Managing yourself and your research
As a research student, you will work closely with your supervisors and develop research skills in the process. Although you’ve already developed skills in successful previous study, you may find that some need honing or that you need to develop new expertise. It’s your responsibility to determine the skills you’ll need as a research student, but here’s a starter list:
- high-level analysis, synthesis and evaluation skills
- the ability to critically read and manage a substantial amount of literature
- the ability to manage time and sustain motivation over a minimum of three years
- planning and management strategies that enable you to write a document of up to 100,000 words
- the ability to build and sustain effective and productive relationships with your supervisors.
The skills in this list are also useful for project management. This is no accident, because, as a research student, you need to ‘project manage’ yourself. The following resources are designed to support you at the beginning and throughout your research degree:
- Managing your workload
- Identifying the skills of the researcher
- Negotiating supervisor relationships
- Using metaphors for the research and writing experience
- Maintaining motivation
Also check out the video below for student advice about starting out as a research student.
“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham; www.phdcomic.com