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PhD FAQs

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Comments

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


    Article in Nature today with advice on choosing a PhD:
    Find the best fit

    Choices for doctoral programmes can seem endless, so look for one that matches your interests and personality.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nj7627-127a


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭✭ finuge


    Hi everyone, I am looking for someone to proof read my PhD before I hand up sections to my supervisors. My PhD is in the Arts/Media area - any recommendations. I am conscious of getting someone who has possibly completed their PhD already?


  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭ bd2012


    finuge wrote: »
    Hi everyone, I am looking for someone to proof read my PhD before I hand up sections to my supervisors. My PhD is in the Arts/Media area - any recommendations. I am conscious of getting someone who has possibly completed their PhD already?

    PhD in English language and literature here. What level of proofreading do you require (just simple spelling/grammar or a more detailed structural analysis)? And what's your budget? Feel free to PM


  • Registered Users Posts: 242 ✭✭ Sklarker


    Hi. I am starting to write a scientific PhD thesis. I was hoping someone could recommend an appropriate guide to grammar and punctuation, etc. For instance should etc. be written as et cetera, be italicized, or italicised even! Also, I'm not sure about things like the use of hyphens in scientific terms, date formats, numerals/letters for numbers etc. There are non-scientific specific thesis guides, general grammar guides and snippets of useful information but no single source that is useful that I can find. I've been told not to worry too much about it but I have read several reports that state that these type of errors irk reviewers more than technical errors.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 piratequeen


    Generally it's fine to follow whatever your preferred style is as long as it's consistent throughout the thesis. Maybe have a look at other theses that have been produced by former PhD students from your group if possible, or ask your supervisor what their preference is.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭✭ turbowolfed


    So, maybe a dumb question. I'm in an MA History right now looking to go on to a phd. I've seen a few funding options but was wondering is it actually likely i would get funding or do most people end up paying out of their own pocket? Because if so that would unfortunately rule out a phd for me at this time


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,880 ✭✭✭ sReq | uTeK


    It's probably been asked and answered.

    I have just completed an MBA and have a thirst to continue in education part time. The workload whilst intense never really stressed me and I'm sure I could complete a PhD within the 6 year required time.

    My only issue is that I'd like to do one with minimal (if any) class time/modules lectures required. Work and Life have ramped up and I feel I would struggle to fit classes in between. If classes are mandatory then I would still like to do one but perhaps in a year or two.

    Many thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,613 ✭✭✭ SmallTeapot


    It's probably been asked and answered.

    I have just completed an MBA and have a thirst to continue in education part time. The workload whilst intense never really stressed me and I'm sure I could complete a PhD within the 6 year required time.

    My only issue is that I'd like to do one with minimal (if any) class time/modules lectures required. Work and Life have ramped up and I feel I would struggle to fit classes in between. If classes are mandatory then I would still like to do one but perhaps in a year or two.

    Many thanks.

    It depends on your programme and discipline - in Irish universities (I'm not very familiar with the protocols for IT's), some faculties within universities insist on a structured programme (which has graduate classes and most likely a portfolio of some sort, which details your ongoing academic development - engaging in workshops/ seminars/ conferences, etc). Comparatively, other faculties within Irish universities offer either structured or 'traditional' (purely research) programmes. I did the traditional route (full-time) but I know more and more disciplines (usually directed by the faculty they fit under) are moving towards structured programmes...... which by default are usually minimum 4 years full-time (I'm not too sure what the minimum length is for part-time structured PhD programmes).

    So, classes are not always required or enforced..... it's very much dependent upon discipline/faculty/ university you are applying to.......


    Another thing to consider also, is funding. Will you be self-funding or seeking funding to cover fees? Also, some disciplines require their doctoral students to contribute to teaching in the department - in the form of tutorials/ labs demonstrating, etc. - so this may need to be factored in to your 9-5 schedule for the academic year..... if you are considering the part-time PhD route.

    Best of luck with your choice :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭ GalwayGrrrrrl


    A lot of Irish universities will allow you to do a research PhD part time over 6 years (no lessons or contact hours).However I haven’t found any that will fund this - all Irish funding seems to be for full time students only, and you are not supposed to work during the funded period apart from taking tutorials at the college.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,880 ✭✭✭ sReq | uTeK


    A lot of Irish universities will allow you to do a research PhD part time over 6 years (no lessons or contact hours).However I haven’t found any that will fund this - all Irish funding seems to be for full time students only, and you are not supposed to work during the funded period apart from taking tutorials at the college.

    I'm not too worried about the funding, I have a decent job and would be happy to complete this over a 6 year period. I'm not in any rush but have a real enthusiasm for my topic area. It's something I'm always reading and researching so I figure I may as well get something out of it.

    I'll contact UCD/Trinity/DCU and ask them how their PHD's programmes work and if there is any room for a research PHD rather than a structured.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,880 ✭✭✭ sReq | uTeK


    It depends on your programme and discipline - in Irish universities (I'm not very familiar with the protocols for IT's), some faculties within universities insist on a structured programme (which has graduate classes and most likely a portfolio of some sort, which details your ongoing academic development - engaging in workshops/ seminars/ conferences, etc). Comparatively, other faculties within Irish universities offer either structured or 'traditional' (purely research) programmes. I did the traditional route (full-time) but I know more and more disciplines (usually directed by the faculty they fit under) are moving towards structured programmes...... which by default are usually minimum 4 years full-time (I'm not too sure what the minimum length is for part-time structured PhD programmes).

    So, classes are not always required or enforced..... it's very much dependent upon discipline/faculty/ university you are applying to.......


    Another thing to consider also, is funding. Will you be self-funding or seeking funding to cover fees? Also, some disciplines require their doctoral students to contribute to teaching in the department - in the form of tutorials/ labs demonstrating, etc. - so this may need to be factored in to your 9-5 schedule for the academic year..... if you are considering the part-time PhD route.

    Best of luck with your choice :)

    Thank you for the detailed response.


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


    I'm not too worried about the funding, I have a decent job and would be happy to complete this over a 6 year period. I'm not in any rush but have a real enthusiasm for my topic area. It's something I'm always reading and researching so I figure I may as well get something out of it.

    I'll contact UCD/Trinity/DCU and ask them how their PHD's programmes work and if there is any room for a research PHD rather than a structured.


    Browse the staff directory on the respective institutions website - they usually have a line on "looking to supervise PhDs in the area of X".


  • Registered Users Posts: 287 ✭✭ kob29


    Im in the last year of a part time doc...finding it a struggle to gain momentum to write up. Going round in circles, procrastinating etc...but running out of time.
    I'm basically looking for the likes of a life coach that has experience in coaching postgrads. I'm not looking for another supervisor. I've seen this kinda service online in the states but im looking for something here.
    Anyone have any ideas?


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


    kob29 wrote: »
    Im in the last year of a part time doc...finding it a struggle to gain momentum to write up. Going round in circles, procrastinating etc...but running out of time.
    I'm basically looking for the likes of a life coach that has experience in coaching postgrads. I'm not looking for another supervisor. I've seen this kinda service online in the states but im looking for something here.
    Anyone have any ideas?

    No ideas on a service, but have you thought about doing out a plan? Routine is key - schedule certain times to get measurable outputs complete and you will see progress. Even if it means writing 250 words of rubbish, it is a start and you can build on that.

    If you have a submission date (or as was my case doing mine part-time, I got to pick my own submission date), work back from that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,613 ✭✭✭ SmallTeapot


    kob29 wrote: »
    Im in the last year of a part time doc...finding it a struggle to gain momentum to write up. Going round in circles, procrastinating etc...but running out of time.
    I'm basically looking for the likes of a life coach that has experience in coaching postgrads. I'm not looking for another supervisor. I've seen this kinda service online in the states but im looking for something here.
    Anyone have any ideas?
    Tom Dunne wrote: »
    No ideas on a service, but have you thought about doing out a plan? Routine is key - schedule certain times to get measurable outputs complete and you will see progress. Even if it means writing 250 words of rubbish, it is a start and you can build on that.

    If you have a submission date (or as was my case doing mine part-time, I got to pick my own submission date), work back from that.

    My PhD was in a healthcare discipline and involved data collection with clinical populations; I completed it on a full time basis.

    I echo what Tom Dunne said, setting a plan is crucial. While I didn’t find the process of writing ‘X amount of words per day‘ compatible with the way I write and work, devising a plan in the first instance was very helpful. A plan keeps you on track.

    My PhD plan was as follows: I first devised an outline for how I wanted the finished thesis to look - as a means of determining what content aligned with each chapter. I then wrote a brief but concise summary under each chapter heading, detailing how many sections each chapter would contain and what each section would in turn focus on. This skeleton plan allowed me to set deadlines for each section/ chapter across time. Some were personal deadlines, while others were major deadlines, wherein I would forward the completed chapters for review to my supervisors.

    What is your discipline, kob29? Did your project involve data collection or experiments? And if so, are all these aspects of your project complete and only the write-up remains? Have you discussed your plans for submission with your supervisors and detailed what your writing milestones should be for this journey?

    I have never come across a ‘life coach‘ who works with postgraduates to finish theses... Thats certainly a new concept for me. :cool:

    Best of luck on your write-up journey :)


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


    I have never come across a ‘life coach‘ who works with postgraduates to finish theses... Thats certainly a new concept for me.

    They are called supervisors. :pac:


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