Category: PhD project and life (Page 1 of 2)

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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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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Constructive criticism – how to take it and give it? 

Being criticised and criticise is a part and parcel of a scientist/ researcher life.

When I was starting my PhD studies I was warned by my Friend that I would be criticised very often. He said also very important thing – “remember that they criticise your work, ideas, papers, research etc., not you as a person. And treat this criticism as good advices of more experienced people, you can agree with that or not, but there is no need to treat it as a personal criticism.”

And this advice was crucial for my profession development

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Grant application rejection – why is it sometimes good to be rejected? 

This week I received information that my grant application in National Science Centre was successful 🙂 

It was my second grant application in PRELUDIUM funding scheme. The first one (two years ago) was unsuccessful. I don’t know if you know this very interesting text Academic CV of Failures – a motivational lesson by Oleg Komlik.

I was three times rejected in different grant/scholarship competitions:

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