A friend of mine asked me recently how I managed to finish a PhD in three and a bit years, with a full-time job and a full-time homelife. I found it quite hard to answer her, especially given that, in retrospect, my PhD doesn't seem all that difficult now (kind of like when you have … Continue reading Setting up, maintaining, mending your support systems
Feedback. It's a prickly issue for writers. We both want it and fear it. It makes us nervous, fearful, tired, annoyed, cheered - sometimes all of these things in one essay/paper/chapter. One of the most helpful things I learned during my PhD was how to ask for feedback - the feedback I needed. This post … Continue reading Getting the feedback you need
This is a tricky post for me to write - it feels risky in a way. I know my supervisor reads this blog, and I don't want to offend her in any way. But I'm going to take this risk (and I think she would probably agree) because this is an issue that I don't … Continue reading What happens when you know your study better than your supervisor does?
This is supposed to be a somewhat lighthearted post, rather than a serious exposition on feedback. I was chatting to some friends and fellow PhD travellers recently about how we make sense of our supervisors' feedback - what we read into some of the ways in which they phrase comments and questions that give us clues … Continue reading Deciphering your supervisor’s feedback
This post is mostly about advice to prospective or starting-out PhD students, and it's about choosing a supervisor and setting up a mutually respectful and constructive relationship. A PhD supervisor is the most important person in a PhD student's academic life for the duration of the process: good supervision can make the experience one of … Continue reading Choosing the right supervisor for you