Overview of Walminskipeasucker

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Walminskipeasucker
Monday, 4 June 2007 at 2:33am
Wednesday, 3 September 2014 at 10:38am
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Thread: Optimum PhD Position

posted
24-Mar-11, 22:25
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
As Pierre indicates, I really don't think there's going to be much between them. I suppose you could do a bit of research into which is more renowned (though they'll both consist of super geniuses). Horses for courses.

Thread: Had my PhD viva

posted
24-Mar-11, 22:20
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
Quote From sneaks:

just one question Wal - was it a better feeling than getting 5 stars? 8-)



No, it really wasn't as exciting as getting 5 stars. I thought I'd be more excited about passing my PhD and I've been waiting and waiting to feel really ecstatic about it all. I suppose this is what happens when you're close to turning 30: no interest in cartoons, computer games or anything fun. More likely, I think I built the viva up to be some vicious battle at the top of Mount Everest (al la Lord of the Rings; my external saying 'you shall not pass!'), thus being some massive achievement. Instead, I now just read the Daily Mail and Telegraph websites, tut and shake my head at the world self-righteously. If I'd have had to pay for my PhD, I think I'd be asking for my money back - it's like going on a roller coaster that doesn't even go upside down. Probably should have studied for Doctor of the Universe.

It was funny after my viva. My supervisors said to me, 'what are you going to do now it's all over?' I wasn't sure, so I just said 'do another PhD'. Not a chance! I have got job interviews coming up anyway, so maybe I'll get all excited once I've got a job. I'm also going to get a passport and go flying on an aeroplane. I fancy going continental.

Thread: Doctor of the Universe!

posted
23-Mar-11, 22:43
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
I've just had an epiphany: I may have wasted my time doing my PhD. In fact, we all may be pursuing fruitless endeavours. For a mere $30 and a millionth of the effort (around 20 quid, I think), I/you could have become a Dr of the Universe or even a Dr of Universal Life: http://ulc.net/index.php?page=shop&cat=17
Imagine having a qualification like that on your CV!? Just imagine being asked at all of those dinner parties what you're a Dr in...the universe...the universe.

Thread: Random question- how much sleep do you need?!

posted
23-Mar-11, 14:50
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
I'm like Winston Churchill and...bluerghh...that Margaret Thatcher. I can get by on about 4-5 hours and usually do. I'm not really a fan of sleeping because when I'm led in bed trying to sleep, I can feel my body shutting down (heart rate slowing, things like that) and it makes me jolt up, wide awake. I think that 7 hours is a healthy number (so scientists say) and 10 hours is excessive. There is such a thing as getting too much sleep. Anyway, I'll bet you any money that he might say that he'll be going to bed at 9-30 to 10 pm every night but that won't actually happen in the end. The TV watershed is after 9 pm and some of the best TV is on after that.

Thread: Viva tomorrow

posted
22-Mar-11, 17:00
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
Congratulations, Dr Hypothesis!

Thread: Passed VIVA!

posted
22-Mar-11, 16:51
edited about 3 seconds later
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posted about 8 years ago
Very well done, Dr. Pink_Fluff! It's a weird feeling when you've passed, isn't it?:-)

Thread: Just a big thank you!

posted
22-Mar-11, 00:50
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
I haven't been drinking - honest! So this isn't one of them big drunken hugs and a slurpy kiss or anything. I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone on this forum for all the help and support I have received over the years doing my PhD. I still remember my first post - about a student bank account (good memory, see) - and my last PhD-related post about my viva experience a short while ago (that one was easy). I've watched other people come full circle on this forum, from starting to finishing their PhDs, and now it's finally me (after corrections)!
Prior to starting my PhD, I didn't realise that a forum could be so much fun and provide such an immense amount of support. I must have received advice from people concerning every aspect of my life (including my PhD) - and I'm all the better for it! Plus, forumites helped me with papers that were integral to my PhD (SBCC and Sneaks, for instance). My PhD journey, save for PG Forum, would have been an immensely lonely journey, and I doubt I'd have even finished it, without the compassion, understanding and encouragement of the people who use this forum. It's weird how the simple day-to-day posts and activities of this forum made me feel like a valued member of a little community of like-minded people.

So, without further ado (and sorry if I miss some names...):

Thanks to Keenbean, and thanks to Sneaks,
Well wishes to Eska, a salute to Teek,
There's Chrisrolinksi and dear DanB,
Not forgetting young Natassia and wise Ogriv.

From good old Goodboy to PamW,
A big fat thank you to Pjlu,
And then there's Jojo and 404,
A116 and the great Bonzo.

I remember Moonblue and that Catlinbond,
The sagacious Bilbo, clever Smilodon,
Ev's a raver, Blue has charm,
Ann was a matriarch, that Lara was warm.

I know that leaves many forumites who remained unnamed,
But to rhyme them all would tax my brain,
They know who they are, and they should rightly all be awarded 5 stars!

Thread: Getting married!

posted
21-Mar-11, 23:52
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
Congratulations Mr Heb and soon-to-be Mrs Heb. I'm glad that things are going well for you re your PhD. I'd invite your sup, if I were you. Afterall, at any wedding you need a bit of quirkiness!

Thread: Had my PhD viva

posted
21-Mar-11, 23:46
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
One of my examiners was a bit of a cantankerous, contrary sod and the reason I got some corrections. Which one do you think it was? The internal who is supposed to represent the university and act professional, or the external? It was the internal. Her recommendations for corrections are ridiculous but, hey ho, it speaks of the subjective nature of the viva. My external was really impressed with my work and said he felt it was more than worthy of a PhD (I'm really not bragging - they were his words). But my internal (probably politics or something) kept asking the same questions over and over again. My external became visibly agitated, kept mentioning the time and then because I had been talking for so long...I lost my voice. But still she kept on. My viva actually got to 2 hours and a quarter and my external just suddenly called time (my internal was a bit shocked by this) - clearly the chair wasn't doing her job! I got sent outside and for their decision and they deliberated for ages (1/2 hr). Anyroad, I kid you not, I got called back in and the internal was red-faced and flustered - the external, me and my sups reckoned, had had a go at her.
The external congratulated me lots and recommended that I get my researcher published as quickly as possible because he reckons it's very worthwhile. Essential to me was that my research was methodologically sound, so I asked him at this point and he said certainly. Then I got my corrections - I thought really petty stuff, but I bit my tongue.
So, just be aware that internal politics and motivations can shape your viva to some degree and that's something that you really can't anticipate.

I hope this recount of my viva proves helpful to all of those waiting for their vivas, as did other people's reconstructions of theirs for me. If you have any further questions about the viva, please ask.:-)

Thread: Had my PhD viva

posted
21-Mar-11, 23:28
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
The format of my viva centred around questions asked of each sequential chapter.

1) So, initially, I'd made an introductory quote about how research is a messy business. The first question was by the external on this quote and how I could relate it to my research - so my general ups and downs with the process (probably to authenticate it as my research).

2) Next question was why I felt my research was necessary - based on the contents of my first chapter.

3) Question based on a narrative review that was my second chapter - just generally related to how I'd reviewed the studies.

4) Question based on the fundamentals of the theories underpinning my research - which covered my third chapter - so just testing how broad my knowledge-base was really. This chapter was also a systematic review, so they did ask about how 'systematic I tried to be.

5) I was asked a question on my theoretical framework in terms of how it links together - why I decided to do such and such.

6) I was asked a question on the transition of my research worldview, which was in my methodology chapter. The external was amazed at how a positivist could become a pragmatist, so I was asked a bit about it here.

7) We then got on to the nitty-gritty of the sampling and the potential limitations of it. Also, specificly (excruciating detail), how I went about my purposive sampling (how did I make sure it was actually purposive?). They really wanted evidence and explanation.

8) They asked my to clarify certain calculations I had made and why I had done certain things in my method.

9) Really not anything asked regarding my results, per se. They seemed happy with it.

10) Again, nothing regarding my discussion chapter (not interpretations of my work and inferences), except that they would like me to add more information on the limitations of my research into my discussion chapter.

11) Questions on the applications of my work. How would I implement it in practice? How would such and such be used?

12) Questions on my future research plans. They tried to make sure that I fully understood the implications of my future research plans.

And that was it really. It wasn't horrible. I was asked to define everything and provide detailed definitions of X and Y. It was just like a conversation. But there is a caveat or two, which I'll put in the next post.

Thread: Had my PhD viva

posted
21-Mar-11, 23:12
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
Aww, thank you everyone (and have a star, Caterpillar!) - I really appreciate it.

So, the gory details then...

I'd like to start off by saying that it really wasn't that bad. I had two experienced examiners and it didn't feel anything like the Spanish Inquisition. From my newly acquired experience the viva is not a deadly interrogation, it is not aggressive and you should not have any reason to feel afraid (maybe just a little nervous - but that settles). Best way to imagine it, is to picture yourself sitting in a cafe having an interesting intellectual debate on your subject of interest with two equally intelligent companions. Really, all the do is ask for clarification on certain areas of your work, challenge you regarding certain assertions you make with their beliefs. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. If you don't know something, or aren't certain, just admit it or state that you will deal with it in further research. Say, 'that's an interesting perspective that I haven't considered'. After all, you're not expected to be omniscient. And the books on viva examinations - pah. I'm glad I never bothered practising the questions in them - because I was asked none of them. You really can't predict what you will be asked - it's so subjective and thesis-specific.
I knew my thesis inside out and a little bit about the broader area of research around it - and that was more than enough. The areas that Bilbobaggins mentions to bear in mind, such as your contributions to knowledge and so forth, really, really are enough. Don't be masochistic and practice a 101 questions - know your thesis, the different sections, inside-out.

I'll put the viva format and general questions in the next post, just in case I run out of space in this post.

Thread: Had my PhD viva

posted
21-Mar-11, 17:26
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
I had my viva today. I'll explain things later when I've got my head together and am at my laptop. I passed with minor corrections. I'm pretty numb at the moment but, yeah, it's over. My external really liked my thesis and said that he hopes I become a social sciences researcher in the next 10 years. What an odd but nice comment.

Thread: Qualitative comparison of groups

posted
19-Mar-11, 22:42
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
Hi Dafydd, would it be possible to describe your research design a little more? What have you aiming to do, and what have you achieved quantitatively so far?

I gather that, so far, a group of patients have been subjected to a consultation with a clinician and some of them have come away feeling reassured and some of them as not (sorry, if that sounds a bit dumb). Now you want to know the reasons why this is the case. Qualitative research would be potentially helpful here, allowing you explore and describe and gain insight for the reasons why using an inductive approach. In terms of the methodological implications, I'm thinking an explanatory mixed methods design.

Thread: Finances during PhDs (and holidays)

posted
19-Mar-11, 20:26
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
My studentship/ stipend is around £13,500 which to me sounds quite reasonable as it is tax free, right? I know I'll have to downgrade on shopping etc and be a little more careful with ££, but no big dramas!

Yes, it is tax free. It may be paid monthly (better for budgeting) or per term.

Do many people have to take part time jobs? I keep hearing you can earn a few extra pennies doing practicals with undergrads? Can you also lecture and if so what experience do you need and how do you go about it?

You can get a part time job, but you'll find it tough if you're working as a full time PhD student. Some universities also have strict rules for funded PhD students re work. You can earn money by doing demonstrations, some lectures and seminars. If you're doing a graduate teaching assistantship, then you may be expected to teach a bit anyway (up to 6 hours per week).

Can you apply for further funding from other places? (although it sounds a little greedy to me!). Do you get NUS discounts?

Of course you can apply for funding to other places, for things like conferences and training courses. And, yep, you can join the NUS and get discounts.

And can you go on holiday? Do you have a set allowance like in a job?

Whilst not exactly and 9 to 5 job, you are entitled to holidays. Whether you take them, with the work load you may have have (particularly in the 3rd year and write-up) is up to you.

Oh, and congratulations in being awarded a funded PhD!

Thread: VIVA panic

posted
19-Mar-11, 15:54
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Walminskipeasucker
posted about 8 years ago
Quote From pink_fluff:

Thank you for the advice... I was just thinking of the worst case scenario whereby, if i failed i couldn't possibly carry on. Its my whole world. :-( as sad as it may sound. Only last month i found out my boyfriend of 3 years had been cheating on me from day one, then i had to prepare for the viva and i've read horror stories about vivas too. :-(
I have 3 publications two from 3 chapters in my thesis, so really i shouldn't have anything to worry about as my supervisor tells me. However, because i have these publications and if i don't perform on the day as well due to nerves will this screw the whole thing up for me. I'm just very nervous i guess, and as i've heard "worrying is the dark room where negatives develop" :-(


Two publications from three chapters in your thesis!? The work you have produced if therefore of publishable quality - yet further evidence that you'll do fine in the viva. I don't think there's anything sad about how much your work means to you - I can empathise with you there, as will many people on this forum. I never gamble in real life, but if odds where available in Ladbrokes on you passing it wouldn't be worth putting on a bet because it would be more or less a dead cert.
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