Thank you! Some support for my take on a PhD; you need more than just a thesis at the end of your 3/4 years as a PhD student.
Take the time to develop ‘transferrable’ or ‘extra-curricular’ skills that will be useful in a future position.
I personally took on a few ‘society’ management roles, as well as non-PhD related course such as teaching and how to write as a science journalist.
Below is a fab list of other suggestions one could take up as well as thesis writing/paper reading.
In a recent lecture at ANU, the esteemed research education expert Dr Margaret Kiley claimed that if we set out to design the Australian PhD from scratch we wouldn’t start from here. The PhD assessment (in most cases, a long form thesis), she argued, does not not necessarily develop the full panoply of skills we expect in a working researcher, inside or outside of academia.
One of the clever students in the audience absorbed the implications of Margaret’s lecture straight away and asked:
If that’s the case, what should I spend my time on? At the moment I spend most of my time reading and writing because that’s what I’m being assessed on. Should I be doing more?
The student’s question went right to the heart of an issue that has been frustrating me for some time: many research students are so busy writing their thesis they fail…
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