Introduction

Some people – other people – sail placidly through their PhDs. Or at least that’s how it feels when obstacle after unforeseen obstacle hampers your own snail-like progress. 

We all experience both aspects of this phenomenon at one point or another. Independent research can be extremely satisfying when things are going well, and we can share our excitement with friends, family and colleagues. When things aren’t going so well, however, working on a PhD can become very isolating. Although it may seem like no one else is experiencing problem-x, odds are someone else has, or is, or very soon will be. Discovering that person changes everything. The problems remain but you have renewed energy for unravelling them.

The aim of this blog is to explore and reflect on the often difficult or bewildering choices, as well as those exciting and exhilarating moments, that we encountered while completing our recently submitted theses. Some of these issues introduced challenging obstacles to the PhD process, whilst others became excellent learning experiences. We hope that the entries to come will provide solace and inspiration to other new researchers.

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