Reflections on the delivery of internal PhD feedback

You spend hours, sometimes continuous days and months slogging your guts over the thesis. Pouring over thousands of words until “the literature” merges into one continuous pool of nothingness … overwhelmed, exhausted you hand over your labours. Waiting, anxiously for that feedback… and then it comes.

After many discussions with peers it seems that the delivery of the feedback usually presents more of an issue then its content. Sarcastic or condescending tones can be cutting and annihilating to ones already fragile confidence.

While it’s understandable that the underlying process is to assist you in producing “solid” work. The child within asks “can’t it be delivered more kindly?”

On reflection, the biggest barriers to my research have been the style of feedback I received. Don’t get me wrong, feedback providers have been invested in the process – but every now and again I would receive feedback in such a way that I would be left hopeless and demoralised for weeks sometimes months.

This post presents a student perspective. that prompts lecturers to be cautious of how they are feed backing as the impact of their words can sometimes have damaging and long lasting effects.