PhD in Progress Podcast

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PhD 017: “We’re NOT Morons!” – Facing Impostor Syndrome

October 3rd, 2014

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[Episode card image adapted from a Flickr photo by Derek Mindler, used under the Creative Commons]

If you would like to donate to help cover costs, please click here.This week we have a friendly dialogue about facing Impostor Syndrome and how it has appeared in our lives.

Resources:

We’ve started something new! So far, all of the funding for this show has come out of my own pocket. To help cover the costs, I’ve started a Patreon campaign where you can pledge to help out the show. I’ve also placed a PayPal Donation button on the site.  The show will ALWAYS be free but if you would like to help us cover costs and improve the quality of our show, please consider contributing via Patreon.com/phdpodcast.

Another great way to support the show is to leave a review in the iTunes store. This is very important because it boosts visibility of our show. Please take 30 seconds to leave an honest rating and review. We’d really appreciate it!

iTunes user dgr- two left a 5 star review,  saying:

“I’d recommend this podcast to any current or prospective graduate students- the speakers always keep the topics fresh and interesting. My only complaint is that while there were two episodes about finding non-academic jobs after school, there hasn’t been anything yet about pursuing postdoctoral or tenure track positions”.

Thank you for the review and we’ll work on getting together a postdoc episode.

Finally, we’re very active on Twitter @PhDPodcast so say hi to us there or e-mail us at feedback@phdinprogress.com.

 

Productivity Web Tools for Graduate Students

July 4th, 2014

“Productivity” can be a hairy subject. The goal is to get the best results out of your time investment but not become a fully automated robotic cyborg with the sole mission of completing task after task. With this in mind, we want to introduce a few resources we find useful in our own searches to get the most out of the time we spend working and living.

Why be “more productive”? What are the pitfalls? Doesn’t it seem a little pointless?
I recommend visiting A Year of Productivity, where Chris Bailey chronicles his experiences of living out different methods of being productive. Not everything works but it is interesting reading his thoughts while living in nearly complete isolation for 10 days or drinking only water for a month.

We recommend not trying a full makeover in a short amount of time. This might cause burn out and much discomfort in your personal life. Try a method or a tool for a bit, see how it might fit into your life and your goals, then move on.

Software and Website Tools

  • Papers (34 for students) http://www.papersapp.com 

    PapersIconThis was my first PDF management program and I loved it. My friend called “iTunes for academic research”. If your research articles are all over your computer or just lazily thrown into a single folder, Papers can help you organize it by reading the metadata of the PDF files. It can rename your files (e.g. “Smith_2014”) and you can place them into different reading lists.
    The program started off as Mac only and remained the best Mac solution for a while. If there is something much better, let me know!
    The full retail price is €71 but it is 34 for students.  Again, I have not used this program for the last few years but it now available for PC and can be used cross platform with your current iOS devices.

 

  • Mendeley (free) http://www.mendeley.com/
    After I switched to my MendeleyIconcurrent Windows PC laptop, I bemoaned the fact that Papers for Windows really was not that great. However, people used Mendeley. I’m happy to say that over the last 2-3 years, Mendeley has become a MUCH better program than it was.
    Mendeley and Papers both fill the same functional role: organize and catalog all of your PDF based resources. Mendeley, however, is free. You can save your library to the cloud and then have your iPad or other computers sync with it. When I travel, now I load up on research papers and just have to bring my iPad.

 

  • Google Calendar (free) https://www.google.com/calendar/
    GoogleGoogle Calendar is invaluable. There really are way too many uses for it, whether it be tracking your work or coordinating dinner with your family.
    There are a ton of articles out there on taking advantage of Google calendar

 

  • Mint (free) https://www.mint.com
    MintPeople who are uneasy or scared about their financial situation are often distracted and cannot do their best work.Are your finances all in a mess? Do you even know how much money you have to your name? No fear, Mint’s web application (which also syncs with your mobile devices) can help set you straight.
    For me, the budgeting tool has been a great asset. By staying on budget, I cut down on the amount of choices I need to make on a daily basis, and direct that brain power towards achieving my goals.One warning: If you’re worried about much of your personal finance information being on one site, you may prefer the numerous other offline products available. I have personally not run into any trouble with Mint.com but I’m also aware that nothing is ever completely safe on the internet.

 

 

PhD 005: 3 Important Points of Advice to New Graduate Students

May 13th, 2014

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This week Jason, Nikhil, and Abigail hope to help newer graduate students by discussing what they WISH they knew earlier in their studies.

Self-management, the production mindset, and failure are the 3 broad topics we dive into for this discussion.

We mention a couple of neuroscience studies-
Chronic partial sleep deprivation:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/

Sleep and memory – way too much literature, but the wiki is pretty comprehensive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_and_memory

Where does Nikhil find his best ideas?
How can you earn your secret Ph.D.?
And correct, unurgent is not a word. Thank you in advance.

 

PhD 004: “A Case Study” – Leave of Absence and Self-Education

May 5th, 2014

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This week we talk to Zach about taking a leave of absence, self-education, and preparation for consulting job interviews.

Abigail gets ready to defend, Nikhil finishes up experiments, and Jason is a subpar caterer.

Nikhil interviews Zach. They discuss the reasons Zach took a leave of absence, what he did during that time, and how it prepared him for his next career.

During the interview, Zach mentions two books (“the classics”) he has read during his preparation for a consulting job search:

Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter
Competitve Advantage by Michael Porter

 

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As always, you can find this week’s show notes and all the information I just mentioned at PhDinProgress.com