Taking time away from your PhD

Hello world! Sorry for the radio silence. Two weeks ago, I hosted an the Edinburgh Symposium for the International Symposium on Dementia and Wayfinding (blog post on my experience here) and last week, I took some much needed time away from my PhD. We went to Oban and the surrounding islands for a few days and man, it felt good to be by the sea and to reconnect with nature! Looking back, I haven’t taken a proper break since Christmas Continue reading “Taking time away from your PhD”


Organising an International Conference as a PhD Student

Two weeks ago, I hosted the Edinburgh Symposium for the International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding (say that five times fast!). If you want to read more about how I was involved in setting up the consortium then read about my trip to Calgary earlier this year here. The event was attended by researchers, people with lived experience, police officers, charity organisations and local organisations and we had representation from the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US and Canada. Continue reading “Organising an International Conference as a PhD Student”

PhD and Self Care

This week, I received an email asking if I could be sent essays to moderate over the weekend. I plucked up the courage and responded with “Could you actually send them to me on Thursday/ Friday because I try not to work at the weekends”. To some of you this may not seem like a big deal but it was pretty hard for me to do and I was proud of myself for standing my ground.

This situation got me thinking about how important it is to set these boundaries and to look after yourself. Self care is a real buzzword right now and in the age of constant online presence, it’s hard to switch off. So here are some small acts of self-care that keep me sane: Continue reading “PhD and Self Care”

“But what about your PhD?”

“It’s great that you’re doing all this ‘other stuff’, but what about your PhD?”

I’m sensing major eye rolls from my fellow PhD students who are probably all too familiar with this question. I get asked this question by family and friends quite a lot so I thought I’d take the time to explain what ‘other stuff’ I do and defend why I spend so much time doing it. Next time someone says this to me in real life (I’m talking to you, Dad), I’ll refer them to this post. Continue reading ““But what about your PhD?””

My Canadian Adventure Part Deux: Downtown Calgary and A Weekend in Banff, Alberta

Before I dive into the details of my trip, I wanted to take a second to shamelessly plug my new Instagram page @katiesphd. I’m experimenting with it as a microblogging platform to share insights into the daily life of a PhD student. I documented my trip to Canada on it so if you want to keep up then give it a follow! Continue reading “My Canadian Adventure Part Deux: Downtown Calgary and A Weekend in Banff, Alberta”

My Canadian Adventure Part One: International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding

About a year ago, when I was just getting my head around using Twitter (any followers who have been with me from the beginning will remember that I didn’t like the platform at first), I was contacted by Ron Balerno (@rb33) who saw my research profile and shared his experiences of caring for his father who had dementia. Ron linked me up with a University of Alberta PhD student, Noellanah Neubauer and we arranged a conference call (little did we know, that was the beginning of something special)! Continue reading “My Canadian Adventure Part One: International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding”

Research Update: Ethical Approval (Finally) Obtained!

As you can tell by the title, last week I FINALLY SECURED ETHICAL APPROVAL from my university! For those of you who aren’t researchers, this is a HUGE deal. It means I can finally start my data collection. I was getting extremely frustrated at the lack of control that I had while I waiting for this so you can only imagine the sigh of relief I had when it came through! Surprisingly, I obtained all my external approvals seamlessly over the summer so I just assumed this one wouldn’t take a long time, but you know what they say when you assume… Continue reading “Research Update: Ethical Approval (Finally) Obtained!”

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