Your work

Your work

Knowing what PhD candidates are like, it is probably vital for you to be(come) an excellent scientist and you wish to contribute to your scientific field. Is there any job in which people are more devoted to their work than yours? We wouldn’t be surprised if you’re reading this text somewhere past midnight.

First things first – finding your focus

So here you are. While professors envy your – as they’d put it – ‘relatively empty’ schedules, you are probably overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge to catch up to and all tasks that come with being a PhD researcher: guiding Master students, teaching, organizing conferences, joining event committees, helping the department with a promotion, consultancy, reviewing proposals – the list goes on and on. How will you face this horn of plenty? Example courses:

  • Overcoming researcher’s block – on finding practical strategies to [re]gain focus, to concentrate on what matters, and to define clear steps to overcome the initial vacuum of research or the white page of academic writing
  • Design thinking – on constructing a process to brainstorm and work out solutions for different elements of your research, by testing right away if it works, so you can immediately adjust it
  • Decision making in research – on setting priorities regarding research plans and tasks, exploring different decision-making frameworks which will help you in the paradox of choice

Getting up to speed Рworking effectively

Once you know what you wish to achieve as a scholar in the short/long-term, making a plan is easier said than done. How do you get there on time with all intrinsic dependencies on others, materials, budget, and time? And can you arrange your resources in such a way that you not only achieve you goal in time, but also exceed expectations? Example courses:

  • Time & project management – on planning your project weeks in advance and prioritising day-by-day
  • Speed reading & Mind mapping for academics – on absorbing, analysing, and remembering information more effectively and quickly
  • Strategic thinking and framing – on working out what is your vision, how to find the route to innovation, tapping into your major ambitions and at the same time being pragmatic about your work

Putting Yourself Out There – the art of persuasion

Involving others means stepping forward and being engaged in and about your research. Those of your interest need to see why they should listen to you, why they would want to work with you, and what’s in it for them. Whether it is whilst networking informally at your faculty, having a formal meeting with an interdisciplinary research group of seniors elsewhere, or during your presentation at that international conference at MIT. Example courses:

  • Storytelling – on making your research presentations a personal appealing story, to make others not only engage on factual considerations but also on interpersonal engagement
  • Presenting – on making a strong impression and getting a strong message across
  • Advising – on writing proposals to committees, convincing sponsors and organisational boards
  • Interpersonal Power – on strengthening your position at the meeting table and in relation to your fellow peers and superiors
  • Effective meetings – on making your meetings more efficient and effective by optimally organizing the meeting process and engaging its members