Monday, 22 April 2013

A PhD skill is not just for academia: it’s for life

Not that long ago, relatively few graduates went on to study for a PhD, and those that did planned (and were expected) to go into academia, frequently following their thesis area as they build their careers around research.  Most of the PhD supervisors of today are products of this system.

However, today it is well recognized that this is no longer the case, and that a wide range of employers recognize the value of the skill set that is developed during a PhD.  Projects in a number of countries have explicitly articulated these skills, as in the UK:

Monday, 15 April 2013

Examination of the PhD thesis: first impressions last

The PhD viva is a highly charged event, with an immense emotional investment in the face-to-face interview that is such an important examination of whether your thesis passes or fails. But is it the most important? Here, I consider the importance of the thesis in shaping first impressions and influencing PhD examiners' decisions.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Telling others about your research – no, not experts, real people!

Think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people’.
W.B. Yeats

Yes, but was he talking about PhD students??

The core of any PhD is of course the generation of new knowledge, but research is not complete until this knowledge is passed on.  What would be the point of doing the most important and significant research in the world if you were not to tell anyone what was found, or were to tell the wrong people, for whom it would not have an impact, or tell people in such a way that they do not understand the message and its significance?