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.

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’”

Lessons learned: managing research data

As undergrads, postgrads and even PhD (or PGR) students, we receive constant reminders that we need to save our research data at multiple places and frequently, both from teachers, supervisors and peers. There are also conferences and symposia dedicated to underlining the importance of making data available and replicability. However, by taking an online course provided by my University, I’ve recently learned that to ensure replicability and the later availability of your data, there are more steps you should take. These are the lessons I’ve learned… Continue reading “Lessons learned: managing research data”