Tag Archives: PhD

Beginning the #phd – start writing at the start

Beginning the #phd – start writing at the start

  Writing, and its alter ego, reading, are the backbone of academic work. The practices that make scholarship what it is. In the PhD there are multiple places and purposes for writing. We often focus on the final text, the thesis, the writing that communicates what we claim to know, that explains the research we […] … learn more→

#startingthePhD? managing expectations

#startingthePhD? managing expectations

If you are starting out on a PhD you are probably expecting it to be hard work. That’s not wrong. A doctorate isn’t easy – it’s an extended piece of work over a long period of time. It takes energy and effort to stay focused and working on working on.  Stamina. But you can’t expect to […] … learn more→

1 in 5 PhD students could drop out. Here are some tips for how to keep going

1 in 5 PhD students could drop out. Here are some tips for how to keep going

Doctoral students show high levels of stress in comparison to other students, and ongoing uncertainty in terms of graduate career outcomes can make matters worse. Before the pandemic, one in five research students were expected to disengage from their PhD. Disengagement includes taking extended leave, suspending their studies or dropping out entirely. COVID-19 has made those statistics far worse. […] … learn more→

We need a Tripadvisor for PhD examiners

We need a Tripadvisor for PhD examiners

Defending your doctoral thesis should never be an overly comfortable affair for candidates. After all, those seeking academia’s highest award should expect their research to be thoroughly tested by experts in their discipline. But too often, UK PhD vivas are recalled as frightening and upsetting encounters that many spend their careers trying to forget. I […] … learn more→

Where do I call time on the way we do the PhD

Where do I call time on the way we do the PhD

There’s a looming economic crisis in higher education. Perhaps you have lost work already and you’re wondering how you will support yourself (I’m really sorry). It’s hard to know if you’ll get more or less teaching next semester and what form it will take. Will it be online? Or face to face? Maybe your courses […] … learn more→

Keep on stepping up to the plate

Keep on stepping up to the plate

Like writing a dissertation, baseball is about failure. My favourite player growing up, Ken Griffey Jr., seemed never to fail. When he stepped to the plate, you knewsomething special was about to happen. His stroke, a combination of elegance and power, sent 630 balls soaring over homerun fences: sixth most in MLB history. Gazelle-like, he turned […] … learn more→

PhD – plan B

PhD – plan B

Before I came into higher education I had a brief stint as a civil service strategic planner. I got pretty interested in the process of scenario planning – that’s where you develop a narrative about something that could happen in the future. Or better still multiple narratives. The point of scenario planning is to identify ways […] … learn more→

PHD bamboo

PHD bamboo

When I started my PhD, I was full of enthusiasm, excited by this new opportunity and period of growth. I read a  blog by Jodie Trembath about having a PhD symbol (she originally called it a PhD totem but changed this on the request of several First Nations scholars in the US). I bought an Asian bamboo […] … learn more→