This week’s guest is the amazing Gilly McKeown AKA @neurodivergent_researcher.
We begin by talking through the twists and turns of Gilly’s own story; and her spirit of curiosity will be an inspiration to anyone who is still trying to find their ‘thing’.
We then talk about her own late diagnosis of Autism and self-diagnosis of ADHD and the possibilities and challenges she faces as a neurodivergent scholar.
Gilly shares some of the strategies that she has found useful and promotes finding community as a way of accessing information and support.
Here are some of the references Gilly recommends:
Facebook Groups -
Neurodivergent Graduate Students
Autistic Researchers Researching Autism
You can contact Gilly here:
Instagram is neurodivergent_researcher
Facebook is that too
Twitter is gemckeown1
Website is neurodivergentresearcher.com
You can sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ - a useful weekly email to support your PhD journey here: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
More episodes from "The PhD Life Raft Podcast"
Finding Your Voice with Rebecca McCutcheon
28:51This week’s episode focuses on ‘finding your voice’ - both in terms of having confidence to speak about your work but also the process of discovering a way of writing about your research ideas. Our guest is Rebecca McCutcheon, a director and practice-led researcher, working across site-based practice, feminist performance and feminist theatre history. Becs talks about her own journey into the PhD through her creative practice and the experience of being pregnant whilst undertaking her doctoral research. She discusses the importance of the team of people who supported her through her PhD. Becs describes the challenges of finding her own distinct academic voice and the advice that her supervisor gave her which helped to take her forward. Becs also shares her advice about how to begin sharing your work publicly. You can find out more about Becs’ work here: https://pure.royalholloway.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/rebecca-mccutcheon(84c0dadc-dfa4-4449-a076-6bc3a7afd4cb).html Sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ - a useful weekly email to support you on your PhD journey: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Productive PhD Research Processes with Alison Miller
29:30This week’s guest is Alison Miller AKA The Dissertation Coach. Alison created ‘The Academic Writers’ Space’ to provide structure and support doctoral students and academics and then, in 2000, she developed this work through The Dissertation Coach which provides programmes and specialist coaching for researchers. In this episode Alison talks about her own experience of imposter syndrome during her doctoral studies and how she developed structures to support her own mental well-being. Alison talks about her ‘project management’ approach to the PhD and how she built an infrastructure for engaged and meaningful productivity. We talk about the importance of both internal and external tracking as a means to keep yourself on-course. We also reflect on how clarity can be the antidote to procrastination. Alison introduces what she terms “environmental alignment” as a means to set yourself up for success. We finish with the invitation to work with the version of you that showed up to work! You can find out more about Alison’s work here: https://www.thedissertationcoach.com/ You can find Alison’s book ‘Finish Your Dissertation Once and for All! How to Overcome Psychological Barriers, Get Results and Move on with Your Life here: https://amzn.to/3nFmfx8 Sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ - a useful weekly email to support you on your PhD journey: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Avoiding fear and shame when writing your PhD with Lisa Munro
22:53This week we are talking to Lisa Munro who specialises in helping academic writers through writing retreats, workshops, coaching, and editing. Lisa talks about her journey into and through her PhD. She also discusses how this led to her current work and business. We discuss how to avoid the shame and fear that writing can bring up and to look to cultivate joyful writing practices instead. Lisa talks about the power of writing with others and about her ‘shut up and write’ sessions. She also reflects on the importance of celebrating achievements. Lisa’s top tip is to see writing as a practice rather than an event and suggests strategies fo development. You can find out more about Lisa’s work here: website: lisamunro.net (under construction for a month or so more for a relaunch) Twitter: twitter.com/llmunro Sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ - a useful weekly email to support you on your PhD journey: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Procrastination and the PhD with Tara Brabazon
21:54This week’s guest is the fabulous Tara Brabazon. Tara is the dean of graduate research and professor of cultural studies at Flinders University, Australia; a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce; and director of the Popular Culture Collective. Tara has a fabulous YouTube channel with a wealth of advice for postgraduate researchers covering a whole range of topics (https://www.youtube.com/user/TaraBrabazon) In this episode we talk about procrastination. Tara talks about her own experience of poor supervision as a graduate student and how she applied the lessons she learnt from that experience. We talk about motivation and how to use time orientation and task orientation to break the PhD down into manageable chunks. Tara identifies the links between procrastination and perfectionism and stresses the importance of taking action. We finish with Tara’s challenge to try and get up an hour earlier and use that time for PhD work. Let us know how that works for you! You can find out more about Tara’s work here: https://brabazon.net/ You can sign up for 'Note for the Life Raft' - a weekly email with helpful info to support your PhD journey here: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Surviving the PhD with Sarita Robinson
21:06Dr Sarita Robinson (aka Dr Survival®) has spent the last 20 years researching how people respond to life-threatening situations. Using a psychobiological approach, Sarita has explored human behaviour in relation to preparedness, cognitive and physiological responses during stressful events, and recovery from trauma. In this episode Sarita applies what she has learnt from her survival research to help navigate the stresses of the PhD. We talk about how a near fatal experience was the catalyst for Sarita’s own PhD journey. We talk about the stressful nature of the PhD and how it is important to gather the right resources to support yourself. Sarita talks about the importance of support and the experience of ‘trauma bonding’ - where people in extreme situations form very strong connections - and how this can happen on the PhD journey. Sarita also challenges the conventional understanding of what it means to be resilient within your doctoral study and suggests that sometimes you need to make changes to a toxic environment rather than just enduring it. You can find out more about Sarita’s work here: https://www.uclan.ac.uk/academics/sarita-robinson drsurvival – The psychology of survival Email - [email protected] The doors to The PhD Detox with Dr Emma Brodzinski are closing! 6 weeks to de-toxify your PhD journey… You can find out more here: https://emmab.kartra.com/page/detoxyourphd
Working in a Research Group with Juliane Borchert
23:55This week’s guest is Dr Juliane Borchert, an experimental physicist, occasional poet, and gardening enthusiast! She studied in Berlin, Halle (Saale), Groningen, and Oxford. She was awarded a DPhil in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Oxford and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge and AMOLF institute in Amsterdam. Her research focuses on novel materials for use in solar cells and LEDs. She is active in several initiatives to make physics more inclusive and equitable, including 'TIGERS - The Inclusion Group for Equity in Research in STEMM‘. Juliane shares her experience of moving to the UK to take up a PhD position at Oxford and the challenges of negotiating new university systems and cultural contexts. She also talks about the ups and downs of collaborative working within a research group - including the tricky issue of publication credits. Juliane’s top tip is to draw on the expertise of others rather than looking to reinvent the wheel for yourself. Juliane is on twitter @PV_Physicist Sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ - a useful weekly email to support you on your PhD journey: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Undertaking a Professional Doctorate with Lynn Kowoera
26:45Lynn Koworera has a background in Adult Nursing BSc and Physician Associate MSc. She has a post registration qualification in advanced non medical prescribing and she has practical experience working in the NHS tertiary centres and large NHS trusts in specialities such as care of the elderly, dermatology and clinical research. Lynn has spent her most recent clinical career in general practice. In this interview Lynn talks about how the desire to do a PhD has been with her since childhood. Lynn describes how she discovered the professional doctorate (DProf) as a route that would enable her to continue working as well as conducting research into an area of clinical interest. We discuss the importance of steering your own ship and remaining in control of the direction of your thesis. We also explore the importance of practices such as time-blocking and journaling to support your PhD journey. There is a great little video on time-blocking with google calendar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL9W57USXPg Or, if you love a printable (and who doesn’t?!) then this is a great resource: https://heydonna.com/2015/12/time-blocking-101-plus-free-printable-worksheet/ Lynn talks about being part of the supportive community of PhD students on instagram. You can find her at: @researchwithlynn You can find out more about her mentorship work here: https://researchwithlynn.co.uk/ You can find the PhD Life Raft on instagram too: @phdliferaft If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Being a Neurodivergent Scholar with Gilly Mckeown
27:16This week’s guest is the amazing Gilly McKeown AKA @neurodivergent_researcher. We begin by talking through the twists and turns of Gilly’s own story; and her spirit of curiosity will be an inspiration to anyone who is still trying to find their ‘thing’. We then talk about her own late diagnosis of Autism and self-diagnosis of ADHD and the possibilities and challenges she faces as a neurodivergent scholar. Gilly shares some of the strategies that she has found useful and promotes finding community as a way of accessing information and support. Here are some of the references Gilly recommends: Twitter - @drmbotha @autisticscienceperson @jacdenhouting @katybenson20 @desirjones @kaydenstockwell Instagram - @actually_aspling @notesfromthephysicslab @sara_theadhdacademic Facebook Groups - Neurodivergent Graduate Students Autistic Researchers Researching Autism You can contact Gilly here: Instagram is neurodivergent_researcher Facebook is that too Twitter is gemckeown1 Website is neurodivergentresearcher.com You can sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ - a useful weekly email to support your PhD journey here: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
The Importance of Peer Support for the PhD with Milensu Shanyinde
19:38This week’s episode is all about the importance of friends on the PhD journey! Milensu Shanyinde is a PhD candidate at University College London. Her research examines the complication of managing HIV in relation to Hepatitis C in persons seen for routine clinical care in Italy. She also works part time as a clinical trial statistician at Oxford University and was one of the team working on a nationwide study to find COVID-19 treatments. Milensu talks about how her friends helped her in her decision to undertake a PhD. She describes how connecting with people from a similar African background provided her with a strong support system to face the challenges of a PhD. She talks about how, as a black woman, imposter syndrome has a particular cultural currency - particularly with the lack of black role models in academia. Milensu shares how she has sought out a range of role models as part of her journey. She also recommends connecting with a PhD buddy so that you have someone who you know is there for you through the ups and downs of the process. The YouTuber Milensu references is Jennifer Kempson: https://www.youtube.com/c/MamaFurFur She also mentions The 5am Club by Robin Sharma: https://www.amazon.co.uk/5-AM-Club-Robin-Sharma/dp/0008312834/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1633275596&sr=8-1 You can connect with MIlensu here: Email: [email protected] IG @milensu_k If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft
Laziness Does Not Exist with Devon Price
24:17We are kicking off the new season with the fabulous Devon Price! Devon is a social psychologist, writer, activist, and professor at Loyola University of Chicago's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Devon has published widely including their book Laziness Does Not Exist which came out in 2020. In this episode we reflect on Devon’s own experiences of graduate school and how the reality of that experience did not match expectations. We then dive into what Devon calls “the laziness lie” - and how that relates to a culture of workaholism. Devon unpacks the social construction of what is considered ‘productive’ and we consider how that relates to the experiences of PhD researchers and the problems it can cause. We then explore some strategies for pushing back and how to orientate yourself in a way that minimises burnout. You can find Devon’s book here: https://amzn.to/3umiq1X You can connect with Devon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drdevonprice If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft