Smelling the roses
I had an interesting day at the office (so to speak) today. Today was the day I was scheduled to present and defend my PhD research proposal to the Confirmation Panel at Massey University. After a pleasant 90-minute drive to the campus, I arrived with sufficient time to collect my thoughts over a coffee before meeting with the panel. The presentation seemed to go OK, but the defence was tough going and I struggled to answer a few questions as well as I should have. The Panel identified several rather significant holes in the proposal, most notably around the proposed methodology and the linkage back to the research question. In their view, the proposal was far too ambitious—it described a "lifetime's work". The Panel also asked me to think hard about the type of contribution I hoped to make, because the proposal wasn't 100% clear. So, I have a fair bit of soul searching and critical thinking ahead—to get to grips with some of the Panel's comments and suggestions, prior to reconceptualising (the Panel's word) the proposal over the coming weeks.
Notwithstanding the criticisms, the Panel agreed the research was very worthwhile, and that I was capable. Consequently, they decided to confirm my enrolment, subject to the rework being completed. Yes! The panel's decision means I've achieved a major milestone in my doctoral journey—the status of a fully fledged doctoral candidate! Woo-hoo!
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