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PhD Discussion Forum

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User: awsoci - 12 January 2016 00:58

<part 1>

This is by no means a productive post in any way. I'm just frustrated and needed a bit of rant.

Its been about a year from my PhD, and I feel like I have absolutely nothing to show for it. At least, nothing that hiring committees will care about.

I'm in a good position in that I have a job coordinating a project, and all last year I was lucky to be on a one year teaching/research contract at my PhD university.

However, despite pumping out four publications for under review this year, three of which were solo authored, and have about 4-5 in various stages, nothing yet has come of anything. With two rejects, one major and one minor revision (both of which I'm terrified will just get rejected in the end) and only two 'legit' publications under my belt (and only one that really counts) I just feel like I have achieved f*ck all.

I managed to get some small university grants, but I've been told they don't count, only the external ones do. While I have some technical reports under my belt and some book reviews, as well as some media experience and media articles, I've also been told they don't count. I have heaps of teaching which includes curriculum development and delivery, but again, have been told that it doesn't count for anything.

I've been offered a chance to write a book chapter, and so brought forward an idea to my collaborators to start getting our work out. Shot completely down. I'm rewriting the proposal to something not related to the project, but just feel a bit frustrated because while they keep telling me they are 'supportive' not one is interested in helping me get publications out as an early career researcher, and they bring in politics of where to publish. They have all strong track records and can afford to be picky. I cannot.

User: awsoci - 12 January 2016 00:59

<part 2>

At this rate, at the end of my two year contract (2017) I will not be competitive enough for jobs or fellowships. I know you might think ‘you have two years!’ well no, I have one more year, and then the following year I’ll have to start looking again. Considering how long it’s taken for me to get stuff back, and the 5 year cut off from PhD in being classified as an ‘early-career researcher’ I feel like maybe staying in this role is a waste of time.

I know all the sayings ‘this is academia, this is what you signed up for’ etc etc.

I get that. I think that’s not my frustration, it’s the lack of support really in just trying to get those pubs out.


Cheers thanks for letting me get that off my chest guys.

User: RinaL - 12 January 2016 03:44

Hi there, unlikely that the minor revision publication will be shot down ;). Nobody went through the trouble giving you minor just to say afterwards: "No thanks". Try to get the rejected ones out again as soon as you thought about the attached comments - for us its always going one journal "down" in impact points. ;)

I have no idea about social sciences (guessing from your name), but from a biological science point of view I would be impressed about what you have done. Even if the whole stuff doesn't count for your reviewing board now (which I find nonsense btw) I assume it will help you afterwards with finding the next position.

Good luck and hang in there!

User: TreeofLife - 12 January 2016 09:47

Have you checked out CVs or profiles on researchgate/linkedin of academics at the same stage as you, awsoci? Maybe you're not as far behind others as you think?

User: Hugh - 12 January 2016 10:00

Academia sucks

BUT your major and minor revision will not get rejected - Make all the changes they have suggested and re-submit it.

Minor revision = pretty much accepted paper

User: chickpea - 12 January 2016 10:41

I agree with Hugh that academia sucks - I read these stories and think I'm not even going to go there. However, I also agree that it's worth trying again with other publications for the rejected papers, and the ones with suggested changes have a very good chance of being published. I'm sorry you feel you're getting nowhere - you do have some very impressive experience - academia seems so often to be purely competitive and not nearly supportive or collaborative enough.

User: awsoci - 12 January 2016 21:09

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your kind messages. I think was just having a really bad day on Monday (and also, after all that, to find out that David Bowie died I think just pushed me over the edge :()

I think part of my frustration is when I moved over to this research centre from where I was, so many of the PhD students have publications already in being part of projects (different discipline) whereas as I am qualitative/theoretical sociology (that intermixes with cultural/media studies) I don't have my name on a list of quantitative/health publications post-PhD. So I feel quite unaccomplished in comparison, but have to keep reminding myself that they are based in completely different disciplines.

I managed to get a new book chapter proposal written and sent off so I have my fingers crossed, and will continue to work on shaping up the others.

Cheers :)

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