The PhD and sacrifice

We all have to make sacrifices, be it to afford a new car or to meet a goal long sought-after. Two and a half years in, I realise that the major sacrifice that I have had to make is that of free time and, to an extent, freedom.

To afford my PhD programme – and the 4 years of living here – I have had to work on the side. Nothing major, nothing much, but just to make ends meet. One of my side-gigs involves volunteering as a resident (or hall) tutor for the University and it is especially this job that signals the main issue with having to juggle a PhD and commitments on the side:

our work never ends.

It may start at the office, but it continues at home. We are asked to perform, and perform well, wherever we are. We receive evaluations at University, but also evaluations at home, be it from a Hall warden, our students that happen to live at the same place (help!), partners or family members.

Luckily, gigs are only temporary and can easily be let go off. Partners and family, hopefully, less so. I have therefore grown to have immense respect for peers who have to manage a wide range of responsibilities at home. Take care.

Collaborating with ‘the industry’ as a PhD student

Earlier last year I was given the chance to work together with the CEO of the start-up Yoop on a ‘submission of evidence’ for an all-party parliamentary group (APPG). This is a group in the UK Parliament composed of members of parliament from all political parties. This APPG, in particular, sought to provide recommendations for the House of Commons on critical literacy and fake news and their impact on younger generations.

This was a great experience and one of those (few, lucky) serendipitous occasions, of meeting someone at the right place, at the right time: shortly before submissions were due!

In the end, we were cited several times in the published report of recommendations, presented to the House of Commons, which can be found here. This is an achievement I am rather proud of!

I have written more about this collaboration and my thoughts for the UK Data Service Data Impact Blog, as part of a collaborative series with my friend and colleague Claudia Zucca, if you’d like to read more!

Esmeralda

Happy holidays!

I hereby would like to wish everyone happy holidays!

Best wishes, Merry Christmas and happy holidays! – Esmeralda

After somewhat of a hiatus I have finally managed to create a fresh (and much improved) look for this blog. I spent much of my time this year getting more familiar with Twitter and Instagram, but now that that is out of the way, I am more than excited to return to this space! See you in 2019!

Impact – 1

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m still here! I’ve recently written a blog post for the UK Data Service, part 1 of a series, which can be found here.  I think ‘impact’ is a very interesting concept, one that guides where most of the funding goes in academia, yet which is difficult if not impossible to accurately measure. In some ways, this measurement is not fair, because it creates ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. However, life isn’t fair, and for the sake of supporting (potentially) impactful research, the use of measurement can be regarded as a necessary evil.

Research Data Impact Fellow

I am delighted to share that starting this month I will be taking up a 2-year fellowship with the UK Data Service as a Data Impact Fellow.  This fellowship programme helps a number of researchers who are using UK Data Service data with making an impact by supporting public engagement activities.

A blog post summarising my research project as well as my plans can be found here, on the Data Impact Blog.

Let’s impact!

The value of context-specific communication and interdisciplinarity

In my spare time I sometimes work for a foundation. This foundation wants to communicate academic research in the fields of marketing, PR, advertising, etcetera, to practitioners. Think about marketeers, business owners, PR specialists…

Continue reading “The value of context-specific communication and interdisciplinarity”

Lessons learned: being a ‘digital scholar’

When I attend PhD training sessions, courses and events, we are always reminded that a successful PhD candidacy (at least somewhat, and perhaps even largely) depends on making an impact. In brief, being impactful = PhD success.

Knowing this, I have been reading about how to be an ‘open scholar’ or ‘digital scholar’. This is because I believe that (junior) academics rely on digital platforms for sharing knowledge and information. One of the books I’ve been reading is Martin Weller’s The Digital Scholar (2011)

Continue reading “Lessons learned: being a ‘digital scholar’”

A Committee Event

On July 10th, I attended an event organised by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL), called Setting the Standard – CSPL looks ahead in London. This was an event where together with academics, members of central and local government, regulators, academics and others, the CSPL discussed the content of their annual report, their understanding of current and developing issues, as well as their ‘forward plan’  and ‘strategic plan’. They opened the floor for feedback and specifically mentioned their desire and need for collaborations.

Continue reading “A Committee Event”

Social Media and Social Cohesion (Seminar)

A little bit over two weeks ago I attended a week-long seminar – sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, name dating to 1851 but founded by Louis Bonaparte in 1808) and the Hendrik Muller Fonds – about social media and social cohesion in Amsterdam, in the beautiful Trippenhuis (a Dutch heritage site and former museum, once housing Rembrandt’s ‘The Nightwatch’).  Continue reading “Social Media and Social Cohesion (Seminar)”