I have now reached the official end of my second (part-time) year of study towards my PhD and, inspired partly by my end of year PhD report and by @ianrobsons’ blog post, I thought I might make a few comments on my progress.
All in all I think this has been a really successful year. My key successes are:
- I have planned, administered and am starting to analyse data from my first survey. I got a good number of responses and the design process felt thorough
- I have presented my research at two international conferences, and had some really valuable feedback and made some great contacts as a result
- I’ve started on my thesis structure – a very satisfying task to see how it might all look on paper, even if that is likely to change before I submit
I also wanted to reflect on the challenges that I’m facing:
- Research on reward/pay is a huge field and I still don’t feel as though I have a proper grip on it
- I am analysing my survey data using Structural Equation Modelling – a very complicated analysis technique that is easy to get wrong – so I have a lot of work to do to build my knowledge of it
- I have to plan the second and third phases of my data collection, which will include a diary study – I’m on quite a tight timescale and have a lot to do!
- I am covering a lot in my research, so I need to make sure that I keep a clear thread throughout the thesis and not lose my focus!
I have found the blogosphere and twitter invaluable resources so far in my PhD but have been struggling for time to keep up with them of late! I hope this year to get out there a bit more…
I would encourage any PhD students reading this to do the same – I’ve found this a useful activity and I hope in a year’s time my challenges will become successes! If anyone has any comments, particularly about my “challenges”, they would be very welcome.