Archives for category: Lucy Lee

girls in rainWalking to work this morning, in the rain, I was trying to think of something to write for my blog post and the phrase ‘when it rains, it pours’ kept playing over in my mind. For many of us, it really does seem to be the case at work especially that your workload is not a steady flow but a torrential downpour of tasks. You find yourself rushing to finish that presentation for the conference in a couple of days’ time, when a journal review lands in your inbox that you know you can’t say no to. You also have that paper that still needs finishing, portfolio to finish for your Higher Education Academy submission, a million actions to complete from a variety of committee meetings and that’s on top of balancing your ‘day job’ work. If this isn’t enough, home life seems no less hectic. Your kids have such a busy social/hobby/homework demands they could do with their own PA, someone in your extended family isn’t well, you foolishly decided to have some renovation work done to your house and you daren’t open the spare bedroom door for fear of being consumed by the tidal wave of ironing threatening to engulf you. It’s enough to make you feel like dropping all the juggling balls and running in the opposite direction. Read the rest of this entry »


I was thrilled when earlier this year my Faculty (Medicine, Dentistry and Health) agreed to the Early Career Group’s idea of holding an annual ‘Early Career Researcher Prize Scheme’ to celebrate the outstanding contributions that contract research staff make to the Faculty. Read the rest of this entry »

white rabbitLast week I was really impressed to hear that both the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and BBSRC have changed their eligibility criteria for their early career fellowship schemes, removing the cut off point for number of years of postdoctoral experience. For many fellowship schemes the criteria Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

keep calmI’m regularly asked (often by researchers just starting a PhD or their 1st postdoc), “what training and development activities should I sign up for?” They are often overwhelmed by the mind blowing amount of workshops, schemes and seminars that are on offer. It is true that a researcher could spend more time attending workshops than actually doing their research. As important as it is to spend time on career development activities, the one thing you don’t want to do is to become a serial workshop booker, enrolling onto everything you see advertised. As managers of training programmes we often come across individuals who sign up for every single workshop we advertise (I’ve even come across people attending the exact same workshop more than once in a year). As flattering as it is that they want to attend all we provide, this really isn’t the most effective use of your time.

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When theSept blog image Think Ahead team made the decision to start up a blog and share the writing between us, my first thought was ‘I’ve never written for a blog before, what if my writing isn’t good enough’. Writing has never been something that comes easily to me, I spend more time worrying about what to write and if it will be any good then actually getting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard so to speak). Even when I do get started on the writing, I find it so easy to be distracted away by the ping of a new email in my inbox, the buzz from a text message or an unnecessary urge to suddenly tidy my desk. The more I thought about writing for the blog, I started to reflect back to writing my PhD thesis and initially wondered how on earth I had managed to get 60,000 or so words written all those years ago…

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