Things I learned doing a year in industry

Since November 2021, I have been doing a maternity cover placement at my research partner: Oxford University Museum of Natural History. It’s been a year of learning, excitement, successes, and reflection. As I now come to the end and get ready to re-enrol as a student here at Warwick, I wanted to take a minute... Continue Reading →

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No Two PhDs are the Same

Unlike starting an Undergraduate or a Master’s course, starting a PhD can be very lonely because, well, you’re the only person doing your research. There’s no standard reading list, no organised seminars or lectures, and no official course mates who you can sympathise with when you don’t understand a topic. Put simply, no two PhDs... Continue Reading →

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Prepping for your PhD

Are you starting your PhD this term? If so, you’re right in probably wanting to prep things and get yourself ready for your research. But what can you do that is most useful and effective? In this week’s blog, Ellie explores some of the tasks that will prepare you for your PhD in the best... Continue Reading →

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The journey to my PhD

Emily shares her experience, application tips and advice as she starts her postgraduate studies as a PhD student at the Institute of Cancer Research. By Emily Alger A PhD was not something I came into university expecting to be my next step after graduation. However here I am, about to graduate from Warwick and begin... Continue Reading →

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Walking the walk or just talking the talk? Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion for PGRs

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) is a very current concern in Higher Education. Universities are inherently diverse communities, which have grown massively in recent decades, but under-representation and issues around protected characteristics persist. Relatively understood at Undergraduate level, the understanding of these issues at PGR level still has a long way to go. By Pierre... Continue Reading →

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A PhD guide to travelling on a budget

Are you the adventurous type? Do you wish to travel and explore during your PhD? Are finance worries holding you back from booking a trip? If so, this blog could be just for you! Sophie offers some tips on how to travel on a budget. I recently wrote a blog on why you should take... Continue Reading →

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On the Thesis Path: the Darling Buds of May

In this series, blogger Lucia keeps a record of her progress and experience in the months leading up to submission. To read Lucia's post for April, click here. By Lucia Collischonn. "What a year!""But, captain, it's only May" The middle point of the year is fast approaching. This weird month with many flowers, sneezes, a... Continue Reading →

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Take a break! (It’s ok.)

All humans need to rest, including PhD students. Why is it so hard to take a break? A while ago, we asked Research Exchange visitors and Twitter followers to share their favourite ways of relaxing after hard PhD work. We had great responses, varying from travelling, playing computer games, watching Netflix, baking, enjoying various food... Continue Reading →

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Let’s talk about uncertainty

PhD study can be fraught with uncertainty and overwhelm but learning to tolerate and build resistance to uncertainty might not be as out of reach as you think. In this blog, Clarissa talks about encountering and managing uncertainty as a PGR.   By Riss Muller. I think every PhD candidate, past and present, knows just... Continue Reading →

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Summer at Warwick: The Ultimate Guide

Planning on staying in Coventry or Warwickshire over the summer and not sure how to make the most of the summer months? This week, blogger Clarissa shares some of what’s on offer. By Riss Muller. Summer is here and whilst the good weather may not last particularly long in the UK, there’s still plenty to... Continue Reading →

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21-22 round up from your blogs editor

As we come to the end of another academic year at Warwick, we take a look back over the year in blogs with our editor Ellie. By Ellie King. This academic year has been a little cautious as we emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic and get back to in-person teaching for the majority... Continue Reading →

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How to Write an Abstract

If you’re writing a paper for a journal, or presenting your work at a conference, you may be asked to write an abstract. But how do you go about it? Editor Ellie gives you a how to. By Ellie King When reading papers on your area of research, the abstract can be incredibly useful. As... Continue Reading →

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On the Thesis Path: The Ides of March

In this series, blogger Lucia keeps a record of her progress and experience in the months leading up to submission. Here’s that cliche again: time flies by when you’re having fun! And when twenty four hours are not enough hours in a day and you wish for time to drag itself so that you’ll have... Continue Reading →

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Be SMART: Setting Realistic Goals

Doing a PhD can be all about setting goals and staying on track. But how do we know if they're realistic or achievable? This week, blogger Sola gives her top tips. By Sola Browne. As a PhD student it’s really important to be organised and part of that is setting achievable goals. Key ingredients for... Continue Reading →

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Adding pauses in your PhD

As with anything, the key to a healthy PhD is an effective work-life balance. It is important to take pauses and breaks during your PhD to avoid burnout and so that you can enjoy what you do rather than viewing it as a liability. Manpreet Kaur discusses how she sprinkles breaks in her weeks and months.

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On the Thesis Path: February Funk

In this series, blogger Lucia keeps a record of her progress and experience in the months leading up to submission. To take a look at her previous post, January Blues, click here. February is here and it’s gone. The shortest month of the year is also one of major changes, and most of all it... Continue Reading →

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Presenting Interdisciplinary Research

With any PhD, presenting is a daunting prospect for many, but add an interdisciplinary project into the mix and the idea gets a lot more stressful. Blogger Rupika details her experiences and advice below. Learning to present is a skill I would greatly encourage all PhD students to learn very early on, but even more... Continue Reading →

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Finding your own Productivity

Productivity, the twelve-letter word PhD students the world over find all too familiar. With countless books, apps, social media influencers, and software like Teams promising us “the secret to boosting your productivity!” – and not forgetting having a thesis to write – it’s not surprising we have productivity on the brain. Virtually all of us... Continue Reading →

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The Literature Review: not so impossible after all

How do you see your literature review? Is it a giant, unattainable piece of work? Or is an achievable challenge that you’re confident in producing? Either way, the literature review is a daunting task that looms over every PhD student. It’s no easy feat that’s for sure, but with these handy tips you’ll be well... Continue Reading →

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Living in Limbo: Life post-submission

The end of the thesis is quite a drawn-out affair. Between hitting the ‘submit’ button and sitting the Viva, you’re in a holding zone, agonisingly close to being PhDone. But, for many, it’s not just a waiting game, with jobs to be searched for or – maybe – begin, and the spectre of funding about... Continue Reading →

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On the Thesis Path: January Blues

In this series, blogger Lucia keeps a record of her progress and experience in the months leading up to submission. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day. It’s a new year and you still have to write your thesis. After the holiday period, after the omicron wave and fear, and in what probably is... Continue Reading →

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A Student Perspective on Writing Groups

One of the regular events that the Postgrad team in The Library offer is the Write Here, Write Now sessions. These events bring students together and provide a focused atmosphere for writing using the Pomodoro technique. This technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, provides 25 minutes of focused task time, followed by... Continue Reading →

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Teaching what you (may not) know

Faced with an increasingly competitive academic jobs market, PGRs are often encouraged to teach alongside their research. At Warwick in any given year, several hundred researchers work across all departments of the university teaching lectures and seminars to undergraduate and masters students. Whilst it can be immensely enjoyable and rewarding, it can also be challenging... Continue Reading →

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How to Respond to Reviewer Comments

As PhD students, you can hear a lot about a key activity of your research: publishing in journals. Writing up your research into succinct pieces that can be read and viewed by the wider academic world is key to building your profile and giving you experience of writing academically long before your thesis is due.... Continue Reading →

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First Term Done

As we make our way through January and well into term two, first year PhD student and blogger Rupika reflects on her journey so far. By Rupika Gulati My first term is already finished, and I am into my second term, but I am not even sure where the time has gone. Reflecting on last... Continue Reading →

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We’re Recruiting! Come and write for PhDLife

Are you a PhD student at Warwick? Would you like the opportunity to share your experiences of research with a global audience and earn some extra money? Here at PhDLife we're currently recruiting for new regular bloggers. Hear from editor Ellie King about what it's all about and why you should apply. Writing for PhDLife... Continue Reading →

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Making the Most of your Conference Presentation

Recently, blog editor Ellie King presented her research to a virtual conference of museum professionals. Hear her reflections on how it went, and her tips on making the most of the opportunity. I like virtual conferences. Instead of having a room full of faces stare at me whilst I do my best to remember all... Continue Reading →

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The 24-Hour Library is BACK!

We have some very exciting news for you… The Library is returning to 24 hour opening! Great news for you night owls and early morning larks! Find out more… By Samantha Platts One of our joys at the Library is granting your wishes, though these usually take the form of book requests rather than pumpkin... Continue Reading →

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Throwback Post: Christmas and Your Mental Health

In this post Sophie shares her thoughts on looking after your wellbeing over the Christmas period. Christmas time can be full of food, fun, parties and spending time with your loved ones and family. With this in mind, Sophie offers some tips on how to look after your mental health during the festive season. How... Continue Reading →

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An Experience of Temporary Withdrawal

Studying a PhD offers many fantastic opportunities for research and networking. But it’s a long journey and life beyond research can require one to take a break from study, whether for work or health reasons. In this blog post, Giles Penman talks about his recent experience of temporary withdrawal. Life as a PhD student is... Continue Reading →

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The Procrastination Chronicles: Chipping Away at It

When things get too overwhelming, and that mountain you have to climb seems too high, too impossible, it may help to think of your challenges in little pieces, little instalments. In the second part of the Procrastination Chronicles, PhD student Lúcia explores the idea of dealing with burnout and procrastination by "chipping away at it".... Continue Reading →

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The Age Conundrum

By Rupika Gulati There are many reasons to do your PhD. You’re contributing to a new area of research, answering an age-old question or just simply you want to develop yourself and research skills further. It’s an exciting time in your life, conducting new research and doing what you really want to do. However, one... Continue Reading →

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The Library Refurbishment: Improving Services for You

In response to student feedback, a ~£4m project to refurbish the main Library took place over summer 2021. The project focused on Floors 1 & 2 of the main Library building, updating them to create a contemporary, comfortable, work-inspiring environment.  The two floors were reconfigured to provide over 10% more study spaces, and completely new... Continue Reading →

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The Procrastination Chronicles: Eat the Frog!

Do you tend to leave things until the last minute? Do you stress about upcoming deadlines or postpone dreaded tasks? In this blog post, Lúcia delves into the frog analogy and how it can help tackle our procrastination. Procrastination is the root of all my evils. Sometimes it comes from a lack of organising skill,... Continue Reading →

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