Use Your Acknowledgements Page

The acknowledgements page of a thesis is a lovely opportunity to be thankful.

Thank your supervisors for all they’ve done.

Thank your family and friends by name.

Thank your funders if you have them.

Thank anyone who has really helped.

Looking back at mine, and at others I’ve seen, the acknowledgements page is a time capsule. A little slice of a time when you were someone else. I’ve not stayed in touch with many of the friends who helped me through my PhD. That page reminds me of who I have to be thankful to, and who made a difference.

Say thank you.

Allies and Acknowledgements

I re-read my thesis a few months ago. One of the happiest parts for me was the acknowledgements page. It’s like a time capsule. Some of the people I namechecked were very good friends in that period. Some still are. Some I haven’t seen for years now. But they all played a part.

If you have people around you who help you be a better you I think it’s right to stand up and say, “These guys are awesome.” Don’t dash out your acknowledgements page in a quick ten minutes. Think about what you want to say and who you need to thank.

And remember that those people can still be allies as you prepare for your viva: asking questions, giving you space, distracting you, telling you about their experiences and helping you find perspective.