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
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?
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
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
Irrespective of which hemisphere you currently live in, the conversation about academic leave this holiday season can bring up some uncomfortable truths for those studying or working. Social Media correspondent Sarah Wayland explores the conundrum of ‘to stop or not to stop’ when those around you take leave… A few weeks ago, I began as a Post-Doc Research … [Read more...] about Rethinking leave – to stop or not to stop this holiday season
This year has seen a lot of focus in the press on issues of precariousness in employment for early career researchers, many of whom are seeking a way out of precarity. In the last quarter of this year, our blog has looked a lot at the career options available to those who finish their PhD. Career paths are a theme close to the core mission of piirus.ac.uk … [Read more...] about Why researchers might want a way out of precarity
As Twitter’s Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo) has only just finished, your motivation for writing might already be exhausted. But don't give up now! Our correspondent Sarah Wayland writes about journal papers that remain unpublished, due to being unsubmitted or rejected. What does it take for such homeless journal papers to be published? In the midst of … [Read more...] about Revisiting and reviving “homeless” journal papers
I believe that everyone in academia, especially those who are not English native speakers, has to, once in a while, write in a language that is not their mother tongue - be it simply an email, a job application or a paper submission to a journal. In Brazil, most universities offer translation services when an academic wants to submit a paper to important … [Read more...] about How to write in a language that is not your own
This guest blogpost by piirus.ac.uk member Doug Rocks-Macqueen looks at estimated numbers to enhance our understanding of the academic job availability across the disciplines in the UK. Academic jobs— PhD students and Early Career Researchers are told they are either handing them out like candy or that the job market is like a dystopian young adult novel … [Read more...] about Got (or getting) your PhD? Great! But, how likely are you to land an academic job?
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.