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PhD FAQs

2

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 727 prettygurrly


    I forgot to say, if you do a PhD with the Department of Agriculture Food and Development (i.e. funded either directly by the department or through Teagasc as a Walsh Fellow) there's really good workshops on which are worth credits. They look at career development, writing for journals etc etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,263 ✭✭✭✭ Tom Dunne


    I did something similar, but mine is not called a PhD, it's "just" a doctorate.

    I did five modules (my field is education, btw):
    Policy
    Psychology of the learner
    Qualitative Methods
    Analysing, Evaluating, Interpreting Educational Research
    21st Century Technology

    and finally thesis proposal.

    In my case, by doing the above, I essentially did a masters first (though I don't actually get the masters award).

    So I would imagine in other fields, these modules are related both to the topic itself and research.


  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭✭ idayang


    Thank you all! Didn't expect so many helpful information:-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 249 ✭✭ ciaradx


    Hi all,

    Just preparing an application for a PhD scholarship and looking for tips on it. The application says to submit academic CV plus recommendations/references via email to the potential supervisor. Does this mean I need to submit written references as attachments or will contact details for my referees be enough? Thanks! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 727 prettygurrly


    Normally references in any situation are private so I would expect they just want your referees' details. However, the wording would infer that they do want you to collect the references yourself and attach them to your application. There should be a name to contact and I think you should ask them. Who is the scholarship with? It might help others answer your question better...for example, I know the Walsh Fellowship is a private correspondence between referee and recruiter as that is the scholarship I'm on.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 249 ✭✭ ciaradx


    Normally references in any situation are private so I would expect they just want your referees' details. However, the wording would infer that they do want you to collect the references yourself and attach them to your application. There should be a name to contact and I think you should ask them. Who is the scholarship with? It might help others answer your question better...for example, I know the Walsh Fellowship is a private correspondence between referee and recruiter as that is the scholarship I'm on.

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Its with [MOD]name removed[/MOD] in RCSI Dublin, the scholarship is funded by SFI. I was considering emailing him directly to ask how he wants the references submitted but wasn't sure if this would be okay. His email is the only contact details listed in the scholarship description.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    ciaradx wrote: »
    Its with [MOD]name removed[/MOD] in RCSI Dublin, the scholarship is funded by SFI. I was considering emailing him directly to ask how he wants the references submitted but wasn't sure if this would be okay. His email is the only contact details listed in the scholarship description.
    [MOD] In future, please don't name individuals - there's no need. Ta. [/MOD]


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    ciaradx wrote: »
    Hi all,

    Just preparing an application for a PhD scholarship and looking for tips on it. The application says to submit academic CV plus recommendations/references via email to the potential supervisor. Does this mean I need to submit written references as attachments or will contact details for my referees be enough? Thanks! :)
    It would be unusual for you to obtain letters of recommendation yourself. That's usually up to research administrators. Apart from anything else, you're not really supposed to see what's been said about you!


  • Registered Users Posts: 727 prettygurrly


    I agree DJPbarry.

    So you're funded by SFI....I'll see if I can find anyone who has their scholarship through them and ask but really your supervisor should know.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 31,970 Sarky


    I'm funded by SFI as well. Any applications I made were fine with just contact details for references. I've found various supervisors to be happy to clarify what they want sent in after emailing them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,133 ✭✭✭ stunner dunner


    Has anyone any experience with the 'three paper thesis' i.e. PhD by publication rather than a monograph?

    I am a first year PhD student, and it's something that myself and my supervisor are discussing. Some of the benefits appear intuitive, but I'd be grateful for any additional feedback or thoughts


  • Registered Users Posts: 727 prettygurrly


    The main problem with a three paper thesis is the lack of detail. The only person I know who went through as a three paper had an issue with the extern contesting that the volume of work wasn't enough for a 3-4 year thesis.

    What I'm doing is a compromise. It's easier to get things published (which if you want to stay in Academia is vital) if you write as papers. So I have my four data chapters as papers with what we call "bookends". An introduction, including a methods section or chapter covering my study sites in detail and then at the end a discussion of the over all research question and how my four chapters contribute to answering that question. There is some repetition doing it this way as I have to introduce my study sites and general methods each time at the start of each paper but these are much briefer than the full chapter.

    I would recommend you look online for recently published theses, particularly in your field. I'm following the style of a PhD published in New Zealand...it's good to get inspiration...!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    Has anyone any experience with the 'three paper thesis' i.e. PhD by publication rather than a monograph?

    I am a first year PhD student, and it's something that myself and my supervisor are discussing. Some of the benefits appear intuitive, but I'd be grateful for any additional feedback or thoughts
    The approach suggested by prettygurrly is a good one. It’s a good idea to have papers in the bag before your viva – takes an awful lot of pressure off if some/most of your work has already been subject to peer review. Not only that, but individual papers translate quite nicely to individual chapters in your thesis.

    The problem with a thesis consisting solely of papers is, in my opinion, that there’s nothing to tie them together – the “big picture” is missing. It may also be the case that you end up with papers that, on the surface at least, are relatively unrelated – two parallel tracks of the same research project, perhaps. Without a proper introduction and discussion, there are going to be loose ends and it may well be that examiners struggle to piece things together.

    Then there’s the fact that you will undoubtedly have unpublished work that you don’t want to just bin. Not only that, but it may well be of value to others in the future. If you’ve done something that hasn’t worked, it may save others time and effort if you’ve properly documented it – your thesis will almost certainly be made available in an online repository after submission.

    You also have to bear in mind that a good introduction can represent a publication in itself – I modified mine and submitted it as a review paper.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,603 ✭✭✭ SmallTeapot


    Surely a PhD by publication would require more than 3 papers....no? How would that equate to a PhD thesis comprising of 100,00 words. Granted your papers will be peer-reviewed, but still.

    I agree with djpbarry. With 3 papers, you're body of work will be disjointed - the bigger picture stuff that links your rational together will be absent and I'm sure in the viva, you really would have to justify your journey from point a to b and so on.

    Also agree with the suggestion to possibly publish your introduction piece. My supervisor is keen for mine to take the format of a systematic review and consequently be registered and published as such. Kinda hit two birds with one stone :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    Surely a PhD by publication would require more than 3 papers....no? How would that equate to a PhD thesis comprising of 100,00 words. Granted your papers will be peer-reviewed, but still.
    Well, it's all about quality, not quantity. There really is no need for a thesis to be a certain length just for the sake of it and your examiners will certainly appreciate brevity!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,350 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tree


    Also, the 100,000 words is the upper limit. Thesis by publication usually wants three papers of original research that have been published (or at least accpeted), ideally a review paper as well, and at least 10,000 words of an introduction describing the work and it's contribution and how it's related. (you can't just put three unrelated papers together, they should form a somewhat coherent body of work)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭ mis


    Just wondering has anyone converted a research masters to Phd?

    Did you change to a Phd before completion of the masters? or officially graduate from a masters and then go on to do a Phd? Did you still have to do the 3 years or could you continue from where the masters finished?


  • Registered Users Posts: 166 ✭✭ miss-p


    Your supervisor or the graduate school in the university should be able to advise you. I know when I started my PhD I was registered on 'PhD-track' which meant that I had to do a transfer report to move onto the actual PhD programme or I could opt to do a research masters instead.

    I *think* that if you graduate from the masters that you can continue on from where the masters finished. As in you can continue working in that field, but you have to do new work, so basically you can't present your masters work again for a PhD. It has to be all new work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭ djpbarry


    miss-p wrote: »
    I know when I started my PhD I was registered on 'PhD-track' which meant that I had to do a transfer report to move onto the actual PhD programme or I could opt to do a research masters instead.
    This is very common. In a lot of institutes, all PhD students effectively begin life as MPhil students (or something similar) and they undergo a transfer of some sort, typically after 18 – 24 months. At that point the decision is made as to whether the student officially becomes a PhD candidate or remains on the MPhil track.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,621 ✭✭✭ bren2001


    djpbarry wrote: »
    This is very common. In a lot of institutes, all PhD students effectively begin life as MPhil students (or something similar) and they undergo a transfer of some sort, typically after 18 – 24 months. At that point the decision is made as to whether the student officially becomes a PhD candidate or remains on the MPhil track.

    That's how it works with nearly every PhD student I have come in contact with. Certainly is the way it's done in DCU, I just transferred over after 12 months.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭ PolaroidPizza


    Most Irish research institutions don't have a minimum requirement for the quantity of publications required before you progress to a viva, unlike most other education systems. All laboratories will receive some funding to provide for a PhD student, and will gladly accept it, regardless if they have ambitions to publish or not. What generally happens then is that students get to the end of the 4 years without any publications, yet the laboratory has been kept up and running from whatever funding the student brought with them.
    I would strongly suggest that any student when choosing a supervisor checks the track record of PhDs leaving the laboratory. If they're not graduating with 2+ papers, then you're better off bringing that funding elsewhere. You will ultimately be competing with other PhDs for post-docs or industry positions from people who have obtained this.
    The IRCSET policy of awarding money to students, who then bring it to a laboratory is based on the premise that the student is educated enough to make an informed decision as to where to go....which unfortunately often they are not. Too often it happen they are sold a pup from seasoned supervisors who are well able to promise the sun moon and starts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭✭ JK2015


    Hi all,
    Right now Im looking to apply for a couple of PhD projects I've seen advertised on college notice boards. Im not sure what to include in the first email to a prospective supervisor - what questions are appropriate for an initial email, that will also show interest? Im aware this is a silly question and I should be well able to write decent emails at this stage, but I think Im after over-thinking this one and need some advice :) any other advice about obtaining a phd position is very welcome also
    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,096 ✭✭✭ ImDave


    JK2015 wrote: »
    Hi all,
    Right now Im looking to apply for a couple of PhD projects I've seen advertised on college notice boards. Im not sure what to include in the first email to a prospective supervisor - what questions are appropriate for an initial email, that will also show interest? Im aware this is a silly question and I should be well able to write decent emails at this stage, but I think Im after over-thinking this one and need some advice :) any other advice about obtaining a phd position is very welcome also
    Thanks

    Just outline your motivation for researching the topic in question, and very briefly sum up the gap in the literature to demonstrate there is something worth pursuing. Outline your credentials to date as well. Once you've found a prospective supervisor who is interested in talking to you, arrange an informal meeting where you can discuss your motivation and what you are trying to accomplish in greater detail. There is also an element of it being a dating process - you need to try and establish if could see a good working relationship between the two of you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 laurenpedro123


    Hi

    I'd love to do a PhD but the costs are astronomical. Am I right in saying if you do a part-time PhD and the fee is 5k, that if it takes you five years to do this, that you'd end up paying 25k?

    Are there any funding options for this or any advice on how to go about the best/most afforable way to do a PhD?

    Many thanks


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 306 ✭✭ innad


    Am I right in saying if you do a part-time PhD and the fee is 5k, that if it takes you five years to do this, that you'd end up paying 25k?

    Yes, this would be correct. You would also need to consider the cost of equipment/consumables, data collection etc.

    I think you're much better off doing a full-time, funded PhD. What funding is available obviously depends on your subject area, but most schools or departments should provide a list of potential funding options for prospective postgraduate research students.

    If you have identified a potential supervisor, they might also be able to assist you in identifying potential funding sources. The other option is to keep an eye out for fully-funded PhD positions (for example on findaPhD.com).
    Good luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 laurenpedro123


    Many thanks for the info innad. Much appreciated and I'll have a look at that website now :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ RoebuckWilson


    Hi guys.

    I'm interviewing shortly for a specific PhD project. I've worked with my supervisor at undergrad level for my dissertation and did well. The topic of which is similar to the upcoming project.

    However I'm pretty unsure what to expect in the interview in terms of questioning. Could any one help with their own experiences? There is the possibility of a presentation also, could anyone advise how to structure it. I don't how much to lean on literature or potential research areas or impacts...

    Thanks so much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,663 ✭✭✭ exaisle


    I think Carr Communications does this kind of thing...mock interviews etc...


  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ RoebuckWilson


    exaisle wrote: »
    I think Carr Communications does this kind of thing...mock interviews etc...

    Great... I'll look into them. Cheers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,263 ✭✭✭✭ Tom Dunne


    I was asked about research I had done in my masters, which was essentially none, plus what area I would be researching. I was also asked why I wanted to study at this level and what motivates me.

    I didn't have to do a presentation.


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