Archives for the month of: January, 2015

This post is written in reflection after reading a recent paper in Studies in Higher Education (Hancock & Walsh, 2014)

Do you know what the ‘knowledge economy’ is? It’s the idea of viewing expertise, skills, and knowledge as an asset with a tangible value, like, it’s a currency that is export/importable and transferable across the UK and the wider global economy.

pipesSo how does it work, how do we transmit the skills and knowledge the nation needs to where it’s needed? Well, thanks to the recommendations of the Roberts’ review, we create highly skilled boundary-pushing subject experts within university PhD programmes, and train them to be good at both realising how ace they are, and communicating why and how they do what they do to others. So when they graduate they take that knowledge, and those skills, and apply it in other sectors, into business, into industry, into wherever the demand for experienced really smart people arises.

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tantrumSo I’m not suggesting that your supervisor is like a small child who throws a strop every time they don’t get their own way (although some might!), but I’ve recently come to the realisation that, as with trying to get toddlers to do what you want them to do, the way you approach a situation (like a supervisor meeting) can definitely make a dramatic difference on the outcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post from Caitlin Brumby, a PhD researcher in the Dept. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

I joined Kay’s PhD leadership coaching course more because it sounded interesting rather than anything else. In hindsight, this may be one of the better places to start from, it gave me pause to think about almost everything discussed, and one train of thought has stuck with me more than the others. Something I thought about more and more throughout the sessions was giving real thought to one nagging worry:

Perhaps Im not the right person for academia in the long term, would I eventually fit in amongst these well respected academics? Me? They know everything!

bf663c8f441c4a6ea29345837939a968 I’m one of the masses suffering from the imposter syndrome I suppose, a constant feeling of inadequacy, when actually, looking at the facts and feedback, I’m doing pretty well.

I don’t think I’m the perfect PhD student, in fact, I know I’m not. I get incredibly distracted by the big picture, the elegance of experiments, new techniques on different continents and cool 3D microscopy models. Read the rest of this entry »

I have been looking at some of my old notebooks. I am a notebook scribbler. Whether I attend a meeting, a seminar, or a conference, I like to make notes on paper. With the advances in technologies with multiple genres in tablet devices, many colleagues have shifted their note taking to the very professional looking tablets where every pieces of writing or notes can be catalogued into the right file, shared in a diversity of digital remote spaces and accessed by an ever more increasing number of devices. Ok, maybe I should just admit it, but I am a bit of a dinosaur with technology and I still like my messy notebooks. I have many of them with random and unorganized notes gathered from diverse encounters. photoThe issue I have had with many of my trials in digital note taking is that the notes are there beautifully organised in many computer files and folders, but do I ever bother looking at them again?….rarely unless I really need something specific. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year! Make your new year resolution to believe in yourself!

“Why didn’t you come directly to us instead of going through an agency?” the interviewer asked my friend. Afterwards she confided that she didn’t contact them direct, as she feared being rejected. She got the job with no problem. She is an amazing person with lots of experience, good with people and well-motivated to meet any challenge. Who wouldn’t want to employ her? She is now loving it and exceeding all her targets. You can see a difference in her now as she glows in a confidence that comes from being secure in her abilities.

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