Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Conf Doc!

Last week I submitted my confirmation document, or ‘conf doc’ as we say in the business. It was daunting and I’m glad it’s over. The thing is, you’re not actually a ‘PhD Candidate’ until you have been ‘confirmed’. (Until recently, I assumed the PhD confirmation process was just like the catholic one.)

So I’m still a lowly ‘Provisional PhD Candidate’ until I’m told otherwise. To become a PhD Candidate I need to submit my conf doc to a small group of academics (my readers) who will decide my fate: Am I on track to producing research worthy of the Dr. title? Do I need a few more months and a bit more guidance? Or maybe I’m just not cut out for a PhD.

The conf doc is ten pages with a few sections:
  • Proposal (i.e. “What are you gonna do?”)
  • Literature Review (i.e. “Surely someone has done it before?”) 
  • Feasibility (i.e. “Is this even possible?”)
  • Importance (i.e. “Will anyone care?”)
  • Funding (i.e. “Don’t ask for more money.”)
  • Timeline (i.e. “How long will all this take?”)
  • Work Completed (i.e. “What the hell have you been doing for the past 12 months!?”)
So after all this I’ll be confirmed right? Unfortunately not. I now have to turn this document into an hour long seminar for my readers, other academics, PhD students, and guests from other universities. As if that weren’t enough, the audience will then leave the room and I’ll be interviewed.

I present in two weeks on Thursday 3rd June at 12pm 2.30pm (Sir Llew Edwards Bldg 14 Room 115) and you’re welcome to come along. Or you can wait for my next post when I’ll reveal whether or not I’ve been confirmed... 

Matt Thompson

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