As you know, the Whisperer specialises in publishing stories from people doing a PhD which offer useful ways to understand research degree study.

These stories are always popular because they are authentic. They speak about the experience of research degree study in all it’s messy glory. Stories are an excellent way to learn. They help us see how dull, stale lists of do’s and don’ts can be put into practice and learn from those who have walked the road before and seen the potholes.

A forthcoming book from Aotearoa New Zealand by Chris McMaster & Caterina Murphy will take this story telling learing into print. Their ‘Post graduate guide: surviving and thriving’ will be full of first hand accounts by New Zealand research students and designed to help other students navigate the complex world of research degree study.

Recently Chris approached me to help edit an Australian version of the post graduate guide. Even though I have more than a full plate of projects, it was too interesting an offer to refuse… So, here is the call for chapters!

I’d love to see some Whisperer readers as contributors. I know a lot of you continue reading after you graduate. We’re looking for a mix of voices and experiences of research degree study – which I know you all have. I’m excited about the project and hope you will be too.

Read on for submission details.

Postgraduate study in Australia: Surviving and succeeding

Editorial team: Christopher McMaster, Caterina Murphy, Inger Mewburn, Ben Whitburn

This will be an edited book written for prospective and current postgraduate students by a mix of postgraduate students and those who have recently completed their doctorate. The premise is simple: if you could go back in time and talk with yourself when you began your studies, what advice would you give? Isn’t hindsight a bonus? If only I knew then what I know now!

Some possible examples include but are not limited to the following:

publishing as you write your thesis;

  • being an indigenous student/conducting indigenous-focused research in a mainstream institution;
  • co-supervision and cross-cultural interactions working with international students;
  • networking;
  • coping with a baby and parenting;
  • having to advocate for specific personal needs;
  • writing your thesis in a second language;
  • auditing courses to support your study;
  • making the most of distance study;
  • studying while working full time;
  • staying in a relationship;
  • working with your supervisor;
  • presenting your research (at conferences and seminars) and others.

This is not an exhaustive list, and please feel free to contact the editors to discuss other possible topics of interest.

What will set this book apart from any other on the market is its down-to-earth and practical approach. Furthermore, its novelty also lies in the fact that it is grounded in context of postgraduate studies in Australia – where you study and work.

If, based upon your own experiences of postgraduate studies, you have some advice to offer that you consider would help other postgraduate students, we would like to talk with you about it.

If you are interested in contributing a potential chapter please contact us at the email below with a proposed chapter title and a 300-500 word abstract about your topic.

Please specify if you wish to report a research study and the ethical requirements met for that study. Please also supply a little information about yourself in not more than 3 to 5 sentences.

Deadline for submission of interest: November 2, 2014

There will be a limited number of places, as we envisage the book will be 18-20 chapters of 3,000-4,000 words each.

Submit your abstract to the editors at: