QUOTE(Babybird2 @ Sep 16 2009, 02:37 PM)
Have you got any good advice for those of us who are currently struggling?
I'll bite - three years ago last week I'd just finished.
i) Start writing up sooner rather than later. There's a lot of boilerplate background material that is independent on the precise topic chosen within your field.
ii) When writing up, if there is writing up to be done that could be done, aim for 500 words a day. Hypothetically, this might seem like it would encourage you to write any old carp to hit the target, but try it.
iii) Aim to finish in advance, not just on time. It's rare to get a three year period that is completely trouble-free in both your private and professional lives. I was aiming for 2 years 8 months, which slipped to 2 years 11 months by the end, with two deceased relatives and a few weeks of daily hospital visits for another along the way.
iv) Tutor or lab demonstrator work may seem like easy cash, but work out what impact it's having on your working week, and decide how much or any you have time to do - be realistic.
Finally, if you want to stay in academia, unless you've got the means to get by out of your own pocket, think about follow-on funding before
your PhD funding finishes.