A blog post I wrote for Jobs.ac.uk on making yourself employable during your PhD, particularly for a career in academia.
6 March 2014, The Guardian Higher Education Network. I was invited to comment on academia and mental health for this article.
Research Seminar, 5 March 2014, Department of English, Durham University
Perhaps rather predictably the poem from which this post takes its title, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” (1920), tells of a traveller’s decision to walk one road in favour of another when he encounters two divergent paths on his way. He tries to predict, as far as possible from his position, where each may lead. Conscious that his choice comes with unpredictable implications, he is aware also that, once his decision is made, he most likely won’t return to explore “the road not taken”. We are told that the choice he made that day “made all the...
Some of the most common questions with which PhD researchers are concerned focus on how they should set their priorities during their doctoral studies. What else, and how much of it, should you do next to researching and writing your thesis? As so often, I can’t answer this for all PhD students in all disciplines, but I wanted to try and give you an overview of some useful starting points if you’re hoping to prepare yourself for the academic job market during your doctoral studies rather than after, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. So some of...
An anonymous contributor reflects on the relationship between love and academia, and on whether the former can really be applied to our work.
An anonymous guest blogger shares their story of adjusting to their mental health issues during her PhD with the help of institutional support services.
An anonymous blogger shares their thoughts on academia as a competitive realm relationship and its effects on mental health.
Vivienne Dunstan reflects on two very different experiences of being a PhD student with a long-term illness .
Interview feedback is difficult to approach, both giving and receiving. As someone who has more often been on the receiving end, I’ve found directly helpful feedback to be the exception rather than the rule. So, this post is about how to interpret feedback which might not tell you as much as you want. For me, there are three phases to thinking about the interview after the event. 1. Be honest with yourself When you come out of the interview, after you’ve taken a few deep breaths / had a shower / got home and had a stiff...