In this post, PGR Careers Adviser Dr Holly Prescott shows us how academic research and teaching aren’t the only jobs that can let you ‘keep’ the bits of academia that you really enjoy. You can find a more detailed post on this on Holly’s PhD Careers Blog, PostGradual.
In academia, we’re often taught to value our ‘outputs’ (papers, theses, grants etc.) over the processes that went into achieving them. Saying that we ‘do research’ or ‘do teaching’ can often ‘hide’ the things we actually do to manage and execute those things, and the things that we get good at in the process. Hence, we can often forget this important nugget that Australian geneticist Joel Huey tweeted a few months ago:
The take home message? Research/academia is not one job, it’s many. If the package deal isn’t for you, look for the bits you enjoy and find rewarding work with them. I was lucky, you may be too. 8/9
And so we are approaching the end of 2020. The days are getting short, and I am prioritising getting out of the house for a walk (however briefly) during daylight hours to help me get through. Only one week left before the winter solstice in the UK, and the longer days start to bring hope of spring and a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
Happy New Year and welcome back. Or just welcome, if you’re starting your research programme this month.
It’s traditional at this time of year to make (and perhaps break!) a few resolutions. The media is full of articles about diet and exercise, but what about resolving to make lasting improvements in your research processes? It’s easy to say “I will do more” or “I will do better” but what exactly does that look like in practice and how can you make it stick? Continue reading “Happy and productive 2020!”
…and suddenly campus is quiet. The undergraduates have gone home for the Christmas break and the short days and grey weather discourage lingering in the Green Heart. There’s a feeling of winding down as staff and researchers breathe more easily now that the freneticism of the Autumn Term is over. What will you be doing over the Christmas break?
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.”
Spring is frequently considered to be the time for cleaning, but nevertheless, many colleagues are currently sorting and tidying their desks. For those working in universities in all sorts of roles, the Autumn Term feels like a particularly long and sustained period of hard work, with memories of summer weather and holidays fading into history. The end of term and approach of the Christmas break comes as a welcome opportunity to take a deep breath, tidy desks and minds in preparation for returning in the new year, and shift focus from busy day-to-day activities to future plans. Continue reading “‘Twas the night before Christmas (vacation)…”
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!”
In the second 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.
If only self-reflection, in the context of becoming an effective researcher, were as easy as looking in the mirror! In fact, the ability to reflect on your experiences, strengths and weaknesses, and to seek and respond to feedback is a hugely important quality you will develop as a researcher. Effective self-reflection allows you to keep moving forward by careful evaluation of the past.