Blog Archives

Should you do a “side project”?

Should you do a “side project”?

What’s a “side project”? A side project is the academic project you do alongside your main academic research. If you’re doing a full time PhD, the side project is another smaller bit of research. If you’re working as a postdoc on someone else’s project and this is is your main work then, alas, trying to […] … learn more→

Great women scientists who fought to break the glass ceiling

Great women scientists who fought to break the glass ceiling

Katalin Karikó is the brand new winner of the latest Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Drew Weissman. For this Hungarian scientist, her personal and professional life were never a bed of roses. She emigrated to the United States, along with her husband and her daughter, with nothing more than about $1,200 hidden in the little […] … learn more→

Getting started

Getting started

My job is to help people get funding. I occasionally get requests from friends and family to help them with a funding application. I love these requests – I get to show them what I do, and help them with something that they need. It reminds me that different types of funding need different approaches, […] … learn more→

The ABC of organising your time

The ABC of organising your time

Lots of we scholarly peeps struggle to find time to write. Time is on pretty well everyone’s list. So we keep looking for better ways to manage our time so we can get more time to write. My proprietary university software seems to want to help – it now issues a weekly bulletin, whether I […] … learn more→

The Academic tidy up

The Academic tidy up

Happy new year everyone! It’s summer here in Australia, where we take a long break. I want to talk about Tidying in this post, but first – some news: ‘How to fix your academic writing trouble’ continues to be a strong seller after 5 years, but Large Language Models (LLM) like Chattie G (Chat GPT) are now part […] … learn more→

Why journal articles are rejected

Why journal articles are rejected

There are some very common reasons why journal papers get rejected, often by the editor. They don’t even make it to review. Here’s the seven deadly paper writing sins: (1) The paper doesn’t fit the journal. It’s very important to check out the specific journal for which you re writing and tailor the paper to fit […] … learn more→

Australia may spend hundreds of millions of dollars on quantum computing research. Are we chasing a mirage?

Australia may spend hundreds of millions of dollars on quantum computing research. Are we chasing a mirage?

The Australian government is going all in on quantum computing. After investing more than $100 million on “quantum technology” in 2021, it is now reportedly considering spending up to $200 million on purchasing a “quantum computer” from a US company. Is this a sensible decision? You might think so, if you read reports from media, industry and government predicting that quantum […] … learn more→

Australia risks falling behind allies on research security. Will it take a spy scandal in our universities to catch up?

Australia risks falling behind allies on research security. Will it take a spy scandal in our universities to catch up?

Late last year, a PhD student named Yuekang Li was refused a study visa to enter Canada. Why? Canada’s Federal Court was concerned he could be “targeted and coerced into providing information that would be detrimental to Canada”. Li wasn’t the only one. Earlier this month, Iranian computer engineering student Reza Jahantigh was denied a visa to study his PhD in […] … learn more→

The IMRaD structure is rarely enough

The IMRaD structure is rarely enough

Imagine you’ve gone out to café and you ask for a salad. What arrives is a chopping board, a knife, a bowl, a lettuce, a tomato, a carrot, a bundle of random herbs, a mystery fruit and sundry bottles and jars. You are surprised. This wasn’t what you were expecting. And you really don’t know what […] … learn more→

There are no writing “rules”

There are no writing “rules”

Look.  I don’t really want to start the new year off with a rant. But I just can’t sit on this any longer. I’m climbing onto my soap box now, taking up my megaphone and shouting. THERE ARE NO RULES FOR ACADEMIC WRITING. THERE ARE CONVENTIONS. THERE ARE EXPECTATIONS. AND YES. THERE ARE THINGS WE NEED […] … learn more→