I’ve been percolating in a little ‘messiness’ for the last few months, and am pleased to announce that I’ve just created and launched a new Facebook community: The Messy PhD is now welcoming PhD and early career researchers. Head on over and join us!
There are lots of really super resources out there about how to do successful doctoral research but that’s also what’s limiting about these resources – that they’re just largely structured around ‘how to’ guides and templates.
In reality, PhDs are messy as muck, and very often, no number of ‘how to’ guides and trainings can really help us work through these moments of discomfort and complexity.
Instead of trying to contain, control or remove this messy element of research, The Messy PhD embraces and works with all the in-betweenness of doing research:
- the whole range of crappy, icky feelings that come up at various stages of the PhD
- things that go horribly wrong in fieldwork or in labs
- battles with tech that result in data loss, unexpected results, hours and hours trying to salvage problems
- getting surprising results you don’t expect or don’t ‘like’
- dealing with shitty people along the way (supervisors, colleagues)
…. and all the rest of it.
PhD research can be a really solitary struggle for many people, and as much as universities and departments may put on trainings to help you do effective, productive research, they just don’t have the time to help you work through the finer points of PhD life.
Sometimes, I dare say, some of these trainings can inadvertently add more pressure – they might heighten comparison between students, or students might begin to feel like they’re doing something wrong or ‘failing’ if they can’t match up to what the trainings are telling them.
I set up The Messy PhD to offer an alternative space. It is a safe, supportive community for PhDs and ECRs to muddle through the mess together and to understand and embrace that mess is an integral (if not essential!) part of doing research.
Inside the group you’ll find:
- mini Facebook Live trainings
- tips and resources to help members work through their PhD in more joyful, easeful ways
- virtual co-working sessions for researchers to connect and get shiiiiiit done.
Now, the important bit: I’d love for YOU to join us!
Head on over to the group now and get stuck in. There’s lots of goody good stuff waiting for you, and every single person adds something special and unique to the group. I’m sure everyone who’s there would love to hear from you and about your experiences too.
See you there – let’s get messy!