Hiatus Ending Soon!

Long time, no see!

This short hiatus wasn’t something that I particularly had planned for the podcast: I underestimated how involved I was going to be with a new project of mine, and the time that I had for doing any work on the podcast seemed to evaporate into thin air. Now that new project is underway (and another one has been done in secret; I’ll tell you about it in a few months’ time) I can switch my attention back to sharing PhD and viva stories.

Episode 55 is coming up on April 11th, one week from today, and features Dr Anna Mackenzie telling me about her PhD research, how she prepared for her viva and what happened on the day. I think this will be the only episode for April, but then I’m planning to do two episodes for May: one regular and one “special” that I’ll need YOUR help with.

A few months back, after listening to a couple of other podcasts that I really like, I thought that it might be fun to do a Q&A episode: what do you want to know about the viva? About the podcast or the work I do? What would help you? Ask me, and I’ll answer! I’m going to start the prep for this in two weeks I think, so will give more details then. I really want this to be a useful episode, so your help is greatly needed and appreciated.

A quick update on my idea of running a Patreon campaign: after a lot of back and forth on this, thinking about pros and cons and so on, I’ve decided not to pursue this. I think Patreon is a neat idea, but I don’t think it is quite right for how I want to develop the podcast. Running and managing it could become a distraction to making the episodes themselves. I am fortunate that I have the kind of business and life that gives me time to do the podcast (and pursue ideas and projects for my own development) and I think for now that it’s best that things stay more or less as they are.

So to recap: new episode on April 11th, more episodes in May, including plans for a Q&A epsiode, and no plans for Patreon. Email me if you want to know more about any of this, or if you’d like to come on a future episode – I’m always looking for people who are happy to share their PhD and viva experiences, or who are interested in coming on a future special.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 50: Thank You

Episode 50! In some ways it has come around really quickly, and in others it feels like it has been a long time coming. This is a very different sort-of episode: just me talking for a little while. The Viva Survivors Podcast has been around for nearly three and a half years, and it feels like a good time to say a lot of thank yous, as well as reflect on where the podcast has come from, the opportunities that have come my way and talk about my plans for the future.

As another thank you, I’m offering 50% off all of my ebooks available at Payhip. Simply use the code FIFTY when prompted to get any of the following for half price:

The code is valid until the end of November 2015: share it on to anyone who you think would be interested. This is just one little way I can say thank you for all of the shares, RTs, emails, messages and other things that so many people have done for me and for the podcast over the last few years.

If you want to get in touch please email me, or find me on Twitter as @DrRyder or @VivaSurvivors. I love hearing from people who want to come on the podcast to share their PhD and viva experiences.

Here’s to the next fifty episodes! Thanks for reading 🙂

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Viva Survivors Podcast: Patreon Campaign

I love making this podcast

I really do. This project grew out of a desire to help PhD candidates close to finishing their PhDs. I want them (you!) to realise that the viva is going to be OK – it’s not a mystery, there are real expectations to the viva, and consequently things that can be done to prepare. I hoped that by interviewing people from a variety of backgrounds this would come through.

After a while, I also began to think that it was an opportunity to share stories about what it is like to do research as a postgraduate researcher. Perhaps someone starting a PhD might listen to the podcast and find out what doing research is like – as well as hear about fascinating research. I love being able to hear about what people did for their PhD. There are currently 28 episodes in the archive, Episode 29 will be published on Monday 3rd November. I’m on track to hit my target of 32 episodes by the end of the year.

I want to do more: can you help?

In the last year I had to take time off from the podcast in order to adjust to becoming a dad! Now that I’ve stepped back up to it I’m enjoying it more than ever, and realising that I want to provide more. To help that process, I’ve created a Patreon campaign for the podcast. Patreon is a bit like Kickstarter, but whereas the latter is for a project that isn’t finished yet, Patreon is crowdfunding for ongoing efforts.

I’ve just started the campaign, but as support grows I’ll be able to spend more time on producing episodes, creating new content and expanding the output of the podcast. I have a couple of initial goals (like covering the cost of hosting, creating several pieces of writing each month and producing some focused tips-based episodes), but I also have big dreams. And I need your help to achieve both my goals and my dreams: providing a useful resource to postgraduate researchers in the UK and around the world.

So, can you help me?

If you can, great! The podcast will always be 100% free for everyone, and if you are able to become a Patron for the Viva Survivors Podcast then I can do some things to say thank you in return. I have a variety of things to begin with, like a “Thank You!” page of backers on the podcast, a pre-release notification that new content is coming to the site – and even early access to future episodes!

Patreon is straight-forward to set up, and it seems like a really useful way to support people creating things. Even if you don’t think that you can support the Viva Survivors Podcast at the moment, then have a look around and see what other amazing things people are doing.

Thanks for reading! I’ve really enjoyed the last two and a half years of producing the podcast, sharing the episodes and seeing it become a valuable resource. With your help I hope to continue this and do a lot more. Any help you can offer to support the Viva Survivors Podcast – by sharing the episodes, volunteering to share your story or becoming a Patron – is really appreciated.

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)