Life & Academia
Oxford Brookes University Graduation Guest Speech: Two Unconventional Truths
I was the guest speaker at a graduation at Oxford Brookes University on 6 September 2023. I feel both honoured and humbled by this experience. I always looked at the guest speakers at graduations and thought they were super-humans – they looked calm and in control – as if they were busy cooking oats for a family member while, in actual fact, they are the centre of the attention of 300-odd people.
While I don’t know what I looked like up on the stage, I do know that humans are humans – we stre…
Finding your research niche: the what, the why and the how
Amplify your success with these 10 self-mastery solutions for postgraduate students
Authorship in Academic Publication – how does it work?
Researchers entering into a collaboration for the first time often ask, “how does one decide who gets authorship and who gets acknowledged in the publication?”. Authorship can be quite sticky seeing that career progression and other academic rewards are at stake.
The discussion around authorship needs to take place in the early phases of the project, where you agree on who will contribute in what way to the project and paper. This is also the time to confirm who will not be authors on the pap…
7 things to consider when choosing a topic for your dissertation or thesis
As the postgraduate coordinator in the Physiotherapy Department at the University of the Witwatersrand, one question I often get from prospective postgraduate students is, “how do I decide on a topic for my master’s or doctoral dissertation or thesis?”
This blog post will highlight a few things to consider when it comes to deciding on a topic for your dissertation or thesis (if you prefer the video above text, scroll down). I’m using examples within my own experience and scope, and I hope you…
14 Top Tips for getting your Precious Paper Published
Move your research project forward with this micro-level planning top tip: "Next Steps for Tomorrow, Today"
How to find examples of completed theses and dissertations: what’s inside the box?
7 principles to consider while navigating the academic journey
Work-life balance strategies for postgraduate students
You are doing a postgraduate degree because you know it is what your career needs. You thought long and hard about whether to enrol; you weighed the pros and cons, calculated the hours required to make it work, and made an informed decision using the information at your disposal… now you are knee-deep immersed in it. You feel pulled apart between what your postgraduate degree requires and life out there; your kids need you, or you are working part-time, or you are planning your wedding, or you a…
Effective (& Reasonable) Goal Setting
Goal setting… it sounds so easy; you jot down a few wishes, and off you go. If it is so easy, why do so many of us not achieve our goals? This blog post will look at the goal itself and deeply dive into how you can formulate your goals to set yourself up for success.
You may have heard some proclaim that one should not have New Year's resolutions. New Year's resolutions sound like this "I want to be happy", "I want to be successful", or the famous "I want to lose weight" or "I want to complet…
Having to deal with strong emotions? Just FAVE them
We have all been confronted with strong emotions from a fellow student, supervisor, friend or foe. A friend shares an experience and we, coming from a good place, jump in with an array of solutions. Often followed by an unexpected reaction from our counterpart. This type of situation does not benefit either party, creates animosity and leaves one feeling empty.
I read a blog post recently that described the importance of not jumping into solution mode immediately when confronted with strong e…
How to increase the number citations to your research paper
In a research paper, a citation refers to a source of information. In-text citations are used in the body of the paper, while end-of-paper citations are found in the reference list at the end of the paper.
You may wonder why one would want to increase the number of citations to one’s paper. The number of times one’s research paper is cited is used as a measure of the reach (also referred to by some as impact) of a researcher’s work. The number of citations is used in various metrics, includin…
Create an Elevator Pitch for your research | Get crystal clear clarity and more opportunities
Imagine you are getting into an elevator and someone asks you "what is our research all about", you need to describe what it is and why it is important before the elevator reaches its destination and the two of you part ways. By the time you exit the elevator, the other person should know exactly what problem your research is addressing, what it is that you are researching and why it is important.
But why would we care about putting an elevator pitch together? Firstly, formulating your elevator…
Systematic review and meta-analysis: the basics explained, quick and easy
Narrative vs systematic vs scoping review: What’s the difference?
I often get asked what the difference between a narrative review and a systematic review is, or what the difference between a narrative review and a scoping review is. This is also something I wondered about when I was new to the world of research.
Let’s first look at what a systematic review and scoping review are. A systematic review is done to identify research studies published on a certain topic, with the primary aim to recommend best practice on a certain topic and inform policy. This i…