So, the new academic year is about to start and this week we are welcoming new students at all levels across the University of Birmingham. New postgraduate researchers are arriving, finding accommodation, meeting with their supervisors and wondering what they’ve let themselves in for.
No-one is born as the perfect researcher, so new researchers have a lot of knowledge, skills, and behaviours to develop over the next few years (as, indeed, have all researchers as they move through their careers!). This blog, and other support available across the University, will hopefully support that process. Of course, this blog is also quite new, so we’ll be learning and developing together.
So, to kick us off, here are some links to resources and information specifically targeted at new PGRs, although existing PGRs may also find them useful:
- It would be odd not to start with the University Graduate School’s webpage for new PGRs.
- Pat Thomson’s fantastic blog patter has recently posted some good advice for new starters, and an archive of posts relating to Starting the PhD.
- Vitae, an organisation supporting the development of researchers, have a “Focus on” theme of getting started in a new role from August to October this year (after October, access via the Focus on series page). There are useful resources available, and you can join them at their next Twitter chat on the 5 October 2016 (#vitaechat).
- On a lighter note, read the PhD Comics (but beware that working through the archive will take time away from your research…)
- Bonus item: the other newbie on campus this week is the new Main Library. Come and explore your shiny new Library building, including the Researcher Suite on the 1st floor (just for you!), and arrange an appointment with your Subject Advisor.
New starters – what are your particular concerns about what the next few years have in store? Old hands – what are your “top tips” and favourite resources for those new to a postgraduate research programme?