Your PhD Survival Guide
Planning, Writing, and Succeeding in Your Final Year
The 'Insider Guides to Success in Academia' offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. Covering the topics that really matter, but which often get overlooked, this indispensable series provides practical and realistic guidance to address many of the needs and challenges of trying to operate, and remain, in academia.
These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. Each book offers insider perspectives on the often implicit rules of the game -- the things you need to know but usually aren't told by institutional postgraduate support, researcher development units, or supervisors -- and will address a practical topic that is key to career progression. They are essential reading for doctoral students, early-career researchers, supervisors, mentors, or anyone looking to launch or maintain their career in academia.
Accessible, insightful and a must-have toolkit for all final year doctoral students, the founders of the ‘Thesis Boot Camp’ intensive writing programme show how to survive and thrive through the challenging final year of writing and submitting a thesis.
Drawing on an understanding of the intellectual, professional, practical and personal elements of the doctorate to help readers gain insight into what it means to finish a PhD and how to get there, this book covers the common challenges and ways to resolve them. It includes advice on:
- Project management skills to plan, track, iterate and report on the complex task of bringing a multi-year research project to a successful close
- Personal effectiveness and self-care to support students to thrive in body, mind and relationships, including challenging supervisor relationships.
- The successful ‘generative’ writing processes which get writers into the zone and producing thousands of words; and then provides the skills to structure and polish those words to publishable quality.
- What it means to survive a PhD and consider multiple possible futures.
Written for students in all disciplines, and relevant to university systems around the world, this unique book expertly guides students through the final 6–12 months of the thesis.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Focusing on the project 1. Defining the project: What is my thesis for? 2. Getting through the crunch 3. Practical project management 4. Working with your strengths and weaknesses Part 2: Focusing on the person 5. ‘No pain, no gain’ and other unhelpful myths 6. Getting unstuck 7. Your harshest critic 8. Working with your supervisor Part 3: Focusing on the text 9. Getting words down 10. Making the thesis into a coherent work 11. Making the words good Part 4: Finishing the PhD 12. Reflecting on what it means to be a researcher 13. Do you actually want to finish the PhD? 14. Relief and Grief of finishing a PhD
Katherine Firth manages the academic programs of a residential college at the University of Melbourne, Australia and founded the Research Insiders Blog which has been running since 2013.
Liam Connell has worked in research training and education since the late 2000s. He works in research development at La Trobe University, Australia.
Peta Freestone has worked in higher education for over 15 years, creating award-winning initiatives including Thesis Boot Camp, founded in 2012. She designs and delivers writing and productivity programmes for universities and other organisations around the world.