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.

October 2, 2019

Starting a PhD… at 58 years old?

Did you know that the average age on entry to a PhD in Australia is 34 years old? Over the time I have been whispering this average age gets older and older. There are a few PhD students at ANU who enrolled in their PhD in their late sixties and early seventies. It’s never toocontinue reading.

September 18, 2019

How to approach an inter-disciplinary thesis

Are you doing interdisciplinary research? I did. It was hard. Universities are often very well set up for individual disciplines, but if you don’t fit firmly into one of these, you can easily find yourself marginalised. How should you go about doing interdisciplinary research so that you don’t ‘go down over interdisciplinary waters’ so tocontinue reading.

September 4, 2019

On finishing ‘early’

Recently I published a post from Carmen Blythe on finishing the PhD in 2 years, which provoked a storm of comments. Some people pointed out the many advantages that Carmen had, which helped her finish in such a short time. You might have been left wondering: what about ‘normal people’ – can they finish early to?continue reading.

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