Every month a plastic wrapped wad of paper, sometimes 300 sheets thick, used to land on my desk. This wad contained the ethics committee paperwork, usually around 20 applications and supporting documents, for me to review. This pile of paper drove me nuts.
This post is by Judy Redman who is a Uniting Church minister and, as part of her role as a university chaplain, has been minister of religion on the human research ethics committees of three different Australian universities. She has qualifications in Agricultural Science and Human Nutrition as well as Theology and is currently working … Continue reading (Human) ethics applications with a minimum of pain (part one)
Over the weeks between the first and second post, two other people took the time to write posts reflecting on their own dressing practices. I thought I would publish these pieces together in this slightly longer post as the have different ways of talking about similar feelings. Both these contributions highlight how complex this issue of 'dressing the part' is...
How do you get an academic job? Much of the advice out there boils down to one statement: "publish early, publish often". However, after reading Jen's post last week I think we should approach this advice to 'just publish' with caution. Jen's figures showed clearly that being 'one dimensional', i.e. just a researcher or just a teacher, was the surest road to marginal employment. Academics in permanent positions tend to do teaching and research.
Earlier this week I published a review of a new book by Dr Richard Hil called "Whackademia". The book makes a pointed critique of the Australian Higher Education system for an excessively casualised workforce. A couple of months ago Jen Tsen Kwok, a PhD student at the University of Queensland and a Policy and Research Officer at the National Education Tertiary Union (NTEU) joined us in a live #phdchat on Twitter to talk about just this topic. I asked Jen if he would like to put some of the data he talked about in a post as a lot of people expressed interest in the figures. This post is twice as long as usual, but I thought it was important to give sufficient space to sketch out the issues - knowledge is power after all! I want to thank Jen for taking the time to write this for us.
The path to academic nirvana was not easy, in fact it was ridiculously hard. So when @sarahstow showed me the blurb for 'Whackademia: an insider's account of the troubled university" I immediately left the office to buy a copy, solely on the promise in the title. I've sold stuff in supermarkets and book stores, dabbled in the music industry, washed dishes in restaurants, driven courier trucks and cleaned houses in addition to working in architects' offices. All of this experience has led me to conclude that yes - academia IS a whacky place to work...
A little discussed aspect of PhD practice turns out to be... really quite interesting.
Recently I wrote a post called "What not to wear: the academic edition" about the trouble I had finding the right dress to wear to give a keynote. I was surprised how many people commented on the post and asked Rosie Findlay, a PhD student researching style blogs, if she would write a follow up … Continue reading What not to wear: academic edition (part 2)
For nearly two years, The Thesis Whisperer has lived on the free WordPress site. This weekend Mr Thesis Whisperer helped me to move the blog to a dedicated domain name: thesiswhisperer.com I love WordPress and I felt it was time I kicked them some money for the great service and software they provide. I paid … Continue reading A new domain name