Entries by Alex O'Hara

A Better Way to Do Research? Applying Design Thinking and Lean Principles to Writing Your PhD Thesis

Research and PhD thesis writing are by their nature unpredictable. Given that research is the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions this is to be expected. Many students struggle with the complexities and uncertainties inherent in the research process leading to stress, overwhelm, […]

Applying the Creative Curve to PhD Research

According to Allen Gannett, author of The Creative Curve there are four patterns or laws of creativity. How might these apply to the PhD process? The first law is: 1. Consume first. For Gannett, “You can’t have insights about things you don’t know anything about.” 20% of your time should be spent on consuming every […]

How to Change Your PhD Supervisor

I have mentored a number of PhD students who have changed their supervisors. Sadly, this is not uncommon. The most important factor for success as a PhD student is to choose the right supervisor. That is why I recommend students to do significant amounts of research and informational interviewing about their supervisor before they start […]

How to Get a Job after Your PhD

Once you achieve your PhD and after the euphoria and the well earned sense of achievement has worn off a little you might get the post-PhD blues. This is common after achieving a major goal and so it’s important to anticipate it and set up new goals before you achieve your PhD. I also strongly […]

The Importance of Play as a PhD Student

I’ve spent the past two weeks cleaning out my attic. It was a mammoth task worthy of all the superpowers of Marie Kondo. The place was a mess, untouched for thirty years. I was determined to tackle it during the Covid-19 lockdown. After the initial feelings of overwhelm, I started chipping away at the mountains […]