PhD Progress & Thoughts

Things I want to have learned by the time I Graduate

As the title implies, here is a bloglist of the things I want to have learned by the time I cross the stage to collect my PhD award;

  1. How to write a journal paper as close to the final result, the first time
  2. How to plan for university tutorials
  3. How to present a lecture
  4. How to mark student assignments
  5. How to conduct interviews with Doctors and Nurses
  6. When to work, and when to step away from the computer and let your brain think
  7. How to switch from ‘social’ mode to ‘analysis’ mode
  8. How to ‘elevator pitch’ my research to different audiences, and get it right, every time
  9. How to get a job with my PhD
  10. How to write a grant proposal
  11. How to get a grant
  12. Sourcing external funding for research projects
  13. How to collaborate with professionals from different industries
  14. Finding the right networks at the right time
  15. What external projects are worth my time, and what are not
  16. How to translate my knowledge into paid ‘side’ projects
  17. How to balance PhD and non-PhD work so I can dedicate the right amount of time to each
  18. How to be a good Research Assistant (Efficient, Effective and Autonomous)
  19. How to get the government on-side with my project so I get more support with my endeavours.
  20. How to communicate my work to a wider audience than ‘just’ academia without losing copyright and/or publication opportunities
  21. How to get recognised in my field
  22. How to attend foreign conferences
  23. How to be invited to guest-lecture at external institutions
  24. How to run a workshop
  25. How to facilitate a retreat and/or Conference
  26. How to facilitate a Shut Up And Write event in Perth, Western Australia
  27. How to collaborate with interstate and/or international academics within my field
  28. How to conduct large research projects without being affiliated with an academic institution
  29. How to get a job at an academic institution
  30. How to translate my PhD skills to a non-academic audience
  31. How to seamlessly transition between ‘academic’ writing and ‘non-academic’ writing
  32. How to not-burn-out when I get excited by a project (I tend to jump right into everything that excites me without taking breaks/taking care of myself >__>;)
  33. How to get external institutions to participate in my research without personally knowing me or my project
  34. How to travel without needing caffeine to cover exhaustion
  35. How to get a scholarship
  36. How to mentor younger/less experienced students
  37. How to be a good teacher
  38. How to tell the difference between people who follow through on promises, and those who don’t.
  39. How to identify talent my field from an early stage
  40. How to forecast a good project by its early conception
  41. How to travel while keeping on top of my work (International mobility with work)
  42. How to compartmentalise my work from my home life, especially when working from home
  43. How to ‘wind down’ midway through a big project
  44. How to manage my expectations for myself and others
  45. When to be patient, and when to ‘poke’, people who take their time doing a task.
  46. Where all the ‘study trifecta’ cafe’s in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane are. (Alternately, how to find one quickly; Beverages, electrical outlet for charging, and free WIFI).
  47. How to write a Thesis
  48. How to develop a working model for professionals based on empirical research
  49. How to test a model (optional – may come post-grad)
  50. How to write, and publish, a book for the general public


  1. How to balance a work and home life with children and elderly in-laws
  2. How to work from home and/or part-time post-PhD
  3. How to get a job in my home city
  4. How to diversify my skill set post-PhD
  5. How to use my knowledge to continue research that benefits the community at large
  6. How to stay in contact with my professional networks in the long-term, even if we’re not actively working together
  7. How to transition from being a research student to being a ‘member of the general public’
  8. How to combine my research and academic skills with the needs of children and the demands of parenting
  9. How to support my partner in their own journey to their PhD (in another field)

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