Monday, 20 March 2017

Career tool: Individual development plan

I just discovered this excellent individual development plan (IDP) that helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has an online tool for PhD and postdoctoral researchers in the sciences, and provides:    
  • Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values
  • A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests
  • A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track
  • Articles and resources to guide you through the process
Help for career planning is all too scarce, so it is well worth the effort of completing the assessment of your skills, interests and values, At the end, all of the inputs (assessments of skills, interests and values, as well as skill goals, project goals, mentors etc.) are collated in a customized individual development plan that you can share with a mentor or supervisor.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Update on PhD Skills blog

I have been working on a project related to PhD Skills, and the time I normally give to this blog is being directed at that for the moment. Hopefully, it will be completed by March 2017, and I aim to resume my activity on this blog from then.
Thanks for understanding!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Careers Advice

Here is some advice that I gave to doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at a recent Careers Day.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Career hacks for PhD researchers: know your transferable skills

The inspiration for this post comes from a question raised at one of our workshops on professional development for PhD researchers. In a discussion about careers, a PhD researcher asked “Should I tell potential employers that I have a PhD?”

The question was motivated by the impression that some employers considered PhD researchers to be too academic and too specialised to work in industry. Here, I focus on why PhD researchers have a powerful contribution to make to industry careers. Yes, PhD researchers have very specialised skills, but they also have a broad range of abilities that are highly prized by industry, as well as academia and other non-academic research careers.

Here’s a list of the skills that I discuss here:

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Link: Talking to the media: 12 top tips for scientists

This is a link to a great article on media communication for researchers. The twelve tips are given here as a list, and see the original Silicon Republic article by Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and Dr Shane Bergin for more details.

1. Get your message out there
2. What is the purpose of the interview?
3. What do you want to say?
4. Have an ‘elevator pitch’
5. Minimise jargon
6. Colour the conversation
7. Have a catchphrase
8. Set homework for the interviewer
9. Be yourself
10. Nature abhors a vacuum (of talk)
11. Remember: if it’s not live, it will be edited
12. How clean is your lab?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

14 Graduate student essays on the PhD experience

This is a great book (35 pages) that is a must-read for postgraduate researchers. With personal accounts that are intended to give advice that has been learned the hard way, it is essential reading for less experienced research students.
The topics range from networking, communication, supervisory issues, presenting, publishing and, of course, doing research.

How to survive your PhD

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Seven reasons to care about integrity in research

A recent document from Science Europe Member Organisations highlights seven key reasons why research organisations should be concerned about promoting research integrity amongst their research community.

1.       Research Integrity Safeguards the Foundations of Science and Scholarship

2.       Research Integrity Maintains Public Confidence in Researchers and Research Evidence

3.       Research Integrity Underpins Continued Public Investment in Research

4.       Research Integrity Protects the Reputation and Careers of Researchers

5.       Research Integrity Prevents Adverse Impact on Patients and the Public

6.       Research Integrity Promotes Economic Advancement

7.       Research Integrity Prevents Avoidable Waste of Resources

Science Europe. 2015. Seven reasons to care about integrity in research. Science Europe Working Group on Research Integrity – Task Group ‘Knowledge Growth’