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How to Survive Differentiation at Queen's University Belfast

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Pg Voice

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of How to Survive Differentiation at Queen's University Belfast

Being disrespectful to your Differentiation readers - they will almost certainly provide you with constructive criticism. Take it on board, argue your point, and be flexible and open to change.
Having a negative attitude - getting the opportunity to do a PhD is AMAZING! Appreciate it!
Do not go in unprepared - read through your materials and try to anticipate questions.
Self-plagiarising - do not simply copy your Master's dissertation or plagiarise your own past work.
Do not arrive late. Make sure you are aware of the current trends and findings in your field

Ensure that you know what your topic is about! That sounds daft, but the first question might be, "What's your thesis about?"

Don't be afraid to ask older PhD students in your School for help - they have all been through this process and can tell you about their experiences The do's, do not's and what to expect from differentiation at Queen's University Belfast The 5 steps to Success Prepare Research Present Prepare
Reflect Make sure to prepare for your presentation and practice presenting it
Smile and make eye contact
Remember the names of the academics who are taking your differentiation How To Survive Differentiation Argue (Like a Sponge!) Reflect Some Schools at Queens ask students to do a 5-10 minute presentation Be OK with the fact that a PhD is supposed to be challenging. Stay positive!

Be patient: There is no way to know everything right away, so avoid unnecessary stress

Get networking: Make yourself a research profile, join Academia.edu, go to conferences

Start thinking about presenting at conferences: Get your research profile going Pre-Submission Spend time proofreading your work - nobody likes to see typos or careless mistakes

Check your references are all correct

Be sure to provide a firm outline of where your research is heading - your thesis plan should show your confidence in your PhD Afterwards BE POSITIVE - this is a great opportunity to discuss your work with established academics. Embrace it!

Bring pen and paper so you can jot down any helpful notes (your supervisor is usually in attendance to take detailed notes)

Arrive 5-10 minutes early Before you submit your Differentiation materials On the day of... The Big NO NOs The key to passing !!! Has the student made adequate progress to date?
Developed a clearly defined, coherent and feasible research project that can be completed using the available resources?
Demonstrated the capacity to undertake and complete the research within the required time frame?
Demonstrated written and oral presentation skills appropriate to study at PhD level? Attitude is Everything! Your differentiation panel wants to know that you are enjoying your research and have a passion for the subject Some questions may indicate a gap or point of confusion in your talk. For example, “what is the relationship between X and Y.....?”
Others may be more open, asking you to expand on a particular point or explain something in more detail (open questions). For example, “could you say more about ...?”
Some questions are asked because the listener missed a point or wants to check his/her understanding. For example, “what technique did you propose to use for ...?” Likely questions you will be asked: During the interview, keep the following in mind: Listen attentively; paraphrase the question or ask for it to be repeated if necessary;
Decide whether you are being asked an open question - which gives you the opportunity to expand and elaborate - or a closed one - which requires only restatement or clarification;
Answer honestly and stay within the limits of your knowledge - your audience will know immediately and not be sympathetic if you try to bluff; Maintain control - if necessary by reminding your audience that the project is still in development. For example: “I can't answer that question at this point in the research. I'd hope to have an answer in 6 months’ time...
Be honest in your answers;
Overall, use the differentiation process as a way of getting support and advice to help you throughout the remainder of your studies. The panel may ask you provocative questions - be sure to argue your point! Breathe, Relax and SMILE! Any Questions? How not to conduct differentiation? You'll likely be asked to submit the following to your Differentiation panel (but each School is different!): 1 = Sample of Work
2 = Bibliography 3 = Thesis Plan
4 = Abstract/Summary of thesis Begin by acquiring answers from your supervisory team/School to the following questions:

> How is differentiation organised in this School?
> What should my written report consist of, how long should it be and how should it be structured/formatted?
> Am I required to give an oral presentation and what should it consist of?
> What am I likely to be asked during the interview?
> Who is likely to be on my differentiation panel?
> Does the department have any additional requirements for differentiation? Don't panic!
Differentiation is designed to be a helpful process to give guidance to students and solve any problems early on in the PhD process. Remember to... Guidelines for Reflection Differentiation can be a stressful exam - be good to yourself afterwards - go for a coffee or meet friends. Celebrate being a third of a Dr!
write down any comments or thoughts that you thought were particularly important
Meet with your supervisor to discuss the feedback and suggested changes
A lot of students give themselves a week off after differentiation to reflect and take stock before embarking on the second year.
Visit www.qub.ac.uk/postgraduate
for our Differentiation Guide

Call in to the Postgraduate Student Centre to talk to someone

Ask your supervisor for advice

Email us on pg.centre@qub.ac.uk with any problems Argh! wish I was in Hawaii, not examining this fool! Defend your work! Mary’s boss asked her to clean the lobby and the restroom. She was upset about it because it wasn’t her turn to do these tasks. She had just done it the day before so she was irritated her boss asked her to do it again. She cleaned the lobby quickly, and only wiped the counters in the restroom. She felt it was unfair, so she didn’t clean it properly, and hoped her boss wouldn’t notice. Scenario Embrace the feedback! This is a great opportunity to revise your plan, or take a whole new road to travel down with thesis in hand Scenario Liz loves to keep in touch with her friends. Unfortunately, all her friends are not working this summer and she can't hang out with them! So, instead Liz texts all her friends so they can stay informed. She will stop whatever she is doing at work in order to text her friends. Her boss has started to notice, but has only commented once. "Being Flexible" Feedback is a good thing! "Keep it professional" On your computer, go to
Memozor.com Scroll over the "memory games" box Then scroll over "Memory Games for Adults" Then scroll over "Level 4" Then click on "Face Memory" Now go to
Sporcle.com In the search box, type in "Missing Objects" A list will pop up. Click the second one down: "Memory Game - whats missing?" Read the directions and hit "Play Game" ! You will have a second chance to differentiate.
This process is designed to help you develop your research. Don't panic Your examiner will give you detailed feedback and a list of points you need to address. Be sure to follow these guidelines. Don't be afraid to ask your supervisor or another academic for help - everyone is on your side and wants you to pass The First Annual Progress Review or differentiation is the most significant milestone in the first year of a PhD. This review typically takes place between nine and twelve months after registration on the research programme. What to do if you fail
Differentiation Postgraduate Student Centre Crash Course All you need to do is demonstrate these things: MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE IN THE ROOM FOR PRESENTATIONS!! You're on the road to academic success!! http://www.qub.ac.uk/postgraduate GO HERE: https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/PostgraduateCentre/PostgraduateResearchFundamentals/EarlyStage/GettingYourResearchDegree/FirstReviewDifferentiation/
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