It’s the postdoc life!

My Post-doc hasn’t gotten this bad yet (though I’m only 6 weeks in!), but I like the lyrics regardless!

 

The Lab and Field

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I’m fond of the hashtag #postdoclife when discussing certain aspects of my work.  Well, today a colleague asked if it was prompted by the number “It’s the hard-knock life” from the musical “Annie“.

I admit it wasn’t, but the idea (and startling similarities, at least in the stereotype) were amusing.  So I present, for your enjoyment, tongue planted firmly in cheek:

(watch the video if you aren’t familiar with the song)

It’s the postdoc life!

It’s the postdoc life for us!
It’s the postdoc life for us!

‘Steada tenure,
We get term!

Submitted papers,
They get ditched!

It’s the postdoc life!
No position to speak of, so,
It’s the postdoc slog we know!

“Student” status,
‘Steada staff!

Crappy office
‘Steada good!

It’s the postdoc life!

Don’t it feel like the grants are always failin’?
Don’t it…

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Why you should use Twitter during your PhD

This is a brilliant account of why we – scientists, researchers or academics – should be using social media! By @shereebekker

The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Sheree Bekker, who is originally from South Africa and now based in Australia as an international PhD scholar at the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia. Her research centres around sports safety. Follow her on twitter @shereebekker

twitter-follow-achieverTwitter, according to Wikipedia (yes – how terribly un-scientific of me), is an online social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Twitter is vital to the success of your PhD. Yes, you heard me read me correctly, a seemingly superficial social media site is a fundamental element that will contribute to the success of your PhD – if you embrace it!

Let me tell you my story.

I was a Masters student in South Africa, where I had completed my undergraduate studies and an Honours…

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Pursuing the elusive Post-Doc – how to make the most of it?

So, I’ve successfully completed my first month as a post-doctoral research assistant. What a month it’s been. Still no completion date in sight for my PhD thesis, but that’s for another day. I’ve submitted ethics amendments, helped apply for a grant (thus potentially securing my job for next year), attended meetings, made suggestions. And I’m struggling for more things to do. Continue reading

It’s not just about the thesis…

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.

The Thesis Whisperer

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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