We welcome posts on a wide variety of topics that relate to arts and humanities research and the PhD experience more generally. Posts are welcomed from all current PhD students at Scottish higher education institutions, but also from other academics, institutions or individuals who have something relevant to say. If you have an idea for a post, please contact Vesna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SGSAH blogger in residence rotates every six months. Currently, the blog is run by Vesna Curlic. Vesna is a final-year PhD researcher in History at the University of Edinburgh. Her project considers medicine and migration in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain, analysing the way that conceptions of illness and health transformed experiences of migration during the early years of the modern British immigration system. She is originally from Toronto, Canada. You can find her talking about her life and research on Twitter at @vesnacurlic.
The SGSAH blog aims to share the experiences – triumphs and trials – of postgraduate researches in the arts and humanities. As you already know a blog post is a short, informal, and often personal piece of writing. With any piece of writing the audience is important. Mainly this is an opportunity to express your thoughts, feelings, and/ or research to a broader audience. The goal is to share information and experiences that will hopefully start a dialogue and build/ strengthen the postgraduate research community in Scotland.
- Blog Post
- Biographical information (2-3 sentences)
- At least two images (with proper citations)
- Time Table
- Links to your personal social media and academic profile (twitter, ORCID, University profile, etc.)
Blog Post guidelines:
The piece of writing itself should be rather brief: 300-1,000 words. With blogs, longer isn’t always better. Your reader is busy and is looking for information or a point of connection quickly and enjoyably. Lists and bullet points are great tools to use, but by no means required. The goal is to engage the reader whether that’s with a story, a bit of humour, or something significant/ interesting you’ve found in your research/ experience as a researcher. Also, a witty title or something specific that draws people in is helpful.
The other side of a blog post is you, the blogger! Your interests and what you get out of the writing as the author is important. Often blogging can be a great way to process information or experiences, starting a dialogue and developing community in the process. This can also be an opportunity for you to present your research to a popular audience that is welcoming and collaborative. You may even receive some constructive feedback and certainly encouragement. This will also be a box that you can tick for future career opportunities, so remember to add this to your CV after writing your guest post. Finally, it is important to remember the most interesting pieces of writing are those written by authors invested in the subject, so it’s better to choose something you’re interested in. Also, don’t feel that it has to be ‘upbeat’, ground breaking, or mind-blowing, the PhD experience is difficult and at times monotonous, sharing openly and honestly will help people connect and engage with your writing.
These are just guidelines and suggestions, so share what you’re comfortable sharing, write what you’re interested in writing, and enjoy the freedom. It can be a fun and cathartic experience. Remember this is your post and the SGSAH is your platform as well to engage with the broader arts and humanities research community in Scotland.
An aspect of your research for public engagement – This was mentioned earlier, but this is a great opportunity to tick a box on your career development list. A post on this topic could be looking to demonstrate how your research engages or has something to say about current affairs, local communities, or society more generally, but it certainly doesn’t have to.
A personal experience – This can cover your experience as a PGR student/ PhD candidate, the joys and difficulties, issues you’ve faced and tips you can give. With these the more specific the better. One of the SGSAH bloggers focused on her experience as a remote researcher, which resonated with many other researchers. I might focus on my experience as an international student or the unique experience of doing an interdisciplinary thesis. This is to say don’t be afraid to be specific about your experience, it doesn’t have to be generalizable to all PGR students.
An experience made possible by SGSAH funding – These can take into consideration either of the two topics above, both, or neither. It could be about networking at a conference or an interesting development in your research that came out of the experience. It could also be advice or encouragement to apply for a certain internship or funding opportunity. It could also be about new tools or technologies you’ve come across, such as an app that helps you stay focused on writing or a new organizational tool.
Really anything that you think relates to being a postgraduate researcher in the arts and humanities is fair game, so feel free to get creative and have fun!