Life in the Wilderness: Two years after the viva

In a previous blog post I wrote about my tips for surviving in academia as an early career researcher (ECR). Written some six months after my viva, I still stand by the majority of the statements I made in it. But time brings new perspective, so I wanted to share some more experiences that I’m finding common amongst early career researchers. Please let me know by commenting at the bottom of this blog post if…

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Life in the Wilderness: Ten Tips for Surviving in Academia as an ECR

This blog post is intended for PhD students and early career academics. Since passing my viva (see blog post here) in January, I’ve learnt many things about the job market, current trends and what can really help you get shortlisted for a job. Here are my top ten tips for those who are actively seeking to remain in academia and make it their career. 1) The PhD is only the beginning.  Many people might tell…

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Academic Anxiety: Thinking Patterns in Academia

On a previous post I wrote about the eye-opening statistic that 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems in any given year. I also talked about my anxiety disorder openly for the first time. Panic attacks, overwhelming worry and difficulty sleeping had been part of my daily life for about a decade. This post is going to talk about the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) I have received since February, the positive effect it has…

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Academic Anxiety: Time to Talk Day

Today is ‘Time to Talk’ day, part of a campaign to end stigma and discrimination against mental illness. It has been organized by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, with funding from the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. The campaign aims to normalize talking about mental illness, which includes a range of conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD and schizophrenia. By asking people to open up about…

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PhD: Surviving the Viva and Some Reflections

An academic once warned me that doing a PhD was a ‘dark night of the soul’. I laughed at the time at what seemed like a bit of a melodramatic statement, but they were absolutely right. After seven years of continuous study (BA, MRes and PhD), I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved to finally finish. In the three years I’ve studied for my PhD I’ve grappled with anxiety, depression and exhaustion-…

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