March 1, 2012

How to get into a PhD program

Jess Drake (aka @soilduck) suggested she write a post on how to get into a PhD program a little while ago. I thought it would be a good follow up to Ehsan’s popular “Should you do a PhD?” because it can be surprisingly difficult to get into a program. After helping a few friends and family members through the process of getting in, I am aware of how much ‘insider knowledge’ can be required.

February 2, 2012

Under-graduate baggage?

“We wondered: was the discomfort and inability to cope well with uncertainty a result of the kind of student being produced in undergraduate programs…” Prof Denise Cuthbert wonders about undergraduate baggage.

January 26, 2012

The ‘few months post’ post

There is so much you can achieve with your life when all you do is work full time. I’d forgotten what it was like, not to feel guilty and scared all the time. Compared to a thesis, forty hours a week is a laughably small sum of hours to be spending on work.

November 17, 2011

5 ways to look more clever than you actually are

In my job I have the privilege to work with some extraordinarily intelligent people. I mean – really clever. Intimidatingly clever. Clever to the point where I dare not open my mouth in some meetings for fear someone will discover I shouldn’t really be there. It’s not easy to live around all these clever clogs and be of average intelligence, so I have some coping strategies. These strategies have been developed by watching how clever people behave. The general principle here is: if I act like a clever person, I may become more clever – or at least I will appear to be more clever (which, existentially speaking, is the same thing).

November 7, 2011

What to say when someone asks you: “Should I do a PhD?”

“Do you think I should do a PhD?” It seems like I can’t go to a party without at least one person asking me this question – does this happen to you too? I probably shouldn’t be surprised; according to a recent government report the number of people undertaking a research degree in Australia hascontinue reading.

November 3, 2011

How to give good meeting (there’s an app for that!)

The other day I was strolling back from a leisurely gossip session coffee with @ researchwhisper at Pearson and Murphy’s cafe when I ran into one of my favourite academics, let’s call him Ned. Why is Ned one of my favourites? Well, I know this sounds like a stupid reason, but Ned knows how tocontinue reading.

August 25, 2011

PhD reputation

…most academics trust their colleagues to be ethical, upright people who are careful with data. Sure, we look for research design flaws and argue about theories, but no almost no one has the time to check your analysis. It would too much time and effort, which needs to be spent on our own work. We just assume it’s been done properly – and go on to argue furiously about how we would have done it differently. This is why reputation is so crucial within academic communities; doing a PhD is one way to put money in your reputation ‘bank’

July 21, 2011

The nowwhere-everywhere place

Maia tells us: “I submitted my thesis. About three weeks ago. I still don’t quite believe it. Hate me yet? I would. Every time a friend submitted theirs, I wanted to kill them. Or die. On the up side, it’s really possible! Until it was almost over, I didn’t think so….”

July 8, 2011

Careering through the PhD

This is the first guest post by Dr Shari Walsh from the Careers and Employment service at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Shari is one of a very small number of careers counsellors who specialises in helping PhD students. Here Shari talks about the importance of developing a vision about your future career path post PhD.

June 21, 2011

What if your CV is not enough? Part Two

If indeed you will need to have a clear digital identity to compete in the job market, what should you be doing now? Part two in the series on digital identity work.

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