The loneliness of the long distance runner

A blog by DocInsanity

Postdoc progress

by DocInsanity
on August 08, 2018
I've been nudged into doing another blogpost. It's been a long time. For all of us, stress and anxiety come at milestones/crossroads. When we come to the end of one phase and hopefully the beginning of something new. I managed to get a postdoc in the end with a lovely boss. I wanted to get something that I would find interesting, as I am not great at finding motivation for projects I find boring or pointless.
The project I'm on has been a mixed bag, for a number of reasons. Because I am full-time on the project, I have had little opportunity for teaching. This is a major issue. How on earth can you get the CV for a lecturer post with no teaching? And if all a post-doc position prepares you for is another post-doc, then there's no career progression. ...

After submission ... the fun starts!

by DocInsanity
on June 24, 2015
Whilst you're doing the PhD, your energies are pretty well focussed on getting the thesis written. Towards the end your thoughts are turning towards your next move. For those wishing to remain in academia, this means getting a job or some research funding.
Research funding - what a nightmare! Is there a process more fiendishly contrived to drive you mad? Getting the PhD seems easy in comparison to the hoops you have to jump through just to get an application that will be considered. I guess anyone that persists with the process and comes out with an ounce of enthusiasm still left must really want to do research, so it could be seen as trial by endurance. Still not sure it's the best way to fund imaginative research from a wide pool of talent.

Publishers and postgrads/ECRs

by DocInsanity
on April 09, 2015
I'd like to publish a monograph on my specialist area of research as, like many doctoral researchers, I am now an expert in the niche area that my thesis deals with. A monograph will get a wider readership than my thesis, given that I will have greater freedom to make a work people will want to read and find useful in their professional practice.
So far I've had two offputting responses. The first was not entirely negative. It was a request to have a more experienced author write with me. I have no absolute objection to this, but it's completely unnecessary. I wonder how the eminent professor (in his 70s) got his break in publishing? Has he forgotten what it was like to be an early career researcher?
The second was far less constructive. ...

Why "the loneliness of the long distance runner"?

by DocInsanity
on April 02, 2015
My experience of the PhD will be very different from that of many people on the postgrad forum. I'm a mature student who did a PhD at an institution about an hour's travel from home. The nature of my doctoral research mean that I needed to spend little time on campus except when receiving research training. My project was one of my own devising, and didn't really connect with the research output of the department.

So I have been mostly solitary and self-reliant during my PhD. Fortunately, I was not working at the same time, although I did have health problems. So for me, the PhD has been about keeping myself motivated and enduring through to the end.

For me, this has been great. ...

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