August 25, 2021

Will you get a job after Covid has wrecked Higher Education?

I started the Thesis Whisperer to help PhD students finish. In the last five years I’ve extended that mission to helping people get jobs after they graduate. It’s my firm belief that, although the world has 99 problems right now, research can fix a lot of them. Therefore researchers need to be able to putcontinue reading.

August 4, 2021

The late stage (or lock down) loopy la-las

There’s a period of PhD study that I have come to call ‘the loopy la-las’: when you become highly capable of doing PhD work, but start to become incompetent at, well – almost everything else. I remember the day it started to happen to me. It was 2008 and I was deep in a Foucaultcontinue reading.

July 7, 2021

The art of the ‘cold call’ email

Email is the lifeblood of university communications: quick, easy, painless… and so very easy to get wrong. We humans are a curious lot. We are highly social creatures but idiosyncratic. There is a lot of love, but also a lot of jostling for status and power. Academia, with its deeply middle class, coded language andcontinue reading.

June 2, 2021

The project finishing mindset

To generalise ridiculously, there are three types of people: People who start a research project intending to finish it on time. People who start a project not really caring when they finish it. People who don’t care about finishing a project on time until they fly past the deadline. If you are doing a PhDcontinue reading.

May 5, 2021

How to make your dissertation ‘speak’ to experts

Most people come into a PhD program with well developed writing skills but a  dissertation – or as it is called in Australia, a Thesis, is a very particular kind of writing challenge. All thesis writers must bend their existing skills to the appropriate ‘thesis style’. Ironically, the people I have seen struggle the mostcontinue reading.

April 7, 2021

Information indigestion? The search for a perfect note taking system.

For the last 20 years I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect academic note taking system. I abandoned paper in 2005 when I realised my notebooks were the place my ideas went to die. Although writing into a notebook felt useful at the time it was hard to find stuff later. Flipping fruitlesslycontinue reading.

March 3, 2021

Getting creative with the discussion section

Before I get started, two announcements! We have started to release the audio from 2020’s Whisperfest as a podcast series. You can find the first episode on Buzzsprout, and subscribe through your favourite player. We plan to release one every three weeks and by then, we will probably be ready to host the next one!continue reading.

February 3, 2021

How to write a more compelling sentence

Like many academics, I get to my office every morning and battle the problem of Too Much To Read. To tell the truth, most days I give up the fight. Under pressure to publish or perish, academics are producing mountains of text every year, even in a tiny sub-specialty like research education.  I don’t havecontinue reading.

January 6, 2021

Why your anxiety might also be a super power

Happy new year everyone! I don’t know about you, but during 2020, I often felt like a helpless bus passenger being driven towards the edge of a cliff by incompetent politicians and powerful business interests. I feel this way about climate change all the time, but the pandemic made the feeling so much worse. Allcontinue reading.

December 23, 2020

The year of living Covidly

We made it. 2020 is about to be over. Before a year in review post, a special announcement: As regular readers know, for over 10 years now I have run the Thesis Whisperer blog as a ‘not for loss’ model, where I donate excess above operating costs to charity. This year, as an explicit christmascontinue reading.

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