Jump to content
Jo

PhD/Doctorate Support Group

Recommended Posts

Jo

Link to previous thread

 

Please note, support group threads will no longer be stickied, as there are now many support groups, and being equitable and "stickying" them all would mean that pretty much the entire first page of the forum would be of "sticky" threads, which members in the past have stated that they do not wish to have happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealityBites

I guess this spells the end of our little forum then, as we are all too busy to post regularly?

 

xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lorana

we can still try to keep it going. I was also thinking of posting about academia in the work discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red in oz

Seems like this is a pretty quiet thread, but I thought I would pop in and say hi anyway.

 

I'm somewhere between 18m and 2 years full time into my PhD at Uni Melbourne in PASI (Philosophy Anthropology and Social Inquiry).

 

I'm looking at the makeover concept and the impact of makeover in the media on women's bodies. It's fairly light compared with what others are looking at but I wanted to look at something totally contemporary.

 

I'm struggling with motivation big time at the moment, well, for the last 12+ months really since my confirmation when I was about 7 months pregnant...and am now part time - so supposedly 20 hours per week although I think I've averaged about 4 hours a week for most of the last year - oops.

 

I finally managed to carry out my first interview this morning with 3 or 4 more lined up over the rest of the week so hoping that this is really it and I will actually have something to work with and write about. Ethics is another issue altogether, I submitted my Ethics proposal back in September and so far it has been lost twice and I finally got comments last week so it's just about to be submitted again.

 

I haven't published anything yet - apart from a book review - but hope to start submitting before the end of the year, so I'm a way behind some of you guys.

 

My supervisor is pretty slack, and given my lack of motivation I could really do with someone a little more demanding (like my old supervisor who retired) so I'm in the process of looking for a new secondary to help me get things moving once I have collected some data. I'm a bit nervous about it as I am thinking about asking someone external as my department is a mess and I'm pretty sure my current supervisor won't be around by the time I complete. I just have to see if they are willing and if my school will agree to it.

 

Well, I will tag the thread for email replies and see how people are getting on.

 

Take Care and don't work too hard...

 

Esther

Edited by estherp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lorana

ahhh, slack supervisors are pretty much the bane of most PhD students' existence (I didn't have one but knew lots of people who did). Having an extra supervisor is a good idea - in fact my uni now has a requirement of having at least two supervisors.

 

Ethics proposals are also a bit of a saga...

 

I was full-time the whole time and definitely didn't do 40 hours a week - more like 25 most of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rosebudkt

Well estherp I feel your pain, same department, same scenario. Gotta love SPASI. I'd love to know if you have the same supervisor as me, I haven't had any supervision at all and I have three supervisors!!! The department is a disgrace. I don't bother going in anymore, but I'm determined to finish this year as my money runs out soon! We should get together sometime for a procrastination playdate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
non

Hi everyone, I have lurked on this thread from time to time as I am doing my PhD... and have a 9 month old bub. I am actually wondering if any of you or any of your colleagues have 'thrown it in'. I don't mean to sound dramatic and I understand we all go through these 'phases'... but I am seriously considering stopping.

 

Having a PhD is not important for my job (sorry to be vague but want to stay a bit annonymous here), I only ever enrolled as I was keen on a research question I had and I had a colleague who encouraged me to make it a PhD topic (the said colleague is one of my PhD supervisors). Long term it would be great for doing some part time academic work (but I have done a fair bit of lecturing already, I guess it will become 'vital' to have the PhD at some point)... BUT I feel like I am postponing my life in the meantime. Is it worth it??

 

A few comments recently have made me think - e.g. my DH commented he didn't know what to buy me as a little gift (he loves buying pressies for me and DD) as I don't 'have a hobby or interest'... and I have recently annoyed various family members by not being available for coffee/various events. This is despite me not really getting much time on the thesis these days... but I do tend to need DD home for sleeps so I 'CAN' work on it when she's asleep.

 

Any advice?

 

sorry to highjack the thread.

non

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lorana

oh no, not hijacking at all. I never really considered quitting - I had my weak moments, but never really considered giving up. That said, I know several people who haven't completed theirs. One guy in particular came very close to finishing his thesis from Cambridge but then got a job in a different discipline, got a girlfriend who fell pregnant soon after and he just felt that completing the thesis was a low priority so he abandoned it. Another friend took out a masters because he'd been at it for 7 years and his wife desparately wanted to have a kid and needed him to be earning money. So I guess in both those situations, it was about having kids. I don't know if that answers your questions at all. Only you can know whether your desire to finish is important enough to put aside your family's jibes/lack of understanding etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red in oz

hello all,

 

Lorana, thanks for the sympathy on the ethics etc. Still waiting to hear back from them again...

 

Rosebudkt, I think I know all the students my supervisor is supervising and they would know me by name so you would know me if you knew me if you know what I mean ;) I am going to PM you anyway, I'm on campus wednesdays and would love to meet for a coffee some time.

 

non, how far in are you at the moment? When I first told my old supervisor I was pregnant she took great delight in telling me that it took her 9 years to complete her PhD after she had her first child... is there any urgency? Sounds like you would do well to take a break - officially or unofficially - and come back to it fresh. I have certainly wondered whether I can complete, but I definately want to, it's just the motivation that's lacking.....

 

ETA Rosebudkt - can't pm you, can you pm me or email me epollard@pgrad. etc.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
non

Lorana and estherp, THANKYOU so much for your replies...

 

It's actually good to hear that you know of people who pulled out due to life circustances - I guess my next question which you may not be able to answer is do they/ will they regret it later on... hmmmm only they can answer and who knows if we are true even to ourselves in answering in such circustances...

 

I am a fair way in... I was fulltime initially, and got fairly close to finishing (well, how long is a piece of string, especially with my perfectionistic supervisor) before I ended up in hospital with some pregnancy complications and then an early bub and associated hospital stay. But I 'know' how long the end parts/processes are (supervisor to be happy with, then internal marker, etc etc).... to give you an idea I have collected all the data, analysed it, and pretty much written up a 'draft' thesis, also had one article published. So 'on paper' it seems silly to throw it in now... yet I can just see it taking AGES to actually complete... I guess I am worried that this last part will go on for ages and I may not be able to maintain my motivation and also meet the standards..

It's a really hard one. I am going back to work in a few months one day a week, so I can only imagine it will get harder to 'find' the time to work on the thesis as well. (or will it get easier???? please tell me yes....)

 

estherp, good luck with the ethics etc, it's a real pain isn't it!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lorana

non, is your one day a week job in a related field? Although you will have less time available for the thesis, it might inspire you - I do think it's important to sit back and think about why you went into this in the first place. You said it was because you were keen on a research question. Are you satisfied with the answers you have found? Are you still interested in the topic? will you feel unfulfilled if you back out now?

 

As for the other people, I don't know if in the middle of the night or whatever they have doubts about whether htey did the right thing. I do know that a lot of people don't finish - in fact, when my mother started hers, some 35 years ago, they had a group intro session and this guy said 'look to your left, look to your right - only one of the three of you will finish!' (she did). There is no shame in abandoning a thesis if you don't want/need to complete it. What about just taking a break for some time (a year?!) and then revisiting the issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lorana

I thought I'd reactivate this discussion a bit. I've sent off a rejected article to a different journal and got the first referee's report on another (publish with revisions) and have just heard that a major publisher (OUP) is interested in a proposal for an edited book I put together with a friend. I also have an interview for a post-doc fellowship next week but am not sure I could take the job because it would be based in a different city. I feel like things are going pretty well but I am still tossing up whether I want to be an academic and if so, when, as the hours seem really long. at the moment I am in a government research position and am well paid for my (part-time) hours but lack ful autonomy about what I research and what I can say (ie not criticise any governments, state, territory or Federal!).

 

How is everyone else going??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red in oz

HI Lorana,

 

Sounds like things are going well and you are making good progress, well done. It will be good experience going for the postdoc even if you don't take it in the end. How exciting about your book proposal, well done to you and your friend. What do you have to do now to actually make it happen?

 

I'm a bit more motivated at the moment, have found a second supervisor who I'm going to meet up with next week which I'm excited about, and am putting together an outline for a paper that I want to write to discuss with my supervisor next week AND actually getting interviews done so starting to collect some real primary data which is making it all seem much more real.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on childcare, I have requested a second day for Beth next sememster but it's not looking likely? I don't want to take her out and put her in somewhere else just to get two days as the centre she is in is fantastic, but if anyone knows any good occasional care options in Melbourne I would be interested. I think I'm going to have to renegotiate weekends with my DH but I really hate working on the weekends and not having so much family time.

 

Hope everyone is going well, take care

 

Esther

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mrs Squiggle

WOOOTTTT :dance::dance::dance:

 

My approval came through, my supervisors are assigned.

 

Thesis is 70,000 words and there is a number of hours set. Is there a need to log the hours to show the work and do you need to specify research/writing/reading etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red in oz

Hurray BotticelliBabe, that's great news, well done! Where are you studying? Do you know what area you are going to look at specifically. It's very exciting getting it all started, I'd just say make the most of any extra orientation courses that your uni offers to meet up with others in the same situation - don't need to be same topic, just other PhD students (courses may not be much cop but having a few people who understand where you are at to debrief with from time to time has been key to my progress so far).

 

As for tracking your time, it's probably worth it to start with to get a feel for how long x hour a week feels, what you can achieve in that time. Then once you're settled in you probably won't need to do it. I do it from time to time when I'm feeling a bit slack.

 

Supervisors are unlikely to ask to you log all your hours, you're pretty much responsible for yourself now!

 

How is everyone else going? I'm making some small progress, have a paper to submit on the 2nd June which is currently sitting with my supervisor for comment, will be spending most of next weekend finishing it off I think.

 

And I got a :BFP: a couple of weeks ago, so studying with kids is going to get doubly interesting in January...

 

Good luck and take care everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mrs Squiggle

Hi estherp

I am studying through USQ on the Fraser Coast. Pretty stoked as my supervisor formerly came from UWS and I am pleased she has a huge amount of faith in me.

 

I am studying behavioural and learning difficulties and alternative educational methods in the mathematics classroom at the highschool level with the idea of improving teacher training at the undergraduate level and optimising educational opportunities for the hard nuts of school. The kids everyone writes off.

 

I am hoping to be able to influence curriculum to allow modifications of curriculum. Behaviour decreases as success increases but I believe that there are ways you can teach the same content to the same level as an academically abled student and achieve success.

 

How often do you guys submit papers for publication? How much is required?

 

 

And congrats on the BFP! :thumbs:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealityBites

Two years later, just wanted to shout to the world that I am DONE!

 

Thesis passed :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red in oz

I got a thread notification!

 

Oh fantastic work Leilana, you should be so proud of yourself!

 

I am still plugging away very very slowly, last time I posted I had just fallen pregnant with Hannah and now she is 18 months old, wow, it's gone so fast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealityBites

Esther - Thanks!

My thread notifications don't work *grrr*

How long do you have left?

 

Lorana - Are you still out there?!

 

Anyone else :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lorana

I just popped in here for the first time in ages. Congratulations Lelaina. Doesn't it feel great? What will you do now?

 

How are you going w thesis and toddler, Hannah?

 

I have recently started in a 1 yr ft lectureship and love the people and autonomy but am struggling to get any research done around the teaching. Plus yesterday I got some awful student feedback from the course I taught there casually in sem 1 , which has really shaken my confidence. I am really hopng they'll keep me on (I'm filling a mat leave position but another woman is going on leave soon) but really don't have much experience in teaching as I've been in a research role for the last 4 years. On the plus side I now have about 30 publications, though only half are refereed, and learnt a lot and got lots of contacts from my edited book.

 

I'd love if this thread were active again on matters academic. My kids are now at school and I am really ready to throw myself into this after 7.5 years of working part time - or off a cliff, after yesterday's feedback!

Edited by lorana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red in oz

Hi Lorana, I haven't done any teaching/tutoring so haven't been there yet. Great news that you got a lectureship, a good start to the academic career :). It must be tricky to get the research time in, especially when you are putting together all your lectures from scratch, that must get easier each time you teach the same course. I'm not sure how my supervisor does it, she has a huge teaching load at the moment, but she seems to prioritise it at certain times of the year, I think committing to conferences etc helps her. I guess you just have to take on any feedback, positive and negative and use it to improve your teaching, it can't have been all bad! Have you found a mentor in your department who might be able to give you some pointers (if not, finding one might be seen as pro-active on your part), if not maybe ask who got great feedback and go and sit in on a few of their lectures next term. If there are any other recently qualified/appointed lecturers in your area maybe you could club together and form a support group?

 

I'm going very very slowly, trying to get a couple of chapters done before I go away to visit family towards the end of the year and then a couple more drafted before Christmas. I was hoping to get a full (very rough) draft done this year so that I can see how it's all coming together with an aim to complete a serious draft December 2012, then final revisions to be done Jan/Feb 2013 before we move back to the UK for good, but we're thinking of going back a few months earlier - eek, AND, I'm currently expecting number 3 in March which could set things back a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...