The proposal presentation is supposed to demonstrate to the committee that my research is going on the right track and I’m actually capable of doing the work. Mine took the form of an NIH format grant proposal and a presentation to my committee.
Today I gave my presentation, and my committee saw fit to pass me, so now I can call myself a PhD Candidate!
I’ve taken one of the older but still very capable laptops in my collection and put it to use as my “school” computer. The goal is to have something I can lug around and use for research, number crunching, and my research notebook. Then I don’t have to worry about trying to keep all that stuff in sync if I were to use my work and home desktop computers.
My handwriting can get pretty messy, and even I have a hard time reading my own handwriting sometimes. I decided I wanted to do some kind of electronic lab notebook to keep my research notes, data, bibliography, and whatnot.
A quick Google search returned a few blog posts by people who are already using org-mode for researchlabnotes and writing papers and other research related tasks. Plenty of prior work out there to learn from as I develop my own workflow.
Going into the third year of the program, work demands had reached the point where I could either continue to get all the testing done in a timely fashion and let the research drag along, or continue with the research and end up getting behind on the equipment testing and all the other work. Getting behind on the testing would get me and the hospital in trouble with state regulators, so I decided I needed to shelve my PhD ambitions for the time being.
With all of the required course work behind me (I think), my former supervisor seems to think that with a good project I could get the research and thesis finished in about a year and a half. I still have to get past the qualifier, though.
So far everybody seems to think it’s a good idea and that I should do it.
As I found out last time, this is a big undertaking that I’m not sure I can find the time for. Work demands have only gone up over the past five years, and with three new MUSC centers opening up next year they’re going to go up even more.
I probably wouldn’t even be considering the possibility of going back to the PhD if it wasn’t for Connie throwing her support behind me. Taking on a PhD is basically the same as another full time job (at least), and without her being willing to pick up the things I won’t be able to do once I’m started, restarting the PhD would definitely be a no.
It’s a big decision to make, and there is a lot to think about.