As the new school year begins, so does a new era on the Pubs and Publications committee. In this month’s committee post, become acquainted with our newest committee members, who have answered three introductory questions!

 

Vesna Curlic, Topical Editor

Why did you join Pubs & Publications?

I love the fact that Pubs and Publications provides an outlet for us to discuss and give each other advice. I’ve learned so much from more experienced PhD students and I wanted a chance to facilitate those discussions in an online forum, where anyone could access advice and opinions. I also love the more light-hearted side of the blog, where we remind ourselves that there is humour to be found in what can otherwise be a challenging experience.

Which is your favourite Pubs & Publications article?

My favourite article is “A Non-Academic Career is Not a Failure” by Laura Harrison, published earlier this summer. Like many of us, I worry a lot about the job market, precarity, and the future of academic careers (even before the pandemic). This article felt like a breath of fresh air amidst the usual career advice, which can sometimes take on a doom-and-gloom tone. Equal parts realistic and optimistic, this article reminded me that the PhD is valuable even if it does not lead to an academic job, as well as reminding me that incredible, fulfilling jobs exist outside of academia. I refer back to it often when I’m feeling hopeless or worried about career stuff and it always manages to lift my spirits.

If your PhD thesis was at a pub, what would their drink order be?

If my PhD thesis was at a pub, it would probably order a hot toddy – an adaptable, international drink with purported medicinal properties. Perfect for a thesis about Victorian medicine and immigration!

 

Grant Golub, Contributions Editor

Why did you join Pubs & Publications?

I joined Pubs and Publications because I was drawn to the idea of building a global network of young scholars who are trying to make their way in the world. Pubs and Publications helps foster an online community where PhD students can openly talk about their experiences and share concerns, ideas, and tips. I think this is extremely important and I joined because I wanted to be part of this great platform.

Which is your favourite Pubs & Publications article?

My favourite blog post is “A Non-Academic Career is Not A Failure” by Pubs and Publications founder and former chair Laura Harrison. We don’t spend enough time openly talking about this, but as an academic community, we need to reckon with the fact that more and more PhD graduates will not work in academia. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of fulfilling and rewarding careers outside academia. I appreciated how raw and personal Laura was in her post. It really resonated with me, and I really appreciate she took the time to write it. It made me feel Pubs and Publications was a real place to openly talk about our PhD experiences.

If your PhD thesis was at a pub, what would their drink order be?

If my PhD thesis was at the pub, their go-to drink order would be a Blue Moon beer. You can never go wrong with those!

 

Craig Lennox, Publicity Editor

Why did you join Pubs & Publications?

I really enjoy blogging and I felt that joining a group-managed blog would help me learn best practices. Also, PhD life is quite lonely so again, joining a group would offer opportunities to connect with others on the same journey.

Which is your favourite Pubs & Publications article?

I find the practical tips that people share the best as these are some of the things that supervisors don’t always share. Seeing how others manage workload, juggle commitments, etc. is fascinating.

If your PhD thesis was at a pub, what would their drink order be?

I’d have to say my thesis would have to be some sort of flavoured gin cocktail. Just like my thesis, it takes time to work out the details but once you get it, it makes you want more.

 

Ellis Mallett, Contributions Editor

Why did you join Pubs & Publications?

I think pursuing a PhD brings a huge mixture of emotions, and everyone’s experience and understanding of what a PhD involves is so varied. Pubs and Publications creates a space which encourages friendly, open and honest discussion about the realities of academia which is something I think is profoundly useful. I wanted to be involved in a community that encourages people from different walks of life to come together, share experiences and opinions, and allow others to feel reassured that they are not alone in this unpredictable and exhilarating journey!

Which is your favourite Pubs & Publications article?

I’m not sure I could pick one article – there are so many! But I do know that the thing that drew me to Pubs and Pubs was the breadth of topics it covers. While the blog, its editors and its guest contributors do a spectacular job of covering particularly challenging aspects of the PhD journey, what’s clear is their motivation to tackle some pretty complex topics and to allow people to have their voices heard. I also think the blog does a great job of highlighting some really positive aspects of pursuing a PhD programme, and provides some lighter reading in times of need!

If your PhD thesis was at a pub, what would their drink order be?

My PhD thesis develops a comprehensive theoretical framework to explain why states pursue foreign policy mistakes – the purpose of a theory of mistakes is to compare how states should behave with how they actually behave and with what implications. So, I think ideally, my thesis would stick to the same drink consistently throughout the night in order to avoid the consequences the next morning – say, a gin and tonic. However, in reality, my thesis has one of everything and pays the price the next day!

 

Ellie Ralph, Editor-at-Large

Why did you join Pubs & Publications?

I joined Pubs and Publications because I was really interested in being part of a community that helps and supports other PhD students. It can be lonely being a PGR student, so it is nice to have conversations with other people who can relate to your thoughts and feelings. I used the site before I became a PhD student and have always found it helpful.

Which is your favourite Pubs & Publications article?

There are many articles that have helped me over time, but I especially like articles that share resources and different approaches to tackling the same task, such as presenting, writing and teaching. I also wrote my own piece when I couldn’t find a post that related to my experience of presenting research abroad because I was keen to share tips I had picked up.

If your PhD thesis was at a pub, what would their drink order be?

If my thesis was at the bar, it would go for something like an espresso martini – strong, complicated and keeps you awake for a long time!

 

Séveric Yersin, Contributions Editor

Why did you join Pubs & Publications?

I began reading Pubs and Publications while writing my master’s thesis, and it gave me some precious advice about academia, research, and the writing process. It has also been very refreshing to read serious posts along with more relaxed ones, or posts talking about important issues with humour. So, when I heard that I could contribute in some way to Pubs and Publications, that I could give back a little of what I received, it was obvious to me that I had to join the committee!

Which is your favourite Pubs & Publications article?

I remember a post by Kathryn Machray from 2019 about procrastination. In the post, she explained that it’s okay to procrastinate, that it’s probably a sign that you should be doing something else, but that you could also organise your environment in order to avoid procrastinating, at least too much. Her post reminded me that even if academic life can be at times oppressive, you do not have to work yourself to death in order to be a good scholar. In the meantime, I remember this TedEx speaker beginning his presentation about the “ten things highly productive people do” by stating that highly productive people don’t watch TedEx presentations about the “ten things highly productive people do” because, let’s face it, people who do are procrastinating.

If your PhD thesis was at a pub, what would their drink order be?

My PhD thesis would order an Old Fashioned.