The Sassy Scientist – Extending the Extension

The Sassy Scientist – Extending the Extension

Looking towards yet another submission extension, Cameron can see the end of 2020, but not of their thesis:

After how many chapters and papers PhD thesis can be considered as ‘complete’?

Dear Cameron,

What do you mean chapters *and* papers?! In my vast experience examining PhD students, when they finally finish, they have chapters *or* papers (barely!). If you are fortunate to publish during your PhD, you are obliged to dilute and expand every little result and put it into chapters.

Truth is, depends who are you asking. If you are asking your PI, the real answer is: many more. Why pay for a postdoc from hard-won funding when you can keep a PhD student endlessly? If you are asking your institution: a little bit more chapters. Those fees you (or your scholarship) pay are sweet so keep ’em coming. Of course, we wouldn’t want you to linger around for too long as new recruits have to join the pyramid. If you’re asking your funding provider: now. You have all the chapters you need, submit and move on. If you’re asking me, a Sassy External Examiner: you have a chapter too many! Please just send me the introduction, some key figures, and the conclusions and maybe I will review them before our lengthy and thorough viva.

Least, do not forget a thesis is about quality, not quantity. If your stomach turns when you open your code, if you sweat when you think about re-adjusting those subplots one more time, you are probably done and should press that submit button!

Yours truly,
The Sassy Scientist

PS: Done is better than perfect!

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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