The Forgotten Skill: Organising your PhD Brain

The PhD journey can be complicated, hectic, and sometimes, feel like hell. A whirring, excited brain is great for research, but can be difficult to manage. Ellie King speaks about the often neglected skill of a PhD: organising your brain, and offers some tips on how to get things a bit neater.

Throwback Post: Keeping an Annotated Bibliography

As your PhD or research project evolves, so too must your literature review. As Charlotte Mathieson suggests in Writing a literature review, you can make things easier for yourself by keeping an annotated bibliography. Here is Charlotte’s guide to starting and maintaining an annotated bibliography.

A Short Guide to Productive Procrastination

Some days you need to do Ph.D. work but you don’t feel like doing research, writing your dissertation, or doing anything remotely deemed important. Relatable, right? So what do you do if you still have to do something? Eduarda shares a few tips on how to procrastinate writing and researching and still be somewhat productive with your doctoral studies at the same time.

How I did a PhD with a broken brain

In 2015 I had a severe reaction to an antidepressant. Overnight I went from someone who had never experienced any physical anxiety symptoms to major panic attacks, agoraphobia, and constant general anxiety. I no longer had the capacity to do my PhD and took temporary withdrawal for a year where I had to learn how to function as a human being again. Upon returning to my PhD, a major achievement in itself, I realised the stress of even half an hour’s worth of work rendered me not only incapable of functioning for the rest of the day, but potentially the day after too. How was I supposed to do a PhD if I couldn’t even manage half an hour? If I was to complete my PhD, I needed to figure out how to work a stress-free day. Over the course of a couple of years I learnt and refined a routine that helped me to achieve this. It wasn’t much fun and I still struggle a lot of the time. I fall out of the routine and take shortcuts. I am human after all. But I sit here with a finished thesis and time to spare. This is how I did my PhD with a broken brain.

“Your English is so good”

By Maria Cohut

For many International PhD students the experience of living in another country is a positive one and one which they look forward to with excitement. However, some aspects of this experience may not be exactly how they expected, especially when they leave the ‘bubble’ of campus. In this post Maria, a former Warwick English Literature PhD student, reflects on some of her experiences and how she felt.

Isolation Station: Beating the Pandemic Blues as a Researcher

Maria Cohut

Ph.D. work can feel isolating at the best of times. With a pandemic going on, and having to stay put for safety, being a doctoral students can become an even lonelier experience. Maria shares some tips to help you regain a sense of community.

What strategies have worked to help you feel less isolated at this time? Tweet us at @ResearchEx, email us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.