PhD Money Matters: Funding a Final Year

Most funding bodies fund PhD research for three years (full time) and five years for part time students, maybe four at a push for full-timers, and six for part timers. Other students successfully plan to self-fund, or partially self-fund for the initial three or five years. However, we all know (on the down-low) that many projects extend beyond the funding/planned period. So what do people do?

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Dealing with Journal Rejections as an Early-Career Researcher

Among the many encouraging positive comments I received at the BERA-BAICE Writing for Publication Workshop, a persistent message conveyed by other early career researchers was this: it was important for them to learn about not only my successful publication experience, but also my vulnerability in the face of rejections. Given space constraints, in this post I will focus solely on how I dealt with rejections.

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The PhD Experience as an Apprenticeship into Academia

Throughout the three years of my PhD I had the opportunity to contribute to different research projects, to publish, and to teach; although it might seem like a bit of a cliché to say that the experience was an apprenticeship into academia, for me, that’s exactly what it was. So here are a few personal reflections on what I feel were the most influential factors in progressing from the PhD, to a postdoc position on the MEITS project, and ultimately into a lectureship.

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My #PhDshelfie: Michelle

When I was planning my transatlantic move and really being forced to think about what kinds of books might come with me, and later how I would build my library here, I largely ignored academic texts. When packing, I chose books – and films – that would be a reminder of home, but also things that that would remind me why I chose to pursue this career. My hope was that I would become better at stepping back from the work and into a literary space that remained enjoyable and could act as a balm for a too-often overtired mind.

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Raising the Bar? Why PhD Students and Postdocs Publish and Perish, and How They Could Publish and Flourish Instead (Part 2)

I propose here that to publish and flourish the focus must shift from our obsessions with metrics to our contributions to knowledge. The metrics are merely (or at least should be) by-products of the research process. To flourish within this crude system, let me offer some tips on getting published frequently and publishing well to thrive in your first postdoctoral years in academia.

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Raising the Bar? Why PhD Students and Postdocs Publish and Perish, and How They Could Publish and Flourish Instead (Part 1)

Publish or perish remains a popular maxim in higher education circles. Although it may ring of neoliberal institutional straight-jacketing or self-imposed bio-governance – and there is resistance against it by a number of academic groups – the experience for many scholars is that the mantra still holds true. It seems as though one must publish often in high-impact journals or expect to be relegated to a second-class citizen of the academy. The challenge is to face this situation without succumbing to the pressure. My task then in this short two-part blog post is to offer some tips from my personal experience as an early-career academic and recent graduate of the Faculty of Education in Cambridge on how to publish often and publish well.

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My PhD Journey in 8 Pictures

I am Lina and I like pictures. If asked to introduce myself to a group of academics, I would say: “I am Lina and for my PhD thesis I explored how children engage with wordless picture books.” Given my love for visual stories and my PhD topic, I hereby succumb to a temptation I always had in mind: to summarise my entire PhD life in 8 pictures. A complete thesis for the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge is equivalent to approximately 80000 words. Based on the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, for the sake of this blog post, let’s equip images with even more power and try to visualise a four-year PhD experience.

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Going Alt-Ac After a PhD in Education

I spent most of my PhD worrying about what I was going to do once I finished it. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but I just could not find the place to do it. My research focuses on the intersection of human rights and education and I wanted to keep on working on both aspects of it. This was a nightmare in terms of job hunting. Human Rights Education is quite a new field so there were not many positions available – only one since 2014, to be precise – and positions in education faculties had little or no connections with human rights at all.

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