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!)
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
As we begin 2017, perhaps some of you will have taken a seasonal break from your work. Or perhaps you worked right through: it can be hard to take time out from research and academic life. Some of you might be making New Year's resolutions and perhaps one of them might be to think of your work-life balance. With this in mind, our blog is taking a look at … [Read more...] about Saying No: Why it’s important to be brave
Recently an article I wrote with a colleague went viral. We had media interest over two days from all over the world. There was even an article by the Science Editor in The Times, which feels a strange thing to say about a little essay. The article has been published in over 30 languages across 1,000 media outlets. Because it was just a little … [Read more...] about Going viral: 3 tips to help you through
We’re delighted to feature this interview with one of our members, who took part in our Let’s Collaborate campaign on Twitter this year. Read about her research work and her collaboration interests. Who are you and what is the work you do? I am a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney Medical School in Australia. I have a PhD in Forensic … [Read more...] about Let’s Collaborate: Introducing piirus.ac.uk member Lauren Monds
We're delighted to feature an interview with a researcher who has a real enthusiasm for her work. This interview with Dr Olivia Kirtley provides a welcome reminder of all the good that research can do. Tell us about the work you do. I am a postdoctoral research psychologist in the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory (SBRL) at the University of … [Read more...] about Interview with Dr Olivia Kirtley: Dismantling presumption
Wanting to write A few months ago, the fiercely brilliant writer Cory Taylor died. In the time before the cancer became fiercer than her, she wrote ‘Dying: A Memoir’ as a way to make sense of death, of what was happening to her. It’s a beautiful book. A section that struck me, was when she talked of not having a bucket list: “From the age of … [Read more...] about Writing through a fear of writing – featuring 3 most helpful steps.
A few weeks ago, I was told that I had a good example of an academic portfolio career. I love labels – they make wonky things sound so much prettier. So I obviously googled ‘portfolio career’ to see what I was doing. Having a portfolio career is where you don’t have one full-time job at one location – you have two or more (often more) … [Read more...] about How do you make a portfolio career work for you?
A few Sundays ago, I spent the afternoon with a colleague making felt animals to match the story ‘Dear Zoo’. All of this was done on a steep learning curve – I am deeply uncrafty with a knowledge of children’s literature bound to feminist deconstructions of fairytales and ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. But my friend needed help – she needed felt characters … [Read more...] about On small goodnesses
In part 1 of our ten steps to get started on Twitter as an academic you set up your Twitter account with a picture and biography, and sent your first tweet. What’s next? In part 2 we cover steps six to ten... 6. Create empathy and interest in your tweets In my experience, nothing beats a cat photo to create interest in a tweet. In the absence of … [Read more...] about Ten steps to get started on Twitter as an academic: part 2
In a previous post, we shared a few social media tips to start a Twitter account for even the shyest among us. So now that you’ve taken a deep breath and joined, what next? We thought we’d help out with the basics. Here are our first five of ten steps to get started on Twitter as an academic and creating a positive representation of yourself that you’re … [Read more...] about Ten steps to get started on Twitter as an academic: part 1
More and more often, academics are being encouraged to engage with social media, particularly Twitter. More and more frequently, social media engagement and presence influences how we are perceived nationally and internationally, particularly as funding bodies are beginning to increasingly recognise research outputs that are more social and media and … [Read more...] about Three tips for Twitter as a (shy) newcomer
From #ScholarSunday to #phdchat, Twitter's hashtags have the potential to foster research collaboration and celebration. Academia can be a hard enough gig without us thinking that we’re alone in it. Twitter (like piirus.ac.uk!) allows us to meet academics we might never have met otherwise, not just because of geographic distance but also differences in … [Read more...] about When a hashtag gives you a collaborative network: #letscollaborate
This year, my third PhD student will graduate and – to happy-dance quite a bit – will receive the Chancellor’s Medal as well. Each graduation has been so exciting. My three PhD students are extraordinary and being part of their projects, helping in whatever way I could, has been an incredible experience over the last few years. It’s been all the more … [Read more...] about Being a supervisor – 3 things I’ve learnt
Working in academia can be a tricky thing. As much as the work can be inspiring, creative, and life-changing, it can also be isolating, uncertain, and insecure. In fact, Piirus has just published a post by the wonderful Ryan on the perils of isolation within academia. Ryan argued “very few people would liken graduate school to a leisurely jaunt”. And for … [Read more...] about Staying in academia: 3 things I find helpful at challenging times