Failing – and getting up again

Welcome to 2018! I wish you all the best in achieving your PhD goals this year and commit to continuing to support you in my own, small way. The New Year (whenever that happens for you culturally) is the time many set aside for reflection and goal setting. For some reason, people like to change … Continue reading Failing – and getting up again

Surviving a PhD disaster

This post is written by Brian Flemming, a mathematician working as a Systems Engineer in Edinburgh.  He completed an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) as a mature student at Heriot Watt University in 2014 and is now appreciating the freedom to continue studying and spend time away on the hills, without the associated “PhD-guilt" of neglecting the … Continue reading Surviving a PhD disaster

What’s your back up plan?

Let me tell you a story about my PhD. I studied how architects and students gestured when they talked to each other. I was trying to find out what role gesture played in classroom communication and what implications this might have architectural education. Gesture is a visual medium, so I decided to use participant observation … Continue reading What’s your back up plan?

Are you stopping yourself from finishing your PhD?

The other day I had a lovely lunch on the balcony next to my office with two late stage ANU PhD students. We enjoyed the late winter sun and the view of Black mountain Tower while the ANU Quidditch team frolicked on the oval in front of us. It was one of those moments where academia … Continue reading Are you stopping yourself from finishing your PhD?

What to do when your thesis is rejected by the examiners

If you start a blog called 'The Thesis Whisperer' I suppose you should expect students to write to you asking for personal help. What has surprised me however is how OFTEN I get emails from students who are upset, confused or just plain pissed off. Mostly these students are complaining about their supervisors. The rate … Continue reading What to do when your thesis is rejected by the examiners

The Toddler’s Guide to Doing a PhD

This post was written by Jonathan Downie, a PhD student, conference interpreter, public speaker and translator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He co-edits LifeinLINCS the unofficial blog of the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University. He is married with two children. His newest blog Rock Your Talk aims to help people keep on … Continue reading The Toddler’s Guide to Doing a PhD

Achy breaky heart: coping with academic rejection

This post is by Dr Judy Robertson who is a senior lecturer in computer science at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and Chief Cat Herder for the undergraduate computer science programme there. Judy is a blogger as well as a contributing author to the amusing collaborative internet novel in progress "Granite University". My academic ego is … Continue reading Achy breaky heart: coping with academic rejection

Is a PhD like a reality TV contest?

Anyway, it got me thinking (again) about the similarities between doing a PhD and taking part in a reality TV show. I have an unhealthy obsession with reality TV, which I have accepted as part of the brain damage I suffered while doing my PhD. While I'm selective about which ones I watch, I find the whole genre endlessly fascinating for the way it portrays learning as a process of self discovery and transformation. Bear with me here, I think I'm onto something and want to throw these ideas past you in the form of an academic mash up of my own before I go all academic and write a paper on it.