Getting a PhD

Important lessons and tricks for surviving your PhD.

  • A Communication Exercise: randomize slide presenters
    [Communication & Learning] I recently asked my students to prep Pecha Kucha-style presentations—18 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds—and then told them to present each other’s slides, a fun and fantastic (if chaotic) way to improve slide quality.
  • Seek out Opportunities to Mentor
    [Workflow & Process] Mentoring others can be incredibly valuable experience and so opportunities to mentor should be sought out.
  • My strategies for idea generation through writing
    [Workflow & Process] This guide aims to outline my strategies to encourage idea generation, essential for long-term research progress, through a habit of regular writing.
  • Underpromise and overdeliver to your future self
    [Workflow & Process] I’ve started to think of expectation management as a part of self-care, and I try to think of myself as an other. As such, I try to underpromise and overdeliver to my future self.
  • Action items should have well-defined end conditions
    [Workflow & Process] I try to make sure that my tasks are both easy to start making progress towards and have clear completion criteria, essential criteria for making sure they get done.
  • Reviewing papers is incredibly valuable experience
    [Communication & Learning] Looking at the in-development work of others pulls back the curtain and reveals insight into the thought process of other researchers. Reviews are a largely-untapped pedagogical resource.
  • Talk figures are different from paper figures
    [Communication & Learning] One communication pitfall I often see is that many researchers will take figures from their papers and paste them into their slides. Here, I provide some tips for tailoring your figures to talks.