2014 on Viva Survivors

Happy New Year!

Is it too late to say that? Maybe, but I mean it all the same – regardless of whether or not your viva is in 2014 I hope that everything goes exceptionally well for you in the twelve months. 2013 was a good year for me personally: my wife and I moved house, we had a daughter (CJ, now nearly four months old!), and I continued to be amazed by the opportunities that came my way and the interesting things that happened to me.

One thing that was less good was my commitment to the podcast. Shocking really, that this time last year I was planning to get the total number of podcasts up to 40 by the end of 2013. A massive over-estimation in terms of my time and energy (amazing what becoming a father will do for your free time). The last new episode was way back in June! Still, the podcast is not forgotten, I will just have to be a lot cleverer when it comes to carving out the time to interview people, but I’ll say more on that in a moment.

Some good things from 2013

I took a course in WordPress last summer, and the fruits are starting to show on the site I think. The theme looks pretty I think and all manner of things running in the background make it quite secure now (there was an unfortunate incident with some kind of hacked theme, but never mind that). Better news I think is that I have finally got around to writing a new page where I’ll collect links and details of Other Resources. At the moment there’s a link to Fail Your Viva and the start of a list of blogposts about other viva survivors’ experiences. If you have written about your viva experiences and want to share them I’ll be very happy to link to them. Please drop me a line! Or if you have seen a great piece of viva advice, an article, a blogpost, a video – even another podcast series – then let me know and I’ll do my best to link to them all sensibly on that page.

Onwards and upwards

No big promises for a start (although 40 episodes does have a nice ring to it…). Here are some things to hopefully look forward to though:

  • More episodes! (yes, seriously, they’re coming – see below)
  • More on the site: next up is an Archive Page so that people can see at a glance what podcasts there are. With any luck that will be finished in the next week or so.
  • More books: my writing ambitions were slightly derailed in 2013 (again, fatherhood, moving house), but 2014 will see more books from me in the Kindle Store, possibly available in print, and not all about the viva. I do have another book on the viva though, and with some careful time management (and of course, some work) that will be available by the end of February. Watch this space.

New episodes

I need YOU! I’m proposing recording slots for the last week in January, between Tuesday 28th and Friday 31st, during 9am-5pm GMT. Can you help? If I have contacted you in the past about being on the podcast, then please get in touch. If you’ve heard the podcast and now want to share your story, then please get in touch. If you would like to contribute to special episodes on academic careers, the job market for PhD graduates, what it’s like to be a part time PhD student or any other big issue for PhD candidates, please (please!) get in touch!

As ever, please share the podcasts with people who you think will be interested, and if you have any interesting ideas for the site or for people to interview then let me know. Follow the podcast on Twitter, @VivaSurvivors, for more updates – I have several planned for January, and all being well the first new episode in far too long will be with us by the end of the month.

Thanks for your patience!