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By NICOLA KOPER | January 30 2013

I had one of those “HA! I KNEW IT” moments when I read an article in the November 2012 issue of University Affairs. Léo Charbonneau wrote, in “Students prefer good lectures over the latest technology in class”, that students like listening to interesting, meaningful lectures, and that the latest trends in university educations … clickers […]

By JO VANEVERY | January 21 2013

One advantage to taking a real break over the holidays is that it allows you to return to your work life with new eyes. We all develop habits. Some of them are good habits that allow you to get things done efficiently and effectively. Others are not as helpful and might be contributing to your […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | January 14 2013

When it comes to requesting accommodations at work, I’m going to make a plug, along the lines of my shameless plug for The plug in this case is for Mental Health Works. I’m not claiming the site tackles all disability-related topics. It doesn’t. Its focus is clearly mental health. And it has a bunch […]

By NICOLA KOPER | January 08 2013

A few months ago, I blogged about preventing plagiarism before it occurs. Sadly, I have recently been reminded that we can’t prevent all cases of plagiarism. In an unusual turn of events, I am currently dealing with evidence that one student plagiarized the work of another. This is perhaps the most difficult type of plagiarism […]

By JO VANEVERY | December 17 2012

Whether you celebrate anything at this time of year or not, universities typically shut down between Christmas and New Year. You are tired at the end of term. This is an ideal time to take a break. Taking a break is not easy. You will feel guilty that you aren’t working on … well something. […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | December 10 2012

In my last post, I talked about the issues around disclosing disabilities in the pre-interview stages of the  job search. This week, I want to consider disclosure in interviews. There is no one approach that works for everyone. Nor is there an approach that eliminates the risk of employer prejudice.  That said, considering if and when […]

By NICOLA KOPER | December 03 2012

Last time I blogged, I wrote about the proliferation of interdisciplinary units and departments at universities across the globe. This week I’m going to write about what it’s like to be a professor in one of these research units. First, let me paint a picture for you of entering the Natural Resources Institute. First, walk […]

By JO VANEVERY | November 26 2012

The core of your PhD program is research and the production of a dissertation. Although you need much more than this to successfully transition into the next phase of your career, your research and dissertation should be a high priority for you. Whether you are working in a lab or working primarily on your own, […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | November 19 2012

I was reviewing some of my previous blog posts and realized just how much I focus on the stress of searching for a job.  Well, apparently I’m continuing the trend.  If the job search is inherently stressful, it gets more complicated when you’re trying to determine whether or how to disclose a disability or disabilities […]

By NICOLA KOPER | November 12 2012

My most recent blog posting was about teaching a diversity of students, with a variety of backgrounds. Today I’m going to chat about the opposite situation … when it is not the student body, but the department, that is diverse. I am part of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba. Our raison […]

By JO VANEVERY | November 05 2012

I have to admit that I was somewhat baffled by the way that others promoted my post on Relevance and Employability as being about non-academic careers. Being able to articulate how your research is relevant is going to matter more and more to academic careers. Already, grant applications for major funding bodies require plans to […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | October 29 2012

This is the question that makes my soul say “argg!” because it typically comes from people with lots to offer, and because the prospect of taking on more training is often looming before them in the form of another degree—a completely different degree than the one(s) they have already completed. Usually, these job seekers feel […]

By NICOLA KOPER | October 22 2012

In our current culture of international emigration and the global village, we are more and more likely to teach a wide diversity of students in our universities. In the interdisciplinary institute of which I am a part, students come not just from a range of universities from across the globe, but also from a broad […]

By JO VANEVERY | October 15 2012

There is a lot of talk about making academic research relevant and about the employment of PhDs. Unfortunately, most of this discussion happens at an abstract level with very little discussion of the specifics. What these debates have in common is research knowledge. Your research knowledge, and your research skills, may be relevant to non-academic […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | October 01 2012

Finding work doesn’t necessarily require finding a job. Some academics turn to entrepreneurship to provide some or all of their work and income. Dr. Kathryn Allan happens to be one such former academic. After completing her PhD in English Literature, she launched an editing business.  While her degree was clearly relevant in terms of honing […]

By NICOLA KOPER | September 24 2012

One of the best benefits of teaching graduate students is being given the opportunity to meet so many extraordinary people from all over the world. Our department is like many at Canadian research universities; typically, 25-50% of our graduate students are from outside of Canada. This provides a rich and exciting learning environment for all […]

By JO VANEVERY | September 17 2012

Back in January, I proposed a series of questions you might ask in the spirit of the New Year. The beginning of a new academic year seems like a good time to revisit one of those questions: What are your career goals? It is more useful to frame your goals in terms of the skills […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | September 04 2012

So, you’ve got one page to persuade an employer to hire you—no, scratch that.  You’ve got one page, along with your resume, to persuade an employer to interview you.  Here’s what happens with that page: Some employers read it Some employers don’t Some employers who read it will only read it if they’ve shortlisted your […]

By NICOLA KOPER | August 27 2012

I got a worried email from a student the other day, who had a conflict with a collaborator and became concerned about the implications. While the details will vary with every case, this did make me think about the many projects I’ve worked on: both those that were done as stand-alone projects, and those in […]

By JO VANEVERY | August 20 2012

The imminent beginning of a new academic year seems like a good time to broach this difficult topic. Before you make another tuition payment, it’s a good idea to make a conscious decision about whether doing a PhD is still the right path for you. How do you feel? This is a serious question. Is […]