Follow two post-PhD students on their search for an academic job
I have just finished my PhD in peace studies at the University of Bradford – and when I say just finished, I mean it: I handed in on Monday. I’ve always been academically minded, but I haven’t always wanted to do a PhD. I enjoyed writing my undergraduate dissertation at Sciences Po Toulouse, and that’s definitely when my interest in sociology grew.
Mel Rohse, PhD in peace studies
Started PhD: October 2009
Viva date: February / early March
Goal for this month: apply for 10 jobs that I’m qualified for
But it was doing an MA in conflict resolution at Bradford that got me hooked on research. I became really interested in peace education and through that, storytelling and conflict transformation. I wrote my dissertation on it and I was left wanting more. So in October 2009, I embarked on an epic journey. Four and a bit years later, I have a thesis.
In the next couple of months, I’ll have to defend my research at a viva – a process much debated and more than a little overwhelming. While anxious, I’m going to try and avoid the horror stories online and focus on preparing for it. Universities run workshops on how to survive your viva, so check out your own institution’s website for details. And if you can’t make the sessions, I have found the University of Leicester’s advice very clear and useful. See the positives: I’m looking forward to meeting my external examiner whose work on narratives I admire, an opportunity I wouldn’t get if it wasn’t for the viva.
Read the full article: The Guardian