Skip to main content

Thoughts from week one of 'How to survive your PhD' course

Image by U.S. Geological Survey https://flic.kr/p/e6vg44


I've enrolled in the free 'How to survive your PhD' course being run by Doctor Inger Mewburn (thesiswhisperer) and colleagues via ANU.

The course is open to anyone: PhD students, supervisors, friends and family, support staff etc. I'm hoping by taking part I can get some insight into how to support PhD students better.

The main theme of the course is surviving the emotional journey of a research degree. A PhD can feel like a long, hard, often lonely, struggle. It can also be exciting and joyful and stressful and a whole gamut of other feelings along the way!

Even if you're not taking part you can see some of the discussion on Twitter via #survivephd15

Here's some of the thoughts and tips I picked up from the first live chat of the course:

What if your supervisor doesn't seem invested/interested in you?
  • Find another supervisor who is! Not always an option and changing supervisors can be like going through a divorce, but it's a very important relationship for PhD students.
  • Build up a network of people who are invested/interested in you and your research - these could be other PhD students, peers, colleagues - could be a physical network (e.g. meet for coffee regularly) or a virtual network (e.g. online chats or via Twitter - try the #phdchat tag).
We're thinking of finding ways to facilitate more informal networking and support for researchers here at Leicester. Let us know if you think that's a good idea...

Encourage supervisors and PhD students to talk about the emotions involved in doing a PhD
  • Perhaps ask your supervisor how they felt when they did their PhD, as a way introducing the topic.
  • Important to seek professional help in some cases - supervisors aren't trained counsellors.
Read some survivor stories:

The Unruly PhD: Doubts, Detours, Departures, and Other Success Stories
by Rebecca Peabody

Thesis Survivor Stories: Practical Advice on Getting Through Your PhD Or Masters Thesis
by Marilyn Waring, Kate Kearins

These should be available as ebooks via the University Library from next week.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Finding our training

I had some feedback last week that searching PROSE is not the easiest way to find out what library training is on offer.

We sympathise with you! An alternative is to look at the list of training on our Researchers page

Or you can look at brand new guide to the Postgraduate Researcher Workshop Programme

If you have any questions about the training please email Selina or myself: librarians@le.ac.uk



Library publishing services

The Library offers several services to help you publish and disseminate your research. We can help you publish reports, journals and conference proceedings. We also support the publishing of digital collections.

Research publications The Library can help you to publish one-off reports in an open access format. See this example from the SAPPHIRE Group in Health Sciences.  If you want to start a new open access journal or conference proceedings, we have our own version of Open Journal Systems (OJS). This is journal management and publishing platform for academic publications. Articles published through this system are free to any reader, and no APCs are charged to authors. 
Please contact Library Research Services for more information: librarians@le.ac.uk



Digital collections Some researchers will be collecting materials as part of a project, and may want to publish them online. The Library supports two platforms to do this:


Omeka.net.This is an easy to use platform for creating websites to d…

New RefWorks available now!

RefWorks allows you to manage all the references you have used in your assignments or research.
New RefWorks Users Create and organise a library of references that you can access via the webStore and annotate the PDFs of articlesImport references from bibliographic databases and other information sourcesCite while you write using add-in Word/Google Docs featuresAutomatically create bibliographies If you have never used RefWorks then see our Getting Started Online Tutorial
Existing RefWorks UsersWhy should you upgrade to new RefWorks? New RefWorks has lots of extra features: Store, view and annotate PDFsTag your referencesQuick Cite functionSave to RefWorks browser buttonWord 2016 citation toolbar (Add-In)Google Docs citation toolbar (Add-In)When should you upgrade to new RefWorks? New RefWorks and legacy RefWorks will both be available to use during the 2016/17 academic year to allow you to upgrade to new RefWorks at a time that suits you.
If you are currently working on your thesis and…