The Journey To and From Mordor: Surviving a PhD

Are you doing a PhD? Do you know anyone who is?

I won’t even bother to ask if they ever seem a bit stressed out… it’s par for the course, really. But if they start looking a little too much like an orc, be sure to encourage them to get a bit more sun…

Below are some videos of a presentation given by Dr Deb Waterhouse-Watson, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University. The talk sheds light on the sometimes gruelling process of completing a PhD and then continuing the (even more gruelling) journey into academia. Don’t let this put you off – Deb gives lots of valuable advice for how to succeed and shows that it’s a very rewarding process too – just think of all the cool shit the hobbits saw!!

Photograph of field and forest in Port Campbell
A photograph from Port Campbell in Victoria, Australia (7 March, 2011). Not Middle-Earth, but still pretty nice…

The presentation was delivered in February 2015 at the Higher Degree by Research Summer School run by Deakin University’s Faculty of Arts and Education. The talk was aptly titled ‘There and Back Again…: A Non-Hobbit’s Tale of Survival, Reach and Visibility.’ If you are currently undertaking a PhD – or thinking about doing so after looking into your Palantir – watch this! If you know someone else who’s in this boat after deciding not to sail from the Grey Havens, send it on! If you’re not getting any of these Lord of the Rings references, you’ve probably stopped reading by now…

Good luck, and good hunting in the Fields of Rohan! 🙂


Featured image: Orc by Heather Miller (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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