October 6, 2021

How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to run my workshop called ‘How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)’. I’m guessing it’s a sign of pandemic fatigue: everyone close to the end of a PhD just wants it to be, well – over. I feel you. I’m notcontinue 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.

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.

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.

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 2, 2020

While you scream inside your heart, please keep working.

So, 2020 hey? What a trip. I don’t know about you, but concentrating on my work when the world feels like it’s up in flames, literally and figuratively, has been, well – difficult. In order to keep my shit together in front of students and co-workers I’ve been, as a Japanese theme park put it,continue reading.

November 4, 2020

#whisperfest 2020

The Research Whisperer blog has the tagline ‘Just like the Thesis Whisperer, but with more money’. A lot of people ask me if The Research Whisperer is one of my aliases or a group of people who are trying to rip me off. In fact, it’s neither. Tseen Khoo and Jonathan O’Donnell who run Thecontinue reading.

October 7, 2020

Imposter syndrome is not real, but I call mine ‘Beryl’.

I hate to fail. My failure avoidance leads to a tendency for overwork. I drive myself harder than any manager will, mostly out of fear of failure rather than love for the work. My feelings of insecurity make me a good employee and student, but they also put me at risk for burn out andcontinue reading.

July 8, 2020

How NOT to be an academic asshole during Covid.

Close to half of PhD students are contemplating leaving their studies in the next six months. We need to talk about quitting with kindness and empathy – and some people just need to stop being assholes.

June 10, 2020

Why academic writing sucks (and how we can fix it)

Academic writing, as a genre, sucks. It’s ritualised, peculiar, archaic and does almost as much to hide knowledge as it does to share it.

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