Amber gives a number of really good suggestions for contextualising advice and deciding which pieces of advice you should take or leave. I would recommend you read her post.
[T]here’s an awful lot of advice out there. And then there’s just awful advice. So, how do you separate the wood from the trees … ?
Her advice (!) can be summarised, in my view, as a two-step process: contextualise the advice from the giver, and be highly self-reflective when considering whether it can usefully apply to you. It’s this second point that I want to pick up in more detail. Continue reading “Advice? Take it or leave it.”
Recently, Melina Delmas, PGR in Modern Languages, was giving advice to a friend of hers who is starting her PhD this September. Melina shares her helpful tips with all of us as a welcome to our new PGRs.
Are you a new postgraduate researcher at the University of Birmingham? Do you feel a bit daunted at the thought of starting this new adventure? If so, fear not. Lucky for you the University of Birmingham has lots of resources to help you. Here are a few tips to start you off on the right foot! Continue reading “Welcome to the University of Birmingham!”
August. Somewhat surprisingly, the last few weeks have been hot, like summer is “supposed” to be. Campus is quiet, eerily so, at times. Lots of colleagues are taking annual leave, and there aren’t as many e-mails flying round as usual. The days are long.
For some, this is a time of fewer distractions, and an opportunity to focus on their research. For others, motivation is low as the hot weather induces lethargy and the beaches/mountains/meadows seem so enticing. For others still, deadlines loom large and all these external things are irrelevant. How can you ensure that you make the summer work for you? Continue reading “Give yourself a break”
This week, we’ve had the annual PGR Writing Summer School, with a range of insightful workshops on various aspects of academic and thesis writing. And, of course, we’ve had national excitement around England’s place in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I’d been wondering how to tie these together for this blog, when this article on football psychology caught my eye, and chimed with a couple of comments made during the Writing Summer School. How can we build our resilience to tackle a fear of failure and deal with difficult feedback constructively? Continue reading “Feedback’s coming home!”
In one of our occasional series of spotlights, we take a closer look at a specific descriptor from the RDF.
In this series of “Spotlight on…” posts, we’ll be delving into the detail of the descriptors in Vitae‘s Researcher Development Framework (RDF). Each one of the sixty-three descriptors is a characteristic of an excellent researcher, and we’ll be looking at how UoB PGRs can develop these characteristics.
Enthusiasm is defined by the OED as “passionate eagerness in any pursuit, proceeding from an intense conviction of the worthiness of the object”  and I think this is something that many of us can identify with when we embark on a new research undertaking. However, passion and intensity require a lot of energy to maintain, so this post explores ways to keep enthusiasm and motivation high over the course of a research programme. Continue reading “Spotlight on the RDF: “Enthusiasm””
In this blog post Patricia Herterich, the Research Repository Advisor in the University of Birmingham Library, provides a summary and reflection of the Writing Summer School session “Navigating the maze of research and writing tools”…
Using the right tools is crucial to make your research and writing processes as efficient as possible. There are plenty of tools to choose from to support the full research life cycle from discovering literature related to research to publishing and promoting your own works. To get a better understanding, Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman surveyed the tools used by researchers around the world for 9 months in 2015/16. The more than 20,000 survey answers can be accessed for detailed research and inspired some workflows based on e.g. services offered by the same provider or services that support the ideas of Open Science. Continue reading “How to find your tools of the trade”