Is social media essential for PhD students?

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I’ve seen a few posts recently about the importance of PhD students using social media. While there may be some utility, for some students, in building a following on facebook, twitter or linkedin, I find it disturbing that some high-profile bloggers are talking about social media as if it is an essential tool for all […]

Why I can’t stand twitter

As a blogger, the common wisdom says that I should use twitter. I’ve tried… but I just can’t stand it. Supposedly, it helps you build a network and engage with an audience, but the quality of that engagement is unspeakably poor. Recently, I’ve been trying to respond to tweets that mention me, but I’m often […]

How to prepare for your thesis defence

Defending your thesis can be an intensely nerve-wracking experience. How can you best prepare to face your examiners? Know the format of your thesis defence The format of the defence varies from country to country. Having studied in the UK, my viva-voce defence was essentially an interview with one internal and one external examiner. In […]

Why most writing advice does not work


There is a huge amount of writing advice available for PhD students. There are countless books and blogs and writing coaches doing their best to help, and a lot of the advice is fairly similar. Write every day, from the start of your PhD Don’t think too much, just get words down on the page […]

Procrastination hack: get to zero

If, like me, you have a habit of procrastination, here’s a little trick you can use to get yourself going. When you procrastinate, you probably find yourself engaging in some kind of substitution task. You’ll suddenly think of something else that needs doing (like checking email for example) which you’ll find a way to rationalise. […]

Productivity comes last


You’ve probably tried to be more productive at some point. If you aren’t getting the output you want for the effort you put in, then it makes sense to look at ways to improve your productivity. So you can try; Being more organised Managing your time better Setting goals and deadlines Optimising your processes There […]

Time to pause and reflect

It’s that time of year again, when we pause and reflect on the year gone by, and look forward to the year ahead.

It’s that time when we think about what we want to do and the positive changes we want to make.

New year’s resolutions can be really positive (if you stick to them), but why only do this once per year?