Updates from September, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • tom2331 6:15 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to find research conferences to attend? 

    Hi. I’m a PhD student of Stanford university having epidemiological and behavioral studies as my research area. I need to present my research paper in any conference within the two months. But I don’t know where and how would I find the information about the upcoming conferences and proceedings at various institutes? I keep on searching for it online but only get the handful of those and that too turns out to be fake. Tell me please what should I do?

    • Mitchel 2:18 am on September 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Well, check out http://www.phdevents.org. On this website, you’ll find all the recent events happening/occurring nearby and updates about different universities. This will save time and you will get to know different events under one roof.

    • Hannah 6:17 am on September 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Okay, so that sounds like a serious problem. You can subscribe to the newsletter of various universities. They will keep you updated with the upcoming events/conferences occurring in a year or in a particular month. This will definitely solve your problem.

  • Samayra 1:07 am on September 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to mentor research students? 

    Hi. I am neither a PhD nor Masters student but a PhD graduate so I don’t know if I should really be posting my query here or not. I’m a newbie to the research supervision at Cornell university where I’m given the responsibility of guiding two Masters’ students from my research area only. Because I do not have any prior experience of handling research students, I’m not confident if I would be able to answer their queries, helping out with the research process, and evaluating theses. I’ve fixed the meeting with them next week but I don’t know what shall I do, how to begin, nothing at all. University has given me a handbook of supervision of graduate students, but there is a lot of difference in reading and implementing those advices in real life. I’m anxious how to get started. Any suggestions please?

    • Caroline 10:20 am on September 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As a PhD student, I am writing this answer. I hope it would help you out. I have observed my supervisor guiding me. Usually, supervisors tend to become lax and indifferent. But, mine is super passionate about research in Biomedical Sciences. All thanks to him, my research is going on successfully. So, primarily, keep tabs on your student’s’ progress. Initially, you can give them few small projects to be finished within a given time period. You need to encourage them that they should treat their Phd like any other 9 to 5 job. They should carry on with utmost diligence and commitment if they wish to make significant progress. Secondly, you can ask them to attend various national and international conferences or group seminars so that their presentation skills get honed.

    • Anna Hughes 5:18 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hey! first of all, I’d wish you luck. You are right in assuming that this forum is slightly unsuitable for this question. But, fortunately you will get a first hand advice from a fellow supervisor. I currently teach at the Indiana Wesleyan University and very often supervise PhD students researching on Nursing and Public Health. I usually visit this forum 3-4 times a week so that I can get an insight into PhD students’ problems. What I have learned from my experience is that constant communication is what a PhD student craves for the most. Make sure, you provide constant support to your students. During the first year, they would be dependent upon you largely. You should not discourage that. However, after a year you should let them become independent researchers. Apart from that, for channelising their research in the right direction you can have a lot of activities like regular reading sessions where you could read published PhD dissertations. In this way, your students will get acquainted to various academic writing styles at an early stage. Also, during the third year you can make these students train the newcomers. It will enhance their knowledge and inculcate professionalism into them.

    • Lauren 9:12 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Give a little introductory task in the initial year with a particular deadline. This will help you in detecting issues and coming up with solutions to help the students understand their area of weakness. Ensure supervisee know about the professional guidelines of published work by suggesting them to read good PhD dissertation and frequently perform review literature and organising reading groups. Hope you do well in the orientation program.

    • Ryan 10:11 am on September 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You can guide them by citing examples of your own experiences you faced during your PhD graduation phase. For example, make them aware about the common mistakes committed by a masters or a PhD candidate. Make your students comfortable, so that they do not hesitate in asking questions. Best of luck

  • wilson349 1:41 am on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Inadequate Supervision! Need Help! 

    Hi guys! I am pursuing my PhD in management and my research is based on novice entrepreneurs.
    Initially, I was highly passionate about my research, but now I am loosing interest in it. The reason being
    that I’m experiencing inadequate support from my supervisors. During the past one year, my supervisor
    has been changed for the third time. The first one got retired, the second one has migrated to some
    European university and the third one is unfortunately hard – to – catch. He was assigned to me two
    months back and I have hardly seen him once, that too at the time of introduction. It was a short
    introduction of merely 5 – 10 mins. I am constantly trying to reach him through emails, phone calls and
    even Whatsapp. But, he never reverts back. I am getting demotivated day by day. I have started to think of
    dropping my PhD. What do I do? Please help! I am unable to decide.

    • Tony 6:08 am on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. In my opinion, you should not drop your PhD due to the negligence from the university’s part. In fact, if your advisor doesn’t turn up, you can always report it to the authorities. The board of graduate studies of every university has the power to look into the matter like why he is not responding to you.Unless there are some issues which cannot be resolved by you and your advisor yourself, then they have to help you out. I mean, they have changed your supervisors because it’s the university’s responsibility to make the assistance available to you. Go through your university’s website or your head of faculty. I’m sure you will figure out how to deal with your supervisor rather giving up on your PhD.

    • Laura Betcher 5:11 am on September 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do not deny the fact that you are in dire need of research supervision but when things just don’t go the way it should be, you should get your own ways. One of the students like you shared his/her instance of bad supervision in this blog post. https://thesiswhisperer.com/2014/08/27/when-good-supervisors-go-bad/ .Go through it as well as the comments along. There are plenty of advice; perhaps a single one can work in your case.

    • Caroline 6:10 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t lose hope, because this is not the end. You may face even more difficulties in your life in future. Infact, this is just a beginning. In my opinion, try out help from online tutor. http://www.dissertationtutors.co.uk, you can take consultation from them. They provide the best PhD assistance right from research proposal to the conclusion. Go through their website, I’m confident that you’ll figure out a way to deal with your research instead of giving up on your PhD.

    • Ryan 11:10 am on September 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This behaviour towards your research at this stage is natural. Since you are not getting the right guidance from your university and especially from your guide. I would support your idea of discontinuing your research. And focus on something else, or change your topic selection and opt for different guide. I know it may sound negative, but i guess this is the only option left with you. Anyway, I wish you all the luck and best wishes.

  • Samayra 11:44 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to write PhD CV? 

    Hi all. I’m a PhD student of Teaching English to Speakers of other languages (TESOL) and this year, I will graduate. Currently, I have started searching for a job of research assistant in any industry or institute. But before I approach one, I must have an influential cv which I have no idea how to prepare. Are there any formatting guidelines or something to write PhD cv? Do I need to give reference to my published research work? If yes, then how? Please advise.

    • joseph664 11:25 am on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What actually happens is that whosoever receives your CV would skim through it. They don’t actually read it word by word. So, make sure all your strong points are highlighted. It should sufficiently draw attention. One of my friends who is M.A. in French used to put the URL of her website on top of the CV. Her website was professionally designed and developed and worked as an interactive CV. She even had a separate blog section with huge number of followers. This was highly appreciated by her hiring managers. If you too have a professionally built website of your own, then you can definitely take advantage. Here is a link https://www.360websitedesign.in/. These guys can help you with developing a website if you don’t have it and are interested in having one.

    • sierra4328 11:30 am on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I really don't know much, but one thing I can be sure of that at this stage of your career, your CV has become an official representation of your qualifications. So, keep it formal. No need to add any extra – co -curricular activities into it. That would be considered irrelevant. If you want, do precisely mention your accomplishments in the area of your research. If there is a specific area of research which you are interested in, do mention that. As far as your published works are concerned, you should mention that. They would increase your worth exponentially. Even if you have co-authored some work, you should mention it. Don't forget – You sell yourself
      (your skills) through a CV. So, anything which increases your merit and make you stand apart from others, should be included.

    • Cynthia 3:59 am on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      A curriculum vitae reflects the achievements and developments in a student’s career, and therefore should be prepared with precision. When you are applying for a job, make sure your cv is updated and error free. Since you do not have any idea about how to prepare an influential cv, i will guide you in that. First of all, your cv should include your name and contact information(phone number and email address), your academic and related employment information(especially teaching, editorial), your published research work(research projects, conference papers and publications), your community service. You can also include reference list on a separate page or as part of you cv. These are some of the points you have to work upon because they an essential part of you cv. In the end, make sure your cv is impressive and appealing.

    • Jessica 7:04 am on September 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings from my side. To prepare an effective CV, one of the most important points to remember is that there is no standard format. A decent CV is one that underscores the points that are considered to be most critical in your discipline and fits in with the standard protocol within your discipline. Make sure you highlight your strongest points on the top. For example, do mention about you published research work, about your accomplishments and achievements. Highlighting these points will give you an edge, since you have enough knowledge about it. It will be easy to prepare for the interview for those area of subjects in which you have done research. I hope i was able to answer your query and all the best.

  • yenohsha 9:33 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Should I disclose respondent’s company name? 

    Hi, my school wants me to attach the list of the respondent’s company name, but i am hesitating because i told them that it is againts the research ethics. Before i conduct survey, i wrote them that it will be confidential and anonymous and that i willl not gather company names and email. Please tell me what should i do?

    • Tony 12:23 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      If your respondents are not comfortable in disclosing their organisations’ names, then you just cannot share either this or any sort of information with your committee. As per the ethical rules, I guess you must have sent a ‘consent to participate’ form to all of your respondents, which ensures that the information shared by each of them will be kept confidential. If the names are disclosed then that will raise an ethical issue, which is also not acceptable. Try to convince your school or the authority that it must be kept confidential, you may also show that consent form (if already signed by the respondents )to them in justification.

  • lucas446 8:39 am on December 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    How can I formulate my research objective? 

    Hey everyone. I am pursuing my PhD and stuck in the very beginning. I am finding it quite challenging to write research objectives. I very well know about what I am going to research and what are the problems of my research but the real struggle comes with the writing. How should I write various objectives of my research?

    • danny54460 1:43 am on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You are quite right in the context of research objectives. It is sometimes difficult to write what you already know. I suggest you to provide accurate description of the specific actions you will take in order to reach this aim.

    • kelly2368 7:46 am on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You remind me of my own PhD days. From my experience I can tell you that it is not as difficult to formulate research objective as it looks. You can start with making a draft of your research objectives and then formulate sentences for each one of them.

    • addison2017 9:24 am on December 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Use action verbs such as to identify, establish, describe, assess, determine, estimate, develop, compare, analyse, collect.

    • Alisa Louis 9:28 am on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The objectives should cover different aspects of the problem and its contributing factors in a coherent way.

    • Molly 9:31 am on December 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You can always consult your supervisors. Do not hesitate because writing the research objective is an important part of your thesis and should be well written.

  • minttyt 6:11 am on April 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Fake Survey! 

    I had to distribute 200 questionnaires to collect the data but I am lagging far behind. Can I fill the excel sheet of data myself? That would be like too easy and make my life simple. But I am afraid of the risks associated with this unethical way. Has anyone done something like this before and didn’t get caught?

    • sophiaw740 7:41 am on April 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I am no one to judge, but that is so not ethical. Anyway, people do that all the time, though I don’t know if they got caught or not.

    • dolliejgandy 11:20 am on May 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Yes you can do that, my friend faked it too. In fact he didn’t even fill out the questionnaires, just developed a fake excel sheet. There were 200 quantitative questionnaires to be distributed. He just filled out the excel sheet with the fake responses (in 1s and 2s…etc.). Then he gave the sheet to the statistician and got the analysis done. As simple as that. And the shocking thing is that nobody asked for his filled questionnaire. So, the thing about fake survey is that if someone runs a background check, you are gonna be in deep trouble and if no one gives a damn, then that’s freaking awesome!

    • minttyt 9:14 am on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I think I can go with this idea but what if I am asked for the filled questionnaires?

    • dolliejgandy 11:58 am on May 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Then you’re gonna have to show them the dummy questionnaire, which is next to impossible as you’ll have to match your results to what you have to fill. But you can do that, or just fill your questionnaire before, and then run the analysis. That will be easy.

    • tappedward 11:48 am on June 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Tell your friends to fill up your questionnaire according to the results you want and just lay-back. Easy-peasy!

    • alexoliphaant 11:59 am on June 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Minty! I‘ll suggest you not to fake all the 200 questionnaire. Instead you can develop an online questionnaire and post it on Survey Monkey https://www.surveymonkey.com/

      Through this website you will be able to create a genuine questionnaire and you will not require to fake your data.

    • tedg8 10:44 am on June 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Pass on your questionnaires to your relatives, friends or friends’ friends. Ask them to fill it with different pens with different handwriting styles. That way it won’t look that fake. And yeah, the questionnaires may be fake but do run a real analysis!

    • sharonbaneey1 5:34 am on July 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Faking surveys is not uncommon now, reason being the-lack-of-time or financial constraints. If you type on Google, you’d find several options for faking a survey. I haven’t tried an online tool for that matter, but I have used “Fake Name Generator” (fakenamegenerator.com). See, this online tool generates fake names with fake addresses of people. So, you can take its help for filling the demographic profiles for your survey.

  • Dr S Loretti 4:42 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    5 mistakes PhD students make and ways to avoid them 

    When you initially start your PhD, you might have a certain mindset. Not all students make mistakes, but if you are doing one of the following, you’re probably going in the wrong direction.

    1. Starting with writing right away!
    Before you actually get down to writing your research, it is better that you perform some writing exercises. after all, writing a research is no cake walk! To start with, write a journal paper or blog away your thoughts.
    2. Seminars are boring?
    Don’t be too busy to attend seminars. There are experienced academicians and professionals out there whose advice comes in handy at most instances. Take time out to listen to these people.
    3. Not making your way to the library
    Now this is a terrible one!PhD demands you to read and explore. There is no better place than a library to start your research. Also, following blogs and forums will also do you good. Check out academic blogs where researchers share their experiences and insights.
    4.Not following procedures
    Believe it or not, procedures and policies are there to help you! complete all mandatory requirements and paperwork and leave nothing unattended.
    5. Keeping away from technology?
    If you think technology is not capable of lending you a hand in your PhD, you are seriously mistaken! Scholarly technology is more like a savior for PhD students. Use social bookmarking sites and software like evernote, mendeley, or a writing software like Scrivener. Social media is also a good research tool if you use it wisely.

    Write to us if you have any issues or wish to discuss your experiences!

    • kelley 5:47 pm on March 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i agree that technology is a helpful tool. Moreover it saves a lot of time which otherwise you would have to devote by just sitting and reading the printed material. Now you have an access to a number of sources. its easy to manage things well. software like SPSS are quite helpful in giving you a flawless data analysis for obtaining results. But you cannot totally depend on technology. your own efforts always count.

    • David 5:44 am on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i think blog writing is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Follow some good bloggers to get an inspiration for crisp writing. blogging is both formal an informal means of presenting your views to public. you can accumulate a number of ideas which can help you manage your content well.

  • Michael 7:09 am on October 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Why do we need to do a Research? 

    A lot of daily activities we do, are either based on common sense or we do the just because we have to or just because we have been told so. But, sometimes common sense is not enough; we have to apply theories and look for facts hidden behind things and to get into that process we have to ‘research’. Because that might just work in one condition and can fail badly in the others or when combined with some other situations. Common sense approaches may overlook the impact of external factors which may contribute to what is observed. Even in the domain of healthcare, there are gaps in knowledge, theories about how something might work better and ideas for improvement.

    • Gilbert 4:14 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i completely agree, there is always scope for improvement. What is important is that we get out of our comfort zone and look for areas that need to be explored. Researchers at times tend to study areas that have already been investigated primarily for the sake of convenience. This tendency however will not add to the academic pool. We as researchers, must aim to contribute to the existing knowledge. Find areas where relationships are still vague and where variables still need definition. Only then do we fulfil the true purpose of a research.

  • Michael 7:09 am on September 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Some common mistakes in reporting style 

    1. Verbs
    2. Tenses and grammar
    3. No proofreading!
    4. Unnecessary background and highlights
    5. Spellings and typos
    6. Inaccurate quotes, phrases or words
    7. Over simplification. Sometimes use of jargons or technical words is necessary.
    8. Superficiality i.e., Re-writing something in a different way
    9. Anthromorphism. Being short of words or the exact terms and using loads of words to explain things.
    10. Other common mistakes and reporting of results
    11. Not understanding the significance of ‘significance’. Yes, it is really important to tell about the significance of doing a research in the particular topic because if you will fail to convey that to the evaluators they will probably have no interest in reading further.

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