Page 2 of 4

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

Read More

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:

Read More

How much should we conform to an existing academic system? 

It is a question which I’ve asked, since I confronted a nowadays academic reality with my idealistic expectations…

Should I start from expectations or from the reality? 

 What was my vision of being a PhD student? Very traditional one – that I would have a supervisor who would be “My Professor” in the same time, that I would be a part of an institute/ department, that I would take a part in their research, that I could learn based on a master-apprentice model. 

I was also thinking that all people in an academia have similar idealistic approach to their work, that this work is for something, that we should do research useful for society…

And the reality…

Read More

Importance of a mental support 

I will not pretend that PhD studies/ project/ writing is a bed of roses… Be prepared for ups and downs. Sometimes you can face “systemic difficulties”… sometimes can come lack of motivation… Sometimes you can feel don’t good enough… Sometimes you can feel discouraged working with people who don’t share your values… Sometimes you can be overwhelmed with responsibilities and tired… Sometimes you can feel lonely with your struggles…

My advice – don’t stay alone! Take care about your mental support 🙂 

Who can support us in our 3-5 years PhD journey? 

Read More

Magic of a “to do” list

One Sunday I was Skyping with my Friend and she asked me what were my plans for the next day. I answered – “You know, I will write this paper for this joint research”. She wasn’t satisfied with the answer and she asked – “can you be more specific…?” And I couldn’t answer that question… I was a little bit ashamed, because it looks that I am so well organised. In reality sometimes I forget about important elements of the self- and tasks-management… 

One of this elements is an everyday “to do” list. Sabine was talking about that, but I didn’t implement it. 

As you could see in the post about planning, I prepared almost one year plann of my PhD writing. As I realised after the talk with my Friend – it is not enough. Because all this task, and subtask are still too general (as my answer for my Firend’s question). 

Read More

Everyone should find his/her RSA – about academic associations 

Last week I attended the PhD students & Early Career Conference organised by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and I had very interesting conversations with Michael Taster – he is on the second year of study on a “collaborative award PhD entitled The Production and Reproduction of Policy Relevant Spatial Knowledge and New Publication Techniques: A Case Study of Regional Studies. A project which brings together funding and collaboration from the Regional Studies Association, Taylor & Francis, the Economic and Social Research Council and the University of Sheffield in order to investigate the ways in which academics are responding to changes in scholarly communications” – It is what he said in the beginning of his presentation. By the way – it needs to be very nice feeling to have so many funding and collaboration institutions to mention 😉

During the conference dinner he asked me – “How did you find out about the RSA?” 

Read More

Conferences – what for do we participate in them?

I have two different pictures of the reasons what for people go for the conferences – Polish one and let’s call it “international” one. 

Bellow the photo from the international conference which I attended this week (of course I blurred it because I didn’t asked people if I can publish their faces)

Read More

Secret notebook – about research project development 

After my first year of the PhD studies I was with my Friend on a Summer School. One day we went to a museum and he had bought as a souvenir little, green notebook with an eye (if I good remember). He told me that he would note there his brilliant ideas 🙂 

Few months later we were together on a conference. He had his little, green notebook and he made some notes there, when speakers told something interesting, inspiring, important… 

Few months later I come up with an idea of my PhD project (version 3.0). I thought that if I had wanted to treat this project seriously and I had wanted to develop it I should have a notebook where I could write my ideas and notes and comments of people with whom I talked about my research project. Below the first page of that “secret notebook” – “PhD thesis. Concept 3.0”:

Read More

“Side projects” dilemma 

What do I call a “side project”? As I taught my students in Bremen – always define the used terms in the beginning of your paper to be sure that you and your readers think about the same things. The “side project” for me is everything what we do and what is not directly connected with our PhD project, for example:

  • Your supervisor asked you to wrote some paper for his/ her conference
  • A colleague from your department is a book editor and asked you to write a book chapter
  • Your professor asked you to be a book chapter co-author
  • Your colleague from studies asked you to work on some parts of his/her research project
  • Someone invited you to joint research and a paper writing afterwards
  • You applied for a scholarship abroad with other research project than your final PhD project
  • You found some interesting volunteering opportunities
  • Your Professor asked you to assist her/his courses
  • You received financial grant for a summer school (10 days somewhere)

Topics of papers/ research / activities can be related with your PhD research but not necessarily.

Take a part or not take a part in the “side project”?

It is hard question to answer.

Read More

Crocheting

I attended a small, village, primary school in 90s. One of our courses in a third grade was called “handwork”. There I had learned crocheting for the first time. My mum is very good at crocheting so I was practicing with her.
Last time I had a crochet hook in my hands in 2011. I was on an internship in a kindergarten and teachers there wanted to prepare some Easter decorations so I made chickens like this:

dsc_0384

Read More

Page 2 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén