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PhD students support thread

(16 Posts)
AimUnder Wed 14-Oct-15 22:27:19


Any PhD students out there? I thought it'd be nice to have a support (or moan) thread! I'm in my third year, got lots to do yet but hoping to finish studies and start writing up! Currently trying to get supervisor to give me regular feedback ... I know I'm at the bottom of his very long list of things to do. Anyhow, how are you getting on?

DishPig Wed 21-Oct-15 13:46:33

Hi Aim,
I'm a 3rd year PhD too! Experiments finished and I am "writing up". Unfortunately I've just been on holiday and my motivation to complete is about zero. I think/hope it'll pass, but every time I go to revise a chapter I just shudder. My supervisor is excellent though. I'm actually running ahead of time, so he suggested I utilise this and add an extra experiment/chapter... angry.
How about you? Many experiments left to run?

tinymeteor Tue 27-Oct-15 20:48:12

Final year here too... Hoping to submit next summer but with an 18mo my timetable has a nasty habit of going sideways...

What fields are you in? I'm a social scientist, so no experiments here, just lots and lots of verbiage smile

AimUnder Wed 28-Oct-15 12:13:15

DishPig you are doing very well if you are ahead of schedule! Go you smile

tinymeteor, I'm in social sciences, field work done, and writing up now.

SometimesItRains Sun 01-Nov-15 19:52:52

I'm a newbie - starting in January. Am feeling quite apprehensive about it now. I had a professional career prior to having children, so it's been quite a while since I've been at university and when I met my director of studies last week it seemed like he was speaking a different language at times. I'm hoping he will start to make sense as I start to get to grips with the language of academics and researchers. Any tips for someone just starting out?

Margie44 Sun 15-Nov-15 12:21:23

Hi. I'm one week away from submitting my thesis and still have loads of work to do. I'm feeling terrified and paralysed and already wasted 2 valuable days hiding away. Always write whoever bad you feel, so when you get to this point you already have it all covered!

MedSchoolRat Sun 15-Nov-15 13:47:28

@SOMETIMESITRAINS, what subject are you in?
I suspect there are various support networks at your Uni for new PhDs, you need to tap into them. I might be able to suggest what to look for, if STEM-health sciences.

AimUnder Sun 15-Nov-15 22:03:27

@margie, best of luck now, you are almost there! Just try and put your head down and finish it!

Out of interest, who set your deadline?

PerpetualStudent Mon 16-Nov-15 12:46:36

Hi, I'm currently on maternity leave with 6 month old DS, will be 'officially' returning in January for the writing up process.
Having a bit of crisis of confidence recently, so could very much do with a support thread. Questioning if and how I'm going to be able to finish with a baby/toddler in tow, and if I do how the heck I'm going to move my career forward afterwards. My field is arts education, so you can imagine the funding picture, both in and out of academia.
Anyone had any good careers advice recently?

Sometimes I've found Pat Thomson's blog on academic writing a massively helpful resource though it will be more relevant in you're in humanities/social sciences

AimUnder Mon 16-Nov-15 15:28:45

Perpetual, you can do it!

At 6 months after birth, I wasn't sure I could go back too. My brain and memory were all over the place, and I was sleep deprived. I told myself I'd leave the going back decision to a month before I'm due back. My LO by then started sleeping through the night and it was so much easier. I did feel a bit lost for the first 1-3 months, but got back into it. I'm also much much more focused now, no messing about on FB/ Instagram/mumsnet. I am however part time and do get afternoons to catch a nap or just relax. Would that be an option for you? It also feels less pressured as it'll feel like you've still got a longer period of time to finish. smile

PerpetualStudent Sat 21-Nov-15 17:53:16

Thanks AimUnder I hope so! How old were your DCs when you went back?
Unfortunately part-time is not an option for me, as my funding is full time only. Luckily my DP is freelance, so my plan (desperate hope?) is that we'll be able to split looking after DS and get some part-time childcare so we both end up being able to work a 4 day week.

I've got a big question hanging over my head about a trip to a university in Boston though - scheduled for Feb-April this coming year, but still feeling all over the place! The trip has been fairly self-initiated, though my funders have given me a bit of funding for it (not enough to cover DP and DS's costs) and my contact there has gone a bit quiet.

I'm tempted to pull the plug on the whole thing, and take more time off (I could have a further 4 months unpaid leave and return to my course and student stipend at the same point) to get my head straight and back to speed. Also lost my Dad unexpectedly a few months ago, so that's sent everything flying too! So I don't know if my urge to cancel is just self doubt/sabotage...

Sorry for emotional outpouring! Hope everyone else is having a better time of things?

AimUnder Sun 22-Nov-15 08:18:09

Perot, if you feel you'd like or need more time off, take it! This time with your LO will not come back. I took a longer leave than I had planned, but I'm very glad I did.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Sun 20-Dec-15 10:55:31

I only just found this thread - I've just finished my first year (term off interruption) and just finally submitted my first year assignments (on Friday!), fairly sure I will not pass and have to resubmit. Already looking ahead to the upgrade with apprehension - does it get easier?

TheWanderingUterus Sun 20-Dec-15 11:18:16

Hello, I am a part time PhD student in my second year (so end of my first year If I was full time).

I had my upgrade this summer and it was a hundred times better than i was expecting. It's much nicer not having that hanging over me, now I know I can't be chucked out easily!

emmaluvseeyore Mon 08-Feb-16 15:29:12

Hi all! I'm in my final year of my PhD (Climate Science) and will submit at Easter. I've got one more chapter to write up and then got to do all the finishing touches (intro, conclusion etc). I'm starting to panic about what to do post-PhD as I know I don't want to stay in academia. Sadly my supervisor has pretty much caused my mental health to go massively downhill during my PhD, so I need a job where I can just go in, do normal hours, and not bring any work home (at least for a year or 2).
Any ideas for what a STEM PhD can lead on to? I've looked at teaching but it's too high stress for me.

allegretto Tue 09-Feb-16 11:38:13

Hello everyone. I am in my final year too (although I have stopped, started, changed from full time to part it is a bit more than 3 years blush ). I have to submit by June and really need to stop getting distracted....

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