you have things to talk about which you aren't comfortable discussing with family or friends.
======= Date Modified 07 Dec 2011 11:58:38 =======
I don't really have any advice for you, except to say that I have been in the same position. My father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the October of my first year, so just a month after I'd started. I live four hours away from my family, so I would go back most weekends to be with them.
I was full time, and funded, and I carried on. I was very distracted, of course, and though I got reading done and part of my lit chapter written, it was definitely not as high quality as I would have liked. My supervisor was understanding, but since I was uni funded, if I took time out I would not be paid, and we (husband and I) couldn't afford for him to support me totally.
My father died at the end of June in my first year. I moved back to be with my family for a month or so leading up to his death (and then three days after the funeral I was back at uni, graduating from my master's. That was a very weird day.). I felt guilty all round - guilty for not spending more time with him, guilty for not working more on my PhD, guilty for not doing better quality work when I *was* doing PhD work...
It's only now, over a year later, that I really feel like I'm back on track. In some ways I know that I should have taken time off after he died, even only a week, and not tried to do any work at all, but at the same time I think it helped to have something else to concentrate on, even if I didn't achieve very much! Depending on what kind of day I'm having, I feel anywhere between four and eight months behind where I planned to be, and I know that when my funding runs out things are going to be very tough in "real life".
So I suppose I do have some advice, really - do what you need to do, but don't try to do more than you can. When you have to be with your family, try to forget about the PhD. It'll still be there later. And try not to let the guilt take over. Things find a way of working out the way they're supposed to. (And also, people can surprise you - your stepfather may be there when you graduate.)
The thread about Mendeley - and Sneaks' comments about fussy journal editors :-) - has made me think again about using Mendeley or Endnote. But I'm two years in, and I've already done most of my lit review and my methodology chapter - isn't it going to be a right pain (and time consuming) to change now?
This post has scared me a little bit, because I am doing all my references by hand, and I can't bear the thought of putting them all into Mendeley (I'm another one who's been burned by Endnote before and haven't yet forgiven it)... If it's mainly for the purposes of "et al"s and so on, I think I'll just suck it up if I miss one or two. I don't really trust software to correctly cite things. I know I'm a bit of an OCD perfectionist when it comes to citation, referencing etc, but I'm not sure I'm ready to change yet!
(And I'm also writing my PhD in lots of Word docs with the intention of only sticking them together at the very end, to sort out headings and ToCs etc, and the page numbering.)
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