Overview of Walminskipeasucker

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Hello PhD Forum, Walminskipeasucker checking in!

Hello all,

I'm not sure when the last time I posted was, but it is probably a long time ago (well, definitely!). I just wanted to let everyone know what life can end up like post-PhD and it's not all that bad really. After I got my PhD, I ended up working for a consultancy for around a year and a bit. I made some really great friends during this time and and I loved it. There's kind of a shortage of certain academics in Australia and this brings me to the next stage of my post-PhD adventure...
I ended up getting an academic job in Australia and in the space of 4 years became the program leader for what I teach in at the university I work at. Oh...my...god is all I can say. I am a social worker, a mental health support specialist and I help an awful lot of students. I sort of thing I've grown up doing the job because I see them as really important responsibilities - almost like having 248 children which is about the size of my program. Research is almost a sideline now but my PhD skills come in handy - it just puts everything into context really.
I hope everyone at the Post-Graduate forum is doing well, and regular posters I remember like Sneaks, Eska, Sylvester and Chrisrolinski. I got such valuable support and help here and I'll always remember my time as a fully signed up member!
If I have anmy advice to new members of the forum about doing a PhD or managing it, it's the following really. Enjoy it, it's the most self-indulgent part of your research career ever! Persevere, support each other through the ups and downs, and be prepared should you become an academic. It's kind of more of the same (so hopefully it's you passions) and be prepared for managing students! It's so unpredictable and you can never know what one day is like from the next. Thank you for all the support Postgraduateforum!

Best wishes,


P..s. Some posters may remember my embarrassing case of erectile dysfunction that I posted about many years back (blushes!). Well, I not so long ago got to the bottom of the mystery (like some kind of bad soap opera). Flipping muliple sclerosis! Many dots in my life were joined! I guess the moral of the story is to protect your health everyone!

Really worried

My mum is in a really bad way with her health and has been given an urgent referral to see a hospital specialist. To be frank, I'm extremely worried because I think it's something very serious. My family have been keeping me informed, but I feel so helpless and like there's nothing I can do because I can't be there for her, being on the other side of the world.
I can't sleep, eat or anything because it's such a big worry. I don't really know anyone, so there's no-one I can discuss this with. I'm honestly tempted to just buy a plane ticket and go straight home - even though it would be extremely unprofessional. I just don't know what to do.


Laughing Cow

Research method - grounded theory or thematic analysis or other?

Quote From DocInsanity:

Quote From sneaks:

You'll also need a fair idea of your epistemology/ontology which although it doesn't have to, should probably link with your methodology.

E.g. I used template analysis with my qual data because I come from a post-positivist discipline, but was adopting a pragmatic approach in my thesis. Template analysis meant I could use existing theory to drive my thematic analysis (like you would in post-positivism) but also be reflexive about what came out of my data, explore the context in a rich qual way - more like a constructivist position.

You don't have to talk about this stuff in your thesis, but you should have a solid idea of what you're doing and why otherwise you'll look like a twonk in the viva.

Absolutely - I have my philosophical assumptions worked out, which is complex because it's an interdisciplinary project so I have to use two different sets of philosophical assumptions. The problem arises from the fact that I haven't had any convincing tuition in grounded theory - that has been the basis for what I'm doing, but I'm just not using QDA software as it doesn't help me. It just irked me the rather 'shoot from the hip' characterization of this as cursory (not sure why 'ad hoc' per se is a criticism, given the nature of construction of grounded theory).

Decided to see what has become of this thread. Mea culpa, DocInsanity. I did rather shoot from the hip in this case and should have asked more questions for the purposes of clarification. As well as my eye brows starting to go curly with old age, I'm developing a curmudgeonly attitude. Nice to see you've sorted out your philosophical assumptions.
Don't worry too much about the interdisciplinary aspect of your work - your worldview is your worldview and doesn't have to be shared by others, or aligned with others as long as you can rationalise and defend it.
I see that you' may have settled on template analysis as your mode of qualitative data analysis. Just in case you haven't come across it already, I know of a really nice site for template analysis: http://www2.hud.ac.uk/hhs/research/template_analysis/
Good luck with your research!

Guardian - advice for unemployed new PhD

Thank you for posting this article link - I read the article and comments with interest. I think the writer of it is a little naive about things at the moment, almost expecting that he would be inundated with job offers. He might be a young, bright and budding academic, but it does mean very little in the face of current competition.
Often said, it really is dire in the UK with the current contraction of academia. In short, I stood no chance of getting anything remotely teaching-related when I qualified and that is why I originally decided to work in industry. It was only through luck and being in the right place at the right time (and that's what it was) that I managed to actually get a job in academia - on the other side of the world! As already reasoned here, that is what we'll increasingly have to do to if we want any kind of academic career. It'll be really tough for people that have families, although if you're the person that they're after, the universities will often offer generous relocation packages - plane tickets, rent and subsidised food rates for a month.

your biggest productivity challenge

What productivity solution do you want (provided I'm smart enough to give it to you)?
Getting up in the morning
What is your biggest productivity challenge?
Getting up in the morning
What are you afraid of? (What causes you to lie awake at night?)
Not getting up in the morning
Which PhD year are you in?
Finished, but not quite sure how


Churnton cheese

Research method - grounded theory or thematic analysis or other?

No-one here can actually give you a label for what you have done analytically. Doesn't sound like grounded theory, but then doesn't sound like a thematic analysis either. Sounds more like something quick and dirty, cursory and ad hoc. What may seem like a perfectly logical approach to you may not be a view shared by others, including examiners further down the line.
As has previously been recommended, I think you need to go back to the fundamentals - you need to identify clearly your method(s) of data analysis. At the stage of analysis, you should not be sticking labels on methods that should have been clearly selected at the point of research design.

Worrying Development in Academia?

Shameful behaviour and they know it. This advertisement was also promptly taken down by the university in question, but someone in the comments section below the article has archived it. Looking at the scope of what the 'successful' applicant is expected to do, even the minimal wage is an insult.

Paper request

Sorry, I did try :-(

Please fill me in

Hello there, Bradleyperks. Universities usually advertise specific projects that are attached to a stipend and fees payment - try FindaPhD to see if there are any that may interest you, or match your expertise. Sometimes, you can have a look around for graduate teaching assistantships on university websites - they often have broad fields in mind and you can design you own project within those limits and submit and application (this usually involves a proposal and statement of interest). More unusually, you can actually design your own project from scratch, after approaching a potentially interested supervisor) and then submit an application to a research council for funding - this can be very difficult to get. I'm sure others will be along with more lucid suggestions.:-)

Beaten Into Submission

I really wish that they were real presents! Preferably some aftershave, because all I have is half a tin of Lynx Java - I refuse to pay the ridiculous prices where I am at the moment.

In all serious, PamW, many congratulations. Just the viva now - and I've heard that for some people they can be a fun experience. :-)

i need help

Ok then.

How to ensure validity and reliability in research?

Have you had a read around to see how validity and reliability has been ensured by other authors who have done similar in their studies? Of the top of my head, there are a few things that you can maybe do.

1) Have a totally transparent, systematic approach to data collection from your sources.
2) Maintain an audit trail, documenting clearly the flow and processing of the data.
3) Member checking to ensure your approach is reliable - you draw the data using the prescribed approach, someone else (the more, the merrier) draws the data using the prescribed approach - any systematic differences?
4) Maybe you can demonstrate validity by having some kind of focus group with a sample of clinicians/researchers, who can reach a consensus on when whether the data for your research represents what it is supposed to.

To be honest, you haven't given very much information on your research - so it's a hard one to answer. Most important of all, read, read and read around.

Organizing your research

Microsoft Project Manager is all right. There's also a really great (both in terms of cost and utility) program called Study Manager.