PhD upgrade: A survival guide

At this time of academic year, many doctoral researchers in their first year of study are preparing for upgrade review. As a second year PhD student (one that survived the upgrade process!) Sophie has provided some tips to help you best prepare for your upgrade and take the next step in your PhD.

Letting Go

The common jokes about academia tend to think of graduate experience as a choice away from life, or something that locks us in libraries and labs, but besides that it is a very rich, complex and intense life. In this week’s PhD Life post, read Aya Nassar’s insights on ‘letting go’…

Confessions of a Perfectionist

In the academic world, we can feel a lot of pressure trying to do our consistent best as PhD students, so much so that we might find ourselves getting stuck in perfectionism. Jenny Mak offers two tips for the recovering perfectionist…

Being Efficient

Efficiency is something that can come and go during your PhD. It’s normal to have a few weeks buzzing with productivity, and then weeks where you barely seem to cross more than one task off of your to-do list. ChengCheng talks about her struggles with maintaining efficiency in her research and the methods that have…

Winging it at question time (a primer)

Adrian Martin has given you advice on preparing for a conference presentation. Now, he points out that you must not ‘collapse’ the moment you’ve read the final, prepared word of your paper: save some strength (and brain waves) for the question-and-discussion part…

Work in progress

This post is about one of the key strategies I’ve put into practice this year: finding the best work space based on the task at hand. By limiting the work that I do to a specific place, I have purpose in each session and less multi-tasking distractions…

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.

Writing a literature review

In Planning a literature review Charlotte Mathieson explained the purpose and scope of a literature review. Now, all you need to do is write one! As this is easier said than done, here Charlotte guides you through writing your review of literature, from first draft through to later revisions.

Planning a literature review

As you embark on your PhD, or indeed any research undertaking, you will need to produce a literature review. Not sure exactly what a literature review is, or why it is necessary? Here Charlotte Mathieson outlines the purpose and scope of the literature review.

Starting a research group

Starting a research group can have numerous benefits, but can also be a daunting prospect. Here Lauren Thompson gives you some tips on setting up your own research group as a postgraduate researcher. Benefits of starting a research group As well as the advantages associated with administrating a research group, setting up a successful research…

Participating in a research group

Ever thought about participating in a research group? What would the benefits be? How can you find a suitable group? Being an active member of a research group can help you become part of a broader research culture. Here Lauren Thompson talks about the benefits and practicalities. Reasons to join a research group Being a…