Sara Corpino is a distance learning PGR in the Department of Modern Languages and in this first part of a two-part post, she gives her tips on how to overcome difficulties and get through the PhD.
If I only had listened…
I have thought about applying for a PhD in Modern Languages for years before being brave enough to send my first proposal. I remember my academic colleagues telling me how difficult it would have been doing a PhD, but I was really motivated. Plus, I was not scared, as I thought that obtaining the PGCE in Modern Languages – which I had just finished – would have been the toughest experience in my life, until…I started my PhD first year. If I only had listened to those people preparing me, would I have changed my mind? Not at all! And would I have been more psychologically prepared? Possibly yes, but I could have been even too scared to take my first step into what has been the most rewarding – and of course challenging – experience of my life so far.
In this post, Simona Scanni, a distance learning PGR from the Department of Modern Languages, shares her challenges and the ways in which she has built her resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You will feel alone. Nobody will understand your research work, nobody will ask you about it. So be prepared to feel alone as a part of the journey.
This was, more or less, the advice we were given by some PGR fellows during the very first residential week in September, on my first year as a PhD student. At the time, I opted for the distance learning programme, so I was already prepared about the idea of being far away from the campus and university services, and somehow isolated from the campus life. My research is about online learning which, ironically, was something existing but still “remote” for many people. The pro was that I could actually conduct my research from home or from any part of the world.
Continuing her occasional series, “survive and thrive”, Katie Hoare from Careers Network explores a key skill sought after by employers in the post-COVID-19 world. It’s likely that you are already developing and using these highly transferable skills in your research.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, adaptability is “an ability or willingness to change in order to suit different conditions”. The term can be applied to people, businesses, physical spaces and technology. If something or someone is not adaptable, its use and benefit can be short lived. Resilience has become a buzz word in recent years. It can be defined as the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” (Merriam-Webster). In order to be resilient, you need to be adaptable.
In one of our occasional series of spotlights, we take a closer look at a specific descriptor from the RDF, in this case one which will be particularly useful 21 days into #AcWriMo!
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.
In this post, the University Graduate School’s Entrepreneurial Development Officer, Katie Hoare, introduces “enterprise” and her role in supporting you to develop enterprise skills.
There is often confusion around the term enterprise. It is sometimes used interchangeably with entrepreneurship and so has connotations of starting a business. But enterprise simply refers to the generation and application of ideas to address practical situations (QAA definitions).
Enterprise sits within the Engagement, Influence and Impact domain, however enterprise skills feature in all four sections of the RDF. Enterprise isn’t a stand-alone skill you can develop in isolation, it requires a whole host of competencies and attributes. In fact I have identified 38 descriptors within the RDF which relate to enterprise.
This is not bad news. It does not necessarily mean enterprise is a more difficult skill to develop. On the contrary it means that whilst developing your enterprise skills you are simultaneously acquiring many other abilities. It also means that you are already half-way there to becoming more enterprising… Continue reading “What is Enterprise and why is it in the RDF?”
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!”