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
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
How many hours would you say you work a week? We've talked a lot about managing workloads lately on our blog, from imagining an alternative academic career to productivity hacks, but we all tiptoe around the topic of actual working time and the harsh realities of working flexibly. This topic holds a particular interest to me as my PhD is on flexible work, … [Read more...] about Working 5 to 9: how many hours are enough?
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
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
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
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?
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
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!
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
Earlier this year we attended the Vitae Researcher Developer conference. Here we delivered a range of sessions on academic career breaks as well as presenting a poster on collaboration competencies. There was a lot of interest in our poster and since the event we’ve been working on a version to share more widely. With the festive season upon us, here it is … [Read more...] about Competencies needed for research collaboration: an infographic
Following on from last week's post on the crisis that Europe is headed for, our latest guest blogger, Vera Reed presents an overview of the career position of those with a PhD or doctorate in the United States. Only 1.68% of Americans who are 25 years old or more have earned a PhD, which adds up to about 2.5 million persons, according to data from the … [Read more...] about US Doctorate Earners and Their Earning Potential: What Do We Know?