Tag Archives: PhD

Coping strategies for full time workers turned PhD students

Coping strategies for full time workers turned PhD students

I made the decision to commence a full-time PhD after ten years in the workforce. At the time, many people made encouraging comments such as, “you’ll be fine, you’re very organised.” While I appreciated their compliments, I didn’t share the same level of confidence. Although I worked with researchers every day as part of my […] … learn more→

The PhD badly needs a doctor

The PhD badly needs a doctor

The PhD was first introduced at Humboldt University of Berlin in the early 19th century and remains the iconic degree of the modern research university. But both in and outside the ivory towers, there is an increasing sense that the PhD is no longer fit for purpose, both in terms of the requirements of employers […] … learn more→

Writing the thesis – the theoretical framework

Writing the thesis – the theoretical framework

Not every thesis has a section or chapter devoted to a theoretical framework. But a lot do. (It’s the Ph in PhD after all.) And these ‘theory chapters’ can be very tricky to write – and are often tricky for the examiner to read. Before starting to write your theory section/chapter it can be good […] … learn more→

Is your PhD like a kaleidoscope?

Is your PhD like a kaleidoscope?

All those excellent “How to do a PhD” books provide a linear progression from start to finish. They seem to encompass all the intricacies along the way, but ultimately serve as a sort of telescope that draws your vision towards a clear and cohesive end point where your research question is answered neatly, you wear […] … learn more→

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→