This week, our round-up takes a closer look at the PhD, from start to finish, with some writing and thesis advice in the middle…
(This one is a tad long – I think I overdid myself and beat my record – with over 60 links…)
“When people hear that I am in a doctoral program they often express some interest in my work or they say something that infers I have a great deal of intelligence. […] I’ve started to tell people the little known secret: successfully entering and completing a PhD program does not hinge on intelligence.”
“Most of us who have done well academically have learnt to follow written and unwritten rules to the letter. This socialisation made the necessary rule breaking of interdisciplinary work particularly confronting, but held promise of bringing something fresh and vital to problem solving and a bit of liberation. A noble pursuit!”
Starting a PhD
Questions to ask a potential supervisor before starting your PhD.
How to enjoy doing the doctorate.
What PhD life is really like.
Why do you choose to do a PhD?
Reflecting on motivations for doctoral study.
Pat Thomson’s series of advice for those starting a PhD
- Get organised now
- Setting up your routine
- Getting to grips with “the university”
- Anticipate tasks and timings
- Don’t panic
PhD students reflecting on their experience
In response to a request from a friend who is just starting her PhD, Auriel Fournier writes what she wishes she could tell her first year PhD Student self, and what advice she can give to other graduate student Women in STEM.
Rachel writes about what she learnt during the first year of her PhD.
What was the first year of Bernard’s PhD like?
“I love my PhD. […] Yet even I have succumbed to what they call the “two-year slump”.”
Jakob Rosenkrantz de Lasson presents his “‘Ph.D. halfway checklist’ that outlines some of the central aspects of a Ph.D. project – which are important to get an overview of to be able to plan the rest of the project, and so that changes can be made if needed.”
Sherry shares her experience of starting the third year of PhD.
PhD and Passion
Is you PhD your passion? Would you do it just to pay the bills?
“‘Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’. This concept is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to a PhD, given that the process confronts students with a constant battle to balance the fact that we do indeed love what we do, but must not allow it to occupy our every waking hour.”
General PhD Advice
PhD students, beware of academic FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
3 ways to cure DPA: Dissertation Prospectus Anxiety.
Somehow, life happened, and Wendy Robinson had to move before finishing her PhD. In this article, she gives advice on how to make the process of finishing a PhD at a distance a little less challenging.
Live a PhD life less disorganised with Trello
“Next time you’re faced with a stressful PhD deadline, notice your response. Do you go with fight and flight? Or are you able to make room for a more compassionate response?”
How not to fail your viva: a few tips on sidestepping a resubmission.
The PhD thesis
Marathon running and writing a thesis: same kinda hell.
Spinning the ‘golden thread’ that can sew your PhD together: what is a golden thread, where do you get one, and how do you work out how to sew your PhD together?
From chaos to coherence: logic, linearity and lies in thesis construction.
‘Retrofitting’ your PhD: when you get your data before your theory.
What if my thesis is not The Most Awesome Thesis Ever Written?
So you want people to read your thesis. What should you do?
“Majority of what you’ve written in your first or perhaps even second year may not feature in the final draft of your thesis upon submission.” But this is not a bad thing, and you might even find a use for it…
If you feel stuck with your PhD, some focused, timed writing might help.
From finish to start: writing your thesis with the end in view.
“As a non-native English Phd researcher, my conclusion is that doing a PhD written in English language is almost doing a PhD in creative English writing. […] There is an unwritten minimum requirement that is not specified when we apply for the admissions and we realize this much later in the process that we don’t have the basic level of academic English writing.”
How to choose your research question.
What is an “original contribution”?
Hard to find a gap in a chasm.
What is a ‘research warrant’?
On the importance of planning your experiments.
Are scientific collaboration networks advancing research?
‘Marriages’ made in heaven or hell – supervisors and doctoral students working together.
“When is a piece of work ready to submit for supervisor feedback? How much and how often can we expect students to submit writing for feedback?”
“By far, the most common cause of PhD failure (or extreme difficulty) I have seen is isolation and a lack of feedback from other academics. Often, this is because a student is working remotely, but the problem can be compounded by the student thinking, “I can’t contact my supervisor until I have something to show.””
Managing conflicting feedback on your thesis.
Finishing the PhD… or not
““I don’t know many people that finished a PhD in three years.” […] The single biggest issue for Dave was lack of support and guidance from his supervisor, who had been quite absent from the process.”
Improving PhD completion rates: where should we start?
Finishing the PhD – or what happens to otherwise normal people in the last few months of the PhD.
You’ve finished your PhD. But when does it feel over?
“I never really liked being a PhD student yet I never wanted to let go of my thesis.”
From a PhD to a job
Cheating on your PhD with your job; cheating on your job with your PhD.
‘The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job.’
Have you read some great article on the topic recently? Tell us about it in the comments!