PG Tips – Advice from part time researchers

vitaeVitae have been running a project called the ‘Part-time researcher programme’, where they interviewed  a number of part time researchers about how their experiences of completing their doctorates.
The result is a series of films and recorded interviews, that contain some execellent advice, whether you are a part time or full time Post grad.

Listed below are some snippets of advice from this programme.

What tips would you give to others undertaking a part-time doctorate?
‘You need to set aside chunks of time for your PhD to do it effectively. So enlist any help that you can whether in work or with the family in enabling you to get full days set aside for your PhD.’

‘Don’t stress out over time when you are not actively working on your PhD. Even though you are not directly thinking about it, your brain is working on the issues and you don’t need to sit there and deal with it 24 hours a day, seven days week in order to get there in the end.’

‘Try and demonstrate progress to yourself.’

‘Use a package like Endnote in order to keep your references well organised because there is nothing worse than searching through piles of journals for something you know you saw three weeks ago.’

‘Be tenacious, because a PhD is a long haul thing.’

‘Carry forward into your new life (as a researcher) the sort of disciplines of selforganisation and time-management that you’ve learnt in your professional life.’

‘Maintain a presence, even if it is only a virtual presence, with your supervisor. Make sure that you have regular appointments in the diary, maybe fortnightly to start with.’

‘Communicate with friends, family, … people at work, your boss so they know what you are doing with your spare time and why you seem to have disappeared from social life. Communicate to them how important it is what you are doing.’


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