Monthly Archives: October 2014

It’s the postdoc life!

My Post-doc hasn’t gotten this bad yet (though I’m only 6 weeks in!), but I like the lyrics regardless!

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The Lab and Field

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I’m fond of the hashtag #postdoclife when discussing certain aspects of my work.  Well, today a colleague asked if it was prompted by the number “It’s the hard-knock life” from the musical “Annie“.

I admit it wasn’t, but the idea (and startling similarities, at least in the stereotype) were amusing.  So I present, for your enjoyment, tongue planted firmly in cheek:

(watch the video if you aren’t familiar with the song)

It’s the postdoc life!

It’s the postdoc life for us!
It’s the postdoc life for us!

‘Steada tenure,
We get term!

Submitted papers,
They get ditched!

It’s the postdoc life!
No position to speak of, so,
It’s the postdoc slog we know!

“Student” status,
‘Steada staff!

Crappy office
‘Steada good!

It’s the postdoc life!

Don’t it feel like the grants are always failin’?
Don’t it…

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Why you should use Twitter during your PhD

This is a brilliant account of why we – scientists, researchers or academics – should be using social media! By @shereebekker

The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Sheree Bekker, who is originally from South Africa and now based in Australia as an international PhD scholar at the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia. Her research centres around sports safety. Follow her on twitter @shereebekker

twitter-follow-achieverTwitter, according to Wikipedia (yes – how terribly un-scientific of me), is an online social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Twitter is vital to the success of your PhD. Yes, you heard me read me correctly, a seemingly superficial social media site is a fundamental element that will contribute to the success of your PhD – if you embrace it!

Let me tell you my story.

I was a Masters student in South Africa, where I had completed my undergraduate studies and an Honours…

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Pursuing the elusive Post-Doc – how to make the most of it?

So, I’ve successfully completed my first month as a post-doctoral research assistant. What a month it’s been. Still no completion date in sight for my PhD thesis, but that’s for another day.

I’ve submitted ethics amendments, helped apply for a grant (thus potentially securing my job for next year), attended meetings, made suggestions. And I’m struggling for more things to do. “Don’t complain!!” I hear you cry. I would be saying the same thing if this weren’t me. But after months of not having enough hours in the day to do what I need to do this is quite the culture shock. I have work planned for the future, but need data to do it and this hasn’t been entered yet, and thus there is little to do at the moment. Safe to say I don’t like it. I’m being paid to do a job and I feel uneasy not being able to use all my paid working hours to do it.

I’m wary that when this has happened in the past I’ve said “Yes” to a lot of opportunities at once and then found myself swamped once again, so I need to think and choose carefully. I don’t want to take on any regular commitments at the moment as there is still the small issue of not having submitted my thesis, and I don’t know when I will get the inevitable flood of amendments from my supervisor that will require time off to act upon.

I want to get some teaching experience but as I’m in a new University I don’t know who to ask – this requires more investigation. In the mean time I’m thinking of doing something for my personal development that isn’t a regular thing…any suggestions?