It’s not just art historians who look at pictures

I feel very lucky to have completed my doctorate in History of Art because if I get bogged down with writing I can always look at pictures! In this post I would like to encourage scholars working in other disciplines to also consider the visual as a valuable historical source. But how do you start when looking at paintings? Here I offer a few suggestions from my practice…

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’…

Notes to my younger self

As PhD students, we tend to live day-to-day while keeping in mind the potential of a future in academia. We leave little room to think about how we might frame today’s experiences when they become our past. Dr. David Whillock, who finished his doctoral research in 1986, reflects on the lessons he has learned after…

Should you join a dissertation support group?

In the seemingly endless struggles with your dissertation, you may think about joining a dissertation support group. Experts in dissertation shepherding often advocate a group. It be excellent for “solace, support and motivation” (Axelrod & Windell, 2012, p. 101) and sharing of information and writing techniques (Grant & Tomal, 2013; Joyner, Rouse, & Glatthorn, 2012;…

When plans fall through…

It is a well-known fact that your finished PhD thesis often shares little resemblance with your original PhD proposal. Despite this, it is easy to feel worried every time your research does not go quite to plan. Joelin shares some of the things she learned about the unpredictability of the research process…. 1. It will take much…

Postgraduate Recommendation: Summer Schools

Have you ever considered attending a summer (or winter) school? You should! Read about Devon’s experiences in Japan and Switzerland… During your PhD, I highly recommend taking part in a summer school. You may not know much about postgraduate summer schools unless you know someone who has been to one, or you have looked into…

A New Era in Astronomy

LIGO project and the discovery of gravitational waves received a lot of attention, even outside of academic circles. PhD Life talked to Avneet Singh, one of the PhD students from LIGO team.   What does the discovery represent?   This discovery of the gravitational waves also serves as a direct proof of Einstein’s theory of General…

Tips on Using Archives for Research

Archival research makes up a huge part of the PhD for some. In this post, Andrea Hajek shares useful tips on how to get the most out of visiting archives, both locally and internationally. Whether you are new to the game, or an old boy at this mode of research, you would find this a…

Knowing when to stop | Bernie

Last week, I helped out at a Dissertation Station event, where I was asked to talk about two difficulties I had when I was doing my Masters.  I spoke about supervision (because of course that was a problem even back then) and the trouble I had in keeping my word count down to the measly…

My Adventures on Tweet-Street – Thomas Bray

I was, until recently, a Twitter virgin. Shameful, I know, but for all my Web 2.0 wisdom, Twitter had long seemed like a strange, foreign land, full of tweets and hashtags, trending and linking. Friends of mine would sometimes travel there, even perhaps choose to stay, but when they invited me along to the wild…

How to do Interdisciplinary Research

NEW POST PhD students are increasingly expected to be interdisciplinary, but how does this work in practice? This guide offers tips for beginning to collaborate with others. Most PhD projects are, at some level, interdisciplinary. Although every thesis deals with a specialist topic, there will inevitably be areas which impact on scholars in other fields.…

How to draw “To DO” lists as a PhD Student

As a PhD student half way through the hustle and bustle of postgraduate matters, I can tell I have been through a steep learning curve. I have been constantly exploring and shifting my working habits to find a better way of dealing with the reading, writing and researching demands. Yes, you might have guessed already…