Catch Up, 13th October 2014

Every two weeks or so, on a Monday, I write a recap of what I’ve been posting about – just in case you missed anything, after all, you’re busy, it’s not all about me! – and also share a couple of links to articles or things that I’ve found interesting recently.

On this blog

I shared some ideas about capturing ideas, and then a couple of posts each with ten questions: first, for people who were starting a PhD and the second for people who were starting another year of their PhD. The second seemed to interest folk a lot, I was tweeted left, right and centre and had a few hundred people come and read it! If you shared it, thank you, and if you read it I hope it helped.

Last week was all about the research I’ve been working on, looking into the viva experience of PhD graduates in the UK. This was a series of five posts, and I am very happy that they have been shared and read as widely as they have already. I’m thinking hard about the next step for this research – I have a couple of ideas, and if you have any thoughts please get in touch!

Anyway, enough about this blog – what other treats have I seen?

Meanwhile, elsewhere

How to survive a first year viva – the Manchester STEPS blog is starting up again, and one of the first posts is a great little collection of helpful tips for the first year viva by Hannah Roberts. Really great, practical advice.

conference blog – post conference follow-up – I had missed in the last catch up post that Pat Thomson had written a series of posts recently related to conferences. This is another excellent collection of great pointers.

Things I Learnt During My (PhD) Thesis – another article from Manchester STEPS, this time by Sam Relton; a nice piece of reflection on the PhD, and in particular I think it’s useful because so many examples are given.

The sophistication of truth – I’m signed up to Seth Godin’s mailing list, and every day I get a little something interesting to think over. This post from September 30th made me think about the PhD and jargon: we don’t have to make something complicated for it to be great, and research can be shared with and appreciated by people who don’t have the same background as you.

Viva Survivors Podcast, Episode 27 – OK, OK, so this is a slight cheat because I create these too! The latest episode is really good, and features Dr Claire O’Callaghan talking to me about doing her PhD part time and telling me what her viva was like. Lots of great advice for viva prep, and interesting research too.

Looking Ahead

For the rest of this week you can expect more creative thinking tips, a book review and on Thursday the first in a series on questions I get asked on a regular basis about the viva. And next week I’m planning another short series of posts that I’m loosely calling “Time and the PhD“. I have a big interest in time and productivity, and becoming a dad in the last year has only deepened that interest! How much time will you spend on your PhD? The series will probably be a few reflective posts, and maybe a couple interested in actions. We’ll see.

And I’ve not forgotten about Patreon – stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details on that and how you can support writing for postgraduate researchers.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)