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.

May 13, 2020

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 coursescontinue reading.

April 22, 2020

The Valley of Deep (Covid) Shit

In my last #pandemicpost I asked – should you quit (go part time or pause) your PhD in this global pandemic? One month later, not to put too fine a point on it: the world is in pretty deep shit. Everyday life has not got back to anything resembling ‘normal’. There’s a dawning realisation that wecontinue reading.

April 8, 2020

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 tocontinue reading.

January 5, 2020

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, whichcontinue reading.

December 11, 2019

Keep on stepping up to the plate

Failure. The PhD makes you much better at dealing with it – at least that’s the hope. I was always a pretty mediocre student, but I didn’t realise just how mediocre I was until I went to architecture school. Frankly, I was bad at it – and people did not hold back in telling mecontinue reading.

November 27, 2019

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 gamecontinue reading.

November 13, 2019

Setting yourself free of perfectionism?

Are you a perfectionist? I always thought I wasn’t, but my therapist introduced me to the idea of ‘functional perfectionism’ last year. This  forced a rethink, which I documented in this post where I wonder if perfectionism  is a spectrum disorder. One of the perfectionist traps I fall into all the time is unhelpful self talk,continue reading.

October 30, 2019

PhD Bamboo

Do you ever feel like your PhD is in control of your life – and not in a good way? This post speaks to the resilience you need to complete using the story of a bamboo plant, which can be an invasive weed if not properly controlled! Fiona Robards is an independent consultant providing strategiccontinue reading.

October 16, 2019

Me, myself and I

Do you ever find yourself in conflict WITH yourself? The part of you that wants to watch Netflix might war with the part of you that wants to finish your PhD, as just one example. How do we better manage these multiple, internal voices? This post is by Michael Healy, a careers and employability educatorcontinue reading.

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