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 […]
This letter was written by an experienced academic at ANU to her PhD student, who had just presented his research to a review panel and was still licking her wounds. The student sent it to me and I thought it was a great response I asked the academic in question, and the student who received […]
Last year I published a post called “How I broke up with my supervisor” which detailed one student’s less than great experience of supervision. I got many emails after that post, some with really dreadful stories of neglect and bullying. I decided to publish some of them, with the authors’ permission, because I think they […]
This post, written by a PhD student, who wishes to stay anonymous, was sent to me late last year. Due to my new job, it’s taken me a long time to edit it down and make sure it doesn’t identify the student or their supervisor. I think you will find it an interesting story that […]
Many research students in Australia will be planning to submit their thesis next month. Let’s fast forward to that sweet moment you find out your examiners reports are back, or completed your Viva and been told you have passed. Congratulations! Time to ring up the bank and the passport office to get that long awaited […]
For most students, the problems will be temporary and relatively easily dealt with. Taking up a complaint with the person concerned is the usual, and usually successful, first step. Most complaints never get lodged under formal complaint policies, however this is not always the case as some disputes and concerns cannot be resolved so simply… read on to find out how to complain – and be heard.
Anyway, it got me thinking (again) about the similarities between doing a PhD and taking part in a reality TV show. I have an unhealthy obsession with reality TV, which I have accepted as part of the brain damage I suffered while doing my PhD. While I’m selective about which ones I watch, I find the whole genre endlessly fascinating for the way it portrays learning as a process of self discovery and transformation. Bear with me here, I think I’m onto something and want to throw these ideas past you in the form of an academic mash up of my own before I go all academic and write a paper on it.