Tag Archives: PhD

Be the mouse

Be the mouse

While in the early stages of writing up my PhD I had a baby and now I find myself simultaneously immersed in academic journals and picture books, lab work and bum-wiping, searching for references and for tiny sun hats. Independently PhDs and babies can take over one’s life. When combined, everything from both of these […] … learn more→

Is the advice you get about your PhD wrong?

Is the advice you get about your PhD wrong?

There is no shortage of voices telling PhD students what they absolutely must do (or not do) to complete their theses and secure jobs afterwards. My experience is that some of the advice thrown at PhD students is inaccurate at best and actively harmful at worst. I ignored a lot of it. Nevertheless, I submitted […] … learn more→

Managing the #phd- keep a reading journal

Managing the #phd- keep a reading journal

Reading is integral to research. Everyone says that, and it’s true. It’s also true that you need to find ways to read, note and keep track of all that reading. This is in part a question of tools and strategies. But tools and strategies are necessary but not sufficient. You need to make sense of […] … learn more→

Doing a copy edit of your thesis

Doing a copy edit of your thesis

There are many lists of skills that can be developed through doctoral studies. Editing rarely appears on these lists. That’s a strange omission, because any half-decent thesis has usually undergone a rigorous editorial process. I speak from experience. My own PhD studies (which I completed in 2009) equipped me with a range of editing skills, […] … learn more→

Find a PhD: how to choose the right doctorate

Find a PhD: how to choose the right doctorate

Take your time A doctorate is for life not just for Christmas, so avoid making rash commitments in the heat of the moment. Don’t rush into it, but if you’ve been thinking about it for some time there is probably more to it than just the desire to be called doctor. The idea of doing […] … learn more→

Are you demoralised by your PhD?

Are you demoralised by your PhD?

As I approach the 3-year mark, I’m the worst person to talk to if you want to do a PhD. I heard an undergraduate student say how she “just loved research”. I replied – “I felt that way too… when I was an undergrad”. Something had changed. I’m no longer that same excited undergrad – […] … learn more→

Part-time PhD students do it better: three unspoken truths

Part-time PhD students do it better: three unspoken truths

Today, I’ve made a resolution. I will no longer use the word “only” when telling people about my PhD, as in “Oh, I’m only part time.” It is a subtle word but it has a connotation that part time is somehow lesser or not as good as full-time (it’s not), that it’s not a big deal (it is), […] … learn more→

Your first 100 days as a PhD student: a checklist

Your first 100 days as a PhD student: a checklist

Know what you are aiming for – read a PhD Make sure that you have read a finished PhD cover to cover and made notes. Ask your supervisor for a recommendation. This example thesis should use similar methods to those you intend to adopt and should be in a similar discipline to your own. The British […] … learn more→

Here’s what you need to know about ‘failure’ before you start your PhD

Here’s what you need to know about ‘failure’ before you start your PhD

I am sure that there are many lists out there along the lines of “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a PhD”. But what I really wish someone had told me about before I embarked on my DPhil (PhD) in history was the concept of failure. Last year, I started a blog on the […] … learn more→

PhD to Start up?

PhD to Start up?

After completing my PhD last year I was set on putting all the recommendations I had made into place. I wanted this research to make a real difference. And out into the world I went. I co-founded a business during my PhD that I started to grow, and was also working in local government in […] … learn more→