Archives for the month of: August, 2015

Do you remember the good old days when you took rolls and rolls of wet film snaps to be developed and then waited with anticipation to get them back from Boots (other developers are available) to both relive the experience and to laugh at how many had a finger as the predominant image?

No? I guess you are a fair bit younger than me then!

Anyway, I had a taste of that nostalgia recently (in a slightly modern way) whilst waiting for the commissioned (digital) photos from the inaugural Kroto Research Inspiration launch and awards ceremony to come through. Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers Assemble!

Researchers Assemble!

I work with postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers to support their professional and personal development, to help them achieve their career aspirations. As you might imagine, that involves actually talking to them about their experiences, needs and priorities, rather than assuming blithely that I know best. People who think they know best always freak me out a bit, if I’m being honest.

From talking to researchers and from lurking around all manner of blogs, I’m struck by how often the subject of feeling inadequate/not up to the job/not ‘good’ enough for academia comes up. Bearing in mind that I’m lucky enough to be working with some of the brightest, most able researchers around, that might seem odd; but if you’re surrounded by people as talented and passionate as you are, I guess that becomes your norm, and may be one reason that Imposter Syndrome is very much alive and well in academia! Read the rest of this entry »

Ernst and Young, the multinational accountancy and professional services firm, attracted a lot of media attention recently when it announced that it would no longer require applicants to have a 2:1 degree and the equivalent of three B grades at A level in order to be considered for its graduate programmes.

If you’re a postgraduate researcher or a recent doctoral graduate and you’re thinking about applying for graduate entry schemes you might be wondering what relevance this news has for you. Surely if you have a PhD it can’t really matter what class of bachelor’s degree you got, let alone how well you did at A Level? Unfortunately, in a great many cases it does still matter simply because the forms for these high throughput application processes aren’t flexible enough to deal with PhD graduates. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Please click here to read the second in a series of excellent posts on The Value of Research Staff by Dr Anne Burns, Research Associate at the University of Sheffield.

Mapping research with sweets and drawing on mirrors – two things I had never done prior to the second event in the ‘Tuning in to the Value of Research Staff’ series. This session took the form of a series of short exercises, in which we were encouraged to explore our experience of research, and given an opportunity to discuss the various obstances and achievements we had encountered. The day began with the group responding to a series of quotes on the theme of creativity…


I have a dog and he has a few less than desirable traits, barking at other dogs and generally making a complete show of me are the highlights. We go to ‘Naughty Dog School’ (not its real name) to try and help him and, let’s face it, me, to resolve his problems. The other week I took the pooch off for a walk with Rachel, one of the trainers, and she and I got to talking about her route into dog training. She told me that after she rescued her ‘Naughty Dog’, she sought help with its behavioural issues, attended the training sessions and it turned out she was quite good at it. Her trainer, obviously identifying her ability, suggested that she start to assist him during his classes. She loved training the dogs so much more than the job she had taken after leaving college and now, after putting in some hard work and long hours, she does it full time. She gets to work with animals, work outside and be her own boss – it ticks all the boxes in her dream career and she’s never been happier. Read the rest of this entry »