Docstoc

Research Management

Document Sample
Research Management Powered By Docstoc
					  Research Management
    for PhD students

       holly.branigan@ed.ac.uk
      sarah.haywood@ed.ac.uk


Thanks also to Louise Kelly & Jools Simner…

                                              1
Today’s session

• Overview of the PhD cycle
  – How to get a PhD, and how not to get one!
  – Important milestones and the PhD “hourglass”


• Working effectively with your supervisor

• Research management
  – Dealing with difficulties and obstacles




                                                   2
Announcements

• ERI learning lunches
  – ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme, 9th Oct
  – Nuffield Foundation, 16th Oct
  – www.myed.ed.ac.uk, or email a.s.laegran@ed.ac.uk


• Publishing using LaTeX
  – 22nd & 23rd Nov
  – Transkills Science & Engineering
  – See http://www.transkills.ed.ac.uk/



                                                       3
Some home truths


• You didn‟t get here by mistake

• You don‟t have to be a genius!
  – PG study = reasonable intelligence + tenacity + interest




                                                               4
What is a PhD?

• A bit like cabinet-making…
   – Apprenticeship, learning skills needed to be a researcher
   – Demonstrating those skills


• Your first piece of work, not your best
   – Running an imperfect expt is better than no expt at all
   – Writing something bad is better than writing nothing




                                                                 5
Your thesis

• May not contain everything you have done


• May contain things that did not work as intended


• May represent the journey that you have taken




                                                     6
Does the thesis…

• Make a significant, original contribution?

• Contain material worthy of publication?

• Show adequate knowledge of the field?

• Represent a unified body of work
   – which could reasonably be achieved on the basis of 3 years of
     postgraduate study

• Show satisfactory literary presentation?

• Give full and adequate references and have a coherent
  structure?


                                                                     7
PhD cycle and milestones
Year 1              Year 2                 Year 3
• Lit review?       • Study visit?         • Writing up
• PG conference/s   • Start writing up     • Writing papers?
• Year 1 report     • PG conference/s      • PG conference/s
• Progression       • Other conferences?   • International
  meeting                                    conference
                    • Year 2 report
                    • Progression          • Submit end year 3
                      meeting              • Viva voce
                                           • Graduation!




                                                                 8
The PhD hourglass

         • Your time
            – multi-tasking  focusing  multi-tasking

         • Your thesis
            – general  specific  general

         • Your enthusiasm!
            – lots  not quite so much  lots!


         (keep an eye on the sands of time…!)



                                                         9
How NOT to get a PhD

• Not WANTING a PhD

• Underestimating the nature of a PhD

• Overestimating the nature of a PhD

• Having a supervisor who doesn‟t understand what is required

• Losing contact with your supervisor/peers

• Not having a „thesis‟

• Taking on a big NEW „job‟ before you finish.




                                                                10
Common Problems

• Poor planning and management of project
• Methodological difficulties in the research
• Writing up
• Isolation
• Personal problems outside research
• Inadequate or negligent supervision


   All of these have solutions!

                                                11
Managing relationships




                         12
Competing demands

• Supervisors are generally benevolent

• But have their failings:
   – Competing demands for attention
      • Teaching, research, admin as well as research supervision
   – Disorganised/forgetful
   – Personality/interaction style

• You and your supervisor need to have reasonable
  expectations of each other


                                                                    13
Spotlight of supervisory attention
Or, how many yolks in your fried egg?




              Student               Supervisor


                                                 14
Establishing your relationship

• Regular meetings versus “on demand” meetings
• How do you want to be managed?
   – Beating with a stick versus gentle encouragement
   – Strict deadlines versus free rein

• How does your supervisor want to be managed?
   – Reminders helpful versus irritating

• Written reports versus verbal reports
   – Send material before versus after meetings

• Implicit versus explicit discussion of needs
   – Telepathy versus bulletted list


                                                        15
Getting the most out of meetings

• Before the meeting
   – Set your objectives and agenda
   – What to discuss? What do you need to prepare?

• At the meeting
   – Take notes
   – Formulate an action plan (and schedule next meeting?)

• After the meeting
   – Circulate a summary of the discussion
   – Add to a research diary once agreed?



                                                             16
Politics

Try to foster good relations
   – The person you clash with today may be reviewing your
     paper/grant application tomorrow
   – Appreciate the support staff for their efforts



“your success in graduate school and beyond
  depends a great deal upon your ability to build and
  maintain interpersonal relationships, with your
  adviser, the research staff, the support staff and
  your fellow students.”

                                                             17
Tensions with supervisors

• It happens – how serious is it?
• Irritating but not detrimental?
   – Take the time to explain how you feel
   – Let off steam to your peers? (but remember the politics!)

• Protocols for switching supervisor if serious
   – Code of Practice for Supervisors & Students
   – Sergio Della Sala (s1), Fernanda Ferreira (s2)
   – Ronnie Cann/Chris Clarke (??)



                                                                 18
Managing your workload
    … and what to do if it goes a bit pear-shaped




                                                    19
http://www.transkills.ed.ac.uk/

• How to be an Effective Researcher (Nov 8th & 9th)
  – PhD project planning, effective working practices, maximising
    your impact
  – Managing your supervisor, working with others, negotiating,
    getting feedback
  – Planning for the future


• Time Management
  – Oct 31st, Nov 24th, Feb 27th, May 16th
  – Refresher Session - June 25th



                                                                    20
Key activities
Research                   Other yolks in your egg
• Reading                  • Academic development
• Preparing experiments       – Seminars, tutoring

   – Preparing stimuli     • Skills training
   – Norming/pre-testing      – e.g., tutoring workshops
   – Writing scripts       • Admin and organisation
• Collecting data             – e.g., running PG conference

• Analysing data           • Networking
                              – Conferences and workshops
• Writing
                              – Other organisations


                                                              21
Time management tips
• Establish your priorities
                                                  Important   Important
   – Each evening write a plan for
                                                   but not      AND




                                     Importance
     the next day?
                                                   Urgent      Urgent
• Know thyself
   – A 9-5 job or something else?
                                                   neither    Urgent
   – Work around peaks & troughs                  Important   but not
     of productivity                              nor Urgent Important

• Regularly review targets
   – SMART goals                                       Urgency
   – Milestones



                                                                          22
SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Time-framed, and…

R is for realistic!

• Give yourself interim targets and deadlines
   – Next action: Could be a tiny little task!

• Everything takes longer than you think it will
   – E.g., waiting for ethical approval (~2 weeks)
   – http://www.psy.ed.ac.uk/local/info/ethics

• Build “slack time” into your planning

• People are fallible and may need reminders!


                                                                    23
Getting organised (1)

• Keep a note of everything you do and read
  – Useful for writing your Progress Reports
  – Up-to-date annotated bibliography (e.g., Endnote)


• Keep a research diary and an “ideas file”
  – Key design decisions
  – Ideas and action points from supervisory meetings
  – Start a blog? (e.g., at www.wordpress.com)



                                                        24
Getting organised (2)

• Create sensible admin systems (e.g., file names)

• Keep notes about your spreadsheets/data files
  – E.g., coding, or how you‟ve labelled your columns
  – This could all go in your research diary


• Write up method sections and results summaries
  – Working papers can help you clarify your ideas




                                                        25
What if it’s not going well?

• Talk about it!
   – Supervisors, other members of group, friends and peers
   – The Advice Place: www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/advice/


• Student counselling service
   – http://www.student-counselling.ed.ac.uk/index.htm
   – Procrastination workshops (Oct 17th, Nov 21st)
   – Stress and Relaxation workshops




                                                              26
Useful books


How to get a PhD: A handbook for
students and their supervisors
 Estelle Phillips & Derek Pugh (2005)


The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research
 Gordon Rugg & Marian Petre (2004)




                                        27
Some seminars…

http://www.psy.ed.ac.uk/events/seminars.html
   – Psycholinguistics coffee
   – Departmental seminars (if relevant or interesting)
   – Postgraduate seminars

• Language at Edinburgh lunches
   – http://www.langlunch.tardis.ed.ac.uk/

• Linguistic Circle
   – http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/events/lcircle/


                                                          28
… and some more

• ICCS seminars
   – http://www.iccs.inf.ed.ac.uk/seminars/

• Interdisciplinary Tea
   – http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/events/seminars/idt/

• PPIG reading group
   – http://www.ppls.ed.ac.uk/ppig/index.htm




                                                    29
Organisations

• PsyPAG
   – http://www.psypag.co.uk/

• Postgraduates Who Teach (PGwT)
   – http://www.psychology.heacademy.ac.uk/html/postgrads_who_teach.asp


• ESRC National Centre for Research Methods
   – http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/

• Scottish Psycholinguistics


                                                                          30

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Research Management document sample