Posts Tagged 'careers'

How to complete a PhD

Like the previous post, this is a document I created to help my own students with their work. Again, I think it serves as a useful tool for potential students, I’d appreciate feedback from other professionals, and if nothing else, might be interesting to those on the outside of academia. I am well aware that PhD’s can vary enormously in style between individuals in the same department, let alone in different universities or countries so don’t treat this by any stretch as an absolute. I strongly suspect many of these points are not entirely relevant to people working outside the UK or Ireland or at least would have to be highly modified – the fundamental interaction between students and supervisors is (I believe) rather different between the two. One thing (I think) said by Dr Vector (sauropod supremo Matt Wedel) is that you are not ready to try and do a PhD until you have finished one, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. It is first and foremost (for me) about the learning experience – learning how to do research (and all that that entails) not just *doing* the research. How relevant this is outside of palaeo and / or geology / biology is another matter as well. Anyway, enough babbling, here it is:

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How to write a paper (and get it published)

The following post is based on a document I made a couple of years ago to circulate to MSc and PhD students I was supervising to encourage them to turn thesis work into papers and to show the process that takes papers from submission to publication. It seemed to me a good idea to recycle this here for a few reasons 1) it might be of use to other students out there who are trying to write papers for the first time, 2) I still use this document, so any feedback from other professionals that I can add in and update would be welcome, and 3) it might serve as an interesting essay for students or others as to the mechanics of writing and publishing a manuscript. I have covered bits of this before in other posts but this is far more extensive and practical rather than a simple review.

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What I love about my job

Anyone who has read more than three or four posts on here will by now have realised that I tend to be a miserable sod and just spend my time complaining. Oddly enough I genuinely have a pretty sunny outlook on most things, but I do get annoyed easily, especially by things that I think can be easily changed (like getting the word dinosaur and pterosaur not mixed up, and no I am *not* revisiting that here). Despite all that, I do genuinely like my job and despite the things that cause a neural aneurism to me almost daily, it is great fun – if I ever had to stopeing an academic I literally have no idea what I would do instead. There are a few biology-based things that appeal, but I know I would be bored of them in a few years, if not a few months, so I am glad that my job genuinely has me excited to go into work most mornings (even if it fades once reality kicks in). Anyway, I thought it would be nice for me to be all fluffy for once and talk about how great my job is, and just so you know it is still me writing this, I’ll follow it up with a post of what is, shall we say, less good.
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