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What is a successful research career, and how do I have one?

What is a successful research career, and how do I have one?

I recently had a read of a great blog post by Dr Manu Saunders who talked about people’s opinions that it is necessary to move abroad in order to have a ‘successful’ research career. I think there is much more to it, and wanted to add a few opinions from my own perspective, but in the wider context of what is and how do I have a successful research career.…

The PhD – looking back as a postdoc

The PhD – looking back as a postdoc

It wasn’t long ago that I finished my PhD. I vividly remember the moment that the binders handed back my final (not final final..just for hand-in) printed and bound version. The feeling of elation that I had completed the journey and was ready to provide written proof that I have trained sufficiently as an independent researcher. The feeling of relief that I am free from the long hours, long days, constant thought about experiments, data, analysis and presentations, the worry about not making enough progress, the ever-present imposter syndrome too. The relief was relatively short lived, and these things seemed …

I did it! #CardiffGrad

I did it! #CardiffGrad

Lets set the scene a bit for a moment before I run into the main point of this post. I’m an ordinary person, fairly average academically. I had good GCSE results, and admittedly, very disappointing A-level results (post-16 year old exams in Wales (for those reading outside of the UK)). But 12 years ago, I managed to get on to my first choice university course; Human Biology at the University of the West of England. One semester in, I really wanted the opportunity to experience microbiology and immunology as I was not a big fan of the anatomy/physiology conent of …

Beyond the limbo period

Been some time since I last updated with a progress post, but since the start of the year, I’ve been pretty hectic with a few different things.

Firstly, I passed my PhD viva in December and spent some much needed time with my family over the Christmas break which was excellent. In January I did a bit of ad hoc work with REF (Research Excellence Framework) case studies. For those that don’t know what that is, for every x number of researchers a university has, they have to submit a case study showcasing the impact research that is being completed …

My year in review: 2017

The year 2017 was always going to be a pretty stressful year. It symbolised the culmination of four years hard work; long days, nights, weekends; continous mental angst with the whole imposter syndrome, and “why me to do a PhD”, hours and hours of data anslysis, interpretation, and much more. It was the year that this all came to an end. So let’s have a look at the highlights of what actually happened this year.

IADR, San Francisco. In March, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel again to the west coast of the USA to attend the …

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

It seems as though my last blog post was way back in April of this year, about 7 months ago!

A lot can, and has happened in those 7 months, so I’ll do a recap over the next few posts coming in the next few days. I’ll try and do them in chronological order, so we can appreciate the happenings as they occurred.

I’ll be writing a few motivational posts to promote positivity and wellbeing for those also going through academia, pre- or post-PhD (and everyone else studing for that matter!), and it’d be great to try and give a …

Stepping up the game

Despite having started writing my thesis some time ago, it is steadily becoming the sole priority.

There’s still practical/lab work to complete, but the process of populating the content foe the final thesis, the ratio of time spent on each of these at least is beginning to skew toward the thesis. Sure, you can’t get a PhD without the thesis.. So it has to be done in good time for edits, reviews, changed etc.. But you can’t write a thesis without having the data to go in there. This has been the dilemma. When is enough, enough? How much of …

Post conference ramblings in San Francisco

Post conference ramblings in San Francisco

So with the conference done and dusted, good sessions, good poster presentation, good discussions and great to catch up with people (and some future potential there for sure!), it would be silly to travel half way across the world, to spend it working and then go home, right?

We didn’t. Josh, Elen and I decided (ahead of our travels of course) to stay out for some more. Time to see the sights and do some things! And what a great decision that was. First up while the others were still around was Alcatraz (and Angel Island for this of us …

Science for all! 

Science for all! 

I’m a keen public engagement (PE) enthusiast. I’ve volunteered for CITER on a number of occasions through the PhD, and attended events at Techniquest where we received training, advice and support to develop our own public engagement activity. I see the importance of public engagement for science, and as its now one of the key factors in securing funding, now is a good a time as any to get involved. 

I’ve known about the various PE groups for some time, and one of the biggest is STEMnet. Science Technology Engineering and Maths network is a fantastic network of volunteers to …