Week 40: I Passed My Probation

This week, I passed my probation review!

I am now feeling a bit more relaxed. It was so nice that my supervisor announced that I had passed, and my colleagues congratulated me!

The review meeting was more like a discussion from various perspectives, including the views of the external examiner. I mainly discussed my research with the panel, and he asked a few general questions (they were similar to some that were on my list of possible questions) and many specific questions which I had not thought about.

Overall, all the topics in the discussion we had were very helpful, and it was not a problem that I was not able to answer straight away some technical questions which I had not looked at. The panel gave me many suggestions on references and other important aspects of data analysis.

I really thank Luca, because for the last EIGHT days we rehearsed for this meeting, and I was able to be confident on the day!

Now, my advice to any PhD student facing a first-year probation review is to:

  1. Print all your probation documents and read them very carefully, until you know them very well. My eight-month work became a 100-page paper, including a full version of ethics applications. Having the result of your work on paper will definitely give you confidence!
  2. Make sure that you can explain the methodological frameworks you use.
  3. Bring water, pens and a notepad, and during the meeting be ready to receive any feedback from the examiner.

 

I started thinking about my next tasks: fixing and reinforcing the points that the panel emphasised, writing Chapter 2, and completing some training sessions on methodologies. I have also started taking an Italian language course. And my birthday is coming in a week!

 

My goals for Week 41:

  • Map out the prospective participants and the amount of data
  • Expand the outline description of Chapter 2
  • Enjoy my birthday!

 

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