Minimalism can be a strange beast. Right now, my life’s possessions consist of: 1. one small tortoiseshell cat; 2. one (admittedly squished) wardrobe’s worth of clothes; 3. four blankets; and, 4. eight boxes that I can pick up, mostly filled with books, art, and all my cake tins. You know – the vital things to life. I used … [Read more...] about The Academic Art of Minimalism
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
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?
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
In this guest blogpost we hear from Dr Jenna Lane. She tells an inspiring story of how a career can take shape when you know what you love doing and can recognise opportunities – even if you still don’t know what you want to be when you ‘grow up’. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had passing thoughts of being a doctor (too much … [Read more...] about What do you want to be when you grow up?
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
This is our first blogpost from our new piirus.ac.uk social media correspondent, Dr Luana Chiquetto. Luana is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and we’re delighted that she is able to broaden the international perspective of our team! In this post she describes some of the highs and lows of the post-phd career landscape that she observes. I'm not the only one … [Read more...] about I got a PhD: Now what? Discovering the post-phd career landscape
Finding information on academic career breaks is tough, given there is scant information on the real and perceived impacts of taking a break. The exception is perhaps maternity leave which is relatively well recorded. But career breaks come in all shapes and sizes, including for reasons of ill health. Here Patrizia Rossi tells us about her interview with … [Read more...] about The Comeback Kid: Returning to research after a career break
In this excellent blogpost from Damien Debecker we hear about what researchers might gain from reading scientific blog posts, but also we can glean some ideas about why and how to write about science in blog posts. In addition to the regular scientific literature, the world-wide-web is now full of alternative forms of scientific narration. Among those, I … [Read more...] about 5 reasons why I read scientific blog posts (or why to blog your science!)
In this guest post by Dr Ewan Ingleby of Teesside University in the UK, we hear about how we might approach teaching and learning about research methods. It has a useful list of academic references at the end, and the title references Elton John's famous song too! ‘Yikes, research methods, I’m terrified!’ It’s a phrase I’ve heard at the beginning of … [Read more...] about Goodbye yellow brick road! Putting the method into teaching research methodology
This guest blogpost by Andrew Marsh (@marshgroup, who works @warwickchem) reveals some of the main reasons for scientists to tweet and is full of useful examples. Why would researchers, students and academics want to share experiences or their views on research through social media? Well, at its most basic, isn’t that what we do all the time through … [Read more...] about From #realtimechem to #whywedoresearch: Who are the Tweeting scientists?
Guest blogger Scott Reeves is Professor in Interprofessional Research at the Centre for Health & Social Care Research, Kingston & St George’s, University of London, UK. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Interprofessional Care. Here he talks about the research landscape within interprofessional education. Over the past 20 years of … [Read more...] about Interprofessional education – considering the research agenda
Jean Branan and Madeline McCurry-Schmidt are the authors of this blogpost, which turns the spotlight on communication skills for scientists and introduces a wealth of useful resources. This is particularly timely, after our Piirus recent survey results identified the difficulties of communication when making interdisciplinary connections. In the Career … [Read more...] about Let’s talk science: tips for sharing your research with colleagues and the public
Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical neuropsychologist, EMDR consultant and PTSD and trauma specialist with special expertise in military and veteran psychological health and is now also the 81st President of the British Psychological Society (2015-2016). He is Visiting Professor of Military Psychology at Anglia … [Read more...] about Interview with the British Psychological Society President Jamie Hacker Hughes
Often in life two different groups of people (and often more) see the same situation from two different sides. The day to day problems that arise in a higher education institution are no different. Miscommunication and a lack of understanding can cause confusion, friction and eventually lead to conflict over even small issues. Having just moved to the … [Read more...] about Two Sides to the Same Coin