Category: work

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…

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…

Under Pressure

I stopped work on a planned series of books in the summertime because it no longer felt like fun. I felt pressured. What a wimp! I hear you cry, and you’re kind of right. If everyone stopped everything because there was a bit of pressure then we wouldn’t get anywhere at all. But nevertheless, it stopped being fun as a…

A Trip To London

Last Thursday I went down to London for the day. It wasn’t for sightseeing – thank goodness as the Tube was on strike – but to see Emma Cole who does the PhD Vlog, and chat with her about viva prep and other related things! It was great to meet up with Emma after watching the final month of her…

On Guest Posts

Unless this is the first post of mine that you’ve read, you’ll know two things about me: one is that I really enjoy writing things (and delivering workshops!) for postgraduate researchers, and the other is that I run the Viva Survivors Podcast. But these are not the only outlets I’ve had for communicating with researchers. In the past I’ve written…

Stand & Deliver

Last week I facilitated on my first workshop in almost a month. The break was halfway-intentional: a few clients have had changes in the last year. This meant that workshops which previously made the end of May and start of June a very busy time made it a very quiet time. As this became apparent I fixed the time as…

One Hundred Posts

This is the hundredth post so far on this blog. No guest posts, no repeats – a couple of round-ups – but a hundred original posts including this one. I started sharing posts on this blog in mid-September last year, with the hope of maintaining a regular schedule. For the most part I think I’ve kept that up, although I…