Balancing finishing a PhD with a full time lectureship - anyone been here

(9 Posts)
Academ Thu 01-Oct-15 21:06:43

Hello, lovely to have a nice space to chat. I have just entered into my third year of PhD. It has gone very well and if I continued at this rate likely to have full draft by Christmas time-ish. In the meantime I have been extremely fortunate to secure a full time senior lectureship at another university which I start in a couple of weeks. I also have 2 young children.
Just wondered if anyone been here and any experience?
Have to add I am of course thrilled at securing the job, and have loved my PhD journey so far, motivation not the problem just wondering how to balance all the priorities!

MultiShirker Sat 03-Oct-15 09:23:53

I did this, and coped, although it cost a relationship, and probably any chance of children. So you're ahead of me in the life stakes there.

It took me 5 years from starting at MPhil, upgrade and then submitting. I was in a teaching fellow post so had very little admin, and did mostly fairly repetitive teaching so preparation was not onerous. I published a couple of pieces in that time as well. But it was 20 years ago when the system was far less pressured!

I used to try to see the 2 activities as a creative tension. When I was preparing for teaching, I'd be straining at the leash to get back to writing. When writing got tough, I'd think about teaching. It seemed to work.

And it meant when I was on the job market for a proper job, I had a lot of experience.

Booboostwo Sat 03-Oct-15 09:42:35

Well done...but it is going to be really tough.

Do you have experience teaching? Will you be teaching courses you have taught before? This may make a massive difference to your work load. My first post was a teaching fellowship and I wrote 100,000 words worth of lecture notes that year (I had to write everything down because I was unfamiliar with the materials and lacking in confidence to just speak off the top of my head). My workload was crazy, I had to do all the lectures and seminars for 5 courses, plus all the seminars for one more course. I found it very difficult to even remember where I was in the course much less get to know the students. My post was 100% teaching and teaching related admin though which won't be the case for an SL. I didn't have children then and I don't think I could have kept a relationship going on that workload.

Can you negotiate a lighter workload for your first year so you can finish the PhD? After all it will be to the Uni's advantage to see you finished within the year.

MedSchoolRat Sat 03-Oct-15 10:33:40

wow, that's impressive.
Being ruthless about decision making is the best advice I can give.

Academ Sat 03-Oct-15 22:37:30

Oh gosh you've terrified me now!! I do have an amazingly supportive husband, and yes I'm experienced at teaching and continuing the same themes but writing new modules. I have my research time agreed for completion of phd, and dh will drop to flexi hours to cover children pick ups from childcare etc. But I am very protective of my time with my children and come hell or high water (even if I work every eve to keep weekends and early eves free) I will not compromise that. Hope I've not taken on too much :-(

grumpysquash Sat 03-Oct-15 23:16:21

I'm really sorry if this seems a rude question - not intended, but how come it's possible to get a Senior Lectureship when you are starting year 3 of a PhD?
What field are you in (very curious)?
I am in life sciences, and a senior lectureship is only achievable after PhD, a postdoc and a stint as a junior lecturer.....could probably fast track in about 5 years, but 10+ would be more usual.

What does your PhD supervisor think about taking up the role? Will you be able to submit if you have left your department??

It sounds like an amazing opportunity - wishing you all the best!

Academ Sun 04-Oct-15 07:50:19

Thanks, not rude at all, I have come at the PhD slightly later in life and have about 14 years experience in my field at senior levels as a practitioner, have some publications under my belt and three more in process, so basically I come from an experienced practitioner background and I think this is what secured me the position and the nearly finished PhD was the icing I suppose - I'm in social sciences and specialise around education and children.
Supervisors are really supportive, it was one of them who first saw the post and said this is for you. I will continue in my current department as a PhD student and they have reduced my scholarship to a fees only one which I think was really good of them. I still plan of having the draft written up by Christmas - 6 of the 9 chapters are done and phd again is based upon the field of work I come from so has presented both challenges but a lot of advantages as well.

ocelot41 Sun 13-Dec-15 21:46:43

Hi <waves> I was working ft as an L and then SL all the way through my PhD and finished early spring of this year. It took me 5 years all up (not counting mat leave) but it was hard. If you are in year 3 are you nearly there though? If so, I would say just be ruthlessly efficient. It CAN be donw

ocelot41 Sun 13-Dec-15 21:48:06

Done rather - have PhD but can't squell yet...

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