Challenges of cooperation and co-writing

Recently I’ve finished a paper with one of my Colleagues, and immediately another Friend has proposed me to work together on research and write a paper together afterwards…

My first answer was: “Will we not kill each other in a meantime…?”

I believe that cooperation in research is needed and can be fruitful both for researchers, and for a society, because we can complement our skills and knowledge. It helps to do better research, use more advanced methods, or mix different approaches, sometimes do interdisciplinary research…

In the same time working with someone is challenging,

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Writing strategy – how to make a progress 

I’ve been writing for last 4 weeks. I wrote about 8000 words during that time, writing from Mondays to Wednesdays, for 5-6 hours.

This comics describes my current situation perfectly 😉


One day I got stuck. I was looking for a literature to complete the story about an important term and I spent more than 1 hour looking for articles and book. Then I went for a dinner, and talking with my Husband about my problem, I found out how to finish the story. But that day progress in writing was very little. 

After that experience I decided to build a kind of strategy to not get stuck anymore.

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Day “0” has finally come 

Today morning I sent the final version of my PhD proposal to my supervisor and hopefully I will present it this month on a Faculty Committee meeting. Because of unexpected changes I couldn’t submit the previous version, and I needed to rearrange my topic and a level of analysis again. I wasn’t so active on the blog in December because I was finishing the joint paper, I was working on my paper, I was improving my PhD proposal, I started working on another joint research, and I was thinking about the sense of my PhD in general. 

Today is a BIG DAY,

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Who should care about my PhD? 

When I was/am in my “unmotivation (I think there is no such word in English) phase” I very often thought/think that nobody cares about my PhD. When I talk with one of my Friends about that, we like to complain that our supervisors don’t care about our PhD. Last time it went even worse, because I started feeling that even I didn’t care anymore about my PhD.

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How to manage few projects in the same time? 

I’ve reached this point, where I self-disciplined myself, and I wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, go to the home-office and work 1.5 hours, take a break, work 1.5 hours, take a break… There is no place for any distractions, my tree grows, and I can stay focused on my work. 

There are still some self-organization challenges (during 27th Summer Academy in Bonn we were taught that it is better to use word “challenge” instead of “problem”, because then it is easier, and more probable that we will find a solution). What is my challenge now? 

I am this kind of person that I like to stay focused on one project, go deep into it, finish it, and start a next project. In real life it is totally unrealistic approach – in most cases we have different projects and responsibilities in the same time, and we need to find a way how to organise, realise, fulfil all of them.

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Questions about Polish science…

When I saw this graph my thought was – “I am not surprised at all, but in the same time it is really sad”


Source: PL Research and Innovation Performance (pl_research_and_innovation_performance) – for all countries reports see Research and Innovation performance and Horizon 2020 country participation 

I am somewhere near to the Polish academic system, but as not-employed person I don’t know its reality so deep. I also don’t know reasons, why Polish science quality is so low… I can just assume and ask questions – Why do Polish scientist not publish in top journals?

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Can we treat a PhD project as a job, even if we are not paid for that? 

I don’t know, if it is an issue only of Polish PhD students, or it is also possible in others countries, that there are PhD students without any financial support from a University where they do their PhD studies….

I will picture a PhD studies financial background now.

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My PhD Idol 

I met him, when he was co-teaching one course on my Master studies. He is this type of a teacher, who is open for students, and a phrase – “If you have any questions, write to me, I will help you” – are not only empty words.

He had started to be my Idol, since the first day I saw him. He was somewhere in the middle of a PhD studies. I wanted to be like him. Sometimes, especially when we are not enough self-confident, we need someone who shows us, that things are possible.

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Change by Exchange – DAAD’s motto is not only a motto

It is a reality.

I have had this post in my mind since I started the blog. The title was ready in the very first day of my blogging. I just needed more time to think how to build this story…

I am always proudly using my “sponsor” bag, as I call DAAD. But it is not only about money – it is more about opportunities which are opened thanks to this money. 

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As my Sister said once – “I can’t paint so I paint even more”
I was always thinking that I cannot draw. I was always criticised in a primary school on so called “art” classes. I grew up in belief that I shouldn’t even try to draw 😛

And this words of my sister convinced me, that maybe I should try…
I took pencils and notebook with white pages on my summer holidays:

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