#whywedoresearch It's a nice hashtag - #whywedoresearch. But what does it really mean in an uncertain, insecure academic climate? How do we answer that question when on the bad days we're struggling to find an answer much beyond 'I really don't know because I am very tired'. And on some days, my answer would be a similarly struggling one, over a glass … [Read more...] about #whywedoresearch: more than a hashtag, it is the foundation of a way of life
Archives for 2017
We’re delighted to bring you a blogpost from Arun Verma, PhD student at University of Dundee (who has just submitted his thesis). Arun is also one of our past correspondents, who writes today as a guest blogger. Recent conversations with colleagues have kept bringing up this notion that academic research is a game to be played. (It's also something that … [Read more...] about Playing the research game
In the third post in his series looking at barriers to effective research communication and uptake, Andrew Clappison turns his attention to the drive for evidence based policy and governing evidence use. Two key themes that could shape the future of research and its use, and have huge implications for public policy more generally. Governing research … [Read more...] about Governing research evidence: What you need to know about the big evidence debate
We hear so much about interdisciplinary research, about multidisciplinary studies, the importance of crossing disciplines and of collaboration. Does it ever make you stop and wonder: WHY? There has been lots of discussion of both the benefits and the career disadvantages of interdisciplinary research. These have always been themes of interest to … [Read more...] about How “inter” do you go in your research? A look at interdisciplinary research
We’re delighted to share this guest blogpost by Alex Conner, Senior Lecturer in Medical Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Alex addresses some of the themes that he spoke about at the Vitae Hangout on "Successful career planning for researchers" alongside our own Fiona Colligan. His advice is clear and his experienced perspectives are useful to early … [Read more...] about Well into your PhD? 5 helpful career planning topics
Recently I've been following the narrative about working hours in academia. What we talked about on the piirus.ac.uk blog, and what you told us in the poll. What the brilliant Raul Pacheco-Vega says about over-work and how to work productively instead. How a real discussion is opening up about the realities of academic life, where long hours are necessary … [Read more...] about How I found out, how NOT to be an academic
Let’s talk about mental health in academia. I know we sometimes don’t like to talk about it much. We’d rather talk about anything else than talk about mental health - but we need to talk. Recently, a study by Lavecque and colleagues showed that: One in two PhD students experiences psychological distress; one in three is at risk of a common psychiatric … [Read more...] about Mental Health in Academia: Lets talk about it.
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get in. You just run” This quote is by John Bingham, nicknamed ‘The Penguin’, for coming in at the back of the pack - … [Read more...] about Keep on running: what inspires PhD students to become runners?
We’re delighted to hear from a researcher who has wrestled with the post-phd limbo and come out the other side with an alt-ac career. Dr Rob Edwards has found a career that makes the most of the knowledge and skills he honed on his PhD – and builds new ones. Read on to find out how he found his alternative career path. In the beginning… I started my PhD … [Read more...] about My Alternative Academic (Alt-ac) Career – Guest blogger, Dr Rob Edwards
With the academic jobs market becoming more competitive and the pressure on the academic job market growing, it is not surprising that there are declining academic job prospects for doctoral graduates. Guest bloggers have written about it here on the piirus blog, such as a post looking at job advertisements by sector, by Doug Rocks-Macqueen. We know it's an … [Read more...] about Exploring alternative career pathways post-PhD: An online event
Our regular correspondent has a fascinating and inspiring interview story to share: read on for an example of life after PhD. You might not be inspired by academia, but can you get career satisfaction elsewhere? Last October, I wrote the blogpost ‘A PhD is a rosette, not a career path’ as part of our fabulous alternative career path series. I stressed … [Read more...] about Life after PhD: a satisfying career outside of academia?
Every now and then we run a poll on Twitter, usually in association with a blogpost so that we can embed the polls here and then they are not lost forever in Twitter's vast timeline. This also helps us to share with you what other researchers like you have said because we know that community spirit is important in academia. I've been reflecting on our … [Read more...] about Polling time: Editor’s top 3 Twitter polls
The other week, I spotted a tweet, which inspired me to write this blogpost on procrastination: It is a story that is very familiar to me: I, too, fight my tendency to set large, difficult tasks to one side whilst I get on with other stuff that is definitely lower priority. What gets me over such tendencies, is inspiration. And I often find my … [Read more...] about Are you procrastinating? Or opening yourself to inspiration…
Guest blogger and independent consultant Dr Echo Rivera shares her experience and offers support to researchers who want to create and use effective visuals when communicating your research. My passion for effective visual communication began when I was an undergrad over 10 years ago. I was torn between two majors--graphic design and psychology--and … [Read more...] about How I stay inspired, for effective visual communication of research
Academic articles can be inspired from some very non-academic places and sometimes inspiration can come from the strangest things... A little while ago, I wrote an academic paper examining the ways in which life and death could be interpreted in the two versions of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. Last year, it was published. While I have long loved Sylvia … [Read more...] about Academic articles and non-academic inspiration