Featured post: the “ExPhDition”

Coming to the end of a PhD is a strange event. Unlike the closure granted by the final exam and graduation party of an undergraduate degree, finishing a PhD involves a number of milestones along an interminable path: compiling the first thesis draft, receiving all your supervisors’ comments, finishing your conclusions, submitting the paperwork, uploading the thesis, and the examination.

A late-stage PhD student might thus find a sense of resolution elusive. I found my answer through art. My friend Bob suggested that I should illustrate my PhD journey, which resulted in “The ExPhDition”, an annotated map of the challenges and adventures I experienced since beginning at the University of Bristol in September 2016.

The ExPhDition
An illustrated map of my PhD journey, from beginnings in Mexico in June 2016, to typesetting mishaps in June 2020. Where next?

I was invited to write about the process of creating the ExPhDition, and the lessons I have learned while undertaking it, on the Bristol Doctoral College (BDC) blog. (The blog is styled as “a forum for Bristol’s postgraduate researchers”, and can be found here.) I understand that each student and project is unique – but I hope my post contains advice that is relatable to other researchers, albeit within a different context!

Find the post on the BDC blog here, or the full URL:

Ailsa’s ‘ExPhDition’ — why a PGR illustrated her route to a research degree

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