Knowledge and skill are not the same thing

By James Hayton,
February 1, 2019
I'm James, I'm a former physicist (PhD, Nottingham, 2007) and author of "PhD: An Uncommon Guide to Research, Writing & PhD Life".
Since 2010, I've been helping PhD students all over the world overcome barriers in their research and writing
My strategies have helped thousands of PhD students just like you to build confidence, write better and finish on time

It's easy to worry about gaps in your knowledge, especially when faced with 10,000 papers you haven't read. It's just as easy to fixate on this as the main problem and get stuck in a reading trap. Reading paper after paper, cramming as if it were an undergraduate exam.

Reading papers without doing any practical work is like reading a hundred cookbooks without setting foot in a kitchen. Even if you manage to absorb all that knowledge, it's useless without the skills to apply it.

Yes, you will be partly judged on your knowledge of the field, but they don't expect you to know everything. It's just as important to do your own research competently, and that takes practice.

Working on your skills is just as important as the reading.

Free Live Webinar:

How to adapt your PhD during the coronavirus crisis (and beyond)

Sunday 3rd May, 5pm UK time*
(6pm CET, 12 noon EDT, 9am PDT)
register free
*if you can't make the live event, you can still register and watch the recording

Stay up to date...

The PhD Academy:
Online training and support for PhD students

learn more...

For more detailed guidance and support...

The PhD Academy All-Access Pass

Weekly calls with James

You don't have to do it all alone! Get the All Access Pass for weekly group calls and Q&A sessions with James

Every online course

Build your skills and confidence with our detailed video courses. Go at your own pace and get advice and support when you need it

Get the book!
PhD: an uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life

order now on amazon