Eight Years After Room 524

It dawned on me a few days ago that today is eight years since I started my life as a skills trainer. On September 15th 2008, I registered my business. I was a guy with a PhD in maths, a few ideas about what I might do as a freelancer, but no real clue. This was me: I left behind…

What does a great workshop need?

There are five things that great workshops need… …and I hope my upcoming Viva Survivor workshop will meet all of these. After six years of running effective viva preparation workshops in universities around the UK, I took the plunge in June and ran an independent version. PhD candidates from around the UK – and beyond, someone flew in the night…

Workshop Goodybag

My independent Viva Survivor workshop is on June 29th, and I’m really excited to share with you what participants will be getting on the day. I’ve been delivering this workshop for six years. There are a couple of handouts that I’ve used in the past, and on occasion universities have paid to provide ebooks for participants. I know that the…

Viva Survivor: In the beginning…

In July 2010, quite out of the blue, I was asked if I could deliver a workshop on preparing for the viva at the University of Manchester. My viva was still quite fresh in my mind. At the time, I was trying to find my style as a facilitator. I’ll bet if I could look back at a video from…

Books and the Workshop

My independent Viva Survivor workshop has helped me a lot and it’s not even run yet. It’s got me making very quick progress with some ideas I’ve been considering. With workshops run through universities there is a limit to what can be provided to participants in three hours or via handouts. I knew that I wanted to give participants at…

Finding Ziferblat

My independent Viva Survivor workshop is taking place on June 29th at Ziferblat in Manchester. I’ve felt stuck about doing an independent workshop for a long time, partly because I couldn’t find a great venue. Fortunately, I went to Ziferblat in April, and Ziferblat is a really great venue: It has good transport links, halfway between the two major train…

Why am I doing an independent workshop?

I announced a few days ago that I’m delivering an independent viva preparation workshop in Manchester on June 29th. You can find full details and how to book at this page; I said that I’d be regularly blogging between now and the workshop about the process of preparing for it, and some of the cool things that I want to…

Coming Soon: Viva Survivor Workshop

Hello! For the longest time I’ve wanted to deliver an independent workshop to PGRs. Don’t get me wrong, I love working in universities, and I plan to keep doing that for a long time to come. But I wanted a new challenge and I wanted to share my Viva Survivor workshop with PGRs at institutions that I don’t routinely visit.…

Self-Publishing For Academics, out now!

Last week I wrote to say that I had a new book out today, so here it is! Helen and I worked hard on this for months, and the end result is a compact how-to guide on self-publishing, aimed at academics who are wondering what it’s all about and if it’s right for them. Yesterday, the awesome Research Whisperer blog…

Announcing: Self-Publishing For Academics, new e-book!

Hello! It’s been a few months since I last wrote, but that’s all for a good reason: I’ve been working hard on several things, but in particular on Self-Publishing For Academics, a new e-book that I’ve been writing with Helen Kara. Helen is an indie researcher, I’m an indie skills trainer and we’ve both self-published books before. Helen got in…