The idea for the PhD Bites series came to me with the help of a fellow student, Vicki Whittaker, who wrote the first ‘Phd Bite’. She had just submitted her PhD and was catching up on everything she’d missed since going ‘underground’ for the final push. She read my post Completing your PhD in three years with interest, but it didn’t match her own experiences. This didn’t surprise me. There are many ways to do a PhD and no single one is ‘correct’. She offered to write a guest post, on ‘how to submit your PhD if you need to put in a lot of work at the very end’. I thought this was a great idea.
Vicki got me thinking about the PhD community, which I have often called on for help, and who have always come quickly to my rescue. On so many occasions, people I have never met before have not hesitated to offer advice, support and friendship when I have needed it, mostly via social media. I thought about what it had meant to me to hear others’ stories, especially when they resonated with my own, and how that feeling had given me new motivation at difficult times. I also thought about the wonderful PhD students I know who are working in different ways and managing different challenges: juggling study with part-time (and sometimes full-time) work, living far from home, having a disability. I asked a few of these people if they would be interested in sharing their experiences too.
And so, PhD Bites is born. Its aim is to share bite-sized snapshots of PhD students’ lives and to communicate the diversity of the PhD experience. Hopefully there will be some nuggets of wisdom along the way that will resonate with PhD students from all walks of life. I hope you find some inspiration here!