SFU President Andrew Petter welcomed our new graduate students at our orientation event, earlier this week.

Tips and Tricks

Weekly Roundup: September 7

September 07, 2012

In this week's roundup: New media handbook for academics, useful software tools, "alt-ac" careers in the humanities.

Please leave a comment if you have feedback or additional stories that we missed. If you'd like us to include an article in the next roundup, email the link to gradstudies@sfu.ca

New Graduate Students

  • The How-To Issue: How to Survive Graduate School
    "With a lot of hard work, pep talks and maybe a small miracle, I recently completed a Masters of Science in Mathematics. With the new school year about to begin and in response to this tumblr, I thought I would share my tips for surviving graduate school."

Grad Student Life

  • Open University: Handbook of social media for researchers and supervisors
    "The goal of this handbook is to assist early career researchers and their supervisors to adopt and use social media tools in the service of their research, and in particular, in engaging in the discourse of research. The handbook presents an innovative suite of resources for early career researchers and supervisors to develop and maintain a social media strategy for research dialogues."
  • Grad School Ninja: Say “No” to Professors Offering Busy Work
    "In grad school, isn’t a student supposed to be a go-getter, a workhorse, a trooper, a non-complainer? When Dr. Supervisor says “Jump!” grad students are supposed to respond: “Yes, Sir! How high?” Ever heard that bit of grad school wisdom? Sometimes it’s true, sometimes not. Knowing the difference will save you time and thus tuition money. It will also earn you respect and save your sanity." (Please remember that this kind of advice doesn't apply to all students, all the time, and students have found that what the article calls "busy work" also gives you skills in negotiation and interpersonal relationship-building, and builds networks that can lead to lifeling friendships and jobs after graduation. But it is easy to get involved in too many projects which delay your completion, and that's something that you need to balance for your own graduate career.)
  • Gradhacker: Knitting Tales and Cupcakery
    "Sitting at home on my couch and knitting allows me to shut out the world. I can’t check my computer or phone while my hands are busy, and I get a restful break while mixing icing to just the right color. These hobbies allow you space to take time for yourself."

Writing and Research

  • University Affairs: Technology round-up: Buzzdata & Academia.edu
    "In time for the start of the new semester, I have a bit of a tech update, in which I’ll be discussing two online tools that might be of interest to researchers and students."
  • Chronicle of Higher Education: Five Reasons to Think About How You Work
    "Why think about productivity systems at all? Why try to think about ways we can be more productive? Doesn’t that imply we’re not doing enough, or that we’re wasting time?"
  • Manchester University: Academic Phrasebank
    "The Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological "nuts and bolts" of writing organised under the headings to the left. It was designed primarily with international students whose first language is not English in mind. However, if you are a native speaker writer, you may still find parts of the material helpful."

After Graduation

  • Chronicle of Higher Education: In Search of Hard Data on Nonacademic Careers
    "... So it's big news that the Scholarly Communication Institute is conducting a new survey of former graduate students who have (or are building) careers outside the professoriate—a career category now commonly called alternative academic, or "alt-ac." (You can tell how embedded an idea has become when it gets a handle as brief as that.)"
  • McGill Grad Life Blog: Post-doc testimonials on getting a tenure-track job
    "I thought I could help out the future generation of graduate students by giving them some information on how the struggle to find a tenure track position could be, and I have done this by asking for help from five fantastic post-docs, all of whom are currently searching for positions."
  • Athene Donald's blog: Get a Wife!
    "This useful phrase seems to be the advice proffered by one physicist – male of course – to questions about how to succeed in an academic career.  It says a lot about what may go wrong for women also trying to climb the greasy academic pole, almost regardless of what their institutions may be trying to do to support them. At least some of the time – and I certainly don’t want to let universities completely off the hook – the challenges for women may reside closer to home."


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