Here, I want to give an overview of some of the main messages from the day, and also provide further links to some of the resources that Hugh referred to. I aim to have a follow up post with some examples of practical lessons that I took from the event.
Hugh's consultancy provides a number of resources for PhD students and supervisors, and are well worth exploring.
The training focused on 'The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Students'. A central focus of the day was the supervisory relationship, and the importance for students to write early and often. Whilst students and supervisors are often told this, there was a lot of practical advice on how to better ensure that this aspiration is realised. The table of contents of the accompanying book outlines the seven secrets:
- Care and maintenance of your supervisor
- Write and show as you go: This is show and tell not hide and seek
- Be realistic: It's not a Nobel Prize
- Say no to distractions: Even the fun ones and the ones you think you must do
- It's a job: That means working nine to five but you get holidays
- Get help: You are not an owner-operator single person business
- You can do it: A PhD is 90% persistence and 10% intelligence
Hugh's presentation is peppered with evidence-based analysis, relevant anecdotes and large doses of practical actions for both students and supervisors.
In the session for supervisors, the following questionnaire generated quite a deal of interest as a means of investigating the underlying beliefs of supervisors and students about the student-supervisor relationship:
Expectations in supervision questionnaire
Selected publications by Hugh Kearns
Gardiner, M. & Kearns, H. (2012). The ABCDE of Writing: Coaching high-quality high-quantity writing. International Coaching Psychology Review, 237-249.
Kearns, H. & Gardiner, M.L. (2011). Waiting for the motivation fairy. Nature, 472, 127.
Gardiner, M. & Kearns, H. (2011). Turbocharge your writing today. Nature, 475, 129.
Kearns, H. & Gardiner, M.L., (2011). The care and maintenance of your adviser. Nature, 469(7331), 570-570.
PhD Skill: learn how to improve your quantity and quality of writing and eliminate procrastination.