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Showing posts from November, 2012

Getting a PhD: Working with your Supervisor

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(If the level of attendance for workshops on how to work effectively with your supervisor is anything to go by, I would say this is one of the biggest challenges faced by postgraduate researchers, so let's explore it a bit).


PhD research requirements and learning outcomes At my university, a Master of Research, Master of Philosophy and Doctorate all require you to produce original work with potential for publication but what differentiates a Doctorate from the others is independent critical ability. It is important for you to be aware of your university’s expectations because anything your supervisor asks of you should fit into the learning outcomes set by the university. Knowing your ‘rights’ helps because if your supervisor is asking you to go beyond your learning outcomes and you have a problem with this, you have the right to query it. Generally, PhD learning outcomes include your ability to discover, understand and communicate new knowledge; develop plans for implementing your…

Getting a PhD: Stress management – A balancing act

While doing postgraduate research, sources of stress can be academic, personal or work-related (if you’re working and studying at the same time). If you are an international student, you could also experience the stress of culture shock and not having close family around, so a few practical tips on stress management:


Be aware of your response to stress before you get into stressful situations:  
Do you tend to eat/sleep a lot or too little? Grow irritable? Forgetful? Experience neck pain, tension headaches, skin problems? Hiss and sigh a lot? Identifying your symptoms beforehand helps you control them when you begin to encounter stressful situations (quite like getting kitted for war before the battle begins, not after).
Take care of yourselfEat sensibly, exercise, take breaks- it is said that most postgraduate researchers are highly driven people, so tend to find it difficult to switch off from academic work or subconsciously feel guilty for doing so. A commenter in one of The Guardi…