Continuing our recent mini-theme of online conferences, Lluís Jerez i Bertolín, a PGR from the School of History and Cultures, shares with us his experience of organising one.
In late April of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc around the world, which was not good. I stepped from assisting the organisation of the Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology Colloquium (CAHA Colloquium) to being its sole organiser, which was also not good. As the Colloquium could not be postponed to the next academic year, it had to take place online, which at the time I saw as a complete disaster.
We’ve recently heard about attending virtual conferences, but what about presenting your research online? Ciara Harris has recent experience of this, for the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition and her Annual Progress Review (APR). Here, she shares her experiences.
First things first, presenting virtually might have some additional challenges compared to ‘traditional’ presentations, but it has advantages too – there’s no travel time, so you can go straight from another project into your presentation (maybe grabbing a cup of tea in between), you can practice your presentation in the exact environment you plan to present in, and you can have chocolate on your desk ready for as soon as you turn your camera off after presenting!
Kish Adoni, PhD student in the School of Biosciences, recently attended a two-week online conference hosted by The American Society of Mass Spectrometry (ASMS). He shares his experience in this post.
What do you think about online scientific conferences?
It’s weird! That’s the first thing I’d say. No more loitering around the confectionary section of a big hall, waiting to speak to a professor from another university whose papers sprawl across your office desk. There is also no chance of having one too many pints of Guinness and spilling your latest confidential scientific idea to another academic in your field. I suppose whether those things are a positive or a negative depends on personal preference, but one thing is for sure: online conferences are going to become more normal and the chances are that you will attend one.
In this post, April-Louise Pennant, a PGR from CoSS, describes her recent experience of having her viva conducted online. Congratulations to April-Louise for passing with minor corrections!
A viva is one of the biggest days of your life, a day you will remember for the rest of your life and the day you defend years of your hard work. If like me, you had to wait 6 months for this day (instead of the usual 2), the prospect of it being cancelled or even postponed – despite a surreal global health pandemic like the Coronavirus – is going to irk your soul.
When it looked likely that a national lockdown was imminent and everything began to move online, I waited with bated breath to hear news about what was going to happen to my viva. Scheduled ages ago for Wednesday 25 March, it was firmly marked in my diary and my mind, and for the last 6 months I had been preparing vehemently. Eight days before my viva, I was informed that it would still go ahead but that it would take place online via Skype. Continue reading “Defending my PhD via Skype”
This month is #AcWriMo (academic writing month), so Vicky Wallace, Research Skills Advisor, talks about academic writing, but perhaps not for an obvious audience.
What is The Conversation?
Launched in Australia in 2011, and then in the UK in 2013, The Conversation is an independent source of informed opinion from the academic and research community. The Conversation is funded by universities, research institutions, corporate bodies, foundations and reader donations, enabling it to be free for readers and authors. And PhD students may write for The Conversation! Continue reading “Join The Conversation”
First of all, take a break. Away from your thesis, and away from your research. This well-earned holiday is both a chance to reconnect with yourself as more than just the author of your thesis, and to reconnect with family and friends that you may have been neglecting recently. Importantly, this also gives you a new perspective on your thesis for when you return to it to prepare forthe next milestone in your journey, namely your viva.
How many e-mails do you receive in a day? How many e-mails do you think your supervisor receives in a day? A typical supervisor might receive well over 100 e-mails every day. What can you do to help make e-mail an effective communication tool between you and your supervisor when your supervisor has so many messages to deal with?
One way to think about conference abstracts is that they are a sales pitch for your presentation/poster. You are trying to sell your presentation first of all to the conference organisers, and then if accepted, to the conference attendees who will be using the abstracts to decide which presentations to attend and which posters to seek out. Continue reading “Abstracts: art or science?”
When deciding whether to award a research degree or not, the examiners have two things at their disposal: the thesis and the viva.
You may feel anxious about the latter because you have never experienced an examination of this type before, and you are uncertain about exactly what you expect. You may also feel that the viva requires skills that you don’t use regularly – but in this you would be wrong.