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

Inserting special characters in EndNote/RefWorks


When importing references into software like EndNote or RefWorks you might find special characters and diacritical marks are stripped out.

You can edit the reference in the software and re-insert the appropriate character in several ways:
1) Copy and past the character in.

2) If you using a Windows computer with a number pad you can hold down the ALT key and type in a numerical code for the character you want e.g. ALT 130 will insert é.

There is a list of Alt Codes available at http://www.alt-codes.net/

Penn State University has an excellent guide to typing in accents and special characters in Windows or Macs. Including Alt codes, Mac codes and how to use the character map/viewer.

These tips can also be applied in other software and web interfaces, as well as in bibliographic software. ☺ = ALT 1

Inserting Citations & References into PowerPoint with EndNote

EndNote X7, which is available on University computers, now has a toolbar for inserting citations and references into PowerPoint.


1)    Open up PowerPoint and place your cursor where you wish to insert a citation or a reference.
2)    Click on the EndNote X7 tab.
3)    Choose the reference style you want to use from the drop-down menu.
4)    Click Insert Citation or Insert Reference
5)    Search for the reference you want or search on * to bring up a list of all your references.
6)    Click on Insert.

You will need to insert the citation and the references separately as this is not a Cite While You Write toolbar like the one in Word.






















Your New Doctoral College Reading Room

The Doctoral College Reading Room, at the front of the first floor of the library, is now designed for use by PGR students and staff only.

The space includes a separate Silent Study area with desks and computers, a quiet area with desks and informal seating, and a bookable group study room.

We would encourage PGR students and staff to make full use of this space.

Masters students now have a separate Graduate Reading Room elsewhere on the first floor.

As part of the new arrangements there is now a Consultation Room, which we are also using for upcoming events, including Shut Up & Write! and Research Data Drop-in Clinics.

*****

*****