Tag Archives: PhD

When is it ‘enough’?

When is it ‘enough’?

I have worked exclusively with PhD students for over a decade now. I have clocked up the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell says you need to be an expert, so I hereby declare myself an expert in the problems of research education. One sign that you can genuinely claim the title of ‘expert’ is when you […] … learn more→

‘My PhD won’t be perfect, but it will be good enough’

‘My PhD won’t be perfect, but it will be good enough’

My daughter turned two years old the month that I commenced my PhD. I was excited to be quitting my nine-to-five job to embark on a new adventure exploring an interdisciplinary project about which I was passionate and enthusiastic. I imagined the flexibility that returning to full-time study would afford me. Three years seemed like a […] … learn more→

9 Tips for a fuss free (i.e. survivable) PhD submission

9 Tips for a fuss free (i.e. survivable) PhD submission

A friend of mine asked me for some advice about what to do in the lead up to the PhD submission. While I’m sure every experience is different, I think it’s reasonably safe to say that the following points would be useful for a majority of PhD candidates. Know the administrative requirements for submitting I’m […] … learn more→

Leave a good last impression – the thesis conclusion

Leave a good last impression – the thesis conclusion

Writing the conclusion to the thesis is hard. It’s often done badly. And it’s something that doctoral researchers often get asked to do more work on. Not at all what they/you need. Writing a conclusion is important. The conclusion is that last thing that the examiner reads before they write their report, and it can shape […] … learn more→

Your PhD can be your strongest career asset

Your PhD can be your strongest career asset

Is it just me, or does the end of the PhD sometimes feel like you’ve missed out on three (or four, or five) years of the career ladder that your non-academic friends have been busily climbing? Sometimes, when I occasionally contemplate leaving the academic bubble, I worry about having to start again from the bottom. […] … learn more→

Haiku your way to a PhD?

Haiku your way to a PhD?

Let me begin by saying I’m not a poet. And when I commenced my PhD a year ago I certainly didn’t set out to document my PhD journey using an ancient Japanese form of poetry known as haiku. And yet, here I am, 15 months in, confirmed and about to analyse the data from my […] … learn more→

PhD thesis: writing it up (and the art of procrastination)

PhD thesis: writing it up (and the art of procrastination)

Doing background reading, undertaking leading-edge research, and analysing the results may seem like the hard part. In fact, they may well be hard, but these elements are often the aspects of research that, as a PhD student, you find easier to carry out. It’s the research process, and you must have been good at it in […] … learn more→

The principled PhD?

The principled PhD?

After I passed my PhD defense in March 2016 (thank you God), friends in earlier PhD stages jokingly tried to see if I could somehow rub off on them. This is the hope of this post – sharing some thoughts on (surviving) the journey. Naturally my PhD principles are specific to my department, the Global […] … learn more→

That bleeding thesis…

That bleeding thesis…

No. I’m not cussing. Let me explain why. My colleague Brigitte Nerlich sent me an email the other day. She said: I was talking to a PhD student (not one of mine) and this student repeatedly used a metaphor which I found quite interesting – that of the ‘bleeding document’. This was not a swear […] … learn more→