Somewhere between 25–50% of candidates don’t complete their PhD. Sometimes not completing a PhD is the rational choice, and having open conversations around it helps stop people feeling isolated and uncertain, I argued in a recent article for the THE.
Supervisors, candidates and universities need to be more open to having conversations about quitting. Why do candidates choose to quit, how many people do so and what happens to them afterwards? It’s almost impossible to get detailed, accurate data about completion rates. People who quit leave the university and, therefore, we often don’t see what they do next. If we don’t talk openly about stopping, people who are considering it feel isolated and uncertain. But it isn’t rare, and supervisors are in a privileged position to recognise the signs early – and then, as appropriate, support their candidates as they successfully navigate away from the PhD.
Read more at: Thinking about quitting your PhD? Maybe that’s the right decision
The Times Higher Education (THE) recently republished a post first published on my blog, Research Degree Insiders.
In the post, I say:
If you are finding the PhD hard, that’s okay. If you are being bullied or are getting sick because of the PhD, that’s not okay. Find a way to make the PhD hard like climbing a mountain, not hard like being hit with a stick.
Nearly 7,000 people have read the original post, and I’ve received many comments from students who found it helpful. I hope the THE version reaches, and helps, even more people!
A post from my Research Degree Voodoo blog was republished in the Times Higher Education online.
Read the article here:
Often we think that we learned to read by the time we were about 8. We know that we have to continue to learn to write and that the thesis is a major writing task that we have to learn how to succeed in – and there’s a lot of books, advice and workshops out there on improving doctoral writing.
But a lot of the difficulties that doctoral students have in getting started, in powering through the shitty middle, and in getting to completion, are actually caused by reading. And why? Because, and I hate to tell you this, you’re probably reading wrong.
The five biggest reading mistakes and how to avoid them:
Katherine Firth on why you should approach texts less like a Victorian maiden and more like a pirate hero