Episode 42: Dr Katy Shaw

Eagle-eyed followers of the podcast will know that this is not the first time that Dr Katy Shaw has come on the podcast – in fact it’s the fourth time that she has joined me on Viva Survivors! You can find her other episodes here. In this episode we had a catch up of what Katy has been up to recently, and she shared some really interesting experiences and advice for people wanting to work in academia.

The book that I asked Katy about was Mining the Meaning, and you can find all of her other books on Amazon too (and probably from other retailers too!). Katy is on Twitter as @DrKatyShaw.

If you’ve got any questions or comments then comment on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors – or email me! Please get in touch if you’d like to appear on a future episode. I’m always looking for PhD graduates who want to share their research and viva experiences. And if you’d like to support the production of the Viva Survivors Podcast then check out my ebooks on viva preparation.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 29: Academic Jobs Special 2

For some the viva is a milestone on a greater journey into academia. If you are aiming to stay in academia after the PhD, what can you do to improve your chances – not just of getting that first position, but of sustaining and developing an academic career?

In this special episode, the second Academic Jobs Special (the first was way back in January 2013), I’m joined by Dr Jennifer Cromwell. I interviewed Jenny for one of the earliest episodes of the podcast, and it was great to have her back to share a little more of her story and where it has taken her so far. Jenny and I chatted about the life of an early career researcher, academia and what those who are looking for an academic career can do to set themselves apart from their peers.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this episode, or any other, then please get in touch: either by commenting here, tweeting @VivaSurvivors, or emailing me. I’m sure that there will be more Academic Jobs Specials in the future, but for the next few episodes it will be more stories and advice from PhD graduates sharing their research and viva experience!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Survey Update 3: Focus

A different sort of update on the survey that I’m doing – which at the time of writing you can find at tinyurl.com/VivaSurvivorsSurvey – as I want to talk a little more about the focus of the survey, why I’m doing what I’m doing and what I’m looking to explore when the data has come in and I shift into analysis mode. I’ve been meaning to write about this for a little while now, but was really prompted to pull my finger out after a great tweet I received last week from Dr Pooky Knightsmith:

Which is a brilliant question to be asked!

Read More

Restart!

Hello all!

The last few months have been really busy for me: my wife and I bought our first house, we’re halfway through the pregnancy for our first child and I’m entering a busy period of work (May is always busy it seems!). So it seems like it’s about the right time to get the podcast going again. Coincidentally, I’ve had a lot of emails and tweets over the last week since Viva Survivors got a little mention in a Times Higher Education article about the viva* – so I’m hoping to record a few interviews over a couple of days and then edit in the evenings.

I’m very attached to the idea of continuing occasional podcasts on related topics – academic jobs and interviews with examiners to name two – and if you would like to contribute to those or the main podcast series then please get in touch! I would love to hear from you.

I’ve also started self-publishing books this year: Fail Your Viva is available in the Kindle Store, and will be available in some form soon as a print-on-demand paperback. I’m writing several other books at the moment, but I’m not currently planning another viva preparation related book for this year – although there are some ideas that didn’t quite fit in Fail Your Viva.

So: coming soon, more podcasts, more questions asked about the viva – and if you have any particular questions, maybe now is a good time to ask them. I can’t make promises, but maybe we can find some answers.

It’s good to be back 🙂

Nathan

*sooner or later I’ll try to blog about the article. I had mixed feelings about the picture it painted of the viva…

Episode 14: Academic Jobs Special 1

Some time ago I had a request to do something on the academic job market and academic jobs. I had planned to do one long episode on academic jobs, but time and schedules worked against me in January. So I’ve decided to release a podcast now and follow it up with more interviews soon!

In this episode I’m interviewing Dr Katy Shaw – regular listeners will remember that I spoke to Katy in Episode 10, and she very kindly volunteered to share her experience on the podcast again. Katy is the Subject Leader for English Literature and a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at the University of Brighton. She is also the Director of C21: Centre for research in twenty-first century writings and can be found on Twitter as @DrKatyShaw.

I’ve had a lot of recent volunteers who should be appearing on the podcast soon sharing their stories. If you have any comments or questions, drop me an email or send me a tweet via @VivaSurvivors – and especially if you would like to share your PhD and viva experiences.

PSI have a book out! Take a look, and if you read it and find it useful, please consider leaving a review. Thanks!

Special Podcast Coming Soon – I Need Your Help!

A “special” podcast? What do you mean?

Periodically I ask if there is anything else that I can do on the podcast that would be valuable. And just over a week ago someone responded:

This is a great idea! I’ve been mulling it over and think that it would be difficult for me to do by myself. This is where YOU come in: do you have time at some point in the next few weeks to contribute to a special Viva Survivors podcast?

What might we talk about?

It would be good to look at trends in academia, the kinds of jobs that people go for, competition, skills that help in academic jobs, CVs, what helps you to stand out… There are so many things that we could cover! What other questions or topics could we discuss? Email me, tweet @VivaSurvivors or leave a comment below if you have some ideas.

What’s all this “we” business?

As I said above, I can’t do this alone. I work in parallel with academia as a skills trainer, but I’m not a researcher in an institution now. This is where YOU come in, whoever you are. What can you tell us about the academic job market? How did you get your position now? What skills do you use in your job? Or do you work in a careers service and have time to share your experiences with the podcast? Please get in touch!

New podcasts coming soon!

This doesn’t mean that I’m stopping the regular flavour of podcast! I’m always looking for more people to share their PhD story and their viva experiences. If you would like to contribute to the podcast then please let me know. And thank you to everyone who tweets, RTs and tells me about how valuable they’re finding the podcast. I do this in my free time, and it’s nice to hear that people are getting something from hearing the stories that our @VivaSurvivors are sharing.

Episode 7: Dr Andy Hoyle and Dr Louise Hoyle

In this episode I talk to some married friends of mine, the Drs Hoyle! Dr Andy Hoyle graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2006 with a PhD in Mathematical Biology; Dr Louise Hoyle finished her postgraduate research this year, completing her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Stirling.

We’ve been trying to arrange an interview time for a while now; I thought it would be really interesting to chat with them about their research and also about their experience of having a partner who was doing postgraduate research. It was lots of fun talking to Andy and Louise, I hope you enjoy listening to it. They had lots of good advice for both the PhD and the viva.

Episode 8 should be along in the next few weeks; I’m still looking for interesting ideas for future podcasts and interviewees. Drop me an email, leave comments on the episodes and make sure you’re following the Twitter feed for announcements: @VivaSurvivors.