…by Priya / from India / PhD Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre 2013-2017
My supervisors are looking over my thesis draft and the paper is trying to get submitted to a journal. What does one do to avoid just twiddling their finger idly?
Apply for travel grants and conferences I decided to apply for the enable symposium. A European symposium targeted at young researchers and seems perfect. Not only will there be the usual academic talks and poster presentations, but there is evening networking session with speakers, outreach opportunity to talk to the public about your research and workshop to help you develop transferable skills. The focus of the conference is not just about research but career development too. It’s in Barcelona and for the short effort of writing a CV (which I desperately needed to do anyway!) and a motivation letter, I’m hoping to be awarded the travel grant to attend.
Enter competitions I have been thinking about making an entry for Max Perutz competition for a couple of years now. For an 800-word article answering the question “Why does my research matter?” regardless of whether my last minute entry gets anywhere or not, the exercise itself I feel was very valuable. The article was to be written for an intelligent lay audience. The first thing this does is force you to really think about why your work is important and why anyone should care. Secondly, it forces you to write it in a way that others would understand. I sent my first draft to an intelligent friend, thinking it was simple enough. To my surprise, after his reading, I realised he had misunderstood a lot. I realised things that seem obvious to me, don’t come across the same way to others. I have no expectation of being shortlisted but I’m still glad I tried.
Update and work on social media Social media is a wonderful tool, particularly for science communication. I’ve started reading more articles, finding fascinating things and sharing. Hopefully, I can build myself a good, positive online presence and digital footprint.
Think about jobs and careers OK, honestly, I still find this a bit daunting, as much as I’d hoped this wasn’t the case by now…but the thought is always there…the thought is always there…
Start preparing for the viva This is going to be the worst part of 2017 and I know it. I am dreading it. But one way to not dread is to be prepared. The more I read, the more I talk to people, the more I think about my research, hopefully, the easier it will be.
Relax and plan a holiday I think I work hard enough to deserve some time off!
Sort of essential household stuff laundry, maintenance, shopping, taxes…that list is endless
Write a blog post!