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Collecting all Low-hanging Fruits That Your University Provides

April 8, 2018

Universities usually provide lots of opportunities for PhD students and it’s your job to grab as many as possible. You need to pursue your academic career very efficiently and use all opportunities. However, you should keep in mind that whatever you do it should all be beneficial for your PhD study and all your activities should help to build one big PhD puzzle.

Universities usually provide lots of opportunities for PhD students and it’s your job to grab as many as possible. You need to pursue your academic career very efficiently and use all opportunities. However, you should keep in mind that whatever you do it should all be beneficial for your PhD study and all your activities should help to build one big PhD puzzle

1. Academic Courses

  • If your research is interdisciplinary and you feel like you need to gain more knowledge on some other topics, you can take courses at other departments at your university or online course at other universities. For example, I know that some of my classmates took courses at the Department of Gender studies and Center for Network Analysis.
  • Universities often provide various short skills development courses like: ‘How to make a good PP presentation’, SPSS Statistics, EndNote, etc. At CEU, these courses are a week-long and give students a good general overview of these topics.

2. Conference Participation Grant

  • The importance of attending conferences on the research related topics is well known. It is a chance to expand a professional network, meet prominent experts in the field, learn about current research in other parts of the world, as well as presenting and getting feedback on your own research. CEU provides conference travel grants for PhD students which cover up to 80% of the costs. Check if your university provides such funding and make you use it.

3. Short Research Grand

  • It is a small grant that could cover some of your field work expenses. When I did my field work in Ukraine, the amount was enough to cover costs of my travel to different Ukrainian cities for interviews in 2014.  For my classmates, whose case studies were in further away countries, this grant only covered their flights. The experience of preparing a grant application and then reporting on spending is a good way to learn more about the grant writing procedure.

4. Semester Abroad

  • It’s a great opportunity to spend a semester in another research institution or university, which focuses exactly on your topic. Basically, you can choose any institution that is working on your topic and spend up to 6 months there with a salary from CEU. This is a great opportunity to secure your future as you build your professional network and can come back to this institution for the post-doc later. Unfortunately, I didn’t use this opportunity, as was in a rush to finish my PhD and I honestly regret it.

 5. Teaching Certificate:

  • CEU established a Center for Teaching and Learning, which has a certificate program “Excellence in Teaching in High Education”. It includes a foundation course, few optional courses and a development of teaching e-portfolio. Having a certificate is a benefit for getting jobs in academia after PhD.

6. Lectures Given by Visiting Professors:

  • CEU has a practice of inviting world-famous scientists, politicians, and experts to give lectures to students. It is a way to learn about other fields and hear interesting opinions about current situation and problems in the world. It’s good to be an active listener and ask a few questions at the end. It’s a good way to develop critical thinking and practice public speaking as well.

Probably, I missed some ‘low-hanging fruits’ that universities provide, please help me to enlarge the list here

 



Category:  Academic Career 

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How to choose a supervisor for PhD studies?

How to choose a supervisor for PhD studies?
  • April 19, 2018
  • Category:  Academic Career 

A supervisor is one of the most important persons in your PhD journey as it is a mentor, who is supposed to lead and guide you through all years of your study and provide knowledge and emotional support. It is necessary to choose a good one at the beginning as you will be closely working with this person next 4-5 years. You need to have a good connection and be on the same page with this person.

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Collecting all Low-hanging Fruits That Your University Provides

Collecting all Low-hanging Fruits That Your University Provides
  • April 8, 2018
  • Category:  Academic Career 

Universities usually provide lots of opportunities for PhD students and it’s your job to grab as many as possible. You need to pursue your academic career very efficiently and use all opportunities. However, you should keep in mind that whatever you do it should all be beneficial for your PhD study and all your activities should help to build one big PhD puzzle.

continue reading  

You Are Not Going to Save the World with Your PhD

You Are Not Going to Save the World with Your PhD
  • March 26, 2018
  • Category:  Academic Career 

Quite often PhD researchers overcomplicate their studies as they are attempt to ‘save the world with their research’. As a result, it takes some years for them to complete PhD degree or not to finish at all. It is important to be realistic and remember that the purpose of PhD is to become an ‘independent researcher’ and not to change the whole world.

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