How Do You Measure a Year in PhD Life?

In the first post of this year we look back on PhD Life in 2016, reflecting on topics we wrote and you read about, and calling for new authors to share their experience of PhD Life.

Is it by number or words and chapter written? Number of conferences attended and posters designed? Number of coffee and tea cups you’ve drunk? (Ok, I’ll stop with Rent (and Gilmore Girls) references, please don’t close the tab.)

While 2016 is probably not a year many people will remember fondly, we are pleased about PhD Life’s progress in this period. We had an amazing total of 127,316 views and our posts on weird PhD questions and names in academia have been shared on Times Higher Education Academic Blog. We a published a series of posts on women in academia, talked to creator of Lego Academics, and a PhD student from LIGO team, who discovered gravitational waves.

The list of our most popular in 2016 shows that (shocker!) writing and publishing are two areas in which PhD students seek further support, and post-PhD future is a matter of growing concern.

  1. Getting your thesis published
  2. 5 tips on getting your 1st journal paper published
  3. Writing a literature review
  4. Your Thesis Introduction
  5. Planning a literature review
  6. 10 reasons why a PhD can be challenging for your mental health
  7. The PhD Viva – Dennis’ Experience and & Tips
  8. Starting a research group
  9. How Do You Know If You’re Making Enough progress in Your PhD
  10. How to improve your CV while on your PhD

Last year, 27 doctoral students and graduates contributed to PhD Life and we are immensely grateful for the time and effort they put into sharing their experience with you, dear readers.

Image credits: Pexels / CC0

In times when being in academia is more challenging than ever, it is especially important that PhD students communicate, support each other, and spread academic kindness. As the new year unfolds, we will continue developing PhD as a space for sharing and exchange, as a space for community.

To help us do that, please get in touch if you would like to write a post for us or contribute in any way. We appreciate the diversity of your fields, writing style, and PhD Life experiences. If you have any suggestions for posts and topics you would like to read about, we would also be happy to hear from you. You can send us an email to, reach out on Facebook and Twitter, or leave a comment below this post.

Finally, we wish you all a fantastic 2017, fair winds and following seas, personally and academically. 🙂

Ana Kedveš  (@anakedves)


2 thoughts on “How Do You Measure a Year in PhD Life?

  1. I LOVE the “spread academic kindness” note, it would help much in our current world. I’ve felt bad for not having much “paper progress” in my first year of my PhD but now I realise it was a year for learning terminology and concepts and refining my topic. I have now started a blog where I share my thoughts through my journey this year…thanks for your lovely blog.

    1. Hi,
      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the post. I think first year is like that for many students, and projects differ (even within same departments), so it’s easy to get disheartened by different dynamics of progress. Hope your journey is a fulfilling one 🙂

      Ana, PhD Life

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