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
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
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
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
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?
Following on from last week when he set off on a post-PhD career journey, our correspondent Dr Christopher Ferguson explores more of his career path. Having found a promising direction, that of supporting researchers with their grant applications, I needed to find out more about such roles at the University. The first thing that I started doing was taking … [Read more...] about A Post PhD Career Journey in 3 Parts. Part Two: The Marginal (Career) Advantage
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
Prior to the EU referendum, Nature surveyed nearly a thousand researchers in the UK, the vast majority of which felt Brexit would be “very harmful” to UK Science. Wherever you sit in the Brexit debate there is no denying that, post-Brexit, there will be implications for the science and research community. This blog post looks at two areas that … [Read more...] about Brexit and the UK researcher: an uncertain path
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
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?
I have a fear of coming across at times as a demented fan-girl of people whose work I admire. I am a naturally passionate person with my emotions happily tattooed on my sleeve. I’m the one who messages friends because I’m reading the most incredible book, listening to a fantastic band, loving a new recipe, and sharing the happiness seems an obvious and easy … [Read more...] about Finding the human in your research idol
Valentine’s day is fast approaching and individual researchers may be seeking out new researcher collaborations, or romancing their ideas, or even getting themselves ready for a night in with those grant applications! Okay, so perhaps not the typical Valentine’s day. As you are already aware, from my fellow correspondent’s blog post last week, … [Read more...] about How to ‘Love Your Research’? A #piirusvoices event.
At Piirus, we know that internationalising your research is an important career step for you as an academic: it can make your research more productive and raise the profile of your research, bringing it to new audiences. The UK's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills reported in 2013 that an increase in research productivity was at least partly … [Read more...] about Building an international profile as a researcher: our survey respondents said…
We're delighted to feature this guest post by Dr Sharon McDonough: she offers her perspective on both the academic life and farming.a All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure Two years ago armed only with my PhD and the Twain quote from above, I became an accidental olive farmer. You might wonder how an academic … [Read more...] about Lessons from the farm: coping with uncertainty in academic life