Universities and research are going through a tough time at the moment. Researchers/scientists are seen as less and less relevant – think climate change, vaccines, genetically modified crops, medicinal marijuana. Employment as an academic researcher has lost its shine. Degrees are being devalued. And graduates are wondering if it is all worth it.
The four key elements of Project Management are cost, quality, scope and time. Of all four, I most often get asked to help researchers with cost. Or more to the point budget setting and management.
As researchers you have likely learnt, relearnt, unlearnt, and subsequently performed many tasks, experiments, and activities. Yet, have you ever stopped to ask why? Or to question if you are the most appropriate person to undertake that particular task?
Growing up, my next door neighbour was into gardening. He kept a huge vegetable garden covering half their backyard. Back in those days blocks were a quarter and houses we covered less than a quarter of that. I was reminded of his gardening exploits when I recently shared the same excitement that he did – […]
1. Tenacity: Perseverance through adversity. Not many people stick with one project for a year, let alone three years or more. The ability to stay focused for that long on one thing. On answering one question. That is immensely valuable to potential employers. For some, this could also extend to specific examples within your PhD. […]
Average completion times for a PhD vary, but most data suggests at least four years (full time) as an average. In some cases, the average completion time is more than seven years! So, how can we reduce that time. Short of doing more work or more hours (which I do not recommend), or being more […]
It is no longer enough to offer “just a PhD program”. Universities and their faculties, colleges, schools and departments all need to prepare PhD graduates for the workforce. And not just the research or academic workforce, but the wider workforce. We know that 50% of PhD graduates will immediately go onto a non-academic career, and […]
Building a website is easy – but there’s lots that might confuse so… In six steps: 1. Choose a domain name (your name is easiest). 2. Register with an all-in-one provider (they’ll register the name, host the website and provide a content management system). 3. Decide on what you will cover/focus on. Just research? Or […]
There are often cries in research “you should have a mentor” but what does that mean, and how do you even get one? IMHO a mentor is someone who has been through some of the things you are going through and can provide advice, guidance, and suggestions on the types of actions and approaches you […]
PhD students have some of the highest rates of mental fatigue of any part of the research system. Some studies even show PhD students as having the worst mental health of all professions and students. Why is this the case? And what can the sector do about it? We look at some of the data […]