Tips and Tricks
Weekly Roundup: August 17
In this week's roundup: Grad student roundtable, advice for new grad students, one way to approach the post-graduation job hunt.
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Future Graduate Students
- Blog roundtable on grad school (includes Penny Deck, a PhD student in the Faculty of Health). The roundtable discussed these questions:
- Why did you go to graduate school?
- What are the things that are important when picking your adviser/PI? What about your committee?
- How have you/do you deal with criticism and rejection; be it from advisers, professors, peers or funding committees? How did you deal with rejection when you were applying to schools?
- Are there tips for fighting impostor syndrome?
- What if things aren’t going so well? What advice do you have for those who might having a tough time – either juggling multiple commitments, losing interest or falling behind?
- Is doing a Masters and PhD at the same school frowned upon? What about undergrad/Masters/PhD?
- What has surprised you so far about the grad school experience? In which cases did it meet your expectations and when did it fail to do so?
- What does it take to be a successful graduate student? Are there any last minute tips/advice/inspirational words you have for budding graduate students?
New Graduate Students
- University Affairs: Recognizing the Five Stages of Academic Culture Shock and Five Practical Tips to Help You Beat Academic Culture Shock
"When visiting another country, openness, flexibility and a willingness to dig into your emotional toolbox to solve problems are often needed to overcome culture shock. Academic culture shock is no different . . . tolerance for ambiguity, self-reliance, curiosity and warmth in human relationships all facilitate your progress as you adapt to the culture of your discipline in graduate school."
- Western University: Communication Strategies for International Graduate Students: Surviving and Thriving in Canadian Academia
"E-manuals for international and newcomer graduate students to familiarize them with the norms of communication in Canada and the United States. International students need to be familiar with norms about communication in order to be successful when they teach, communicate with their supervisors, and apply for jobs, as cultural differences exist in all of these realms." (Note: This is also useful for students with North American backgrounds who will be working with supervisors, peers, or undergrad students who have international backgrounds. It's free for SFU grad students; you just have to request it on that page. Read the sample chapters if you're not sure it's right for you.)
Grad Student Life
- Melissa Terras' Blog: "When was the last time you asked how your published research was doing?"
"... whose fault is it that I don't know about access statistics for journals I have published in? Heck, have I ever asked for the access statistics for how many times my papers have been downloaded from the journals they are published in? Has anyone?" (Don't forget to read the comments for other perspectives on why this is an important question.)
- JISC+British Library: Researchers of Tomorrow: The research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students
"Researchers of Tomorrow is the UK’s largest study to date on the research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students (born between 1982 and 1994). JISC and the British Library jointly commissioned the three year study in 2009, which involved 17,000 doctoral students from 70 universities at various stages in the project." (If you spot a research skill that you'd like to learn more about, SFU's Research Commons is looking for suggestions for grad student workshops: email firstname.lastname@example.org.) See also our "Getting Started on Twitter" blog post.
Writing the Thesis / Defending
- ProfSerious: Survive-a-Viva
"Before we start it is important to observe that the selection of examiners plays a critical role in the success or otherwise of a thesis examination. Your supervisor might reasonably be expected to discuss this with you. You should, in general, follow their guidance. They will know the people in the field and will have seen them in programme committees and editorial boards and hence, have a good sense of their orientation and temperament."
- Stewart Lindh: Deadline (pdf)
"For me, it’s the memory that surges up when I’m trying to comprehend galactic irony, or when I’m attempting to convince my students of the necessity to follow through. It concerns Roland Barthes, the great literary critic with whom I had gone to study in Paris in 1974. Only fifteen students were accepted into his weekly seminar that met in a 17th Century building on the Rue du Tournon – just down the street from the Luxembourg Gardens." (Note: Sad ending, and this won't happen to you, but please, meet your deadlines, and if you can't do that, talk to your supervisor and grad program staff as soon as possible.)
- Chronicle of Higher Education: "Embrace Your Inner North Dakotan"
"Now I turn to another variable in obtaining tenure-track or full-time employment in higher education: persuading yourself to appreciate different—not "lower"—standards for your first job. If you are seeking employment, not martyrdom, then a shift in how you view your potential employers is crucial."
- PLOSone: How Academics Face the World: A Study of 5829 Homepage Pictures
"We sourced 5829 pictures of academics from their University websites and found that, consistent with the hypotheses, there was a significant difference in the direction of face posing between science academics and English academics with English academics showing a more leftward orientation. Academics in the Fine Arts and Performing Arts however, did not show the expected left cheek forward bias."
This week's PhD comic:
See other roundups
- Weekly Roundup: November 9
- Weekly Roundup: November 2
- Weekly Roundup: October 26
- Weekly Roundup: October 19
- Weekly Roundup: October 12
- Weekly Roundup: October 5
- Weekly Roundup: September 28
- Weekly Roundup: September 21
- Weekly Roundup: September 14
- Weekly Roundup: September 7
- Weekly Roundup: August 31
- Weekly Roundup: August 24
- Weekly Roundup: August 17
- Weekly Roundup: August 10
- Weekly Roundup: August 3
- Weekly Roundup: July 27
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