How to Survive your Doctorate

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-09-01
  • Publisher: Open University Press
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The aim of this book is to present student perspectives (via case studies) on doing a Ph.D. and thus give potential or current Ph.D. candidates an insight into 'real life'. Most of the literature in the area focuses on academic models of learning and gives clinical advice on how to achieve the 'content' of a Ph.D. However, a doctoral degree requires many additional skills. This is a light-hearted approach which looks at the everyday interpersonal, social and environmental issues associated with doing a PhD from application through to graduation.

Author Biography

Jane Matthiesen is Lecturer in Strategic Management at Aston Business School in Birmingham, UK. She received her doctorate from Aston University in October 2005.

Mario Binder is a Project Manager at an international management consultancy in Berlin, Germany. He also holds a Visiting Research Fellowship at Aston Business School, where he received his PhD in March 2007.

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. xi
List of tablesp. xii
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Who is this book for?p. 2
Why choose this book?p. 2
How to read and use the bookp. 4
Who we are: the authorsp. 6
Getting startedp. 7
The nature of a doctoral degree: mind the gap!p. 8
Make a contribution, do not reinvent the wheelp. 9
Doing research is like doing a puzzlep. 9
Determination beats brilliancep. 10
Academia is not (always) an ivory towerp. 11
A doctorate is different to a Master's degreep. 11
Advantages and disadvantages of doing a doctoratep. 12
Concluding notep. 13
The application processp. 14
Selecting a university and departmentp. 16
Selecting a supervisorp. 20
Writing a research proposalp. 24
Preparing and submitting your documentsp. 25
Entering the academic communityp. 27
Registrationp. 27
The doctoratep. 28
Managing the selfp. 31
Make sure your basic needs are met firstp. 32
Physical/financialp. 33
Social/relationalp. 35
Emotional/psychologicalp. 37
Figure out how you learn best and what motivates youp. 38
Common demotivators and potential solutionsp. 39
So many things to do, so little time: the magnitude of the taskp. 39
I don't know what to do: lack of directionp. 41
The same thing all over again: the repetitiveness of the taskp. 46
I'm bored: limited attention spanp. 48
Everything else is more fun: never-ending distractionsp. 49
I'm afraid to fail: big shadowsp. 51
Keeping sight of the end goalp. 52
Dealing with your supervisorp. 54
The nature of supervisionp. 55
Differing aims and expectations of doctoral students and supervisorsp. 56
Developing a relationship with your supervisorp. 58
Communication is the keyp. 59
Coping with different supervisor stylesp. 61
Dealing with the perfect supervisorp. 63
Dealing with the supportive supervisorp. 63
Dealing with the idealistic supervisorp. 64
Dealing with the inexperienced supervisorp. 64
Dealing with the ignorant supervisorp. 65
Dealing with the absent supervisorp. 67
Dealing with the awkward supervisorp. 68
Dealing with the demanding supervisorp. 69
Dealing with the selfish supervisorp. 70
Dealing with the arrogant supervisorp. 71
Dealing with the friendly supervisorp. 72
Changing supervisor(s) and/or universityp. 73
Being supervised by a committee of supervisorsp. 78
Sidelines of a doctoratep. 82
Publicationsp. 83
'Publish or perish'p. 84
Types of publication outletp. 85
Decisions involved in publishingp. 88
The publication processp. 93
Conferencesp. 96
Going to conferences: decisions and stepsp. 96
Key messagesp. 99
Teachingp. 100
Networkingp. 101
Types of contactp. 102
Building and maintaining relationshipsp. 103
Professional developmentp. 105
Opportunitiesp. 105
Accessp. 106
Balancep. 106
Exchangesp. 107
Financesp. 109
Scholarships and bursariesp. 110
Scholarships, bursaries and grants: the basicsp. 111
University and departmental fundingp. 112
Public bodies and institutionsp. 113
Private organizationsp. 118
Self-fundingp. 119
Teaching/research assistantshipsp. 119
Part-time workp. 122
UK employment and international studentsp. 124
Own resourcesp. 125
Politicsp. 126
University structuresp. 127
The generic university structurep. 127
Staff structurep. 128
Why politics happenp. 129
Early warning signsp. 130
Avoiding messy situationsp. 132
What to do once you are caught up in politicsp. 133
Escalating and withdrawingp. 133
Seeking support and allyingp. 135
Compromises and alternativesp. 136
Negotiate and fightp. 137
Using the political game to your advantagep. 139
Bluffingp. 140
Undercutting othersp. 140
Hold out for better offers: negotiation tacticsp. 140
So-what's the verdict?p. 141
Alternative routes to a doctoratep. 142
Part-time, distance learning and mature doctoratesp. 143
Overseas and international doctoratesp. 147
Executive or professional doctoratesp. 150
Doctorate by publicationp. 153
Career paths and strategiesp. 156
The academic careerp. 157
Fellowshipsp. 157
Lectureshipsp. 161
Doctoral strategies for an academic careerp. 164
The industrial careerp. 165
Company employmentp. 166
Consultancyp. 167
Government institutions and non-profit organizationsp. 170
Doctoral strategies for an industrial careerp. 171
The hybrid careerp. 172
Doctoral strategies for a hybrid careerp. 173
The undecided careerp. 173
Doctoral strategies for an undecided careerp. 174
Active career developmentp. 175
Being aware of stereotypesp. 176
Getting out: the viva and beyondp. 178
The viva vocep. 179
What is a viva and what does it look like?p. 179
Selecting and appointing the examinersp. 183
Preparing for the vivap. 184
Conduct during the vivap. 185
The post-viva periodp. 185
Leaving earlyp. 186
Life after the doctoratep. 191
Interaction with former colleagues and supervisorsp. 191
Letting go and moving onp. 192
Referencesp. 193
Indexp. 197
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