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Blog


What I’ve learnt from my PhD so far

  24-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Phdonline

Hi everyone, I’ve been delayed in writing my latest blog post by attending courses, helping new PhD students and supervising work experience students, which alongside my PhD work, has left me little time to do much else!

My time management ramblings aside, I have now started to reflect on the last few weeks and think about what’s changed for me since I started my PhD.

I think what comes to mind first is how much more independent I am as a person. I decide on my timetable, who I need to talk to, what meetings I need to organize and what goals I need to achieve by when. I am also much more confident in going to new places, meeting new people and now try to put myself forward for things I would’ve once avoided.

I’ve found that if you just get on and have a go, you can generate positive experiences, which diminish your fears so you can gain more from the opportunities available to you as a PhD student. Even if you try something and don’t like it, at least you know that from having a go!

I’ve also been thinking more about control and influence in my research. Now when I think about what I am doing, I think about who has control over it. It’s pointless to worry or become anxious about something you have no control over, so that has helped me feel at ease more. I also know what I can control and influence, so I can put all my energy into what I can do to make a difference.

I have also recently realized that some of my worries about things like presenting to an audience and continuing with an academic career have all been centred around my perception of what I need to be a good presenter or academic. I perceive that I do not present well and that I need to know more than I do now to be a post-doc, but when I speak to...

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    Managing Public Speaking Anxiety

      24-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    Katie Shives is a PhD candidate in Microbiology at the University of Colorado. During her free time she writes about microbiology-related topics at microbematters.org, kdshives.com, and on Twitter @KDShives

    We all have to present our work to others at some point in our graduate careers, and this commitment to public speaking can lead to real anxiety for some individuals. I know this because I am in that group. I have been...

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  • Finishing Your PhD

      24-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    Since my last post I have submitted my PhD (yay!). So, I thought the best way to update you on my progress was to summarize, from my own experience, what I have learnt from the writing up and submission time.

    - Start writing early. I know this sounds like a typical thing to say, but it’s an important point to make. If you have something other than a blank page to start with, writing up feels like less of a mountain...

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  • Academics Do Not Just Teach

      24-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    When some people outside academia ask about the role of a postdoctoral researcher, they expect that it is mainly a teaching job. It is surprising for them to find that many academic positions do not require any teaching. So what do these researchers who are not teaching actually doing? The answer is that research is a multidimensional activity which involves many responsibilities and skills:

    1. Researchers spend a lot...

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  • The Age of Discovery (How old are people when they do their best scientific research?)

      23-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    Science is an extremely competitive field, getting research funding requires an excellent track record and researchers judge themselves against their peers. I wrote a blog post about the number of publications scientists are 'supposed' to have per year in order to be competitive on fellowships and grant applications a few years ago. I am surprised at the number of people that find that post by searching for 'How many research papers should I...

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    Customer Service Model in Higher Education: What You Should Know

      10-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    As a grad student, I often joked with people about how we must cater to the needs of undergrads. Their parents were paying big bucks, and who would want their little snowflake to feel the pangs of disappointment? It wasn’t until my first year as an assistant professor that I heard the term “customer service” applied to students in a serious, non-satirical manner.

    I was shocked. You mean faculty treating...

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    Confessions of a Mommy-Professor: How I Handled Parenthood and Job Demands as a College Professor

      10-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    Working parents (and moms, especially) have muddled through the demands of raising their children and doing work for thousands of years. As a mom and young assistant professor, I have some confessions I’d like to share—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

     

    1. I brought my child to extra-curricular activities. I was asked to be co-advisor for our...

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    Adjusting to Grad School: When You Can’t Do It All

      10-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    I recently wrote that the major ways to handle schedule changes in grad school are to set your priorities, budget your time, and know your limits. I also discussed that managing your time, maintaining your relationships, and creating new relationships are ways you can adjust to social changes in grad school. But what if your new schedule and changed social life get to be too much?

    What if you can’t do it all? Here...

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    Adjusting to Grad School Life: Social Changes

      10-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    An adjustment change that many graduate students have to go through is figuring out how to balance their social lives and academic lives. Undergraduates have plenty of opportunities to be social, but grad students have a much heavier work load, and therefore, less time. However, there are still a number of ways you can have a healthy social life while in grad school.

    Manage Your Time

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    6 Ways Grad School Changes Your Life: How To Deal

      10-Dec-2014  |   Post By: Ph.D.online

    I hope everyone is enjoying the start of spring and is still pushing forward in their graduate school journey. My next series will be about how to best adjust to various situations in graduate school and is geared for all graduate students: brand new students who are fresh out of undergraduate programs, students who have already been in the graduate program for a few years, students who came back to school after being in the workforce, and even students who...

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