PhD status? Completed!!! In other words, I’m back, b!tches.

*cough, cough*

*waves away dust*

Hello? Is anyone here?

Wow. So it’s been a over a year since I last posted and I am very very sorry for neglecting this blog. Partly because I really enjoy writing these posts and they became a great way for me to express my ups and downs over the last few years. But over the last year and half I was absorbed in writing something so massive that I had no words left in me at all at the end of the day – even fun ones.

Yes, I was writing my PhD thesis. Now as anyone else who has done this will know it is all encompassing. A behemoth.


And for a while I couldn’t see anything beyond it. Now it is done: written, submitted, viva’ed and alterations made, my PhD is officially over.


I did it – you can now call me Dr Gibson (squees endlessly in the background).


It was really, really, REALLY difficult to write. I wrestled with just the writing for over a year and I’m still not sure I have the required distance to write about the experience. Maybe later. But for now, yes I am back, I’ll try and get on with regular posting as well as making good on some posts I have been thinking about and have sat in my drafts folder for waaaay too long.


As proof, and in an effort to follow the excellent example of Open Access champion Dr Jon Tennant in making my work as accessible as possible, I have added my thesis onto Figshare, you can read it here if you want (it’s also on my University Open Access page Pearl).

But don’t feel obliged – it’s really long!


And so, on to the future! It’s good to be back.


You can see how happy I was to hand in my thesis – it was the end of a very long year.




New Year, new resolutions – or my mission statement for 2015

So January 1st 2015 has arrived.



Where did 2014 go? It seems like last year went by so fast and all I can see when I look back are all the things I wish that I had done. Now don’t get me wrong – I achieved a heck of a lot last year, what with giving talks for Skeptics in the Pub, volunteering at Exeter Museum, being invited to represent the Geological Society for Voice of the Future in Parliament and spending two weeks work experience at the British Geological Survey, as well as finishing my initial phase of data collection for my PhD. Despite all this, there was a lot that I didn’t do (and yes regularly updating this blog was one of those) so in the year to come I have decided to start keeping a better record of my experiences as a 3rd year interdisciplinary PhD student, an honest and open appraisal of how I’m doing – the highs and the lows.

This year is going to be a big one for me, one that could make or break my future career and one thing I will need (as every PhD student knows) is help staying focussed on the home stretch. I plan to use this blog as my microscope, examining how I’m progressing and hopefully offering up help and insights as I go along.


So here we go – my mission for this year is:

1. To finish my PhD, and to write about it, the REAL experience of PhD life.
2. I want to expand my ability to communicate my work and PUBLISH some of it at least.
3. I want to build my network and encourage new researchers to ‘go interdisciplinary’.

Lastly if not leastly, I want to hear from anyone else going through the same thing, or thinking about it. Please get in touch – let’s start a new year together!