The past year has certainly been a unique time for us all. There have been incredible challenges for PhD students in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also been a time of transformation, adaptation, and learning.
The Hive has shifted online and has been supporting Doctoral Researchers via online events and platforms. We have also tried to bring you blog content that fits our current social context and to address some novel challenges for PhD students. Here we revisit our top 5 blog posts from 2020, which gives us some insight into the current interests and concerns of Doctoral Researchers.
One of the ways that we have continued to stay in touch with other researchers is via our monthly online Tea and Talk sessions, which will continue in 2021 as long as we remain working online. This has been a great place to connect and beat isolation and we are so grateful for our continued attendees and those who have dropped in from time to time. We look forward to meeting more of you in 2021!
As our top post in 2020, it is clear that the Tea and Talks (and perhaps the care packages) draw some interest!
We were so pleased to bring you some care packages during the first period of lockdown, which we know made some people feel like a part of a community. If you haven’t seen our most recent announcement, we are able to offer something similar at the start of 2021! This time, we have teamed up with Science on a Postcard to bring you some extra special goodies. We hope that our box of treats continue to help Sussex researchers feel supported and considered, at a time when we can often feel the pang of being stuck in between a student and faculty member.
Pandemic or no pandemic, the publishing wheel keeps on turning! This post from 2018 remained a popular one this year. For some, the pandemic meant churning out multiple research papers and publishing at an alarming rate; however there was a clear decline in the number of publications submitted by women. If you haven’t been able to submit papers from your PhD, or think about publishing your work, there will be time. The ‘publish or perish’ mantra might be alive and well but many successful academics have ups and downs in their research output, and we are seeing shifts to a more rounded perspective of academic success.
Of course with the great Zoom migration of 2020, vivas have been and continue to be mostly held online. Dr Fiona Scott shared her experience of completing her viva online during the first lockdown in May 2020. In this post, we also compiled a list of resources gathered from the Doctoral School and the University’s pages to help those who are due to complete a viva online to plan and prepare.
If you liked this post, watch this space for online viva’s from an examiners perspective, coming soon!
Rejections and knock-backs in their many forms have been a pervasive part of 2020. It is therefore understandable why this guest post from April 2017 continues to be a popular one! At the end of their post, Shima Jalal Kamali reminds us that rejections can help us learn and become stronger: personally and professionally. This may the case for the whole of 2020. We have adapted our work, faced personal and professional uncertainty, anxiety, and unprecedented challenges. Some really will be enduring, but let’s hope that a few of these hurdles will be those that push us in a positive direction.
Our fifth most read post this year is full of tips to help “release your creativity and improve your research”. Helpful pointers about how to roll with the punches, and to be adaptable and creative with your research will no doubt have been useful to many this year as we adapted to online projects and different timelines.
Thank you for continuing to support us by reading our blog, we hope to bring you more relevant content this year and welcome any guest posts about your experiences, research, or topical interests!