Where I call bullshit 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 … Continue reading Where I call bullshit on the way we do the PhD

Should you quit (go part time or pause) your PhD during Covid-19?

Some of you might have noticed I recently put the blog on 'pause' -  for the first time in ten years. I am not a week by week blogger. I like to make space for creative inspiration to strike. For this reason, I always have at least six months of content 'in the pipe', waiting to … Continue reading Should you quit (go part time or pause) your PhD during Covid-19?

How do I write the discussion section?

Some time ago, on the advice of my good friend and efficiency guru Jason Downs, I read The 80/20 principle: how to achieve more by doing less by Richard Koch. To be fair, Jason did tell me, in the spirit of efficiency, that I didn't really need to read the book. The main message, he said, … Continue reading How do I write the discussion section?

Academic spy networks (and why you need one)

First, a fire update! Thank you SO much for your messages of love and support in response to my last post. Thank you to everyone who donated to our P2 mask appeal: it was wildly successful and is now closed. We gave out an astonishing 3500 masks and donated the excess (some $1500) to our … Continue reading Academic spy networks (and why you need one)

You have to believe that what you do matters

Greetings friends. I hope you had a summer or winter break wherever you are. I'm back early this year because Australia, where I live, has hit the world media for all the wrong reasons. You might have seen the horrifying footage from the South Coast. My  oldest friend, who was holidaying there, sent me this photo, which … Continue reading You have to believe that what you do matters

Winding down the Thesis Whisperer?

[Edit 23/12/2019: I donated all of my Thesis Whisperer Amazon royalties (about $1000) to the NSW Rural fire service. Thanks to everyone who bought a book this year: you have made a difference. If you can spare anything else, please consider giving. The government has not funded services enough and volunteers are completely exhausted. Here's … Continue reading Winding down the Thesis Whisperer?

It all depends!

I've written before, here, about how much bad advice there is out there for PhD students. One of the reasons that advice can be misguided or inappropriate is the many differences between PhD students in terms of age, discipline and projects. Comparing yourself to other people, particularly when it comes to making progress, is a game … Continue reading It all depends!