Tuesday, 24 September 2019

When research collaborations go bad (Tseen Khoo)

Stuff happens | Photo by Kim Tairi
Released under CC licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0
One of the toughest things to do gracefully in an academic relationship is to end it, or even question it.

Sometimes, even though you try, there isn’t a ‘good’ way to do it. Perhaps that's why issues around collaborations - particularly what to do with bad ones - persist so strongly.

A lot of angst can be saved by early discussion about expectations from all team members – who’s doing what, when, and how. As mentioned in this co-authoring post, the division of labour doesn’t have to be equal, it just has to be clear.

On an academic risk management note, make sure you can tick these boxes before embarking on a collaborative project:

  • I’ve had at least one research conversation with the collaborator(s) I will be working with.
  • We’ve talked about division of labour and timelines for the project.
  • I feel comfortable facing my collaborator(s) first thing in the morning to talk about project and publication work. [This is a golden rule with me - ymmv]
  • I’m confident that my collaborator(s) bring relevant and appropriate levels of intellectual value to the project.
  • My collaborators communicate with me in a timely and constructive manner.

If you can tick off that checklist, it should mean few misunderstandings and disappointments.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Managing a social media community (Tseen Khoo)

Photo by Brian | unsplash.com
I've been invited to give a workshop in October, focused on how to start and manage a social media community (or group).

I have so many things to say! And it's probably most usefully said in a blogpost that I can point people to in the future.

Creating and managing a strong online community requires extremely high level communication skills and can bring great value to your professional life. Being a group or community manager can sometimes be stressful and daunting.

This post addresses basic online group creation and management so you can start as strongly as possible in that role!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

3 PhD life hacks for the remote researcher (Caroline Baker)

Photo by Andrew Neel | unsplash.com 
To embark on a PhD can be a big life decision. To do it remotely may be an even BIGGER one!

More and more, Universities and technology are opening opportunities to learn flexibly and remotely. What does this mean for you as a PhD student?

Can PhD students successfully make progress and complete their study remotely (i.e. be interstate/international/regionally-based from their University)? Can the learning experience be rich and rewarding?

I'm currently a postdoctoral research fellow with the Centre for Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, La Trobe University, and I say YES to these questions!

But I'd follow up with a proviso that it does depend on your research field and you need to navigate the terrain!

People say PhD research can be isolating in the first place, so why choose to be remote?

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

A PhD as a career path: expect the unexpected (Jade Sleeman)

Photo by Stephen Leonardi | unsplash.com

As I near the end of my PhD studies, I’ve been reflecting on where this journey has led me, and have realised that even though my career goals were not exactly strictly laid out at the start, I am still surprised by how it has helped me end up where I am today.

Now that may be surprising to those of you who know exactly where you want your higher education studies to take you. But for me, I have never really had a clear idea of exactly where I wanted to go, I just knew I wanted to go somewhere.