• Project Management for academia

Project Management resource for PhD students and supervisors:

I’ve compiled a resource about project management for PhD students and supervisors, or for any academics in general. It is an attempt to help academics to understand what the underlying principles of project management are and how it is relevant to academia, and secondly to get an overview of different tools available.

In the resource you’ll find links and excerpts from other interesting blog posts, whenever possible I selected those giving concrete advice on how to implement project management in research, and I also looked for free ready-to-use templates.

Among all project management techniques, Gantt charts is one that we often hear in academia. I was myself introduced to this technique early on in my PhD, but I failed to use it properly. Therefore in two detailed blog posts, I reflected about this technique and I tried to provide my best advice on how to use it. In particular in my second blog post, I provide a free downloadable template to create your own PhD timeline as a Gantt chart with clear guidelines:

  1. Are Gantt charts useful for PhD students?
  2. Guidelines to draw a timeline of your PhD

Many PhD students feel lost and anxious because of a lack of communication with their supervisor and with their department about what is expected from them. Showing openness to such discussion as early as possible will encourage students to ask what bothers them early on instead of developing anxiety about it.

Therefore, I’ve also made a Checklist to clarify supervisor and PhD student expectationswith questions to ask if you’re a PhD student, or points to clarify with your student if you’re a supervisor. This includes points like how many years, meeting frequency with supervisor, formalities, collaborations, and more.

 

  • Swiss specific articles and resources 🇨🇭

In this resource I listed Graduate Centers, Career Centers and Soft Skills Programs for PhD students and Postdocs in Swiss Universities.

In this article I wrote about a coaching program for PhD students at the University of Fribourg, where I did my PhD.

In this article I wrote about a transferable skills (soft skills) program in Western Switzerland (for Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, and Bern as well), the CUSO transferable skills program and how it saved my PhD.

 

  • Social Media

I am trying to make resources of online materials from people sharing their own ups and downs of doing a PhD, selecting those which seem to me as relevant to the PhD student experience.

YouTube Channels and Videos for PhD Student

I remember how I randomly came across some of these videos during my PhD studies and how it made me feel a little bit better :) Thus I hope you can also find some inspiration from these PhD students’ vlogs and videos, from these TED talks or from these music video clip parodies.

Instagram # and @ for PhD students

Interesting hashtags # and people @ to follow on Instagram to brighten your days :) Fill your stream with motivational posts, writing & communication tips, academic humor, and read other people’s stories to reflect back on your own PhD life.

Twitter @ and # for PhD Students

Interesting hashtags # and people @ to follow on Twitter to stay on top of academic news, to take part in this fast-paced community, to learn about others’ difficulties and share your own, to get tips from academic writing to self-organization, project management, and coping strategies.

 

  • Soft skills series

I’ve been writing a series about soft skills in academia, here is the page to find all the article of the series easily and in the chronological order.

In this series you will find a definition, links to online resources and how to use them, ideas of where to find training opportunities, how to know what is best for your career, a call for better communication, and an interesting survey from the EMBO that directly asked senior scientists to rate the importance of different soft skills.