A PhD rollercoaster: A diary of the ups and downs of being a doctoral student

A PhD rollercoaster: A diary of the ups and downs of being a doctoral student

by Nilam A. McGrath

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A PhD rollercoaster: A diary of the ups and downs of being a doctoral student by Nilam A. McGrath

What's it really like to do a PhD? I mean, there are lots of books of the ‘how to’ variety for organising yourself, dealing with supervisors, and writing papers and research proposals. But what about the emotional journey? What about the changes to your health, your social life, and your relationships with those closest to you? What about all the mistakes you make while trying to figure things out? And what if you’re not sure about life as an academic, what then? Read about the tears, tantrums and TV habits that led to this student passing with no corrections and taking a leap of faith at the end of her PhD rollercoaster.

Reviews of 'A PhD rollercoaster':

‘I think this book is going to be a source of comfort to a lot of people at a very stressful time in their lives.' Dr Matt Greenwood-Nimmo, University of Melbourne, Australia.

‘This diary captures beautifully the psychological highs and lows, rewards and frustrations of doing a Phd. It challenges some academic conventions and the restrictions they can place on the student. This is balanced with practical suggestions such as 'read outside of your discipline' and explore whether you want to be a researcher or an academic as this will influence the decisions you make. There is an overall tone of optimism that even when the 'going may be tough' completing a Phd is a positive personal and professional experience that will help you influence and create your professional future.’ Dr Elaine McNichol, University of Leeds, UK.

‘This well-written, candid and engaging account of one person's PhD journey should prove a valuable resource for current PhD students, individuals considering doctoral study, and those responsible for the supervision, professional development and pastoral care of PGRs. I found myself identifying with several of the experiences and emotions, some of which are not always easy to 'own-up-to' as a research student. I wish this book had been available when I was doing my PhD.’ Dr Caroline Hodges, University of Bournemouth, UK.

‘Every PhD student should read this one. It's the untold story of the personal and emotional rollercoaster that will be yours, but fear not, Nilam will help you through it. All PhD life is here.’ Prof. Anne Gregory, University of Huddersfield, UK.

‘A PhD Rollercoaster should be mandatory reading for PhD students across disciplines! By cracking the lid on the often opaque and intertwined social, emotional, physical, and professional challenges of completing a PhD, this book provides a platform to think about doing academia differently, in more healthful ways. Nilam so artfully (and delightfully humorously) uses her own personal diary kept throughout the course of her PhD to draw out insights and perspective that will no doubt be useful to anyone embarking on the PhD journey, as well as those guiding students through it.’ Stephanie Coen, Queen’s University, Canada.

‘An invaluable insight into the doctoral journey that is at times poignant, hilarious, real and informative. The diary extracts add colour to a process that is often viewed as an exercise in cerebral gymnastics, whilst the narrative speaks to the uniqueness of each person’s journey on the route to PhDdom. A must read for anyone thinking of signing up for doctoral study.’ Annisa Suliman, Leeds Beckett University, UK. 

Product Details

BN ID: 2940154664223
Publisher: Nilam A. McGrath
Publication date: 07/28/2017
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 324 KB

About the Author

Nilam A. McGrath is a writer and researcher for the international development sector and has edited over 50 books, briefings and journal articles for international development agencies, NGOs and public sector organisations. 

Author of A PhD Rollercoaster (charting her journey through the doctoral training cycle, see her associated Prezi presentation 'Nilam’s PhD Rollercoaster'); Watching Tagore (winner in the SAMPAD 2012 writing competition); and Rouen (a short story).

She has lived in The Philippines, Maldives, Sri Lanka and the UK where she worked in communication, training and research roles. After completing her PhD, she designed the popular How to Talk About Your Research Like a Human Being workshop, and the Ups and Downs of PhDs workshop. She delivers workshops, training and keynotes internationally on: plain English writing techniques for PhD students and researchers; the PhD rollercoaster; using diaries in qualitative research; communication strategies for non-profits based in developing countries; and open access issues for developing country organisations.

Author of feelinghomesick blog, for anyone missing life in the UK while working overseas, and nilamsnet blog, for book reviews (she likes to write the reviews in the page margins in tiny writing).

She is a proper film geek, and laughs at her own jokes. You can usually persuade her to present at your event with the promise of a cup of tea, some lunch and minimal bureaucracy in claiming back expenses. For updates on her current fiction and non-fiction writing projects, sign up for previews and extracts at her website nilamashramcgrath.com.

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