Getting to Know Each Other

Jade

Hi! I’m Jade and I’m a final year PhD researcher in the College of Arts, based in the department of English Language and Linguistics. To be more specific, I have what is known as Thesis Pending Status – this means that I am in my ‘writing up year’ during which I bring my research together into a polished, final piece of work. Or at least that’s the plan. My thesis examines the life and surviving letters of the sixteenth-century noblewoman Lady Anne Percy, countess of Northumberland (1536 – 1591). Not many people know about Lady Anne but she was pretty fabulous, even if I do say so myself. She rode with rebel forces against Queen Elizabeth I in 1569 while pregnant, before escaping into exile in Scotland and the Low Countries. There she became a prominent campaigner against the English authorities and in favour of Mary, Queen of Scots.

But enough about Lady Anne and here’s some more about myself and what I hope to contribute to the blog. I would say that I know the University of Glasgow really well since I studied for my undergraduate degree in French here before completing a taught postgraduate MLitt in Medieval and Renaissance Studies in 2013. I now live outside the city, near Stirling, where I take advantage of outdoor pursuits that I enjoy including horse riding, walking my beloved dogs, and camping (only when the weather is nice though). I also like less strenuous activities like making my own cosmetics and cooking, both of which are quite important to me as I am a vegetarian. I also find the process of making things by hand quite relaxing and that’s something I’d like to share on the blog: how important it is for PhD researchers to keep healthy, both physically and mentally.

As someone near the end of their research hopefully I can offer some helpful and practical advice to those starting out as well as sharing ideas with those who are further into their research. I have experienced some fantastic opportunities as a PhD researcher here at the University of Glasgow, but it is true that being a researcher can be isolating and difficult at times. I hope that this blog can offer some insight into practical issues like Annual Performance Reviews (APR), relationships with supervisors, training courses, or being a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), but more importantly the less concrete things that we all worry about but aren’t sure where to look for the answers. So that means taking holidays, staying healthy and feeling well, and sharing our research in less formally academic areas, since these are all important too.

In that case, I hope we can share our experiences and advice as we get to know one another.

Post Author: Jade Scott

Jade has recently submitted her PhD in English Language and is preparing for her viva. Her thesis examines the exile experience and agency of a sixteenth-century noblewoman, Lady Anne Percy, through her surviving letters. She also works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the department of English Language and Linguistics.

5 thoughts on “Getting to Know Each Other

    Sameer

    (6th December 2016 - 2:17 pm)

    Hi. I’m a postgrad English Literature. Joined late in November, so didn’t get to meet many people; in fact no one from English Lit. Its getting a little isolated now. I find this blog is helpful because it helps students communicate with each other. I just thought I’d use it to reach out to English Lit/ History/ Theatre guys n gals out there. Thanks.

      luciajackson

      (6th December 2016 - 4:34 pm)

      Hi Sameer! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve not met any other English lit students so far. Have you managed to go to any training sessions or seminars yet? I found them to be a great way of meeting other researchers, particularly as I’m researching part-time and not always on campus. You should get regular emails from the various departments within the college about lunchtime seminars and talks, where you can meet people in varying stages of their PhDs and careers. There are also several reading groups run by students, the list of which you can find here- http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/critical/research/seminarsandreadinggroups/
      The training workshops run by the PGR office and the College of Arts are also pretty good places to meet other students, as well as giving you the opportunity to share your experiences with each other.
      Hope that this is a good starting point, and that you get to catch up with other students soon! 🙂

        Sameer

        (8th December 2016 - 12:31 am)

        Dear Lucia

        Thank you for your comment, and for sharing info about those seminars. I’ve attended one so far. But Yeah, I agree, they sound like a great place to share ideas and resources and meet people. I’ll definitely make that into a priority. Thank you for your good wishes too! Have a great week.

        Warm regards

    Jade Scott

    (8th December 2016 - 1:22 pm)

    Hi Sameer! I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to meet many other students yet, but I’m glad you find the blog a place where you can reach out to others and communicate with other researchers.
    I think Lucia’s advice to head along to research seminars and other workshops run by wider School and College teams is really helpful. It can also be nice to make contacts outside your own field and if you feel rather isolated in English Literature it could be a good idea to head off to anything that interests you even if you think it isn’t directly relevant to your research project. Another way to meet people is to keep a look out for anything you might have an interest in totally outside of research. There are hundreds of societies and clubs here at the UofG. There are quite a few theatre groups like the musical theatre group, The Cecilian Society, which is open to everyone. You can see all of the clubs and societies on the SRC website https://www.glasgowstudent.net/clubs/
    And I would keep an eye out for posters and info in places like The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club. They always have flyers for academic events as well as more society-based activities. The same is true of the library where you can find posters for all sorts of things. I know it isn’t easy feeling cut-off, but don’t feel you only need to get social with others in your field. It can be nice to have people to share similar interests with and your research is a huge part of your life, but it is important to enjoy things outside of that too. This is something the blog hopes to explore as we progress so keep in touch and let us know how you are finding things.
    All the best,
    Jade

    Sameer

    (13th December 2016 - 1:34 pm)

    Dear Jade

    Thank you for your comment. Yeah, I’m looking up different societies and hoping to enroll in seminars. A PG blog for and by PG students has also been revived I hear, so all good places to get in touch with people. I guess in my case, it has more to do with joining near end-semester, so that’s like harder to settle in, but some good advice by people like yourself. Hope it gets better. Happy holidays! Cheers.

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