We're a little crazy, about science!

The dissertation proposal timeline

Now we wait… There’s a lot of things up in the air at the moment, but right now school-PI is reviewing my proposed plan for my dissertation and the timeline I gave to get it all done. There’s a lot of “ifs” involved with this and I’m not sure what constitutes as “enough” for a PhD. Thankfully I know the funding I was awarded is more than I need to do so I have an extreme upper limit to the work (or what I hope is an extreme upper limit).

I picked one hell of a time in human history to get involved in human research. The pandemic has slowed everything down and now the rate of infection is increasing and no one seems to care. Humans, in the general sense, have always been horrible at risk assessment, so not super surprised I guess. Anyway, my proposal should’ve happened a while ago, but because of the pandemic it’s been almost a year since school-PI first suggested I do my proposal defense.

My goal was always five years to do the PhD thing. I feel like I rushed my Masters and while I am okay with that, I wanted to take the time to learn some skills while doing my PhD. Now it feels like I’m behind so I really want to finish this in one more year and not drag it out to six or more years. The school gives me ten years to finish and some people do get pretty close to that mark, I don’t want that for myself though, so I need to get things moving.

Currently with the IRB in review and school-PI giving me the green light to do my proposal defense, the only major hold ups are that I need to write a formal proposal, which will be 5-6 pages with citations, etc. and I need to get the scope of my project laid out. Technically that order is reversed so scope than writing makes the most sense.

A few days ago I sent school-PI both a one-page proposal and a timeline for getting the proposed work done. I feel like I’ve talked about this in a previous post, but I couldn’t find it and I felt like talking about it more so here we are. Once I hear back that the work is enough or I need to adjust it, I will work on my formal proposal and reach out to my committee to secure a time and day for my proposal defense.

Things will (hopefully) move quickly after that with data collection starting pretty much right away and once I have the dataset the only thing keeping me from graduating is a lot of writing and a lot of data analysis. Since the experiments will consist of two parts, there will be a follow up closer to the end of the year, assuming COVID hasn’t wiped the floor with all of us. If that happens I may need to adjust the scope of my work once again and I know from others who’ve had to do this that it won’t be an issue.

Right now I’m stuck in a holding pattern at the moment because I can’t do anything until the IRB is approved and I do my proposal defense. Technically I can do my defense before the IRB approval goes though so I may do that since time is not on my side. In fact, this year of posts may be shorter and not as ‘teach-y” as last years because my teaching posts take a lot of time, effort, and planning. Just writing like this takes a certain amount of time and while I find it calming, I also need to dedicate time to write my dissertation. I’m not sure, but I’ll know more as soon as I hear back from school-PI about my proposed scope of work.

I expect to be hearing back any day now from him (probably sometime this weekend) so I will be excitedly announcing that no matter what he tells me. Did I mention I really want to graduate this next school year? Because I really want to graduate this next school year.

2 responses

  1. My impression from reading through the blog archives was that you kept thinking the dissertation proposal was right around the corner … and then it wasn’t. I’m glad you’re finally able to get it under way. (Submitting the IRB sounds like substantive progress, so I assume you won’t be disappointed this time!)

    Liked by 1 person

    January 13, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    • Yes, it was right around the corner and school-PI kept pushing me to do it, then for some unknown reason he completely changed his mind. Which is why I have been detoured for the past year. This time will be different though (I say that like I REALLY believe it, haha).

      Liked by 1 person

      January 15, 2022 at 12:26 pm

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