Skip to main content

Thesis forum: 'Finishing the PhD and beyond'


In May the thesis forum welcomed three speakers who shared their experience of completing the PhD and life on the other side. This was our second webinar (via Adobe Connect) and once again we welcomed a good number of off-campus students.

Rahma (Media & Communications)
Rahma passed her APG in 2011 and is now in her final year. She started with the positive aspects of doing a PhD such as enjoying the chance to learn and the experience of being a student. While you might think your contribution to knowledge is small, it will be significant. She advised sticking to highly relevant literature at the start and ensuring you keep a tight focus. If you struggle with the literature, don’t blame yourself. It might be that you lack background context or the author hasn’t made themselves clear. International students can have the additional problem of the language barrier.. When it comes to your fieldwork, don’t shy away from sensitive or difficult areas. They might be the potential strengths that will inform your research and play a significant part. Plan your fieldwork but be flexible. Rahma also advised making the most of your supervisory meetings, by preparing an agenda in advance.  

Rahma encouraged PhD students to attend seminars and workshops. Such events are a chance to develop your work even if the topic varies from yours. There might be discussion of similar theories or methods, and you will be pushed to questions your ideas. If you give talks then you will learn to accept comments and constructive criticism. Sharing your research will also boost your confidence and knowledge. Rahma has been writing from the very beginning and recommended free-writing as a way to keep on track. Type up as you go along and keep a good record of everything. Being organised was also crucial to staying on schedule. Rahma used a diary to record her aims for each day and to get problematic thoughts down on paper.


Simon (History/Special Collections) 
Simon finished his PhD in 2005 and told us about the career choices he has made since. He started by asking the audience what their plans were for the future. A number were intending to pursue a career outside academia. You may expect to go in a straight smooth line through from PhD to post-doc to lectureship. Often this isn’t the reality. Simon talked us through the series of different research posts he held and described how they helped develop his skills and experience. He gained skills in team-working, project management new technologies and was involved with writing funding bids. Team projects often give options for publications which can boost your CV.

Simon recommended broadening your search when it comes to post-PhD employment. Universities have lots of people with PhDs in academic-related, support roles. www.jobs.ac.uk can be a good source for academic-related jobs. Twitter is also useful for jobs and postdoctoral position. Networking is also very important.


Mukhtar (Politics & International Relations)
Mukhtar graduated in January 2013. He discussed the importance of sticking to deadlines and how this is key to finishing your project. He juggled a number of other commitments during his PhD such as part-time work, working as a research associate, taking up short fellowships, and attending conferences. Mukhtar suggested researchers should balance this with non-academic activities. He also raised the issue of publishing and the long lead times on submissions. PhD students should be aware of the length of time it might take to hear back from journals and the time between acceptance and publication. Mukhtar acknowledged that there can be demotivating factors about the PhD, but these can be countered if you are a passionate researcher and sustain your academic curiosity.

Leicester students can access a video recording of the whole forum via the Research Essentials Online module on Blackboard. Please go to Blackboard and select Research Essentials Online (APU X005) > Thesis forum > Thesis Forum May 2013 >  If you have any difficulties accessing this please get in touch

Our next webinar will take place on June 11th on ‘Digital literacy as a postgraduate attribute’. Full details will be available soon.

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I did not have any time for writing that's whyI ordered my thesis here. Frankly, I never regretted about this, although I believe that everybody should go their own way and do their job by himself.
    By the way, here you can find interesting and place on the citation kingcitation.com/apa/ .

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Library publishing services

The Library offers several services to help you publish and disseminate your research. We can help you publish reports, journals and conference proceedings. We also support the publishing of digital collections.

Research publications The Library can help you to publish one-off reports in an open access format. See this example from the SAPPHIRE Group in Health Sciences.  If you want to start a new open access journal or conference proceedings, we have our own version of Open Journal Systems (OJS). This is journal management and publishing platform for academic publications. Articles published through this system are free to any reader, and no APCs are charged to authors. 
Please contact Library Research Services for more information: librarians@le.ac.uk



Digital collections Some researchers will be collecting materials as part of a project, and may want to publish them online. The Library supports two platforms to do this:


Omeka.net.This is an easy to use platform for creating websites to d…

Finding our training

I had some feedback last week that searching PROSE is not the easiest way to find out what library training is on offer.

We sympathise with you! An alternative is to look at the list of training on our Researchers page

Or you can look at brand new guide to the Postgraduate Researcher Workshop Programme

If you have any questions about the training please email Selina or myself: librarians@le.ac.uk



Round-up of Elevenses Recordings

Throughout July we ran a series of short talks about issues of interest to researchers. If you missed them you can now watch the recordings:

Discovering the University’s unique archives An overview of what archives are and give an overview of the archives held by the University of Leicester library.Watch the webinar

Publishing your own Open Access journal The Library has developed an online publishing platform (Open Journals System) that enables researchers at Leicester to set up and run their own open access journals.  This session offers an overview of the platform and what you need to consider before launching your own title.
Watch the webinar

Finding datasets for research One of the most common enquiries from researchers is “Where can I find data on my topic?”  This session provides advice on how to find datasets for your research. We will cover a range of subject areas, and also look at the specialist resources to which the Library provides access.
Watch the webinar

Research Data …