Getting back into the swing of PhD life post-Christmas break can be tricky. Having an extended break (I took 3 weeks!) means finding all those to do lists I didn’t manage to complete, and picking back up where I left off – setting new goals is key to getting back into work. I’ve seen a few blog posts over the past few weeks covering New Year’s resolutions. These post often get mixed responses, from ‘you should be trying to improve yourself all the time, not just at the beginning of a new year!’ to those with a more positive sentiment. Personally, I do tend to make resolutions at the start of a new year. I find that they allow me to refocus, giving me a new goal to reach and a new target for personal and professional development. I also find it really helpful to document my resolutions, whether it’s in a note on my phone or in a blog post – so here are my PhD-related resolutions for 2016.
- Publish at least 1 first authored paper
Publishing is central to PhD success, and I really want to make it a priority this year. I have a protocol ready to publish currently and I’d like to get the corresponding research paper put together and written before the end of the year too if possible.
- Gain more experience with presenting my work
As my Supervisor said to me before Christmas, ‘presenting is the bread and butter of academic life’. To put it bluntly, I need to get better at this. During my undergrad I definitely built confidence in this area, but I still get very nervous. By the end of 2016 I’d like to have a few presentations under my belt.
- Make an effort to learn widely in my field of Health Services Research
At my PhD induction staff members let us in on a few secrets – one of them being that one of the most common questions in a PhD viva is ‘what have you learned outside of your PhD?’ I think it’s important to learn widely within my field and this year I’m on the look out for seminars and research articles that aren’t purely focussed on the work that will go into my thesis.
Do you have any academic resolutions for 2016? Leave a comment and share them below!