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””
This week Jonathan Ward, who is part of Liveable Cities team in Civil Engineering, shares his experience of working from home as a postgraduate researcher…
Doing my PhD from home has given me an opportunity to reflect on a few things which I’d like to share with you. It brings benefits, but also pitfalls. Continue reading “Working from home”
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”
Carol Gray, a doctoral researcher at Birmingham Law School, shares her experience with us on designing online courses…
“To teach is to learn twice”, as the saying goes.
Have you ever found yourself explaining your research to other people, then wondering how much they have taken in? Ever been tempted to set them a quick quiz to test this? (Okay, that’s probably going a bit too far….)
What about your key stakeholders or colleagues? Wouldn’t it be good to share your results with them in a format that allows the learning to count as Continuing Professional Development (CPD)? Many professionals are now required to complete a certain number of hours of CPD per year, and this can be a powerful recruitment tool for short courses.
So, why don’t you think about turning your research topic into an on-line learning module? On-line learning has become a hugely popular form of learning, either on its own or mixed with face-to-face sessions as “blended learning.” Continue reading “Turn your research into a course!”
PGR Careers Adviser Holly Prescott and current PhD researcher Nick Howe discuss how to get to grips with transferable skills as a PGR
The term ‘transferable skills’ often elicits either:
- A flashback from a cringe-worthy team-building day
- Utter bemusement
So let’s think about it in another way.
Imagine your postgraduate research degree wasn’t just about writing a however-many-thousand-word thesis. Imagine that, at the same time, you were also becoming a proficient project manager, an expert in conveying complex information in an accessible way, and a skilled diplomat capable of managing a whole host of potentially tricky professional situations and working relationships.
Call it selling yourself, call it ‘spin,’ call it whatever you like… but there’s no imagination required. As a PGR, you are already ALL OF THESE THINGS. And, chances are, much more besides. When it comes to considering potential careers and applying for jobs then, the trick is being able to reflect not just on what we know as PGRs, but what we can do. Continue reading “Your PGR skills: from feeding bees to being the bees-knees…”
Welcome to 2017!
The month of January is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, endings, and transitions, and is often a time when we resolve to do things differently. Are you considering any research-related resolutions for 2017? Continue reading “Happy New Year!”