Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

What motivated you to pursue a PhD?

Announcements Posted on
Are you at uni? Can you help prospective students with their questions? We're looking for uni forum assistants 19-11-2014
What are your mock exam revision tips?! Share them with our year 10 & 11 students! 19-11-2014
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mary.g)
    fact 3: A PhD does not assure a research career. I know a Dr (his research needed honestly a lot of work to do and he was self-funded) that is sweeping to survive...
    Literally sweeping?

    fact 4: I have met PhD candidates with full-funding with really funny projects
    Such as?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kka25)
    Owh, how I so agree with this =/
    I can't even tell whether I was joking or not. I'm at work now but I can't wait to be back in a library or just in a life without a boss. Sigh.
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sevendaughters)
    I can't even tell whether I was joking or not. I'm at work now but I can't wait to be back in a library or just in a life without a boss. Sigh.
    Doesn't really matter really if you're joking or not, but somehow in someways, I could understand that post really well, especially coming from a person who had worked in the industry before =/ And I hated my boss lol =/
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kka25)
    Literally sweeping?

    Such as?
    Literally sweeping

    A project on the perception of a specific category of people about themselves - professional identity issues, it's fine so far - gathering data from 2 participants with interviews over e-mail.
    This is a MA thesis not a PhD.
    • 6 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kka25)
    Literally sweeping?



    Such as?
    There's the superhero comic guy at UCL http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1493991

    disclaimer - I don't know how he's funded and for all I know it's a totally worthwhile research topic that just sounds a bit funny cos it's not my area.
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mary.g)
    Literally sweeping
    :eek4:

    A project on the perception of a specific category of people about themselves - professional identity issues, it's fine so far - gathering data from 2 participants with interviews over e-mail.
    This is a MA thesis not a PhD.
    :eek4: :eek4:

    That's not enough sample isn't it? :confused: But I heard as well about this kinda research where they only observe one sample only. Rather odd really, or maybe I'm just not familiar with this sort of research :ninja:
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    There's the superhero comic guy at UCL http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1493991

    disclaimer - I don't know how he's funded and for all I know it's a totally worthwhile research topic that just sounds a bit funny cos it's not my area.
    Wow...

    Yeah, I'm not here to judge really. Who knows, he might find something interesting?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Honestly? It seemed like the natural progression from my undergrad and my undergrad project supervisor told me to apply for the studentship he had open. 4 years later I'm trying to get the motivation to finish the bloody thesis!
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by livefires)
    Honestly? It seemed like the natural progression from my undergrad and my undergrad project supervisor told me to apply for the studentship he had open. 4 years later I'm trying to get the motivation to finish the bloody thesis!
    What seems to be the major factor for the low motivation?
    • 6 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kka25)
    Wow...

    Yeah, I'm not here to judge really. Who knows, he might find something interesting?
    You could PM him http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1688078

    ---
    Just found out one of my coursemates is (possibly) starting a PhD with funding...

    afaict, at least in the humanities, it's often about tuning your proposal until it hits some sort of funding. The way my mate describes it makes it sound like he was talking over the proposal and when he got 3 buzzwords into a sentence the head of faculties eyes lit up like a fruit machine.

    Seems we've got a pot with 'community inclusiveness' on it, maybe UCL had a pot labeled 'global terrorism' and a lot of places I guess have 'climate change' these days.

    Probably I'm either preaching to the choir or talking out of my bottom.
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thanks, but I don't even know what to ask lol.

    Just found out one of my coursemates is (possibly) starting a PhD with funding...

    afaict, at least in the humanities, it's often about tuning your proposal until it hits some sort of funding. The way my mate describes it makes it sound like he was talking over the proposal and when he got 3 buzzwords into a sentence the head of faculties eyes lit up like a fruit machine.

    Seems we've got a pot with 'community inclusiveness' on it, maybe UCL had a pot labeled 'global terrorism' and a lot of places I guess have 'climate change' these days.

    Probably I'm either preaching to the choir or talking out of my bottom.
    You might be on to something though.

    But I'm going to read the link you posted. Seems interesting. Wonder what others have to say.
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    x
    Done reading the link.

    Regarding the criticisms from the post, I do know where they are coming from, but as a researcher in the sciences, I wouldn't be too quick to judge the particular PhD student's research; this is why:

    For a scientists to claim that a topic is no more than "unscientific nonsense," or "psuedo-science," writing off an entire area of interest, when neither they nor any other scientist has ever actually studied it scientifically, is an expression of arrogance." ( Source )
    • 6 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kka25)
    Done reading the link.

    Regarding the criticisms from the post, I do know where they are coming from, but as a researcher in the sciences, I wouldn't be too quick to judge the particular PhD student's research; this is why:
    Yeah I'm not trying to encourage snobs to pour scorn on it... but it is, y'know, the sort of thing you expect the daily mail to pick up.

    Sarah Palin made herself look stupid having a pop at the amount of research money being spent on fruit fly genetics ferinstance iirc
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Sarah Palin made herself look stupid having a pop at the amount of research money being spent on fruit fly genetics ferinstance iirc
    Palin can see Russia from her house! :awesome:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by kka25)
    What seems to be the major factor for the low motivation?
    I've got depression and have already decided to get out of the field so I'm having trouble convincing myself that it's something I should finish. From what I've seen though a lot of people struggle with the final push to get the thesis in.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Why does everyone on TSR assume that everyone wants to be rich? :eyeball:
    I can't think of anything I would hate more than being in finance/banking etc. No amount of money could ever make that life worth living for me.


    Either I want to be an academic researcher, or I'd like to research for a think tank, NGO, or for the government. To do any of these things I need to have a PhD.
    Also I want to have a lot of autonomy in my job, and a lot of control over the projects I work in and how they're done. The best way of ensuring this is to become an expert on something.

    Plus I enjoy studying and I'd far rather be paid to research for three years (which I am) than do any normal job. That's three years of studying what I want, being 100% in control of my project, its design, how its done. I have 100% flexibility. I can work whenever I like. If I want to sleep till noon and work at night, nobody stops me from doing that. I can work anywhere I like. And I can work on my own, rather than having to deal with people stress constantly.

    Another important issue is that I want to work in a field that is concerned with making the world a better place and solving important humanitarian issues. Most of the stereotypical high paid jobs do the complete opposite. Academic research isn't always very hands-on, but a large amount of social science research does directly address these issues, and generate the information needed for appropriate policy.

    Once again I don't know why you assume that people think that pay is the most important question in life. The fact that I could be in some other job that pays more really seems rather irrelevant to me since I'd absolutely hate any of those jobs.
    Oh my goodness, this. Every word of this. I'd make enough to get by and be able to live, and that's plenty enough for me giving that I'd be spending my life learning and pushing the boundaries about what's known, and potentially discovering something with widespread benefits to society and humankind.

    Oh, editing to add--this reminds me of a post I saw fairly recently that read, "do something you love for a career, and you'll never have to work a day in your life". Hah~.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by livefires)
    I've got depression and have already decided to get out of the field so I'm having trouble convincing myself that it's something I should finish. From what I've seen though a lot of people struggle with the final push to get the thesis in.
    I dropped mine within the first year. I wouldn't encourage you to do the same though. Every story is different.
    I really like research and I somehow have a feeling of loss, of bereavement.
    However, I remind myself that what I lost is not my belief in my research aims but what I was hoping to find in research-academia that I did not.
    So, I beat depression in the past, like 10 years ago, and I am sure that I will this time too.
    I just get very low when I think of the gap between what I thought a PhD would be and what it was. I still do the thinking of my research but alone... I was alone in my PhD anyway.
    What does your supervisor tell you?
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    for some jobs you need it, more or less.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Suprised to see masochism's not mentioned yet.
    Absolutely. I have never felt as masochistic as I do now, writing my thesis.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mary.g)
    I dropped mine within the first year. I wouldn't encourage you to do the same though. Every story is different.
    I really like research and I somehow have a feeling of loss, of bereavement.
    However, I remind myself that what I lost is not my belief in my research aims but what I was hoping to find in research-academia that I did not.
    So, I beat depression in the past, like 10 years ago, and I am sure that I will this time too.
    I just get very low when I think of the gap between what I thought a PhD would be and what it was. I still do the thinking of my research but alone... I was alone in my PhD anyway.
    What does your supervisor tell you?
    I'm so sorry that your PhD experience was like that, I can think of nothing worse than trying to do it without a good supervisor! I hope that you do beat the depression again.

    I have a very supportive supervisor and he's been very good to me despite many instances of illness over the course of my research but I haven't told him about the latest instance of depression. I literally have 2 weeks worth of writing left before I'll be ready to show him a complete draft of the thesis and he's been away with some of the younger PhD students in the lab. I have to go in tomorrow to sign some documents (thankfully that'll get me up) and I'll update him on my progress then.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: May 13, 2012
New on TSR

A-level mocks revision

Chat about your study tips

Article updates
Useful resources

Articles:

Postgraduate Education Guide

Quick Link:

Unanswered Postgraduate Threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.