Category Archives: PhD Diary

PhD Diary: The Lancaster Award

I’ve just recently completed my submission for the Lancaster Gold Award. The Award tracks extra-curricular activities and contributions to campus life and the community, as well as work experience and other activities related to employability.

Many of you reading this will probably wonder why I decided to bother with the Lancaster Award – after all, I have loads of work experience, and am not perhaps the target market for the Award, which is mainly aimed at undergraduates who perhaps don’t have all that much on their CV. But then I thought: why not?

The more I think about it, I’m not sure I know any postgraduate, and certainly no PhD student who has completed the Lancaster Gold Award, so that in itself is a minor ‘plus’ to my CV. Sure, it may not be the be all and end all in the academic jobs market, but it does go to show my hard work and contribution to University life while I’ve been working on a full-time PhD. The fact I’ve been able to balance my PhD alongside paid work and other related activities is actually a skill in itself and is testament to what I hope makes me a highly employable academic. Continue reading »

My PhD: 1st year in review

As we near October and the start of another academic year, I thought I’d share some of my experiences and highlights from the first year of my PhD here at Lancaster University.

Looking over my notes, I have:

  • Read a lot of novels.
  • Spent a lot of time in the library.
    • And even more time typing in my room.
  • Held down multiple jobs:
    • Work for Student Based Services at Lancaster:
      • Weekly term-time newsletter to all students.
      • Edited an AUA Good Practice Guide.
      • Managed and published a book of condolence.
    • Migrated the Graduate College’s website to a new CMS with new dynamic templates.
      • Also assisted Bowland College in finishing off their own website as well.
    • Continued to work a day a week for the IT department at CCCU.
  • Helped start the TTAC21 research group, and made significant contributions to blog articles and face-to-face meetings.
  • Learnt some interesting things in diverse disciplines include: law, ethics, cognitive psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, history, and military / war studies.
  • Joined the Sci Fi and Fantasy Anonymous Reading Group.
  • Helped organise this year’s AHRC North West postgraduate conference.
  • Attended several conferences and workshops.
    • Gave papers at two conference inc. the CRSF in Liverpool and the Iredell Law Conference, here in Lancaster. (With more to come later this year…)
  • Met some really smart people.
  • Written and contributed to a host of blogs and blog discussions including:
  • Expanded my social media profile.
  • Visited some interesting literary places, including:
    • Whitby (Dracula)
    • Grasmere (final resting place of William Wordsworth)
    • Haworth (home of the Brontës)
  • Seen a whole host of world-class musicians at Lancaster Arts and the Liverpool Philharmonic.
  • Started work on my first joint paper.

Continue reading »