I’ve long held the belief that a PhD is the longest continuous single project one person will work on in their life. When combined with your undergraduate degree it is longer than primary school, or high school — with no term breaks. And few an (unlucky) few of you, your PhD will be/is longer than high school or primary school without adding in undergraduate.

Unlike school, it is essentially all down to you to self-educate and then complete. Yes, there are supervisors, and tech-support and graduate schools. …


  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Supervision
  • Grants
  • Patents
  • Publications — Impact factor, h-index, and M value.
  • Presentations — Location, duration, invitations, and peer review.
  • Supervision — Completions, and type.
  • Grants — $ value, peer review, competitive, and industry-led.
  • Patents — Number, length, and licenses.

Impact factor (for journal articles) has been used a lot and continues to be used. I regularly see resumes with lists of publications and the impact factor next to each.

However, more and more there is a shift to measuring researchers using h-index. …


Doctor of Philosophy

Dr Richard Huysmans completed his PhD in 2005 with the School of Biomedical Sciences and is now the owner & principal of Dr Richard Huysmans P/L.

How has your Monash degree helped you succeed in your career? How have you been able to apply your skills in your current position?

My Undergraduate and Honours degrees prepared me for my PhD. Both provided technical and theoretical knowledge as well as self-belief, which are all necessary to successfully complete a PhD.

Having an “altac” (alternate academic) career, means much of the technical skills I learned and honed in my PhD aren’t directly…


I’m part of a soccer team. And every year at exam time or report time or assignment time, people prioritise their study over soccer. Mainly training, but sometimes games too. When this message comes late (i.e., 5 pm, when training is at 7 pm) that’s annoying. But as a player, I think you’re doing yourself a disservice. So, here are 4 reasons why you should keep playing sport, music, or whatever else it is you do as well as work or study:

  1. Get better organised. Soccer training is 4 hours out of 60 or more that you have available for…

In that video, Professor Andrew Barron talks about how planning, and then referring back to the plan resulted in a huge uptick in his research outputs (publications) in the next 2 years. And that continued planning (and referring to the plan) has seen him maintain that output, without a change to his overall work habits and hours.

So, what’s the magic?

NOTHING!

There is no magic.

And nor is it smoke and mirrors.

Rather, it is the power of sticking to something and seeing it through.

Having a plan doesn’t guarantee success. But having thought about the options primes us…


On a coaching call last week, I had a client ask, “What should I study next? I’m thinking PhD or MBA.” Although I think both of those courses are useful, they serve specific and different purposes. MBAs develop generic business skills, and probably provide the student with fantastic networking opportunities for those interested in business. PhDs develop research skills and also provide fantastic networking opportunities for those interested in academia.

But, if you’ve owned your own business, and it has operated successfully for many years, you might not learn much in an MBA. …


There are hundreds, if not thousands, of social media channels. All doing different things for different people. Now, you might be on several as an individual. Hootsuite data says each person has about 7 social media accounts; but does not differentiate that into accounts on different channels or several accounts on a smaller number of channels.

Or you might not even be on one.

Regardless, you might be faced with a choice of “what social media channel should I use for my research communication?”

With that in mind, here are some thoughts and questions to help you make that choice.


Being a successful researcher — either as an established academic, ECR or PhD student — requires you to progress different aspects of your research, at different speeds, at different times. Although I believe in any one week a successful researcher should be devoting time to reading, writing, and thinking, the amount of each will vary. Not to mention the type. And of course, there’ll be other priorities too.

Working with researchers — again at all stages — I can see an understanding of what is a priority. What needs to be done. What should be done. …


If you’re not sure how to use LinkedIn, perhaps think of it as a research conference.

1. Be active

You’ll learn nothing and get zero connections if you sit in the corner of an academic conference. The same is true on LinkedIn. Any social media really.

If you are not active, you’ll get next to nothing out of it. So, if you create an account on LinkedIn, make sure you use it. Or at least make sure you give it a shot, before saying “It does not work”. And to me, giving LinkedIn a shot means:

  • Log in daily.
  • Like…

Being a successful researcher — either as an established academic, ECR or PhD student — requires you to progress different aspects of your research, at different speeds, at different times. Although I believe in any one week a successful researcher should be devoting time to reading, writing, and thinking, the amount of each will vary. Not to mention the type. And of course, there’ll be other priorities too.

Working with researchers — again at all stages — I can see an understanding of what is a priority. What needs to be done. What should be done. …

Dr. Richard Huysmans

I’m a careers coach. I help people with PhDs or getting their PhDs answer the question — What next? This is a research strategy question as much as a jobs one.

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