As the editor of this blog, I wanted to share some of my own favourite features! I already wrote a quick run-down of the top 10 posts from 2016 according to the statistics in the New Year, and in 2015 I reflected on piirus' activities in general. Now I would like to look back on the piirus.ac.uk blog as a whole because we've got so much great … [Read more...] about All about our blog: my personal highlights
Our correspondent, Christopher Ferguson asks: What role does Higher Education have to play in the current political climate? And he shares his ideas in answer to that question. If I were writing a dystopian comedy in the 1990s, it might have kicked off with the following paragraph. Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and ‘alt-right’ figure, was punched … [Read more...] about Communication, Communication, Communication
Some academics do seem to be wedded to their research, but let’s leave the marriage metaphors aside. This post is all about choosing which academic work commitments you say ‘yes’ to. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post on why it was important to be able to say ‘No’. It is a way to create some kind of balance, a way to … [Read more...] about Before you say Yes: 3 questions to ask yourself (And I’m not talking about marriage!)
Our correspondent Sarah Wayland describes her experience of her postdoc position, reflecting on how it has involved some new approaches to her own research interests. Three days a week I travel from my house in suburban Sydney Australia to the inner city hum of the University of Technology Sydney. Each way on the train takes an hour: initially I used to … [Read more...] about Making research space & building a career: the postdoc stage
The observant reader might notice that we've introduced a new category on our blog, called "Free resources". We're using it to collect blog posts that will lead you to all of the guides, infographics, useful overviews, survey results, etc that have been produced for piirus.ac.uk. Over the last couple of years we've been growing this blog and our offer to … [Read more...] about Free resources from piirus.ac.uk
How do we make the 'right' career decisions in academia, and build our overall academic identity? I received an email from a colleague and this quote got me thinking: "all [ECRs she once worked with] would have benefitted from... support which provided them with sense of independence and value of self; knowing what rules were in place constraining choices; … [Read more...] about Your alternative academic identity: learning the rules?
The precarity of the academic job market appears to be a prominent theme at present, alongside the shear competition for academic roles. Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a google hangout hosted by Vitae, titled Successful career planning for researchers. The discussion that took place further enforced the concern that exists around these … [Read more...] about Building a bigger and better picture of academic recruitment and career pathways
Our Brazilian correspondent reflects on the early career researcher's frequent experience of rejection, at the very end of our month looking at "saying no". What's it like to be on the receiving end of "no"? Recently I had two job interviews for teaching positions at universities here in Brazil. Needless to say, what I got from both was, “No, thank you.” … [Read more...] about Being on the receiving end of “no”. How do you handle it?
We’ve been looking at the theme of “saying no” recently on the piirus.ac.uk blog. Our regular correspondent Andrew Clappison took this theme as a chance to acknowledge that knowing when to say ‘no’ to social media can be incredibly valuable. While piirus.ac.uk is a natural fan of social media, I know it can also be a big black hole. It’s far too easy to … [Read more...] about Your personal social media strategy, or Knowing when to say ‘No’ to social media
Our latest interviewee is Dr Tamika Heiden of Knowledge Translation Australia, who recently ran the innovative, international Research Impact Summit at which Fiona Colligan and I were among the 20+ speakers. The summit ran over 3 days and was free for those who attended it within 72 hours. I was impressed by the summit and I’m very pleased to have been able … [Read more...] about Insights from the Research Impact Summit, an interview with Dr Tamika Heiden
Continuing the theme of consideration, self-care, and work-life balance, I would like to share with you my experience of #PhDlife overload which I encountered last term. As a PhD student with high ambitions and an equally high mortgage payment, I have tendency to say 'yes' to most things and up until now it has served me well. By saying 'yes' and having … [Read more...] about What I learned when I took on too much: I am not a PhD superhero
Last week, I wrote about two positive types of busy, but this week I am reflecting on the kind of "busy" that can really lead to problems. How do you know that you or a colleague or friend are experiencing the wrong kind of busy? Slogging busy Sometimes hardly distinguishable from the standard busy days, except perhaps by your level of motivation! It feels … [Read more...] about ‘I’m busy’ part 2: it’s a problem
Who do you need? It is not always easy to get by in the academic world, especially when you are just starting out. I’m not one to normally question Simon and Garfunkel but, in truth, no one can be an island for the long-term. At some point, all of us need somebody, if not to love, then to work with – which I’m sure is also badly paraphrasing another classic … [Read more...] about Finding Your People: Mentors, Collaborators, and Guardian Angels
Following on from Kathy's recent post on why you might have to be brave to say 'no' sometimes, I want to reflect a bit on busy-ness and how it can help if it's a good kind of busy, or if it isn't, then it leads us into needing to say 'no'. I am nearly always busy, and of course it's the standard answer these days when you ask someone how they are. They … [Read more...] about ‘I’m busy’ part 1: good kinds of busy
We're delighted to have had so many responses to our survey on Career pathways following doctoral research. Many thanks for sharing to all 5199 of you, and indeed all those who helped us to promote the survey. You've helped to ensure that we could reach so many people and build a career path picture that could inspire and interest both other researchers and … [Read more...] about Our career paths survey: thanks for sharing!