The Big Chill

Tolstoy could have been talking about research supervision when he said: ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way‘. Supervising a research student involves relationship work. Relationship work can be difficult; when it goes wrong it goes REALLY wrong. But when it goes right, the supervisor/student relationship is the […]

Who should pay?

All PhD students know that the student-supervisor relationship is fraught with potential pitfalls. A recent letter I received highlights how important it is to establish clear rules between yourself and your supervisor regarding joint authorship of papers, especially when submitting a Thesis by Publication. The student was asking for advice for a friend and I […]

Four More Reasons People Quit the Ph.D.

This post is by Hillary Rettig, author The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block. Hillary lives with her partner, a physics professor at a midwest liberal arts college, and her two fabulous rescue dogs. She is a vegan, a free software/free culture advocate, a living kidney […]

“I’m writing a book no one will read” and other reasons the PhD can get you down

This post is by Inez Von Weitershausen, a PhD student at the London School of Economics who blogs on people, thoughts, experiences, feelings on the Epiphany blog. Inez first came to my attention when she wrote an interesting article in the Guardian about PhD survival strategies, so I was happy when she sent me this […]

Please stop telling me to ‘manage’ my supervisor!

Like many other academic developers, I have often run workshops called ‘manage your supervisor’ where I try, in an upbeat fashion, to empower students to feel they can take charge of their own learning and responsibility for the outcomes. I acknowledge in this workshop that supervisors are generally busy, time poor creatures who might need […]